Latest Updates

Carols and Candles at the Shrine

Thank you, WGN-TV, for your coverage last night of our community Carols and Candles event. With about 150 people in attendance, the Shrine was able to spread Christmas joy, peace and love throughout the Woodlawn neighborhood.

Thank you to all those who helped make this event possible, especially Gabriel Piemonte who spearheaded the jubilant gathering.

Check out all the photos from Carols and Candles on our Facebook page: Carols and Candles Album

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Tarping Finished

CHICAGO, IL – On Friday, December 16th, the last of the protective tarping was attached to our historic landmark. The Shrine is now all wrapped up – just in time for Christmas!

Winter Work Continues…

Winter has arrived at the Shrine, but that has not stopped the tarping of the exposed parapet walls!!  

Winter Protection

The parapet walls are 50% covered for winter protection! Berglund Construction has been on site installing plastic tarp over the parapet walls to keep out the winter elements. The temperature has dropped significantly this week in Chicago. Once there is a break in the cold weather, the work will resume on the tower.

Support the restoration of the tower at GoFundMe.com/ShrineFireFund. Donate $250 or more and receive a beautiful Infant King Rosary from Italy!

Wrapping Up the Shrine!

This is our version of “brown paper packages wrapped up with string”.  The parapet walls of the Shrine are being covered with tarp to prevent the winter elements from damaging the interior cavity walls.  Winter has hit in Chicago and the steel will not be set until the spring – this coverage will help protect the building.

Tarping the Walls

Berglund Construction was on site today and started the tarping of the open parapet wall. A plastic tarp is being trapped over the parapet and is attached to the inside and the outside to protect the cavity wall from the harsh winter conditions. This process will take about two weeks.

Field Report & Sounds Testing

Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH) was on site Friday, December 2nd, and conducted sound testing of the concrete floor, deck and lintels in the Bell Tower.  Scaffolding was built up inside and to the south side of the tower to obtain access.  Sound testing is done to evaluate the structural integrity of the concrete and to confirm if there was any major damage done due to the fire.

Gifts for Our Donors!!

During our Bell Tower Mini Campaign to raise $200,000, the Shrine is offering a special rosary for donations of $250 or more. These limited edition rosaries are specially made for us in Italy, featuring the Infant King medallion in the rosary’s center. The rosary comes in either brown wood or faux pearl, each in its own keepsake box. This Christmas and beyond, remember our dear Infant King’s promise as you pray the rosary: “The more you honor Me, the more I will bless you.”

If you donate $250.00 or more, please privately message our Shrine Facebook page or GoFundMe page whether you wish to receive the brown wood or the faux pearl rosary, and please provide your mailing address so that the rosary can be mailed to you. Visit: GoFundMe.com/ShrineFireFund

Bell Tower Campaign

Dear Friends and Donors of the Shrine,

We are launching a mini campaign to fix the Shrine’s bell tower as a preliminary step in the repair of the roof. The engineering evaluation discovered two of the lintels (reinforced concrete crossbeams) of the tower were seriously damaged by the fire, and these must be repaired before the new steel trusses can be attached to the tower. In addition to being an essential part of the roof’s support system, the bell tower belongs to the last Catholic church in Woodlawn, and is a symbolic beacon of hope in the south side of Chicago.

The total cost of the bell tower repair will be $200,000, and we aim to raise at least $50,000 of this total via GoFundMe.com/ShrineFireFund

No mother or father in this world would want their home to be without a roof, and this is how the Shrine community feels towards their fire-ravaged spiritual home in the Woodlawn neighborhood. We all know what a harsh Chicago winter will mean for the Shrine: the cold winds will blow through the interior of the church, the snow will drift through the open roof, and freezing temperatures will surely wreak havoc on vulnerable architectural elements.

Weather permitting, the roof repair will begin by March, which means the bell tower must be stabilized before then. Please help us raise what we need to fix the lintels so we can put a roof on our home as soon as possible. Every penny we raise on GoFundMe from now until Christmas will be directed towards this mini campaign.

May God reward you for your generosity! Every week you and your intentions are remembered at a special Mass offered by the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.

Helical Anchor Testing

CHICAGO, IL – Helical anchor testing was done today at the Shrine of Christ the King. During the façade masonry investigation, it was discovered that the metal anchors that hold up the exterior limestone are rusted. Helical anchors will be installed from the inside masonry to hold the limestone. Today the product representative was out to do strength testing on the masonry. This testing is to insure that the existing masonry construction has the strength needed to support the anchors and hold the limestone. The test results were positive.