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2014
Nov
26
Posted in Apostolates

On Sunday, October 26 2014, the Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ, His Excellency, the Most Reverend Bishop Joseph N. Perry, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago, confirmed a large class of young adults. The number of Confirmandi gave tangible proof to the growing sacramental life at the Shrine of Christ the King. Most of them had already received sacraments at the Shrine as young children and they have now grown into young adults under the loving watch of the Infant King. Others, adults, had recently been baptized and received into the Church. They hail from the local neighborhood and show the salutary effect the presence of the Shrine is having in the South Side Community.

The Rite of Confirmation was followed by a Pontifical High Mass offered by Bishop Perry. Renaissance Chorale music was performed by a guest choir and the polyphonic motets were sung by the Shrine’s very own young adult choir Cor Jesu. In the homily His Excellency highlighted the importance of the Kingship of Christ in today’s society. Americans are tempted to shun Monarchy, he stated, but we should wholeheartedly embrace the just and sweet reign of Christ the King. Elected officials may let us down time and time again, but Our Lord fulfills His promises and guides us effectively to His everlasting Kingdom.

Confirmation impresses on the Christian soul an indelible sacramental character. Sacramental Character is a permanent, supernatural mark on the person imprinted by 3 of the Sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders. It changes the one who receives it in his or her very being. Persons baptized, confirmed or ordained are forever new beings. It is indelible. This means that it remains even if one loses sanctifying grace. Thus the sacraments that confer a character are not repeated. A person remains baptized, confirmed, and ordained into eternity. In Catholics, the character they possess is something like a source of grace, because it places them in contact with Christ. He is the heavenly vine whose branches we are through the character. This character gives us a right to possess grace if we place no obstacles in the way. Sacramental Character gives the ability to offer worship pleasing to God.

The sacramental character imprints on the soul a likeness to Christ and his Priesthood by conferring on the faithful the supernatural power to offer sacrifice. This power is given in Baptism, developed in Confirmation, and perfected in Holy Orders. This Character unites Catholics as one in Christ since it is the same Christ whose character is imprinted on all the baptized. The Church stresses that the indelible seal received in Confirmation is really a new character. It is not merely a deepening of baptismal character. The Church’s tradition teaches that the confirmation character gives the power and the right to perform actions which are necessary in the spiritual battle against the enemies of the faith. These enemies are the world, our proud intellect and will and the Devil. Thus, Confirmation changes the simple members of the Kingdom of Christ into Soldiers of Christ.

To celebrate this noble increase in God’s Army, the Shrine community hosted a warm reception graced with the presence of Bishop Perry. Thank you, Your Excellency, for your paternal solicitude! We assure you of our prayerful gratitude!

Click the images below to enlarge them.

Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
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Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King
Confirmations at the Shrine of Christ the King

2014
Sept
5
Posted in Apostolates

On Sunday, May 11th the Shrine of Christ the King had the grace of receiving in His Excellency, the Most Reverend Archbishop François R. Bacqué, Apostolic Nuncio & Apostolic Visitor. Both the Institute’s Prior General, the Very Reverend Monsignor Gilles Wach, and Monsignor Schmitz, the Institute’s Vicar General and Rector of the Shrine, accompanied His Excellency. His Excellency, the Most Reverend Archbishop Bacqué, celebrated a Pontifical High Mass and offered an inspiring homily on the virtue of Hope. These reasons for Hope he saw before his very eyes with a church full of young families, members of the Shrine from diverse ethnic backgrounds, the sanctuary full of altar boys, and the choir loft full of youthful voices. He commented upon this beautiful spirit of unity and visible growth during the reception which followed the Mass. His Excellency charitably took the time to graciously greet all of the faithful individually.

We thank His Excellency for visiting us in the apostolates and for encouraging us to continue our apostolic work as secular canons under the protection of Our Lady the Immaculate Conception and under the patronage of St. Francis de Sales, St. Benedict, and St. Thomas Aquinas.

Click the images below to enlarge them.

Pontifical Mass at the Shrine
Pontifical Mass at the Shrine
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Pontifical Mass at the Shrine
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Pontifical Mass at the Shrine

2014
Jul
16
Posted in Apostolates

Fresh rose petals along the ground, little girls in white dresses, incense wafting through the air, kneeling figures before a solemn outdoor altar, whereupon a gleaming monstrance stands – these have become familiar and anticipated sights of Corpus Christi in all Institute apostolates across the United States.

