Monday, December 31, 2007

St. Xavier's School 29th and Wabash

Here is St. Xavier Academy from 1872, a Gem on the near south side run by the Sisters of Mercy since 1846. This photo from 1946, probably a bit past the heyday for the school, which thrived in the early 1900's.

St. Xavier Academy became St. Xavier University on the Southwest Side. Hales Franciscan sits on the current campus (check that!), in a modern simple building.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Coronation! Statue of Christ the King Placed on South Side Altar

Institute of christ the king
Originally uploaded by jbpo

In one of the more sublime ceremonies I have ever attended, The Institute of Chirst the King grandly and beautifully celebrated the installation of The Infant Jesus of Prague in its high altar in the main chapel at The Institute of Christ the King. His Eminence, Cardinal Francis George presided at the installation.

Quoting Msgr Schmitz, "God's Providence" brought around 650 pilgrims to the South Side of Chicago on a blustery winter day to fill the main chapel (as well as the choir loft, aisles, entryway) . A High Mass with Chorale Music enlightened the Chapel with 90 minutes of most pleasant sound, and solemn grace.

As my 4 year old daughter asked when the gloriously robed priests, Monseignors, and Cardinal walked up the aisle, "Is this the part where the King comes in?" The simple answer is resounding: Yes.

Update: More photos and support opportunities here. This is a great place, please give generously.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Holy Family at 150

Both the Tribune and the SunTimes have surprisingly pleasant articles about Holy Family Church in today's papers. The O'Leary/Cow story is rehashed to please the tourists, but the point is still on the Church.

Great friend of the Society of St. Barbara, the incomparable Fr. George Lane is quoted at length on the parish history and the mission of the Jesuits in Chicago. That's Fr. Lane in the attic at Holy Family, identifying some glass donated by the Comiskey family.

There are more photos at the Tribune, they are very good.

"Cardinal Francis George will say mass in honor of Holy Family Catholic Church's 150th anniversary at 9:45 a.m. Sunday in the church, 1080 W. Roosevelt Rd.

An open house will follow from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at which a restored historic processional banner dating to 1861 will be displayed, along with a collection of hand-carved gilded wooden angel statues dating to the 1870s and a collection of chalices, gold monstrances, candlesticks and church vestments brought from Paris in 1863."

The SunTimes article here

The Tribune Article here

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Coronation of Christ the King

A most beautiful invitation arrived with our Christmas Cards from the Institute of Christ the King at 6401 S. Woodlawn in Chicago. His Eminence, Cardinal Francis George will preside at the Solemn Coronoation of the Statue of Christ the King at the former St. Gelasius (and former St. Clara) Church in Chicago's Hyde Park/Woodlawn Neighborhood.

The Main Chapel at the Institute of Christ the King will be open for this historic ceremony, and mass will be celebrated in this Chapel for the first time in many years.

All are welcome at 1:30 PM this Saturday December 29, 2007.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Diocese of Des Moines in Full Color

In the name of St. Nicholas, my very thoughtful in-laws bought me a pictorial history of the Diocese of Des Moines, Iowa, one of my favorite trips this year (along with La Crosse Wisconsin, Dubuque Iowa and Davenport Iowa).

The Des Moines Diocese stretches from Central Iowa to Southwest Iowa. Some highlights

St. Joseph Earling, Iowa, High Gothic 1882 Church with 150ft Bell Tower. German-American Style at its best, generally in tact.

St. Joseph Winterset, Iowa (John Waynes hometown). Early (1911) Spanish/Mediterranean Arts and Crafts style exterior, unfortunately interior looks whitewashed.

St. Patrick's Irish Settlement Iowa, Literal Prairie Style from 1868. Site of John Paul II papal visit in 1979. Serenely simple design.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

St. John's at Newman Hall Champaign

All websites should be this beautiful and detailed. The stained glass at St. John's Chapel at Newman Hall is profiled in detail on

St. John's Stained Glass

There is something powerful going on at Newman. Take a look around the website. Having survived the 1980's at Newman Hall with only a few scratches, I attest to highly spirited (in every sense of the word) experience living with 400 other wound-up Catholics under one roof.