Sangamon County 
 Historical Society





Sangamon County Historical Society

MEMBERS ONLY--MUSEUM TOUR--Chiara Center, St. Francis of Assisi Church and Franciscan Heritage

  • May 10, 2016
  • 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
  • 4875 LaVerna Road, near Riverton


Registration is closed

Members Only registration for the May 10 guided tour of the historic Chiara Center, St. Francis of Assisi Church, and Franciscan Heritage Museum is now open.  

The center, a conference and meditation complex, sits on part of a 300-acre campus established by the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, who have the been caring for the sick in Central Illinois since 1875.  

The religious centerpiece of the center's expansive facilities is St. Francis of Assisi Church, designed by the Springfield architectural firm of Helmle & Helmle and built by local contractor Frank Fitzsimmons from 1920 to 1924.  The church was dedicated on April 29, 1924.  

The church is 133 feet long and 115 wide, rising 84 feet to the top of the dome.  Its focus is the ornate sanctuary, designed in Belgium and surmounted by a bronze-and gold-covered canopy.  

Also among the church's many notable features is a reputed fragment of the True Cross, once owned by Pope Pius IX (1846-1878), which has been displayed in the church since 1945.  A small, but sophisticated museum at the Franciscan Life Center will be part of the tour.  

Join us for this MEMBERS ONLY tour of a truly one of a kind piece of Sangamon County History! 

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