For centuries, the solemn procession of Corpus Christi has been an annual pageant that the Church reveals the Eucharistic Presence to the world, and shares Its blessings to all corners of the universe.

The practice of the Church to honor her Lord publicly and to show her adoration and love for her Divine Spouse is no less relevant today than in all centuries before this. Just as in the mystery of the Visitation, when the Blessed Virgin Mary carried Our Lord in her womb to her cousin Elizabeth, so the Church brings Our Lord, the Real Presence veiled in the Sacred Host, to her neighbors, so that they too may bask in His Divine Love.

Perhaps more visibly than all other feasts, the celebration of Corpus Christi, particularly the practice of holding a procession, is also a sign of a united Faith – across time that spans the past, the present, and the future, and across space that spans the breadth of the United States, and indeed, the whole world. The Church honors her Eucharistic Lord as one body, and does so joyfully, solemnly, and publicly.

St. Thomas Aquinas, one of the principal co-patrons of the Institute, composed the hymn Pange Lingua for the Feast of Corpus Christi in the Thirteenth Century. Even as we view all these photos from various Institute apostolates, we can practically hear all of the faithful singing:

Tantum ergo Sacramentum
veneremur cernui:
et antiquum documentum
novo cedat ritui:
praestet fides supplementum
sensuum defectui.
Genitori, Genitoque
laus et jubilatio,
salus, honor, virtus quoque
sit et benedictio:
Procedenti ab utroque compar sit laudatio.
Amen.

Down in adoration falling,
Lo! the sacred Host we hail,
Lo! oe'r ancient forms departing
Newer rites of grace prevail;
Faith for all defects supplying,
Where the feeble senses fail.
To the everlasting Father,
And the Son Who reigns on high
With the Holy Spirit proceeding
Forth from each eternally,
Be salvation, honor blessing,
Might and endless majesty.
Amen.

Click the images below to enlarge them.

Corpus Christi Processions 2014
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Corpus Christi Processions 2014
Corpus Christi Processions 2014

2014
Mar
8
Posted in Apostolates

At the home of the Infant King, Christmas has a most significant importance. Where His Divine Infancy is celebrated year-round, the commemoration of His birth is all the more grand.

In the magnificent setting of a restoration-in-progress Church, decorated by generously donated tall, elegant Christmas trees, all three Masses of Christmas were offered publically.

The Midnight Mass was preceded by a medley of traditional Christmas Carols. The Sacred Ministers processed to the Nativity built by the Altar Boys and their fathers, placed the statue of the Newborn Savior therein and together with all the faithful we renewed our consecration to Him. Canon Matthew Talarico, Substitute Provincial offered the Midnight Mass. A polyphonic choir under the direction of Mr. Bruce Tammen sang Victoria's Missa O Magnum Mysterium.

Early in the morning on Christmas Day, Canon Denis Buchholz, the Provincial Bursar, celebrated the Mass of Dawn. Abbe Colin, clerical Oblate, played the organ. Canon Michael Stein, Vice-Rector of the Shrine, offered the Solemn High Christmas Day Mass. The Shrine’s very own young adult choir, Cor Jesu, sang polyphonic hymns to add the splendor of their voices to the majesty of the Divine Liturgy.

Christmas is universally recognized as a family holy day. Our Savior's birth formed the Holy Family and we exchange gifts in imitation of the three kings. This same family spirit manifested itself at the Shrine in the warm Christmas Reception that followed the day Mass. Every year more and more families come to celebrate Christmas with their spiritual family and friends before heading back to their homes.

May the Infant King continue to reign in our hearts and actions. The Christmas celebrations elevate our souls and motivate our hearts to make these good resolutions.

Click the images below to enlarge them.

Christmas at the Shrine of Christ the King
Christmas at the Shrine of Christ the King
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Christmas at the Shrine of Christ the King
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Christmas at the Shrine of Christ the King
Christmas at the Shrine of Christ the King
Christmas at the Shrine of Christ the King
Christmas at the Shrine of Christ the King
Christmas at the Shrine of Christ the King

2014
Feb
9
Posted in Apostolates

Christmas was the favorite feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron of the Institute. The holy Bishop and Doctor had a special love for the mystery of the Incarnation, in which the infinite God was born as an Infant Child in the humble stable of Bethlehem.

