Chicago Shrine of Christ the King building to be demolished after fire, ICKSP considers rebuild or relocate

Shrine of Christ the King Status Report

The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest has received a letter from the Archdiocese of Chicago summarizing the results of their substantial efforts to ascertain the best course of action for the Shrine building after the devastating October fire. Based on extensive engineering and other evaluations the Archdiocese has concluded that the church building has significant structural issues and to restore the building to its state before the fire and to bring it up to current City of Chicago building code standards is cost prohibitive. The Archdiocese is predominantly self-insured and therefore there is no resort to an insurance claim with an external insurer.

Therefore the Archdiocese is moving without delay to demolish the remnants of the structure. The Archdiocese has offered the Institute the opportunity to propose a plan for rebuilding a new church on the same site. The Institute is carefully considering this as a first option, mindful of its pastoral dedication and the Shrine’s important place in the Woodlawn and Hyde Park communities. As another option, the Archdiocese has offered a South Side church which is now available for occupancy.

The Institute remains committed to its daily mission at the Shrine of living the truth in charity for the good of souls and the benefit of the local community. Thus, the Archdiocese will renew its lease with the Institute for our continued use of the rectory and parking lot. The Institute is deeply grateful for the prayers and generous support of the Shrine faithful and friends, particularly at this challenging time of discernment.
GoFundMe: Shrine Fire Restoration

Does anyone know the location of the other proposed site on the South Side?  I just don't see a way to raise the kind of money needed to rebuild a church, especially of the stature of the existing building. My understanding is that the Institute's general strategy has been to take historic churches no longer in general use and restore them.

Update: I didn't realize this but after reading Father Zed, I see Msgr. Pope mentions this in his recent and thought provoking article at NCReg.
If you want to read the details, the story is available here: Church to be Demolished.[some good info in here] For the purposes of this article, though, simply note that the church in question suffered a rather devastating fire. The particular church was home to the Traditional Latin Mass community and was rented from the diocese. The community was permitted to undertake renovations, but given the fact that the parish had closed there was no insurance on the building. Further, as a general rule, dioceses are “self-insured,” which is a way of saying that it is really the diocese (or a cooperative of dioceses), not some huge insurance company, that must pay the damages.

It is a tragic loss, both historically (it is a one-hundred-year-old building) and for the community.
HT Rorate


  1. I'm not sure the insurance comments are entirely accurate. Yes the Bishop of Chicago is unique of all bishops in America as he is the corporate sole, but all parishes in the Arch have insurance through one carrier - Gallagher & Bassett. They just came out to my parish on the SW side of the City to do some restorative work on the interior because of water damage (most of which was deemed normal wear and tear; a small portion the company said was Church negligence).

  2. Impossible to build them like they used to. Hope good sense prevails and they'll take on the restoration/rehabilitation of a glorious old church that's about to be decommissioned -- certainly enough of them out there.

  3. I've heard rumblings of the church they've been offered. It's in a pretty shady part of town. It's also a church that used to have a very strong "LGBT" "ministry".

  4. The decision to insure or not insure belongs to the Archdiocese, and does not reflect on the size or viability of the congregation. It is Archdiocesan property, leased by the Institute.


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