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Monastery of the Holy Cross

Address

3101 S. Aberdeen St.

Neighborhood

Bridgeport

Hours

Sat, Oct 16: 10am - 5pm

Sun, Oct 17: 10am - 5pm

Photography Permitted Washrooms Available

Architect

Hermann J. Gaul, 1909

Website

chicagomonk.org

Description

The Monastery of the Holy Cross is a significant early work of architect Hermann J. Gaul, a renowned ecclesial architect of the early 20th century. Recognized for its complex high-vaulted ceiling, the church was built in 1908-09 for the German-speaking "national parish" of the Immaculate Conception. The church is an example of the German Gothic Revival style incorporating high-Gothic design elements such as a high gabled triple-arch entrance, expressive gargoyles and a 14 Gothic-arched, highly decorated Stations of the Cross. Additionally, the church has magnificent acoustic qualities. The parish was closed in 1990, and the Benedictine monastic community was invited to make the building into a unique urban monastery the following year. While some of the original furnishings were lost after the closure, the monks have added religious treasures, including altarpiece icons produced in the traditional Byzantine egg tempera method by internationally renowned iconographer Vladislav Andrejev.

Visitor Experience

Visitors are welcomed to pursue self-guided tours of the historic monastery church, providing a unique glimpse into life in a cloistered monastic community; this includes access to the church during the numerous times of chanted communal prayer in this superb acoustic space, giving visitors an aural as well as visual appreciation of this building.

Saturday: 12:00pm Gregorian Chant Mini Seminar: Short talk about the ancient tradition of sung prayer with demonstration by monks 12:45pm Divine Office (Chanted prayer) 2:00pm Monastic Life: Ora et labora (Prayer and work): Short talk about the essence of contemplative monastic life 2:30pm Divine Office (Chanted prayer)

Sunday: 10:00am Mass 12:45pm Divine Office (Chanted prayer) 2:00pm Iconography of the church building: Short talk about significance of elements of the church building and images in stained glass and icons.