"This is the grace which I desire for you, that you remain very near to this sacred Savior who gathers us all around Himself in order to keep us always under the standard of His holy protection, just like the shepherd who has care for his sheep and of his flock... May we have the fidelity to keep ourselves submissive, obedient and subject to His wishes and commands, in order that we might begin in this life what, with the help of God’s grace, we shall eternally do in heaven." Sermon for Christmas by St. Francis de Sales

Thus the Nativity of Christ our Infant King was celebrated with great joy in the spiritual family of the Institute’s apostolates across the country. In each of these locations the liturgical ceremonies and the festive social gatherings all required much preparation by many volunteers so that the beauty of these Christmastide celebrations would be a fitting reminder that the Incarnation of Jesus Christ is the most important event ever to happen in the history of the world. Such celebrations are special moments of grace which offer the occasion for souls to be inspired in a more fervent practice of our Catholic Faith and to be strengthened in deeper devotion.

Here below is a small selection of Christmas photos from these apostolates: St. Stanislaus Oratory (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), St. Gianna Oratory (Tucson, Arizona), Immaculate Heart of Mary Oratory (San José, California), and St. Margaret Mary (Oakland, California).

Click the images below to enlarge them.

Christmas in the Institute Across America
Christmas in the Institute Across America
Christmas in the Institute Across America
Christmas in the Institute Across America
Christmas in the Institute Across America
Christmas in the Institute Across America
Christmas in the Institute Across America
Christmas in the Institute Across America
Christmas in the Institute Across America
Christmas in the Institute Across America
Christmas in the Institute Across America
Christmas in the Institute Across America
Christmas in the Institute Across America
Christmas in the Institute Across America
Christmas in the Institute Across America
Christmas in the Institute Across America
Christmas in the Institute Across America
Christmas in the Institute Across America
Christmas in the Institute Across America
Christmas in the Institute Across America
Christmas in the Institute Across America
Christmas in the Institute Across America
Christmas in the Institute Across America
Christmas in the Institute Across America
Christmas in the Institute Across America
Christmas in the Institute Across America
Christmas in the Institute Across America
Christmas in the Institute Across America
Christmas in the Institute Across America

2013
Dec
22
Posted in Apostolates
Chicago Latin Confirmations

On Sunday, November 17th, His Excellency Bishop Perry confirmed several adults at the Shrine of Christ the King. On a day when the wind of Chicago was particularly strong, the newly confirmed had a tangible idea of the strength of the Spirit they received in Confirmation.

Before celebrating a Pontifical Mass at the Faldstool, Bishop Perry confirmed the class of adults who completed their formation during the year 2012-2013. Two of them had the grace of coming back into the Church, finding the Faith of their baptism, through the ministry of the Shrine. A third adult, also previously baptized, is a recent convert.

The day was quite memorable for both spiritual and material reasons: spiritual because His Excellency graced us with his visit, conferred the sacrament of Confirmation, and offered a beautiful Pontifical Mass with Renaissance Chorale Music; material because as a violent storm raged outside, we were all either in the calm of the Liturgy or the warmth of the reception. (The Priory's finished basement, where the reception took place, is also a fallout shelter, how Providential!)

The day's events concluded with a lovely Baroque Concert. Abbé Colin Brown, clerical Oblate of the Institute serving at the Shrine, also performed magnificently with the Amadeus Consort. It was truly a day a grace and heavenly Liturgy, of joy and fraternal charity, of inspiration and edifying music.

Photos courtesy of Paige Arseneau.

Click the images below to enlarge them.

Adult Confirmations at the Shrine
Adult Confirmations at the Shrine
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Adult Confirmations at the Shrine
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Adult Confirmations at the Shrine
Adult Confirmations at the Shrine
Adult Confirmations at the Shrine
Adult Confirmations at the Shrine
Adult Confirmations at the Shrine
Adult Confirmations at the Shrine
Adult Confirmations at the Shrine
Adult Confirmations at the Shrine
Adult Confirmations at the Shrine

2013
Dec
19
Posted in Apostolates
Pontifical Latin Mass

The recent patronal feast of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest was celebrated at St. Anthony of Padua Oratory, West Orange, New Jersey, with particular splendor this year in our newly renovated chapel.

