CHICAGO, IL: The Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of National Shrine of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, located at 2520 N. Lakeview Avenue in Chicago, will officially reopen its doors to the public on Monday, October 1, 2012. The reopening of this historic and sacred space, which was dedicated as the National Shrine in 1955, has been a decade-long undertaking of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Sisters and their collaborators worked tirelessly to save and preserve this Shrine, which was once the chapel of the former Columbus Hospital, so future generations could learn about the life and mission of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, the Universal Patron Saint of Immigrants and the first American citizen to be canonized.proudly announce that the
“Mother Cabrini is a modern day saint who put her faith into action on behalf of the most vulnerable,” says Sister Joan McGlinchey. “We look forward to welcoming back devotees of Mother Cabrini and introducing a new generation to this holy woman who made a tremendous difference in the lives of so many through her life and mission,” Sr. Joan adds.
In her lifetime, this Italian born woman had an enduring influence locally and internationally. Mother Cabrini tirelessly looked after the spiritual, educational, and healthcare needs of immigrants and other vulnerable populations everywhere she served. She founded a total of 67 institutions: schools, orphanages, hospitals and parish ministries on three continents. In Chicago, she founded the former Columbus Hospital, which opened in 1905 at this site.
For the past decade, the Shrine has been closed while the hospital buildings were torn down and the condominiums were built. During this time it was covered with canvas and supported by scaffolding in an effort to preserve the hand-painted frescoes, fine marble statuary, gold mosaics, precious Florentine stained glass, and delicate decorative carvings which fill the worship space. With the expertise of Ricker Murphy Development and the architectural firm of Sullivan, Goulette & Wilson, the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus were able to preserve this holy place where Mother Cabrini lived, worked, and died. In addition to restoring the physical space of the Shrine, the Sisters preserved all the furnishings and the saint’s personal belongings which were contained in the room in which she died on December 22, 1917. Specialists, Bernacki & Associates have spent months meticulously cataloging, conserving and restoring all of these items, ensuring they are maintained to tell her story for future generations.
Once reopened, the Shrine will offer persons of faith an opportunity to experience God’s love and will be a vital new center for prayer, worship, Eucharistic adoration, education and devotion. Visitors will have an opportunity to learn more about the life and mission of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini and her congregation of religious sisters, The Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, who serve today in 17 countries around the world. The Shrine will serve as a sacred space for Chicagoans and visitors from around the world in search for God and spiritual renewal. Regular weekend Catholic Mass, Open House celebrations, concerts, Eucharistic adoration, special spiritual programs, professionally guided Shrine tours and other community events are planned after the reopening of the Shrine. All are welcome to take part in the resurrection of this spiritual Center located right in the heart of Chicago.
For more information about the reopening of the National Shrine of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini or to make a donation, please visit cabrinishrinechicago.com.