Wednesday, December 24, 2014

St. Michael in Old Town & Assumption, Chicago, Illinois - Christmas in Chicago Advent Series, Part 3

After visiting three churches on my Christmas Chicago Church Chase, my camera's battery began to die.  I managed to take a few photos at three more churches, two of which you see here.  These first photos are from St. Michael in the Old Town neighborhood.

The Poor Souls Altar, which depicts a soul being raised from Purgatory [1].

St. Catherine of Alexandria.

The Sacred Heart Altar.  Sts. Alphonsus Ligouri & Teresa Avila flank Jesus on this altar [2]

The Infant of Prague. 

Our Mother of Perpetual Help Altar [3].

St. Michael's is one of Chicago's older parishes.  In fact, the church building that preceded the present structure succumbed to the Chicago Fire of 1871.  That building was one of the tallest in Chicago at the time, with a steeple reaching 200 feet (larger than the still-standing famous water tower on North Michigan Avenue).  This building, erected shortly after the fire, points higher still, with the 290-foot tower dominating the Old Town neighborhood [4].

Assumption Catholic Church is in the River North neighborhood, only blocks from such iconic landmarks as the Hancock Tower and the Magnificent Mile.  Originally founded for the Italian community, its location within downtown brings all types of visitors near and in the church [5].

Perhaps most striking in my short visit were the stained glass windows, which depict a mix of older, more traditional religious events and more recent periods in the history of the Catholic Church.  Above are views of one of these windows, where St. Frances Xavier Cabrini makes her landing in New York Harbor.  St. Frances Xavier Cabrini moved on to Chicago and much of her life's work was performed through this church and the nearby Assumption School that she helped to run [6].


Left: Jesus and His Sacred Heart in a vision to St. Mary Alacoque.
Right: Pope John XXIII calling the start of Vatican II, with Chicago's bishops and archbishops near the bottom of the window [7].

St. Anthony of Padua with Child and St. Patrick.

St. Michael in Old Town Catholic Church

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