National shrine in Chicago named for Mother Cabrini reopening in fall
Published: February 21, 2012
CHICAGO (CNS) -- For generations to come, it will seem an odd place for a shrine: tucked in the shadow of a high-rise condo building in an affluent area of Chicago's Lincoln Park. But the National Shrine of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, scheduled to reopen Sept. 30, marks the spot where Mother Cabrini, the first American citizen to be canonized and the universal patroness of immigrants, died. As such, it is the only one of Chicago's many shrines to be built on a spot of historical significance to the person that it honors. The shrine building, constructed as an addition to Columbus Hospital in 1955, closed in 2002 after the hospital closed and was sold to developers. It will reopen this fall with a new entranceway and lobby -- built as part of the ground floor of the neighboring condo building -- and with a new mission, said Sister Joan McGlinchey, a member of the general counsel of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, the order Mother Cabrini founded and brought to the United States in 1889. Mother Cabrini died in 1917 and was canonized in 1946, and she had such a wide following that Cardinal Samuel Stritch, Chicago's archbishop from 1939 to 1958, helped build the shrine at Columbus Hospital nine years later, Sister Joan said. But when the hospital was open, the shrine always served as a hospital chapel as well as a place of pilgrimage. It also was always supported by the hospital, even after the hospital itself became part of Catholic Health Partners and the sisters retained ownership of the attached shrine.
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