National Shrine to Christ the King Renewed: Old Landmark Receives New Life in Chicago

The Shrine of Christ the King is rising again from the ashes, but must complete Phase II before the wrecking ball is completely at bay.

CHICAGO — On a cold October day in the Windy City, as the first snow fell on the last shingle nailed to the new roof of the Shrine of Christ the King, the canons of the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest held a Mass of thanksgiving.

The canons and the “Save the Shrine” coalition had completed Phase I of their mission to save the shrine since it had been gutted in October 2015 by a devastating fire and nearly condemned to the wrecking ball. And in a private ceremony, they enthroned the statue of the Infant King who had miraculously survived the flames.

Canon Matthew Weaver, project manager for the shrine restoration, told the Register the restorers are now moving on to the second key phase of making the shrine a permanent home for Christ and a place of national pilgrimage in Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood: They must now build the interior, putting flesh on the church’s bones, so they can move to Phase III and beautify the building for lasting generations of public worship.

“We are praying now our Blessed Mother will turn it into a home for the Divine Infant Child and our King,” he said.
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