Latest Updates

Interior Clean-Up Nearly Complete!

Chicago, IL – Clean-up of the church interior is nearing completion. Engineers now have clear access for an up-close analysis of the steel trusses and supports overhead and to the steel columns in the walls. This evaluation will be helpful for the construction drawings of new steel trusses and of the entire new roofing system.

Day 2 of Debris Clean-Up

Chicago, IL – Removal of the ashes and debris from October’s fire continues at the Shrine while the press was given access to the clean-up process going on inside the church.

Press Release: Shrine Rising Continues: Christ The King Church Clean-Up



CHICAGO, IL (April 26, 2016) – In the aftermath of a devastating fire on October 7th, 2015, and following its narrow escape from demolition yet again, the Shrine of Christ the King Church continues to rise up from its ashes—this time in a very literal way.

Crews are now beginning to remove the ash and debris from inside the fire-damaged church. This work marks the start of Phase One of the “Rise with the Shrine” campaign for the complete restoration of this City of Chicago landmark church.

In late February, the Archdiocese of Chicago deeded the church buildings and property to the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, thanks in a special way to the support of historic preservation groups and local neighborhood associations. Since then, the Institute has been active with its construction team in making preparations and plans for the rebuilding.

On Tuesday, April 26, at 10:00am the press will be given access to the clean-up process going on inside the church. Rev. Canon Matthew Talarico, provincial Superior of the Institute in the United States, as well as some of the leading workers and community members, will also be available for interviews to mark this historic occasion.

For more information please contact Rev. Canon Matthew Talarico at or at 973-590-6494.


Ramp Created for Access Point

Today the workers built the ramp which makes possible the access point into the building. This will facilitate, among other things, the removal of debris from the church beginning next week.

Making Progress

Work has continued at the Shrine this week! Stones and bricks have been carefully removed to create a large construction access point. The stones have all been numbered for their later return.


Infant King Statue Travels to Europe for Repairs

Damaged Infant King Statue

In late March the Historic Statue of the Infant King returned to Germany for the much needed post-fire repairs. Not only will His arm be restored to Him, but the smoke-damaged wood will be restored as well. In the statue’s place currently stands a smaller hand-made statue modeled after our Infant King. Our hope is that such statues may be made available in the future to have in the homes of His devotees! With the help of your prayers, we could have our statue back as early as June 19th, which is the 10th anniversary of the canonical erection of the Shrine! Deo gratias!

Workers Begin Creating Access Point to Church Interior

A primary access point for the church’s interior is needed. This will permit accessibility into the building for the machinery required in the fire debris removal, as well as for the lifts needed to make the engineering analysis which will result in redesigning the trusses and steel supports for the new roofing system. This access is being created in a large window bay on the church’s north side.

Workers removed the damaged window and have begun the procedure for shoring and removal of the exterior stone below the window. Each of these stones will be carefully removed, cataloged, and properly stored. Then each stone will be reinstalled after the opening is no longer required.

Engineering Planning Has Begun!

Rebuilding the Shrine, home of our Infant King and a beloved city landmark, is beginning!

Within a few days of the decision to deed the property to the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, the Institute’s architect, general contractor, and building engineers are working with the canons of the Shrine to begin the rebuilding plan! Preliminary structural analysis is ongoing at this time.

Phase I of the restoration project consists of sheltering the Shrine’s interior in order to provide the basis for its full restoration. This will involve clearing out the debris, reconstruction of the steel framework for the roofing system, repairing fire-damaged brick and stone, laying the new roof, and installing new thermal windows. More than ever, the Shrine will need your support for every truss, every shingle, every brick, and every hope of the Shrine as the phoenix rises from the ashes.

The Shrine is developing a fresh look to this website. You are invited to visit often for regular updates on progress and plans. Join us every step of the way!

You can help our community to rise with the Shrine by making a special gift for Phase I today. May the Infant Jesus reward you for your charity! Holy Mass is celebrated weekly for the intentions of all of you donors!

Press Release: Shrine of Christ the King to be Stabilized



Archdiocese Deeds Building and Property to the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest

CHICAGO, IL (February 28, 2016) – The Archdiocese of Chicago today announced that it has deeded the Shrine of Christ the King in Woodlawn and the land on which it stands to the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. The members of the apostolic institute have confirmed that they have received sufficient funds for the immediate stabilization of the historic Shrine building, ravaged by fire in October, 2015, and determined to be in hazardous condition. The Institute has committed itself to promptly remedying the dangerous condition created by the fire and then following through with the full restoration of the building.

“We express our deep gratitude to all the individuals and organizations whose most generous and timely donations helped bring us to this moment. We are mindful of the dangerous condition of the Shrine and will begin stabilization immediately with funds already collected,” said Reverend Canon Matthew L. Talarico, Provincial Superior for the Institute in the United States. “We are grateful to the Archdiocese for its partnership throughout our ministry in Woodlawn, especially during this difficult time. Since the day of the fire the collaboration with the Archdiocese has been remarkable: frequent communication, hard work and prayer.”

In thanksgiving for this agreement and in celebration of God’s blessings, the Institute has invited the public to a festive Mass on March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph, at 10:00am in the Shrine’s current Mass location, the gymnasium of First Presbyterian church (6400 S. Kimbark Ave.). Afterwards, all are welcome for a St. Joseph Table luncheon reception with refreshments at 12:00 noon in the church hall of the same building. For more information on this event, contact: Rev. Canon Matthew Talarico at 773-363-7409, ext. 4, or at

The Archdiocese of Chicago is supportive of the Institute’s efforts to maintain its presence in the Woodlawn community and continue its ministry there. The Archdiocese wishes the Institute every success.