Friday, February 26, 2016

Christ the King Shrine in Chicago area in immediate peril after archdiocese secures demolition permit


Have been gone so haven't had a chance to post on this.

I want to start with an interesting fact:
Q. WILL THE ARCHDIOCESE HAVE TO PAY FOR TEARING DOWN THE SHRINE?

A. Yes. The cost of tearing down the Shrine will be at least $250,000. As a point of comparison, the recent teardown of St James on Wabash in 2013 cost $900,000. These costs will have to be borne by the Archdiocese, which has recently announced that it is closing nearly 100 parishes due to financial concerns.
That said, Roamin Catholic Churches visited the condemned community.
The plight of this religious community on Chicago’s South Side has taken a wide swing of turns since the blaze that nearly destroyed its church building on October 7, 2015. In the last week or so, news has emerged that the Institute of Christ King Sovereign Priest is now revisiting the possibility of saving the church building with the Archdiocese of Chicago [1]. Hearing this, I felt obliged to share my experience from visiting the Institute shortly after the fire last year.
continue for story at Roamin Catholic Churches

Also a post on a visit to the Institute's temporary accommodations in Woodlawn 

A few weeks ago: Anonymous donors pledge $450,000 in effort to save Woodlawn church
Miller said his organization is accepting pledges on behalf of the Coalition to Save the Shrine, which includes parishioners and neighbors as well as historic preservation and community groups.

"We are amazed by the pledges that have come in, in large dollar amounts, for the shrine," he said. "It's just something we've not seen at Preservation Chicago since our founding."
The City of Chicago has approved a request made by the Archdiocese of Chicago to demolish an historic Chicago landmark church. The church, the Shrine of Christ the King, is a 1923 Renaissance Revival landmarked structure by one of Chicago’s leading architects. After a fire destroyed its newly insulated roof in October 2015, the Shrine has become the focal point of joint efforts to save it by neighborhood groups, parishioners and prestigious historic preservationist groups on both the local and national level. These groups have formed a Coalition which has quickly raised pledges in excess of $650,000 – enough to stabilize the structure and begin work on the renovation it requires.

The Coalition is urgently appealing to the public to support its petition on 
With the legion of parish closings in the archdiocese, it will certainly feel pressure to not play favoritism in one way or another.  But it seems shocking if they would literally pay a quarter million dollars to demolish the structure when funds have already been raised to stabilize the church.  Dioceses cannot continue to abandon inner city parishes and opt for building new churches in affluent suburban areas.  Struggling neighborhoods need nearby Catholic parishes much more than rich suburbs.

1 comment:

  1. "Dioceses cannot continue to abandon inner city parishes and opt for building new churches in affluent suburban areas. Struggling neighborhoods need nearby Catholic parishes much more than rich suburbs." I would hope that the same could be said about small, rural parishes. It is hard for Catholics in rural areas to travel long distances to attend Mass when they used to be able to go to a neighborhood church. Unfortunately, it boils down to the money which is available to maintain and operate buildings, and the number of priests which are available. It is a difficult situation.

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