USML | News

Mundelein Seminary

Mundelein Seminary | News

  • March for Life 2015 | 1/23/2015


    Each year on the anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision people gather in Washington, D.C. for the March for Life. Thanks to our friends and benefactors thirty two seminarians and two faculty members attended the March. The night before the March a Vigil Mass was held at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Cardinal Sean O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston, was the principal celebrant and homilist. As Christians we believe that every life from conception to death is a gift of God, and every person is made in the image and likeness of God. It is the duty of the strong to protect the weak. The purpose of the March is to call the rulers to recognize this truth to form a civilization of love. 


    Watch this video from the USCCB called "Masterpieces of God's Creation":

  • March for Life Vigil Mass | 1/21/2015


    Tune in to EWTN at 6:30 pm/ET to watch the 2015 March for Life Vigil Mass at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. Some Mundelein seminarians traveled this morning to D.C. to partake in the Vigil Mass and the March. 

    Watch it live

  • Meyer Lecture Series: Sherry Anne Weddell on "Forming Intentional Disciples" | 1/21/2015


    Admission is free, but reservations are required 

    Please register, here:

    If you need to register by phone, please call 847-566-6401

    Overnight accommodations are available for adults (18 years and older) in the Conference Center special rate: $60.00 (meals not included)

    For overnight accomodations, please call: 847-837-4505


    This year we are pleased to have Sherry Weddell as the 2015 Meyer Lecturer. She is the author of the best-selling book, Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus. The book takes into consideration the immense challenge of evangelizing Catholics today. Here is a brief description of what will be covered in her talk:

    • Five thresholds of postmodern conversion
    • How to open a conversation about faith and belief
    • How to ask thought-provoking questions and establish an atmosphere of trust. 
    • When to tell the Great Story of Jesus
    • How to help someone response to God's call to intentional discipleship.


    Schedule of Events

    Thursday, March 12, 2015 

    7:00 p.m.         Welcome by the Rector (Auditorium)

                            Introduction to the program by the Vice Rector for Academic Affairs

     7:15 p.m.         Keynote Address – Sherry Weddell

     8:00 p.m.         Discussion

     8:30 p.m.         Break

    Friday, March 13, 2015

    7:15 a.m.         Morning Prayer (John Paul II Chapel – North Residence Hall                                                        Building 900 – visitors welcome to attend)

    7:40 a.m.         Mass

    8:20 a.m.         Breakfast (Refectory)

    9:00 a.m.         Introduction to program (Auditorium)

    9:05 a.m.         Keynote Address – Sherry Weddell

    9:50 a.m.         Discussion

    10:15 a.m.       Break

    10:30 a.m.       Responses

    11:30 a.m.       Panel Discussion

    12:00 p.m.       Conclusion

  • Fr. Edward T. Oakes, S.J. Memorial | 1/14/2015


     Last year Fr. Edward T. Oakes, S.J., professor of dogmatic theology, passed away, leaving many beloved friends, students, and colleauges here at here at Mundelein Seminary and University of St. Mary of the Lake. In honor of Fr. Oakes, the seminarians organized a memorial for him, recalling what they learned from this great scholar of Hans Urs von Balthasar. Two seminarians, Stephen Durkee and Kyle Kilpatrick, read papers in honor of Fr. Oakes, focusing on some Balthasarian themes they learned from him. Mr. Durkee talked about the influence Balthasar's Heart of the World has had on his prayer life, and Mr. Kilpatrick explained Balthsar's Trinitarian Theology and its role in the New Evangelization. 

    Stephen Durkee's paper: 

    Last year I was thrilled to join a book-study group led by Fr. Oakes. The book we would read was, Heart of the World, by Hans Urs von Balthasar. Though my experience of Fr. Oakes was very brief, I will never forget the awe and wonder in which he spoke about Heart of the World. It was a book he had read many times before; evident by the wear and tear of his copy of the book. I would quickly discover what Fr. Oakes already knew: Heart of the World truly is a spiritual treasure, not because von Balthasar was a renowned theologian, but also because von Balthasar was a holy man who had a beautiful relationship with the Lord. What I hope to give you all today is snap shot of the book that has born much fruit in my prayer life.

    Heart of the World reads like a conversation between a sinner and Jesus Christ. Speaking of that first encounter with Christ von Balthasar states, “This is a love that knows the depths. It lives in us, establishes itself within us as a center; we live from it; it fills and nourishes us…This is no longer ourselves; in a most immediate, hardly distinguishable proximity, this is the Lord in us” (pg. 33 HW) Obviously, von Balthasar read Fr. Barron’s book on the three paths, “finding the center”… or maybe Fr. Barron stole it from von Balthasar! Regardless, the point is clear: the experience of Christ’s love is life changing. Once we have it and recognize it, that love begins to change us from the inside out and informs every aspect of our lives.

