Through the generosity of parishioners, a historic church in Chicago has been saved from demolition. Also, the Archdiocese of Chicago confirmed that it has turned over the ownership of the Shrine of Christ the King to the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, which will also fund and supervise the restoration efforts for the church.
The church, which is located in Chicago's Woodlawn neighborhood, has been standing for about 92 years now. However, last year, a fire ravaged the historic religious landmark which burned through its roof and left the structure's interior destroyed, CBS Local reported.
Due to safety concerns, the Archdiocese of Chicago considered having it demolished.
But for the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, an Italian order which has been renting the church, the Shrine of Christ the King serves an important role in the religious development of the community, which is why having it destroyed is not an option for its members.
Thankfully, with the help of its parishioners and preservationists in Chicago, the order was able to collect enough funds to restore the church. In fact, more than half of the donations came from the local group Preservation Chicago, which gave $650,000, Chicago Tribune has learned.
In addition, after coming up with the necessary funds to begin the restoration, the Archdiocese of Chicago donated the church to the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.
"We're all elated," Rev. Matthew Talarico of the religious order said according to the Chicago Sun Times. "We're all overjoyed. And we're all very grateful to God for making this possible. We're very grateful to Archbishop [Blasé] Cupich and the archdiocesan leadership."
"We will work immediately to stabilize the building," he added. "I've already engaged an engineering firm to look into how we can re-design the steel trusses and re-design a whole roof system."
Talarico noted that although the church has already collected about a million dollars to begin the stabilization project, they will need another $6 million for its complete restoration.