Sunday, September 23, 2007

Institute of Christ the King on EWTN Live (TV & Radio) about Historic Landmark building: The Shrine of Christ the King Sovereign Priest

On Wednesday, September 26th, at 8:00 pm ET (1:00 am GMT, September 27th) Msgr. R. Michael Schmitz, Vicar General of the Institute of Christ the King, and classical architect William Heyer will be on EWTN Live discussing the restoration of the Shrine of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, a historic landmark entrusted by the Archdiocese of Chicago to the care of the Institute of Christ the King. EWTN , the Global Catholic Network, can be viewed online at in streaming video.

The impressive church building – currently gutted -- was designed in 1923 by famous Chicago revivalist architect Henry Schlacks. As the thriving “St. Clara Carmelite Church” on the south side, even before its completion in 1927 it already functioned as the National Shrine of St. Therese of Lisieux, and remained such until the mid-1980s. Vicissitudes that affected the neighborhood in the 1970s and 1980s, and a fire that severely damaged the interior of the church were factors that eventually led to the building’s closure and threatened demolition in 2002. However, different advocacy groups from among the neighborhood, the nearby University of Chicago , and a variety of preservationist interests, rose to save the church, and their efforts were successful in securing historic landmark status for the magnificent structure.

However, even before the City of Chicago landmarked the former St. Clara (renamed St. Gelasius in 1990), authorities in the Archdiocese of Chicago had already approached the Institute of Christ the King offering them the challenging project of bringing the church back to life, both by re-establishing there a vibrant parish life and restoring the building itself.

Exterior repairs have been completed. While the interior is still gutted and in need of completely new mechanicals, the Institute of Christ the King already offers Mass and all the Sacraments in the Classical form of the Latin Rite in a chapel in the adjacent rectory building.

The Institute must raise all funds needed to restore this architectural jewel and transform it into a magnificent church where the Classical form of the Latin Rite, and the beauty and depth of Catholic culture and tradition, can be made available to all.

For more information,, or call 773-363-7409.

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