This week, the National Fund awarded the Institute of Christ the King the remaining $125,000 to push us over our $3 Million goal for Phase I of our restoration campaign to build our National Shrine to Christ the King.
We wish to thank the National Fund for Sacred Places for their generous support, and we assure you of our continued prayers in gratitude for your part in helping us build a National Shrine to Christ the King. May the Holy Infant Jesus bless you this Christmas and always for what you have done for Him this year!
By the grace of God and thanks to your help, Phase I is complete and the panic of the situation is over. The building is secure and protected from the elements. Now we are ready to build the Institute’s namesake Shrine on our own property so that the reign of Christ our King may bless you, our Institute and our nation.
As we now begin Phase II to build the Institute’s National Shrine, our Prior General, Monsignor Gilles Wach, and our Provincial Superior, Canon Matthew Talarico, ask us to pray publicly the Memorare each day for this very intention: to build the Institute’s National Shrine to Christ the King.
Through constant prayer to St. Joseph, we have been blessed with shelter and stability. Now by our devotion to the Immaculate Conception, Our Blessed Mother will procure for us all that is necessary to build for her Divine Infant Son a National Shrine to honor Him as King.
For the first time in three years since the devastating fire, which destroyed the Institute’s Headquarters church, Holy Mass was offered once again within the newly sheltered walls of our National Shrine. Our Provincial Superior, Canon Matthew Talarico, offered the Holy Sacrifice in the presence of the Holy Infant King statue, which, though made of wood, was not consumed in the roaring blaze three years ago.
Canon Talarico offered Mass in thanksgiving for all the blessings received thus far and in petition to grant us those necessary to build for His Divine Majesty a worthy throne to honor Him as King in our National Shrine.
Through the intercession of St. Joseph, shelter is once again provided; now, through the intercession of the Immaculate Conception, heavenly Patroness of the Institute and of the United States of America, we will build a National Shrine to her Divine Infant Son, Jesus Christ our King and Sovereign Priest, that He may reign here now in our land as He lives and reigns forever in glory.
Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat. Deo Gratias!
The South Side of Chicago experienced their first major snowfall today, and for the first time since the devastating fire in October of 2015, the Institute’s National Shrine has a roof to keep the snow outside. Following the tragedy, friends and benefactors helped raise over $3 million to construct an entirely new roof structure as well as to stabilize and clean the damaged historical edifice.
The Institute received the deed for the property following the fire and, now owning the site, is dedicated to building a National Shrine in honor of our Holy Infant King. Thank you all for your prayers and generous support to help the Institute build their National Shrine to Christ the King and Headquarters in the USA.
The Institute is now preparing to launch Phase II of their Capital Campaign to build the National Shrine to Christ our King. May the Holy Infant Jesus bless you all for your support.
CHICAGO, IL – Thank you all very much for sharing with us your time and talents the other day. Moreover, thank you for your continued support, friendship and love in this endeavor of Charity to bring life, hope, and grace to our community and to our land. May the Holy Infant King continue to bless you as you continue to honor Him by your dedication and commitment to build for Him the National Shrine of Christ the King.
CHICAGO, IL – Newly ordained American priest for the Institute of Christ the King and Project Manager of the National Shrine of Christ the King, Canon Matthew Weaver offers Holy Mass in St. Joseph’s Crypt Chapel in thanksgiving to Almighty God for the countless people who have so generously helped to put a new roof on the National Shrine in honor of Christ our King. Thank you all, and may God love you!
CHICAGO, IL – The Shrine’s new roof has been completed! This is a major milestone for three reasons: it marks the end of the first phase of the restoration, it completes our project goal to obtain the second half of a matching grant from the National Fund for Sacred Places, and most especially, it is the culmination of three years of support from all our donors.
One year ago, the National Fund for Sacred Places awarded the Shrine a grant of $250,000 to be paid in two installments on the conditions that we raise $500,000 on our own and that the roof be completed. Thanks to you all, we reached and surpassed the fundraising goal of $500,000 earlier this year. This week, inspectors from the National Fund came to assess the brand new roof structure, assuring its installation and completion. The inspectors were very pleased with what they saw and the progress that we have made. They then invited us to complete the final paperwork, taking the final step so that the Shrine can now receive the second half of the $250,000 grant.