A Pontifical Mass at the Faldstool, the first one in the history of the chapel, drew many faithful from the Garden State and beyond. The guest of honor was His Excellency, the Most Reverend Teodoro de Faria, Bishop Emeritus of Funchal, Madeira Island, Portugal. His Excellency came from Portugal to the United States at the invitation of the Knights of Columbus councils of Aliquippa, PA, and Washington DC in order to speak about Blessed KARL of AUSTRIA. Bishop de Faria was the one to introduce in Rome the cause of beatification for Karl, since this last Emperor of the Catholic Austro-Hungarian Empire died in exile on the Portuguese Island of Madeira.

After the death of his great uncle, who had responded to the 1914 assassination of the heir prince in Sarajevo by armed retaliation (to the great sorrow of Pope Pius X), Karl ascended to the imperial throne in 1916 at the young age of 26 in the midst of one of the cruelest wars in human history. The "Peace Emperor" relentlessly worked to end World War I, along with Pope Benedict XV. However, in the end the war was lost, the monarchy was abolished, and the Catholic empire, which was so hated by Freemasons and Socialists, was split up.

In 1911, Karl married Princess Zita of Bourbon-Parma, whose cause of beatification is also underway. This would be the second beatification of a married couple, the first being the beatification of the parents of St Therese of the Child Jesus. Blessed Karl was passionately devoted to his wife and to his 8 children, as well as to his temporal duties at the highest summit.

In the most trying circumstances, he soared to the heights of mystic union with Christ, the King of Kings. Arrested, despoiled of all his goods, banished to the island of Madeira, he offered himself in union with the Divine Victim for the salvation of souls. He so edified the residents that his sojourn had produced more spiritual fruits than any sermon or mission, according to the Bishop. In 1922 when he died, in great poverty, thirty thousand people attended his funeral. Immediately the people of Madeira acclaimed him as "their Saint". To this day, his incorrupt body rests in the pilgrimage church Nossa Senhora do Monte in Madeira. Temporal crowns always fade before the eternal crown of God's elect.

It was therefore appropriate that under the auspices of Blessed Karl we made efforts to honor our King Jesus with all the solemnity possible in the liturgy of the Church.

His Excellency, Bishop de Faria was assisted at the altar of God by the Oratory Rector, Canon Jean Marie Moreau, as Priest assistant; Father Michael Barone, as Deacon and homilist; Dr. Tom Rossi as Sub-Deacon; the Masters of Ceremonies being Mr. Tom Gilmour and Julian Ptak. Under the direction of Mr. Henry Ptak, our choir of regulars helped us to beautifully acclaim the Lord of Lords. The Pontifical Mass was followed by an outdoor procession in honor of our Eucharistic King. The procession was led by our bagpiper, as well as by the Knights of Columbus in grand uniform and the members of the newly-erected Confraternity of the Holy Rosary, whose members carried candles under the leadership of their president, Miss Anne Tobak. After Benediction, the Canon Rector presented to the veneration of the faithful the first class relic of Blessed Karl which was brought by His Excellency from Portugal.

A warm reception was hosted in Father Paul Wickens Hall by our dedicated parishioners and our talented musicians. Mr. Ricardo dos Santos, leader for Portugal of the Emperor Karl Prayer League (Kaiser-Karl-Gebetsliga), spoke more about the life and legacy of the saintly Emperor. Then His Excellency ceremoniously cut the delicious cake in honor of Christ the King—the crowning moment of this festive reception. Bishop de Faria was then available to autograph copies of his book Charles of Austria: Remembering his Death in Madeira 90 Years Later. This 24-page book is dense with references to various Roman documents.

Finally, His Excellency gave us a last blessing. In an atmosphere of great devotion and fervor, we realized how blessed we had been to welcome Bishop de Faria. Such was the political pressure in Europe that, without the courageous intervention of the Reverend Bishop, Blessed Karl would have not been beatified. His beautification took place in 2004 by Pope John Paul II, whose father had given him the baptismal name of Karol in honor of Karl of Austria following a meeting between the two men on a battlefield during World War I.