    Of course we all know that the spiritual life is full of ups and downs. Balthasar captures this aspect of the spiritual life well. He writes, “We have grown used to this love. And we no longer hear the tapping finger that knocks day and night at the gate of our soul; we no longer hear this question, this request to enter” (pg. 57). This is the travesty that faces us today. So many of our family, friends, and brothers and sisters in Christ have experienced God’s healing love. But many, have grown used to it. And they have forgotten about Jesus, who desires to be nothing more than our most intimate friend. This is the New Evangelization. To reach those who have experienced Christ in their lives but have grown deaf to his voice in recent years. For this reason, for us here, it is crucial that we avoid laziness in our prayer life, lest we forget about our closest friend. Urging us to overcome this spiritual apathy, Jesus responds to the sinner, My friend:

    The Father has drawn you to me. 

    You are free. The angel nudged you on the side, the clamps fell from your wrists, the gate flew open on its own, and the two of you floated out past the sleeping guards until you reached freedom. You still think it was a dream. Rub the sleep out of your eyes. You are free to go wherever you please.

    But look: many of your brothers are still languishing in prison. Are you going to enjoy your freedom while they suffer? Or do you want to help me loosen their shackles, and together with me to share their prison? pg. 144

    Friends, Jesus has called us to share in his mission. Von Balthasar emphasizes that “perhaps the going forth from God is still more divine than the return home to God” (pg. 33). Jesus desires to use us in his mission —- that is “the task of proclaiming the Father in the world” (pg. 35). In a particular way for us seminarians, we must want nothing more than to share in Jesus’ mission as “mirror[s] and window[s] of the Father” (pg. 37). The New Evangelization requires that we cultivate our relationship with Christ, so that when people meet us in the confessional, they meet a fatherly man; A man who knows Christ and preaches the love of the Father. To conclude, von Balthasar expresses this desire of our Lord Jesus, he states, “For my work must be perfected in you and it will be brought to term only when my Heart beats in yours, only when all hearts, now submissive and docile, beat for the Father together in my Heart” (pg. 81).

    Kyle Kilpatrick's paper: 

    It was Fr. Ed Oakes who first taught me to love the theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar and opened my eyes to the beauty of his writings. Fr. Oakes has made Balthasar's work very accessible to the whole English speaking world through his writing and translations, and I personally am very grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from him.

    One of the great insights developed by Balthasar is the connection between the economic and immanent life of the Trinity. He picks up on an idea proposed by the Scholastics, that “the Inner divine processions are the condition of possibility for a creation. The divine ideas for a possible world derive from that everlasting circulation of life, founded as it is on the total and unconditional gift of each hypostasis to the others.” Balthasar develops the idea that the eternal processions of love are the basis not just for creation, but also for the redemptive work of God. When the eternal Son makes an outpouring of himself to live through a human nature in the kenotic action of the Incarnation, which leads ultimately to his suffering on the cross, this is a manifestation of the “Trinitarian thanksgiving, the Trinitarian Eucharist of the Son.” The Son becoming man is his own 'putting out into the deep', the freely chosen act of love for man which is a manifestation of the love he eternally gives to and receives from the Father. So the mission of Christ, and thus also the mission which he has handed on to the Church, is to manifest the love of the Son for the Father.

    Saint John Paul II's great call for the New Evangelization is to 'put out into the deep'. This is precisely what the Son does in becoming man for our salvation. He descends into the depths of human sin, suffering, and death. This is why the descent into Hell is so important for Balthasar. It is the fullest expression of the Son's going into the deep to draw all men back to his Father. “The descent of Christ alone into the abyss becomes the ascent of all from the same depths.”

    Putting out into the deep is not only the work of Christ, but the entire Church, since “Christian existence is a reflection of the form of Christ.” This gives a theological and Trinitarian form to the New Evangelization. We are, with Christ, called to go into the deep, into every place of human darkness and suffering, to bring Christ to it so he can ascend back to his Father and draw all back to Him. This perhaps applies in a particular way to those of us whom the Lord has called to the priesthood. We are to bear the light of Christ into the darkness of people's lives, but also to take on the darkness and suffering of the world like Christ, to 'fill up in our own flesh what is lacking in his sufferings.' In doing so, we will truly be living in persona Christi. Balthasar says: “Christians can occupy no determinate place in the Paschal Mystery. Their place is neither in front of the cross nor behind it, but on both its sides.” We who would evangelize a broken world must live in the tension of a victory that has been won but not yet extended to all parts of the world.

