Feeling spiritual? Good, because we're back with a hefty and heavenly dose of some of the city's most stunning sacred spaces. First up, Saint James Chapel, located within the Archbishop Quigley Center, a spectacular Gothic structure that served as a seminary school until mid-2007. Completed in 1919, the chapel drew heavily from Sainte Chappell in Paris. Inside, a series of 40-foot stained glass windows, detailing scenes from the Old Testament, casts a diffuse purple glow throughout. The altar, sculpted from imported Caen stone, leads out to a magnificent interior courtyard rarely accessible to visitors. In 1996, Quigley Center was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Today, the Chapel remains open to the faithful with daily masses, while the old seminary building houses the Pastoral Center and offices of the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Another stop worthy of some copy is the beautifully restored National Shrine of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini. The shrine was built in 1955 to serve Columbus Hospital and commemorate the life of Mother Frances Cabrini, a nun who dedicated her life to serving the sick and poor. In 2001, Columbus Hospital was shuttered and later razed, though the shrine managed to remain intact. It was threatened with demolition until the group of nuns who own the property struck an unlikely deal with the developer of a neighboring condo tower to incorporate the shrine into its master plan. At present, the shrine is nestled quietly amidst the greenery of a 1.25-acre park behind the building. In 2012, the chapel re-opened after an extensive renovation led by architect Mark Sullivan.
·Saint James Chapel [OHC]
·National Shrine of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini [OHC]
·Chicago's New Mother Cabrini Shrine Opens in Park West [CAB]