… Shrine of Christ the King Sovereign Priest in Chicago suffered a tragic fire yesterday. The church was severely damaged and they are asking for our prayers and financial help as they raise funds for the rebuilding campaign.
On October 7th, a fire broke out in the Shrine of Christ the King church, adjacent to the headquarters office of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest in Chicago. Evidence indicate that the fire began late at night in the wooden choir loft, and quickly spread through the church. The 3-alarm fire took 150 firefighters several hours to bring the flames under control. No one was hurt, thankfully, but substantial damage was done.
Miraculously, the three century old statue of the Infant of Prague was left undamaged by the flames that consumed the church. The statue was not burnt and only covered with soot. He lost a forearm but that was later recovered by a firefighter searching the scene.
The parish writes,
The Infant King statue was still standing atop the High Altar when the firefighters found it. “Even with all the jet streams, he was not knocked down,” said the Rev. Michael Stein, a canon at the shrine. “He is three centuries old and he did not go up in flames.” The statue did lose an arm, and its vestments were covered in ash, but Stein pointed out that the statue’s remaining hand was still held up in a sign of blessing: “That he was saved shows our story isn’t over here, he’s still with us, his hand is still raised in blessing,” Stein said.
Perhaps the most poignant moment of this tragic morning was seeing a firefighter emerge from the church, holding the Infant King in his arms, and handing it to Canon Talarico. This iconic 17th-century statue originated from Spain and graced the High Altar of the Shrine.
Please take a moment to say a prayer for this parish and their rebuilding campaign. If you have the means please consider a donation at the campaign page, and do what you can to share this story so they can get more coverage and support.
All images are from Shrine of Christ the King Sovereign Priest’s Facebook page, which can be found here.