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Collection of Twenty-Eighth International Eucharistic Congress photographs

Identifier: CSC-002

Scope and Contents note

A panoramic print by the National Photograph and Advertising Company of Chicago shows the assembled worshippers for a mass as part of the Eucharistic Congress. The photograph is undated, but likely was taken on either June 21 or June 23. The photograph shows little discoloration and is in good condition. A large panoramic gelatin silver print by Kaufmann & Fabry Company of Chicago captures the June 21, 1926 Solemn Pontifical High Mass in Soldier Field, celebrated by Giovanni (John) Cardinal Bonzano. The photograph focuses on the choir of 60,000 parochial school children, and also shows the altar where mass was celebrated. The photograph shows little discoloration, and is in good condition. Two identical halftone photomechanical reproductions of a panoramic photograph by Kaufmann & Fabry Company show the Giovanni (John) Cardinal Bonzano celebrating mass on June 21, 1926 at the altar in Soldier Field. The original of this photograph is held by the Library of Congress, and can be viewed online at Both prints are significantly yellowed, and one has moderate damage from dirt and tearing.


  • 1926


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open and available to the public for research in the U.S. Catholic Special Collections reading room. The materials are non-circulating.

Copyright Notice

The materials in this collection may be protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). The materials are available for personal, educational, and scholarly use. It is the responsibility of the researcher to locate and obtain permission from the copyright owner or his or her heirs for any other use, such as reproduction and publication.

History of the Twenty-Eighth International Eucharistic Congress

The first International Eucharistic Congress was held in 1881 in France. According to a souvenir book published by the Congress, "The purpose of the gathering is to manifest publicly Catholic love, fealty and devotion to Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Altar, and to endeavor to make reparation for the outrages which have been committed against His Divine Presence in the Tabernacle" (XXVIII International Eucharistic Congress, page 13).

The Twenty-eighth International Eucharistic Congress was held in Chicago, Illinois from June 20 through June 24, 1926; it was the first International Eucharistic Congress to be held in the United States. Efforts to bring the congress to Chicago were spearheaded by George Cardinal Mundelein, the archbishop of Chicago. The organizing committee was led by the Right Rev. Edward F. Hoban, D.D., the auxiliary bishop of Chicago, who was joined by the Very Rev. Monsignor C.J. Quille, the Very Rev. Monsignor B.J. Sheil, the Rev. Francil Ryan, the Rev. William R. Griffin, and the Rev. Joseph A. Casey. More than two hundred clergy and laymen served on planning committees. Masses were held in Soldier Field, and meetings were held at the Municipal Pier, the Chicago Coliseum, and various Knights of Columbus halls around the city. The Congress opened on June 20, 1926 with a solemn high mass celebrated by his Eminence John, Cardinal Bonzano, the Papal Legate, at the Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. On the second day, June 21, was Children's Day, and a choir of 62,000 parochial school children sang the Mass of the Angels; it was claimed to be the single largest choir ever gathered. June 22 was Women's Day, and that evening was Men's Night. June 23 was Students Day. The final day of the Congress included a Eucharistic Procession at the Theological Seminary of St. Mary-of-the-Lake, in Mundelein, Illinois, which was attended by 750,000 worshippers. An altar was built that was a replica of the altar in the Church of St. Paul-Outside-the-Walls in Rome, Italy, and a pipe organ was also constructed in the stadium. Sectional meetings were held for Catholics from more than a dozen nationalities in their own languages. Between 200,000 and 400,000 worshippers attended the religious services each day.


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Language of Materials



Two photographs and two halftone reproductions of masses at the Twenty-Eighth International Eucharistic Congress, held at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois in June, 1926.

Statement of Arrangement

Photographs are arranged by estimated date.


U.S. Catholic Special Collections, 302 Roesch Library

Location of Originals

This collection includes halftone reproductions of an original print held by the Library of Congress. It can be viewed online at

Guide to the Collection of Twenty-Eighth International Eucharistic Congress photographs, 1926
Colleen Mahoney
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Repository Details

Part of the University Libraries Repository

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