    One final note: One of the primary means Balthasar proposes for the reconciliation of creation to the Father which we are called to mediate is the Eucharist: “It is the Eucharist which must gather all creation into his Body.” Balthasar very interestingly notes that the appearances of the resurrected Christ which depict his ability to eat common food manifest his power to transform into the new age the realities of the old. The same applies to the Eucharist, the food of the new age, whose consumption transforms the old into the new. As we gather to give thanks for the life and work of Father Ed Oakes, let us remember that above all he was, and is forever, a priest of Jesus Christ, who on earth offered the eternal sacrifice of reconciliation to the Father, and now shares in that eternal thanksgiving. May we who are called to extend that reconciliation to all men likewise put out into the deep, handing ourselves over as Christ did, and bring everything we 'catch' there back to adoration and thanksgiving to the Father.

  • 2014: A Year to Remember | 12/31/2014


     2014 was a year to remember. We have been grateful for the many seminarians we have had the grace to form as the Church's future priests. Last year we had 192 seminarians; this year we have 210, making Mundelein Seminary the largest Catholic seminary in America. Here is a list of what happened in 2014:

    1. Saint John Paul II Chapel Dedication Mass: Cardinal George dedicated the altar of our new chapel dedicated to the “father” of the New Evangelization, Saint John Paul II. The hope of this chapel is that it will inspire the many seminarians who pray there to live lives of saintly holiness. Adorned along its walls are stained glass windows of the saints who either influenced Saint John Paul II or were canonized or beatified by him. Each of their lives tell the story of encounter and mission, the dynamic each life ought to follow.
    2. Dr. Scott Hahn as the McEssy Distinguished Visiting Professor in Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization: We were happy to welcome Dr. Hahn to Mundelein. It has been a privilege to participate in the fruits of his scholarship. Last semester he taught our seminarians a class on the Johannine Literature. We are sure it is more substantial than Stephen Colbert’s witty critique of Bart Erhman's reading of John's Gospel on the Colbert Report. 
    3. The Installation of Archbishop Blase J. Cupich: The seminarians had many chances to meet our new Archbishop. He said Mass at the seminary several times, supporting the seminarians as their new shepherd. Also, the seminarians had a chance to thank Cardinal George and his steadfast leadership of the Church in Chicago and abroad. Thank you to Cardinal George for his vision and guidance.
    4. The Re-dedication of the Grotto: After the Rector’s Mass, Fr. Barron re-dedicated the Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto. The Grotto has been restored so that our seminarians may have a better setting to pray to the Blessed Mother. As the primordial disciple, we hope our seminarians grow close to her so they may be able to participate in her great “fiat” to the Lord.
    5. Pilgrimage to France: Fr. James Presta led the seminarians in 2nd year Theology throughout France. They went to visit the Little Flower (Terese of Lisieux), the Cure of Ars (St. John Vianney), Paris, the beaches of Normandy, Chartres Cathedral and Mont Saint-Michel.
    6. 50,000+ Donations: This year we crossed a major threshold of 50,000 donations. Thank you for all your financial support. Your contribution helps in the formation of the Church’s future priests.
    7. Dr. David Fagerberg as the 2014-2015 Paluch Lecturer: Notre Dame’s liturgical theologian, Dr. David Fagerberg, is this year’s Paluch Lecturer. His first lecture to the seminarians was on Romantic Theological particularly in the work of Charles Williams.
    8. George Weigel on Saint John Paul II: After the Dedication Mass of Saint John Paul II Chapel, George Weigel gave a lecture on the legacy of Saint John Paul II. The eminent biographer of the Pope shared his many experiences with the saint, all confirming his holiness and down-to-earth character. As a Baltimore native, Mr. Weigel was very kind enough to remind the Chicagoans in the audience that they are forever indebted to Baltimore, America’s first diocese, for the faith.
    9. The Mundelein Seminary Lecture Series: This year we instituted a lecture series in downtown Chicago that gives the wider public a chance to benefit from the fruits of the seminary. In March, Fr. Wilson Miscamble, C.S.C., gave a sold-out talk on Notre Dame and the future of Catholic Higher Education. In September, Fr. Robert Barron gave a talk on the theology of the Temple, claiming that the duty of the Church is to “edenize” the world. We hope people may deepen their understanding of the faith so that they may, in turn, deepen their work of creation. 
  • 2014 Sounds of Christmas Concert | 12/8/2014


    Last Sunday, Mundelein Seminary hosted its annual Christmas Concert. Rich Daniels and the City Lights Orchestra played to a packed house. Following intermission, the Mundelein Seminary Choir joined the Orchestra to perform "Veni, Veni, Emmanuel", "O Magnum Mysterium, Lauridsen" and many other Christmas songs. We hope you left the concert humming the songs proclaming the coming of our Lord. 


