CHICAGO: Good News of Institute of Christ the King


Joint Statement of the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Institute of Christ the King 


Archdiocese Deeds Building and Property to the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest 

CHICAGO, IL (February 28, 2016) – The Archdiocese of Chicago today announced that it has deeded the Shrine of Christ the King in Woodlawn and the land on which it stands to the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. The members of the apostolic institute have confirmed that they have received sufficient funds for the immediate stabilization of the historic Shrine building, ravaged by fire in October, 2015, and determined to be in hazardous condition. The Institute has committed itself to promptly remedying the dangerous condition created by the fire and then following through with the full restoration of the building.

“We express our deep gratitude to all the individuals and organizations whose most generous and timely donations helped bring us to this moment. We are mindful of the dangerous condition of the Shrine and will begin stabilization immediately with funds already collected,” said Reverend Canon Matthew L. Talarico, Provincial Superior for the Institute in the United States. “We are grateful to the Archdiocese for its partnership throughout our ministry in Woodlawn, especially during this difficult time. Since the day of the fire the collaboration with the Archdiocese has been remarkable: frequent communication, hard work and prayer.”

In thanksgiving for this agreement and in celebration of God’s blessings, the Institute has invited the public to a festive Mass on March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph, at 10:00am in the Shrine’s current Mass location, the gymnasium of First Presbyterian church (6400 S. Kimbark Ave.). Afterwards, all are welcome for a St. Joseph Table luncheon reception with refreshments at 12:00 noon in the church hall of the same building. For more information on this event, contact: Rev. Canon Matthew Talarico at 773-363-7409, ext. 4, or at  

The Archdiocese of Chicago is supportive of the Institute’s efforts to maintain its presence in the Woodlawn community and continue its ministry there. The Archdiocese wishes the Institute every success.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. kekeak2008 says:

    This is great. Was this the great news you were referring to a few days ago?

  2. WmHesch says:

    Yes- was this the good news you referenced before? Or is there a forthcoming announcement on SSPX regularization or Francis’ resignation? ;)

  3. chantgirl says:

    Deo gratias! When the fire ravaged the building on the feast of Our Lady of Victory/Holy Rosary, I hoped that it might be saved. Thanks to Our Lady, St. Joseph, and the Infant King!

  4. Jack says:

    Some GOOD news!

  5. paladin says:

    (*whew!*) :) Great news!

    Given the current archbishop, it’s even more remarkable…

  6. Agapitus says:

    Call me politically cynical but I see this as a win/win for the AOC. A building in horrible condition is no longer the problem of the AOC. They need not spend another penny on it. If the building project fails, for whatever reason, it is entirely in the lap of the ICKSP and no one can blame the AOC. If the re-build succeeds, some praise goes to the AOC for permitting the attempt and the AOC is simply back in the situation it was before the fire – having a ICKSP church in the diocese. I think it is significant that it was DEEDED to the Institute – it is now their property, their responsibility and, more to the point, their liability.
    I know, I know, go ahead and give me the sour grapes award.

  7. NBW says:

    Blessed Be God!!!

  8. Allan S. says:

    Agapitus…nope, I read this the same way. Of the Archdiocese’s balance sheet and onto someone else’s. WIN-WIN for sure….

  9. Kathleen10 says:

    I am pretty sure I recall the photos of this beautiful building on here a short while ago, and it is a lovely and historic building that should never be torn down. How superb that it is about to get new life!

  10. Charivari Rob says:

    If that was the “wait for the official word” item, do I win a NoPrize for Sunday night’s guess?

  11. jbazchicago says:

    I agree with Agapitus.

    I think it was foolish for the Institute to pursue it. They’ve been there over 10 years and hardly got anywhere. Now there’s even less. The archdiocese is closing some parishes, including St. Adalbert’s which is stunning and still on the South/West side (Pilsin).

    I think it was a bad move.

  12. spock says:

    So right now they are celebrating Mass at a Presbyterian Church if I’m not mistaken. They’re aren’t any other Catholic Churches in Chicago I guess. I suppose that is cynical as well. I think the kudos should go to the people who complained to the Archdiocese after they got the city paperwork to get the building demolished. I hope rebuilding is the right move.

  13. Semper Gumby says:

    Great news, and congratulations to the Institute.

  14. Jack007 says:

    Sorry, but count me in the camp of those that are least somewhat dubious. I never saw the allure of this building in the first place. There was absolutely nothing but a bare building when they took it over. The building has been gutted by fire at least once in recent times. Plus, unless I’m missing something, I see no truly redeeming value historically, or artistically.
    If this building were here where I live, it’d be a totally different story. But Chicago? Really? I hear there are several beautiful closed churches that wouldn’t need half the work, and MONEY that this albatross needs.
    Hopefully this isn’t another case of the ICK having a “vision” of what a church “should” look like? Suffice to say, maintaining historic integrity is usually nowhere on their list of priorities when they undertake a “restoration”.
    Jack in KC

  15. Passion4Truth says:

    As a member of the “Shrine faithful” at the Shrine of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, I respectfully disagree with the assessment made in your comment. [Whose comment? My comment? My post? To whom are you addressing yourself. EVERYONE: If you have something to say to someone, the first thing you type should be the name of the one you are addressing.] We wept with joy when we were given the news that our Shrine has been saved, with many prayers of Thanksgiving to our Holy Infant King, which continue daily. If you could have seen the jubilation on the faces of the people in the “Upper Room” chapel on Sunday, perhaps it would be easier to understand why. 
    We realize that as Catholics we must always seek the will of God, pray, work to do whatever we can in our circumstances, and wait with patience and good will for the holy will of God to unfold. This is exactly what we have been doing since the fire on October 7th, with the leadership of our beloved clergy. When the Institute held the first public Mass at the Shrine,  there were 2 people in attendance. Now there are nearly 300. The Shrine is a spiritual home to many families, but it is also the last Catholic Church in a community which, for many years struggled and is now experiencing a resurgence; due in no small part to the Presence of our Divine King in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass,  and the dedicated efforts of a tireless religious community,  and their commitment to being a Catholic presence in a community which felt abandoned by the Church when it was closed in the 90’s, some time after the first fire tore through it. The people of Woodlawn love our Shrine as much as we do, and they too, although many of them are not even Catholic, have worked tirelessly to save it from demolition. Even the non Catholics state that this is their church. Our Holy Father has repeatedly asked us to journey with people where they are. This is exactly what the ICRSS is doing in Woodlawn. When looking at this situation from a human perspective, it is possible to judge that there are times when things become too cost effective for us to pursue. Clearly God has a supernatural motive for keeping our Shrine building in this thriving community. It has never been about the numbers for our dear canons. It has always been about the salvation of souls, and we must never forget that one soul is worth more than the entire created universe. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to respond. Please pray for our clergy and our Shrine. There is much work to do in the weeks, months, and years ahead. Christus Vincit! Christus Regnat! Christus Imperat! 

  16. Passion4Truth says:

    So sorry. New to this.
    jbazchicago was the party to whom I was responding.

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