Let us pray for our rulers and statesmen that they may find in the heavenly crowned Emperor Karl a model and intercessor. May we may all be granted the grace to be faithful to our duties of state, particularly as fathers and spouses, even in the most trying times.

Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat!

St Anthony, pray for us! Blessed Karl, intercede for us!

Canon Jean Marie Moreau
Rector, St. Anthony Oratory

Click the images below to enlarge them.

Pontifical Mass at St. Anthony's Oratory
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Pontifical Mass at St. Anthony's Oratory

2013
Dec
19
Posted in Apostolates
Milwaukee Confirmations

The Church Militant has 23 new full-fledged members. On September 14, 2013, His Excellency, the Most Reverend Donald Hying, auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, performed the Rite of Confirmation to the new Catholic warriors at St. Stanislaus Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In his inspirational message to the newly confirmed, Bishop Hying described how holiness is appealing to people in secular society, and that they now have the grace to stand strongly for the Catholic faith in the face of possible persecution.

In the presence of His Excellency, a Solemn High Mass was celebrated by the Reverend Canon Matthew Talarico, Substitute of the Provincial. The confimands and their sponsors were able to praise and thank the Lord for the graces of Confirmation.

After Mass, the confirmands, their sponsors, family members, and other parishioners gathered around the newly constructed St. Joseph grotto in the yard of the rectory. Along with Bishop Hying, Canons and Oblates of the Institute, all enjoyed delicious refreshments and warm fellowship.

Click the images below to enlarge them.

Confirmations at St. Stanislaus, Milwaukee
Confirmations at St. Stanislaus, Milwaukee
Confirmations at St. Stanislaus, Milwaukee
Confirmations at St. Stanislaus, Milwaukee
Confirmations at St. Stanislaus, Milwaukee
Confirmations at St. Stanislaus, Milwaukee
Confirmations at St. Stanislaus, Milwaukee
Confirmations at St. Stanislaus, Milwaukee
Confirmations at St. Stanislaus, Milwaukee
Confirmations at St. Stanislaus, Milwaukee
Confirmations at St. Stanislaus, Milwaukee
Confirmations at St. Stanislaus, Milwaukee
Confirmations at St. Stanislaus, Milwaukee
Confirmations at St. Stanislaus, Milwaukee
Confirmations at St. Stanislaus, Milwaukee
Confirmations at St. Stanislaus, Milwaukee
Confirmations at St. Stanislaus, Milwaukee
Confirmations at St. Stanislaus, Milwaukee
Confirmations at St. Stanislaus, Milwaukee
Confirmations at St. Stanislaus, Milwaukee
Confirmations at St. Stanislaus, Milwaukee
Confirmations at St. Stanislaus, Milwaukee
Confirmations at St. Stanislaus, Milwaukee
Confirmations at St. Stanislaus, Milwaukee
Confirmations at St. Stanislaus, Milwaukee
Confirmations at St. Stanislaus, Milwaukee
Confirmations at St. Stanislaus, Milwaukee
Confirmations at St. Stanislaus, Milwaukee
Confirmations at St. Stanislaus, Milwaukee

2013
Nov
26
Posted in Apostolates

Introduction

Since 2007, the Shrine of Christ the King in Chicago has embraced a devotion to the Infant King, including a monthly novena. The devotion is gaining more and more adherents, both locally and nationally. In response to some queries about this devotion, Canons of the Shrine answer questions posed to them by the faithful in an interview format.

The questions generally fall into three separate categories: 1) about the Infant King Statue, 2) about the Infant King devotion in general, and 3) about the practice of the novena at the Shrine, including the Children’s Blessing

Infant King

Part I - About this particular statue of the Infant King

How did this image come to be chosen as the symbol of, and the object of, devotion at the Shrine of Christ the King? A. The mission of the Institute is to draw people closer to our Lord and to spread the splendors of His Kingdom. The Divine Infant, being adorable and approachable, is an ideal representation of Christ's perfections that everyone can relate to; He is attractive and imitable.