    Venite adoremus, venite adoremus, venite adoremus Dominum. 

  • Cardinal Mundelein's Americana, Pope Francis and Google Scholar | 11/21/2014


    Lorraine Olley is the director of the Feehan Memorial Library and the McEssy Theological Resource Center at USML. She has been at USML since 2007 and had many illustrious predecessors.  She has a background in Academic Librarianship and this is her first position as a Theological Librarian. Her specific academic background is in preservation, which makes the Feehan Memorial library a perfect place for her given its great historical collection.  Also, she has an M.A. in Divinity from the University of Chicago, which makes her an even better fit! When she was at the University of Chicago, she was most interested in the History of Religions, and studied with Mircea Eliade, the creator of Comparative Religion and Mythology.

    Although she was raised in Chicago, Ms. Olley did not know the seminary existed until she interviewed for the librarian position she now occupies at Mundelein Seminary. 

    Tell us about the Feehan Memorial Library at Mundelein Seminary?

    Over the library is the inscription “Wisdom has built herself a home” (Sapientia Aedificavit Sibi Domum), which I think expresses the essence of the library. It is not a storehouse, but it is a source of collected wisdom of the Scriptures and the Church.

    Speaking of Collections: You have a collection of Cardinal Mundelein’s gifts to the seminary on display. Could you tell us about that collection?

    Cardinal Mundelein collected things!  He collected many rare, unique and now increasingly valuable artifacts to enrich the seminarians’ experience to appreciate culture and the higher things. Also, he did it to enhance the reputation of the seminary as a place of higher education and to highlight the “American” part of the American Catholic Church. But although we have an extensive Americana collection, much of the collection echoes the Vatican Library’s collection.  We have a collection of sacred letters – written or signed - by either blesseds or saints from the 12th Century to the mid-19th Century. We also have a canceled check signed by Padre Pio. The sacred letters collection is a reflection of the Vatican’s own manuscript collection. We have a collection of ancient papal coins and medals. Cardinal Mundelein thought that it was important to have a numismatics collection at the seminary just like the Vatican library.  This year I was able to visit the Numismatics Department of the Vatican Library. In August, the department director, Dr. Eleanora Giampiccolo, visited the Feehan Library to look at our collection. It was very exciting to make that connection. 

    Part of the collection that has great prestige is a collection of incunabula [an incunabulum is a book printed before 1501]. Around the time of the Eucharistic Congress in the 1920s a book collector from Germany came to Chicago with a collection of 2,000 books printed around the time of the Gutenberg Bible in the 1470s up to 1500. Cardinal Mundelein was able to either purchase - or receive as a gift -around 40 of these books. The one that got away is a three-volume copy of the Gutenberg Bible, printed on vellum, which Mundelein could not afford. It became the jewel in the crown at the Library of Congress Rare Book Department. So, in total, we have about 55 of these very rare books. Most of the university libraries that I have worked in have about one or two.

    Who are some of the Saints in the sacred letters collection?

    We have an extensive collection of St. Robert Bellarmine’s letters, which we are sharing with the historical archives of the Gregorian in Rome. We also have the writings of St. John Bosco, St. Francis de Sales, a couple of the Popes (Pius VI), a famous letter by St. Teresa of Avila which had gone missing until we had rediscovered it here at Mundelein a few years ago. Many of the saints represented in the collection are obscure now but they were very important at the time.

    You also have a collection of American letters? 

    Yes. This was a surprise to me.

    Cardinal Mundelein was an admirer of the Founding Fathers, right?

