Nicole Raciunas Chicago, IL
Dear Most Reverend Archbishop Cupich,
I am writing to you on behalf of the faithful of the Shrine of Christ the King at 6401 S Woodlawn in the Woodlawn neighborhood of Chicago. As you know, our beloved shrine suffered a devastating fire on the morning of October 7, 2015. I personally was there that tragic morning watching our home as it was ravaged by the flames. In the midst of the sorrow, I was comforted when I was told by my priest that you had called from Rome to offer your prayerful support. Somehow, knowing that our Good Shepherd was aware of and praying for his wounded sheep made me feel better. I felt like a child whose father tells him that everything will be OK. However, those feelings of comfort have since turned to feelings of abandonment. Despite many proposals to save our Shrine, your office has decided to move ahead with demolition. We are pleading with you to halt demolition and reconsider. Now more than ever we need your leadership. We ask you to minister to your wounded flock in our great time of need. This Shrine is not just a beloved home to hundreds of faithful souls, it is also a beacon of peace and hope to its neighbors. This is an opportunity for us to all come together and show our great city what can be accomplished when we work to build up instead of tear down. We need to show our throw away society that we are not throw away Catholics. We do not abandon each other when the cross gets too heavy but we lift it TOGETHER. With your help we can change this story from one of death and destruction to one of hope and Resurrection. What we need from you is time. We are not afraid to put in all the effort necessary to accomplish the rebuilding of our Shrine. We are simply imploring you to prayerfully reconsider the proposals which have been made. A solid proposal to brace the building with no financial burden on you seems like a small thing to ask. The building gets braced giving us more time to add to the benefactors who have already come forward to help with rebuilding and you don’t suffer any financial loss. You lose nothing. On the contrary, what you will gain is the respect and admiration of a congregation, a neighborhood and a city for simply showing us mercy and giving us something that is free……time.
Please pray for us in this trying time and be assured of our continued prayers.
Yours through the Most Sacred Heart of our Divine Infant King,
Nicole Raciunas on behalf of your faithful at the Shrine of Christ the King