Is there a special history behind this 18th century statue? A. Devotion to the Divine Infant is old. The devotion’s true origin appears already in Sacred Scripture with the example of the Blessed Virgin, St. Joseph, the Shepherds, and, who could forget the Adoration of the Magi. The popular devotion as we know it has been particularly strong in Spain since the 15th Century. This statue at the Shrine was crafted in Spain, as part of that wave of devotion. It was gifted to the Shrine by a benefactor. Its craftsmanship, construction, and artistic merits suggest its age to be the 18th Century, if not earlier.

When the statute came into the Shrine’s possession, did it need a lot of restoration work? A. It was well-preserved and in very good condition; all it needed was some touching up and a new set of liturgical garments. You’ll notice that He wears a stole as well. This is to remind us that the Infant King is also Sovereign Priest.

Was it important that it be crowned and formally installed at the Shrine of Christ the King in Chicago, IL by Cardinal George? A. "The more you honor Me the more I will bless you" is the promise of the Infant King. The coronation ceremony is a beautiful public display of honor. Having the Ecclesiastical authority do the crowning shows that the Cardinal grants full approval of this devotion and designates the Shrine to be a particular place of honor for the Infant King. This statue is a very special sacramental. Sacramentals are one of the means through which grace is conferred. The blessing and installation of relics and statues in a church, for example, are important because they can inflame our hearts to devotion and open our hearts to grace.

Infant King

Infant King

What is the significance or connection of the Infant King to the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest? A. The devotion to the Infant King is a wonderful expression of Salesian Spirituality in the service of our Divine King. St. Francis de Sales, our spiritual father, had a very special devotion to the Christ Child and Christmas was his favorite feast day. It is in the Christ Child that we see majesty and sweetness; divinity and accessibility; holiness and attraction. This is the very message the members of the Institute preach: that our Faith is inviting; the practice of our Faith is joyful and sanctity awaits us.

Part II - About the novena to the Infant King

Why a novena from 17th-25th of each month? A. The 25th follows a widespread tradition of honoring the day in which the Christ Child was born.

Since the crowning ceremony by Cardinal George in 2007, have the Canons noticed the number of devotion to the Infant King increase? A. Definitely, both locally and nationally. As more people learn about the devotion to the Divine Infant, the more they grow attached to the Incarnate Word, the Second Person of the Trinity, and His love for mankind.

To your knowledge, is there another regular novena which commemorates the Nativity on the 25th of each month? A. We were not aware of any when we started this devotion; however, it is our fervent hope that the effort at the Shrine will inspire deep devotions to the Infant King in many hearts – locally as well as nationally.

Why is it important to conclude the monthly novena with a High Mass? A. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the highest form of prayer we can offer God. There is a profound harmony that binds faith, liturgy, life, and beauty in our lives as Catholics. Thus it is fitting that at the summit of our devotion to the Infant King, we give glory to God as much as we can through the sacred liturgy. Visitors to the Shrine will find a High Mass offered with glorious music on the 25th of each month in honor of the Infant King.

From your observation of the faithful, what would you say is the chief benefit of having a devotion to the Divine Infant? A. It may sound redundant, butthe chief benefit of this devotion is that we all grow in devotion, in devotedness. The Infant King devotion makes us become more devout. The adorably attractive charism of the Christ Child, not only increases the faithful’s desire for holiness, but also shows that we can get there by "baby steps"; little by little. His warm smile instantly conquers our temptations to discouragement.

Infant King

What's your favourite part of the novena and why? A. (Canon Stein) my answer is two-fold. As the celebrant offering the Mass, I love having the Infant King statue so close to the Altar and I love literally taking Him into my arms for the procession. I feel a great union of heart with Our Lady, St. Joseph, St. Anthony of Padua, and so many others who truly carried the Christ Child during their lives. As the Vice-Rector of the Shrine, I love seeing the children gather and offer their young hearts every month to the Infant King. In this moment their dignity and innocence shine as an example for others and they themselves feel called to a more profound imitation of Christ’s virtues at home.

Who composed the Infant King Novena prayer? A. Venerable Cyril, a Carmelite from Prague and great devotee to the Infant Jesus, composed this prayer to the famous Infant of Prague, which, like our statute, also had its origin in Spain, but earlier, from the 15th Century.