    Yes. In fact, his name’s sake ‘George’ is reflected all over the campus. In front of the Cardinal’s Villa is a statue of St. George.  But you also have signs of George Washington everywhere. The Cardinal’s Villa is modeled after George Washington’s villa at Mount Vernon. We have several signatures of George Washington. One of the most remarkable is a land survey prepared by George Washington when he worked as a surveyor. It is a survey of a little plot in Virginia that George Washington worked on, and includes his signature. Cardinal Mundelein collected as much Americana as he could afford. One of his main thrusts was to show that one could be both a good American citizen and a good Catholic at one and the same time. This was very controversial given that Catholic immigrants were persecuted in the 19th  and 20th centuries. We are blessed to have a set of the signatures of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. This is priceless. I think there are a dozen sets around the world. We have a set of signatures of all the presidents and their cabinets through Calvin Coolidge. We have the signatures of all of the Supreme Court Justices through Truman. And we have been adding sporadically to those collections. We have about six or seven signatures of Abraham Lincoln.

    The campus is reflective of this Americana theme. The building exteriors are Georgian Classicist and the Interiors are Roman. In fact, on the ceiling of the Feehan Memorial Library you have the Barberini Bees. The interior of Feehan is modeled on the interior of the villa Mundelein studied in while he was a seminarian in Rome. That villa belonged to the Barberini Family; Pope Urban VIII was a Barberini. We have a papal coin with the Barberini Bees – the coat of arms of the Barberini family. Those bees are incorporated in Mundelein’s coat of arms. In 2010, the library made the American Library Association’s list of the 250 world’s great libraries. That is a huge honor. 

    I know that you have been having some correspondence with Cardinal Mundelein’s relatives. Tell us about that.                                                              

    It has been an interesting development. Mundelein was a son of German immigrants. He grew up in Brooklyn. He was born here, but his family is originally from Paderborn, Germany. Since the 1990s, there has been some interest from the citizens of Paderborn and Mundelein, Illinois to start a correspondence. I met a man from Paderborn during Mundelein Village’s Centennial. He knows some of the Mundelein family still in Germany. When the gentleman was here this October, he brought me a photo of the matriarch of the Mundelein family with a greeting. The great nephew of Cardinal Mundelein was married this August in St. James Chapel in Chicago. We lent him Cardinal Mundelein’s chalice for his wedding Mass.

    The Eucharistic Congress: Tell us about that monumental event.                        

    The 1926 Eucharistic Congress was the first one to occur in the New World and Mundelein brought it to Chicago, not the East Coast. There was the Cardinals Train. Mundelein even had 20th Century Fox make a film about this. He was very much into the technology of his time. The film starts with the Cardinals in Europe boarding steamboats to travel to America. Soldier’s Field was used for five events during the Congress. There was a children’s choir of sixty thousand. Eight hundred thousand people came to Mundelein Seminary the last day of the Congress for Mass and a 2-mile procession around the lake.  The library had not been built yet, so there was a large open space. The photos show that people came from all around the world (Asians, Eskimos, Native Americans). It was a huge event for the city of Chicago and the Catholic Church in the United States. 

    Can you explain the history of the Feehan Memorial Library?

    The library was one of the last buildings to be built on the seminary campus. It was completed in the summer of 1929 right before the onset of the Great Depression. Mundelein had agents go over to Europe to purchase libraries from monasteries that were closing. Even though our seminary was built in the 1920s our book collection goes back to the 16th century and earlier for the incunabula. Over the years, we have had great librarians, comprised of priests and lay people, adding books that are usually reflective of course curriculums. We have an extensive collection in Scripture and Patristics. Due to Mundelein’s Americana interests, we have a really nice Civil War collection.

    Since we are “people of the book,” theology has been, in relation to other fields, late in coming into the Electronic Age. Now we rely on electronic databases instead of print to delve into the literature. I find there is some pushback in using electronic databases, but then I remind people that even the Pope tweets. More and more books are being made available electronically. That helps us because it allows us to provide resources for our seminarians to continue to study even when they are not on campus ­– such as when they are in the Holy Land or on internship, they will have access to electronic resources if they have internet connection.  It is really exciting to reach out in that way. Another way the library is reaching out with electronic resources is through a service that provides full text articles to priests in the Archdiocese to use that service, mostly for homily preparation. There are around one thousand two hundred searches conducted a month on that site. Priests are continuing their intellectual formation on that site.

    Pope Francis has said “You get to know Jesus out and about in your everyday, daily life. You cannot know Jesus where it’s peace and quiet, or in the library.” But that statement seems counter to an important component of Christian culture, especially monastic culture. Even Cardinal Mundelein intentionally placed the library next to the Chapel. What are your thoughts on Pope Francis’ words? 

