In no particular order, here are the 5 Most Traditional Catholic Church of Chicago:
1. St. John Cantius (Diocesan)
St. John Cantius is known as one of the gems of Catholic Tradition in the Conciliar Church. The building itself has a rich history - it was saved from near closing and has blossomed into a community of vibrant Faith, Tradition, and Devotion. The building is known for its beauty, the Liturgies are among some of the most ornate in the City, and the use of Sacred Polyphany and Orchestral High Masses make this a truly unique parish of Chicago.
2. Shrine of Christ the King (ICKSP)
The Shrine, like St. John Cantius, was near closing - in fact, the Shrine of Christ the King was slated for demolition after a fire ravished the building. As the neighbor decayed, the former St. Gelatius Church, which was home to the National Novena to St. Therese on each Tuesday of the week, was all but certainly lost. In 2006, the building was entrusted to the Institute of Christ the King by then Cardinal of Chicago, Cardinal George. As a result of the order's dedication, the building is being restored and the Faithful who attend the Shrine assist at one of the few locations to only offer Tridentine Masses - even during the Triduum. The Order's use of traditions ranging from Candlemas Processions, Blessings of Wine on the Feast of St. John, Blessings of Epiphany Water, and the like make this one of the few places to regularly and publicly use the Rituale Romanum. The vibrant parish life offers several weekly evening Masses as well as Masses in the evening usually on all 1st Class Feasts, which is a true rarity! With powerful preaching and doctrinally sound catechesis, the Shrine of Christ the King has earned a place in our Top 5 List.
Older Image: Source Unknown
Older Image: Source Unknown
Older Image: Source Unknown
Solemn High Mass on Christmas Day
Blessing of the Wine on the Feast of St. John
St. Mary of Perpetual Help is a remarkable structure visible from Interstate 55. Its huge dome pierces the skyline of the south side of Chicago in the Bridgeport neighbor and calls all to honor Almighty God. The Church offers a weekly Tridentine High Mass on Sundays at 8:30 AM, the earliest Tridentine High Mass offered on a Sunday in the city. The inside of the Church is vibrantly beautiful with many statues, icons, and images. The high altar of the Church is one of the most grand high altars in Chicago and made of some of the highest quality marble - only St. Adalberts Church might claim to have higher quality marble (though no Tridentine Mass is offered there). St. Mary's offers Confession before each Mass that are infrequently attended making it quick and easy to obtain Confession - not a commonality in the more traditional Churches. With beautiful music and clear sermons, this parish could be much busier than it typically is. It's a treasure and all Catholics of Chicago should make their way here for an 8:30 Sunday High Mass.
Note: Low altar is removed for all Latin Masses.
4. St. Odilo/National Shrine of the Poor Souls (Diocesan)
As the National Shrine of the Poor Souls, the Faithful who attend Mass here receive a particular indulgence. The Church, while featuring some model art and a "low altar", has some truly unique features - a life-sized and bloody depiction of our Lord after he was taken down from the Cross in a separate chapel. The Church also has sevearl side altars and candles throughout in honor of the Poor Souls - you'll see Traditional Altar missals on them as well. The Church offers a Sunday Tridentine Mass at 9:30 AM and has a very beautiful schola. Only downsize - Confessions are not offered immediately before each Mass, like the other places on this list. But don't let that stop you from making a visit to St. Odilo's and praying for the poor souls at the Sunday Latin High Mass. And be ready for Fr. Brankin's inspiring, clear, and unabashedly Catholic sermons. Of all of the sermons offered on a given Sunday at a Tridentine Mass, Fr. Brankin's are among the very best each and every week.
5. Our Lady Immaculate (SSPX)
The Society of St. Pius X, founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, was the catalyst for Traditional Catholicism in the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council. Without the Society, it is likely that the Tridentine Mass would have vanished from the earth. This particular chapel of the Society is located near one of the Society's few priories - this prior is unique as it is the home of one of the four bishops of the Society - Bishop Tissier de Mallerais. The Chapel itself is a former protestant building that has been turned into a Catholic Church. It features an impressive high altar. Unique among the churches of Chicago, it is the only one to regularly feature a blessing of religious articles after both Masses on the Second Sunday of the month. So bring your candles, rosaries, images, and anything else that needs blessed. The chapel also has monthly devotions to Our Lady of Sorrows and the pastor is not afraid to speak candidly on the crisis in the world and the need for Catholics to stand up for the Truth. You won't hear any psedu-protestantism here. This chapel is a home for unabasedly Catholic teaching and is home to a truly multicultural congregation of Caucasians, African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and others - showing that the Church truly transcends cultures. And yet, all come together and worship in a common tongue of Latin.
Image Source: FRANK PINC/Staff Photographer via oakpark.com
Image Source: SSPX Website