Part III - About the practice of the devotion at the Shrine

How are the submitted intentions presented? A. All intentions are printed out and placed at the foot of the Offering stand, and they remain there for the duration of the novena. Submit your intentions here.

Why flowers and candles? A. The flowers and the candles are a wonderful, visible display of the faithful’s love, devotion and petitions.

Have specific prayers been answered by those who recite this novena each month? A. God’s magnanimity is immeasurable. However, by means of a modern form of Ex votos we have provided on the web, some faithful have chosen to share special favors and blessings they have received from praying this novena. You may read them here.

What is the tradition of Ex Votos? A. Ex votos are simply a Catholic custom of giving thanks for blessings received by means of visual representations. For over 500 years people have expressed thanksgiving by making images which have become known by the name ex voto (from the Latin "in fulfillment of a vow".) On the Infant King website, we provide an opportunity for the faithful to express their gratitude via a contemporary version of the old custom; i.e. electronically.

What is the significance of a monthly virtue meditation on your website? A. The monthly virtues are baby steps that help us imitate the virtues of the Divine Infant, which are the perfections of Christ.

At the end of the novena, a special Children's Blessing is given. Why a blessing specifically for children? A. Our Lord in the Gospel invited the little children to come to Him. They are a special source of joy for His Sacred Heart. They are pure. In contemporary culture where purity is constantly attacked, what better way to protect the innocence of children than by placing them directly under Our Lord's care and bestowing His blessing upon them.

How many children normally come to the Infant King High Mass and blessing? A. Depends. Usually we get around 40 children on weekdays, but when the High Mass is offered on a Saturday or Sunday, those numbers can double. This number is consistently on the rise and as more people become aware of this devotion they will flock to the Infant King.

How do the children like the Infant King? Have they commented on the liturgical colors of his garment? A. The children are drawn to the Infant King. They see in the beauty of His eyes and in the graciousness of His smile a warm welcome. They remark that He is usually "dressed up" in the same colored vestments as the priest, but on the 25th they see that He "puts on His best clothes" (to use their exact words).

What kinds of questions have the children asked about the Infant King? A. Children are remarkably simple and at the same time astute. They naturally accept that the Infant King be dressed (like a doll, say the little girls), but they also remark that He is dressed in a way that makes them think of a king (crown & globe) and of a priest (cope & stole). They have asked why He can’t stay "closer" to them more often [He is placed at a side-Altar after the procession where they can come very close to say their prayers.] What a wonderful desire: "Lord, remain with us." May that innocent desire of the children echo in our own heart as well.  

Click the images below to enlarge them.


2013
Nov
20
Posted in Apostolates
Chalice Elevation

On Sunday, October 27th 2013, the Canons and Faithful of the Shrine of Christ the King celebrated the feast of the Kingship of Christ with a beautiful liturgy, an enjoyable reception, and an inspiring concert.

Following the instructions of P. Pius XI in his encyclical, Quas Primas, the solemnity was preceded in the week by a doctrinal conference on the "Kingship of Christ in the Summa". But the Encyclical goes on to state that nothing is as efficacious for the spiritual growth and edification of the faithful as a yearly solemnity. Here is how we fulfilled that call to liturgical education:

The festivities started with a Solemn High Mass. Gorgeous vestments were lent to us by a generous benefactor for the occasion. The homily reminded us of the unity of Kingship and Priesthood in Christ; of the unified Royal and Priestly existence of the God-man.

Eucharistic Procession

After Mass we exposed the Blessed Sacrament and had an outdoor Eucharistic Procession. This beautiful ceremony manifests clearly that Christ reigns in the public domain. Not only is He Eternal King of our heart, mind, and soul, but He is truly King of the United States, King of Chicago, King of Woodlawn, King of the Shrine. An outdoor Altar was set-up in front of the Shrine's historic facade for Benediction. Once we processed into the Church we continued Benediction and renewed our consecration to the Sacred Heart.

During the reception many faithful and friends gathered for lunch and conviviality. We were truly able to celebrate this feast day as a Shrine Family. The Baroque Concert, featuring trumpet pieces, offered a regal finishing touch to a grace-filled feast of Christ the King. Christus Vincit!

Special thanks to Paige Arseneau for the photos.

Click the images below to enlarge them.

Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago
Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in Chicago



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