    We are a people of the book and a people of the Word. Jesus is the Word of God and the library is where words reside. Even before Christianity, the scrolls and texts captured the memory of great human thinkers but also the memory of what God said to Moses or how God delivered the Israelites from Egypt. The library supports an active memory. It is not supposed to be a warehouse. It is supposed to cultivate a living memory where connections can be made. When I talk to seminarians about the importance of using the library I will sometimes ask them to think of it as a place where you can take a book and have St. Teresa of Avila speak to you. You can have a conversation with her as you read and contemplate what she has said. You can converse with Ignatius of Antioch, Origen, Aquinas, if you try really hard. This is a living memory, not just a storehouse. This is really important to maintain the old classics and continue to add as more are created. 

    As for Pope Francis, “not finding Jesus in the library”, well, he’s a Jesuit. Some of the most learned men I know are Jesuits, so he really didn’t mean it. 

    The Library makes the Word and Man manifest through studying the scriptures and the tradition. A culture that separates faith and reason does damage to both. As St. John Paul II said in Fides et Ratio, “Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves. Why is it important that priests continually study philosophy and theology?

    A quick way of answering is that there is nothing new under the sun and we pick that up from Fr. Barron in his Word on Fire. He will write an article and people respond. He will comment back that the Pelagian heresy rears its head again. So, what we have is a fresh way of arguing against and/or enlightening people who either consciously or unconsciously espouse an old error. It is important to be conversant with the heritage so that a priest can build on his knowledge to guide people in contemporary situations. One of my goals as a librarian is to make sure Mundelein has a collection representative of the thinking our future priests will confront as they deal with their parishioners who are exposed to the culture. I made sure we had books of the New Athiesm: i.e. Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett books. We also have Episcopalian Bishop Eugene Robinson’s book on why gay marriage is fine. Our seminarians need to know what our culture is thinking. They need to have and convey a good understanding of what Catholic teaching is and why it is.  Taking things on faith is just not going to work anymore in contemporary society, like it did before Vatican II where you just repeated what the Church said.

    The Search Engine and Scholarship: Many scholars with the search engine can have access to so much more information than ever before but it can also lead to a superficial reading of things. So you have many dissertations that lack substance and do not have a good grasp of one thinker or even one work. Thomas Aquinas memorized the whole Bible, but one wonders if anyone is capable of this in the Internet Age. What is the challenge of the library in today’s culture? Many people do not ask for the help of a librarian anymore since they think a search engine, like Google, can do it for them?

    The big challenge, in terms of students and scholars, is getting them to be aware of what they miss when they rely on “Google Scholar”, a tool that is not really tailored to their area of research. Part of the challenge is to get them to wonder about what they are missing. For example, when you search Teresa of Avila in Google Scholar you will get screens of information. There is nothing to guide the researcher intelligently through that information. You might get a scholarly article, a superficial news article, etc. The librarian helps with the evaluation and interpretation of the loads of information out there. We spend quite a bit of our resources on describing and organzing books in our collection so that it makes sense. We gather things intelligently. There is a book called Men Behaving Badly. It is about the First Book of Samuel. If you didn’t have a librarian, someone might have thought it was about psychology or criminology. There is a lot of intellectual effort that goes into selecting and arranging the fruits of scholarship throughout the ages. This is the librarian’s biggest contribution these days.



  • Happy Birthday to Our Rector/President, Fr. Robert Barron! | 11/19/2014


    Mundelein Seminary thanks you on your birthday for your dedicated service to the seminary, the seminarians and the cause of the New Evangelization. 

  • Archbishop Blase J. Cupich's Homily During Installation Mass | 11/18/2014


    Bienvenido, Witam, Mabuay, Dobro dosli, Welcome.

    I am delighted and honoured to be your archbishop.

    So many of you in this cathedral today have come – from near and so very far – friends and family, brother bishops and priests, religious, lay women and men. Former parishioners and pastors from Omaha, Rapid City, Spokane have joined us as well. Your being here consoles me with the hope that our friendships will continue to endure in the years ahead. Last night, I had a chance to welcome my brother bishops, and now I am pleased to greet our papal nuncio, Archbishop Vigano. We all know how demanding your schedule is, Archbishop, and so we offer our thanks to you, not only for being with us today, but for all you do to so ably represent Pope Francis, our Holy Father, who is well-loved and who makes us proud.

    When it came to selecting a date for the installation, November 18 seemed to be a great fit. The Commemoration of the Dedication of the Basilicas of Saints Peter and Paul gives me a chance to recognize all immigrants, as I recall my own immigrant grandparents who helped establish my home parish of Saints Peter and Paul in Omaha. Additionally, the Church’s calendar today celebrates St. Philippine Duchesne, someone the Native People honored with the name Woman Who Prays Always. She reminds us of the extraordinary contribution women religious have made and continue to make to the church and society. I intend to honor and give thanks for all these people today, especially for family and immigrants, Native Americans and religious sisters – all of whom have shaped so much of our faith, our lives and our Church ministries.

