Archdiocese of Chicago

Latin Mass Will No Longer be Held At Only Catholic Church in Woodlawn

Residents Worry About Church's Future Without Mass

Editorial Note: A clarification was added to the story that the Archdiocese has not banned Latin mass, but rather has adhered to a decree from Pope Francis about when to celebrate that mass.

As the Catholic Church continues to move away from traditional Latin mass, one church in Chicago's Woodlawn neighborhood is divided on the changes.

In 2015, fire ripped through Christ the King, the only Catholic church remaining in Woodlawn.

A community group, parishioners and donors raised millions of dollars to save the shrine from demolition. Masses at the church, located at 6401 S. Woodlawn Avenue, are conducted in Latin.

Heather Malpass says they’re angelic.

“If you don’t understand anything, it just makes you cry – you can feel it,” she said.

Now Malpass and many other are surprised to learn that the final Latin mass was held this past Sunday at the church.

“The Pope issued an edict that Latin masses should be wound down all over, and it has worked its way to Chicago,” Gabriel Piemonte of the group Save the Shrine said.

The Archdiocese of Chicago tells NBC 5 Cardinal Blasé Cupich is following guidelines on limiting the celebration of the traditional Latin mass, which were previously issued by Pope Francis.

In a statement, the Archdiocese said that Latin mass is still allowed to be celebrated, and that the Shrine of Christ the King chose to discontinue such masses.

Piemonte worries about the church’s future with the changes that are being enacted.

“The concern is that you now have this property that they cannot do business in and I worry about that,” Piemonte said.

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