While we are deeply grateful for the grant, we are even more profoundly humbled by what this milestone says to us from you: it is the culmination of three years of collaboration with countless donors to complete Phase I, which included the stabilization of the building, and an entirely new steel roof structure. In total, you helped us raise $3M to get us this far.
From the very day of the fire, the support of many individuals has been astounding and heartwarming. Truly, without your help, through donations large and small, in one-time or repeated contributions, we would not have been able to accomplish Phase I. With the completion of the roof, and the building interior now protected from the elements, we are no longer operating in response to an emergency. We have “stopped the bleeding”, and we are able to press on to the restoration ahead.
There are no words that can adequately express our gratitude, hope, and inspiration engendered by the generosity of all our supporters for the completion of this Phase I. Accordingly, Canon Matthew Weaver, the Project Manager for the Shrine and a newly ordained American priest, will offer a special Mass of thanksgiving on Monday, October 29, 2018, for the intentions of all who have helped us achieve this once unthinkable goal for the greater glory of God on earth. May He reward you eternally for your generosity to us!
This year’s Feast of the Most Holy Rosary marks the 10th anniversary of the Institute of Christ the King’s reception of the Pontifical Rite status by Pope Benedict XVI. As a young community founded in 1990, the Institute was first of Diocesan Rite, dependent upon the Cardinal Archbishop of Florence, Italy. Since October 7, 2008, the Institute is directly under the authority of the Holy See in Rome. This annual Feast of the Holy Rosary is thus a special day of joy for the worldwide family of the Institute.
However, this joyful anniversary day was mixed with sorrow in 2015, when the tragic fire gutted our Shrine home. While we are deeply grateful that no one was injured, the hardships and challenges of these past three years have been as countless thorns to weave a crown. How many lessons in patience, prudence, and charity have schooled us in these past three years!
Because of your persevering prayers and cheerful example, Our Lord has deigned to give us hope in the glorious mysteries to come. Through your generous support and sacrifices, the new roof is now almost complete and much of the masonry of the church has been restored to make its foundational structure now stronger than ever.
This success has not been without adversity. However, the lessons learned will soon help us to have a fresh start with renewed resolve in the 2nd phase of the project, which aims to provide the necessary windows and mechanical systems in order for us to use the church again. Brick by brick and bead by bead, the thorns of patience will bring forth roses of beauty in God’s good time!
On this Feast of the Holy Rosary, let us then be deeply grateful for all of the mysteries—joyful, sorrowful and glorious, which are all opportunities of grace for our earthly pilgrimage through this life. Let us give thanks for one another, because God’s grace has made us the spiritual stones of the Shrine community, and we have been together through thick and thin! Let us ask Mary Immaculate, patroness of the Institute of Christ the King, of the United States of America, and of the Archdiocese of Chicago, for her maternal protection, her guidance and her strength so that we may become the spiritual beads of a living Rosary, doing our part to bring to our difficult world the truth and charity of the Reign of Christ the King.
United with you in the prayer of the Holy Rosary at the foot of the altar, I remain,
CHICAGO, IL –Open House Chicago, held October 13 – 14, was once again a terrific opportunity for people to visit the Shrine building. This year, 348 guests, friends and neighbors were able to enjoy the space under the new roof with clean masonry walls! Most were delighted to see the construction progress, and many offered prayers and some donations to make Phase II a reality. We heard many stories of grandparents who were early parishioners, of weddings and baptisms, even from a tutor who worked at St. Clara School!!
It was a wonderful honor to once again – for a 5th year in a row – be chosen by the Chicago Architecture Center to participate in such a great event which showcases the hidden gems and architectural treasures of Chicago.
CHICAGO, IL – The labor-intensive process of cleaning the fire-damaged brick inside the Shrine has begun. With this important brick restoration, the community is one step closer to coming home!
Check out the amazing before, during, and after photos of the cleaning of the main altar wall (click to enlarge). In the video below, a worker is using a high power sprayer with a special chemical solution to clean the brick above one of the windows.