    But I have to admit, I had a bit of a panic attack when I saw the Gospel provided in the Lectionary for this day, which we have just heard. I realize this new responsibility is going to be demanding, but seriously folks, I don’t do “walking on water.” I can barely swim. So I hope this image in today’s Gospel is not reflective of anyone’s expectations.

    In all honesty, what intrigues me about the readings for today, is how the Gospel and the first reading from Acts complement each other in the language and symbolism they share in common. The Gospel recounts Jesus, during his earthly life, walking on water, inviting Peter to join him, and Acts witnesses to how Paul and the Church, animated by the Spirit, following the resurrection, now cross the seas to evangelize and invite the Gentiles, all people, to encounter and to walk with the Risen Christ. That interplay of the two texts is so rich and captures something St. Leo the Great wrote centuries ago (cf., Catechism of the Catholic Church 1114- 1115).

    Pope Leo remarked that everything which was visible in Jesus’ words and actions during his hidden life and public ministry has passed over after Christ’s resurrection into the sacraments and the life of the Church. That truth is on full display in the readings today, to the point that the Gospel is more than an account of Jesus walking on water, more than a story of Jesus revealing his divinity to the disciples by a stunning show of power. Read alongside the story of Paul’s missionary journey, this Gospel text becomes a point of reference to understand the meaning of the resurrection, how the Risen Lord is working in our midst today, and how disciples in all ages, how the Church in our time, should view its mission.

    Simply put, we are to join Christ in seeking out, inviting, and accompanying, by abiding with those to whom he sends us. Each one of those aspects of our mission, seeking out, inviting and accompanying deserves a closer look.


    Seeking Out

    Jesus’ walk across the waters is intentional. He has come to seek out and to save the troubled, those who are lost. But, this scene from Matthew’s Gospel offers us a new insight; it gives us a glimpse into what compels him to take up this mission. Jesus, we are told, has been on the mountain, in the quiet intimacy of prayer with his Father. That experience of sharing life with the Father is what moves him, prompts him to go out and seek others, so that they too may have this life. He is so driven in this mission that nothing stands in his way, not even the obstacle of crossing over water on his own. Sharing his life in the Father with us is the source of his enthusiasm and determination, is his motivation for seeking out the disciples and is the reason why he has come into the world.

    We see a similar kind of drive and enthusiasm in people from time to time, where something so transformative and life giving happens to them, leaving them with no alternative but to spend their life sharing their experience with others. I have seen this kind of enthusiasm in great teachers. Their drive and incentive goes way beyond getting through the curriculum or earning a paycheck. What inspires the really good teacher is the transformative experience of insight that comes in learning. Really good teachers delight in seeing the light of discovery go on in their students’ eyes and they never pass up the chance to make that happen.

    Marie Walsh was such a person. I brought her communion on First Fridays during my first years as a priest. A retired English teacher, she never passed up a chance to share her knowledge of literature and language. Marie suffered from diverticulitis, and could only take a small part of the host. One day, after giving her the Eucharist and a sip of water, she began to cough and so I said “Marie would you like to lay down.” She sharply muttered something, which I didn’t catch, and so I asked her, “Marie, what did you say?” She held the back of my neck, and with a laugh in her voice scolded me: “I said ‘chickens lay eggs; people lie down.’” She was correcting my grammar! It didn’t matter if she was in great pain or frail, she was going to make sure I spoke proper English.

    We face in our day the formidable task of passing on the faith to the next generation, of evangelizing a modern and sometimes skeptical culture, not to mention inspiring young people to serve the Church as priests and religious. It all seems so daunting, as daunting as walking on water. We are at sea, unsteady in our approach faced with these concerns. Catechists and educators are on the front line of this struggle. So, too, parents and grandparents wonder if they are going to be the last Catholics in their family. Likewise bishops and priests find that the Good News is increasingly difficult to proclaim in the midst of great polarization in church and society.

    Jesus tells all of us today to go back to where our journey of faith began, to be in touch with the joyful experience of being transformed by the intimacy God offers us, to be willing to share it with the next generation. Young people have always been attracted to authenticity of life, where words match deeds. Let’s not be afraid to let our young people know about our life with God and how it began. Like Marie Walsh, let’s stay close to them, so close that we can hold them by the neck, and tell them what it means for us to believe, and share with them how the Gospel has brought joy and meaning to us and transformed our lives. Such witness of personal faith many times has made the skeptic take a second look, has inspired vocations, and in my experience, animates our advocacy on behalf of human dignity with joy and compassion, purifying it of anger, harshness and fear.

    The authenticity that comes in making our own baptismal calling the starting point for all we do is also demanded of me as your archbishop, particularly as I reach out to those who have been sexually abused by Church leaders. That starting point will always be needed for me and my brother bishops to keep fresh the serious duty to honor and keep the promises we made in 2002. Working together to protect children, to bring healing to victim survivors and to rebuild the trust that has been shattered in our communities by our mishandling is our sacred duty, as is holding each other accountable, for that is what we pledge to do.


    Jesus seeks out, but then he invites. “Come,” he says to Peter, “walk on the stormy waters with me.” Peter’s response is a brave act for an experienced fisherman. But, it is the kind of daring and boldness required today, the courage to leave our comfort zone and take an entirely new step in our faith journey, both personally and as a community. There is resistance in each of us to take that risk. We can be self-satisfied where we are. Pope Francis tells us that the temptation is to think and say “I’m religious enough, I’m Catholic enough, or for Church leaders to resist needed reform by claiming “we haven’t done that before” or “you cannot say that.”

    We all have some anxiety and hesitancy to change, and I’ve noticed that many times in life we deal with the tension by joking about our resistance to change, to grow, to become more, beyond the minimum and enter more deeply into life with God. A friend who is a baseball fan tells me that when he thinks about getting into heaven, he is counting on being able “to slide in to home plate on a steal.”

    One hot sultry day, I was boarding a plane and was struggling to put my carry-on bag into the overhead bin. The people behind me weren’t happy with me holding up the line as the air- conditioning wasn’t on. Finally, the man next to me, put his bag down, took mine in hand and effortlessly shoved it in the compartment, leaving me somewhat embarrassed. Then, to my surprise he said at the top of his voice for all to hear, “Well Father, will that get me to heaven?” I was so flustered, all I could think to say was, “Gee, I hope not on this flight!”

    Jesus invites us, not only to take the risk of leaving our comfort zone, but also to deal with the tension involved in change, not dismissively but in a creative way, and to challenge each other to do so. Maybe, we hear that challenge today as a call to leave behind our comforting convictions that episodic Sunday Mass attendance is good enough, that we don’t really have to change our habitual bad behavior, our unhealthy dependencies, our inordinate attachments, because we can get by as we are, because they have not gotten us into any serious trouble yet, or just because we are afraid of the unknown.

    Pope Francis is giving voice to this invitation in our day, by inviting the Church to come and walk with Christ, as he is always doing something new. It is an invitation to leave behind the comfort of going the familiar way. He is challenging us to recognize that Christ is always inviting us to more, to greater things. It is the kind of invitation our bishops’ conference is making to our nation to be what it has always promised to be, to protect the vulnerable, poor and weak, to treat immigrants with justice and dignity, to respect life and to be good stewards of creation. It is the invitation of Jesus, “Come, take the risk of being more.”


    Finally, Jesus gets into the boat. I have always thought that it took more courage for Jesus to get into that boat with those disciples than for Peter to get out of it to walk on water. There was fear, doubt, jealousy even anger in that boat – a lot of unresolved conflicts as a therapist might say.

    But, it is in the incomplete, the in-between and in the brokenness of our lives where Jesus comes to share his life in the Father with us. His coming to be with us, his communion with us is not for the perfect, but is for the salvation of souls, for the lost, the forlorn, and those who are adrift. His communion is not just a quick visit, but he wants to be with us to the point of making our lives the dwelling place, the home where he and the Father abide. After going to the mountain to pray, to be with his Father, he comes into our messy lives with his Father in hand, to share our lives where we are.

    It is that grace of the indwelling of the Spirit, the love of the Father and the Son, which has always been the source of real, ongoing and sustainable conversion. It is the grace of mercy, totally undeserved and unearned, that brings about real lasting change and transformation and gives life.



    So, we as a Church should not fear leaving the security of familiar shores, the peacefulness of the mountaintop of our self-assuredness and walk into the mess. A military chaplain recently told me that soldiers easily know where to find him in the battle encampment because the chaplain’s tent is most often next to the medical tent.

    While Pope Francis is famous for urging the Church to be a field hospital and pastors to know the smell of the sheep, Blessed Pope Paul VI expressed a similar sentiment with an inspiring message to my classmates nearly forty years ago on their day of ordination. This is what he said:

    “Know how to accept as an invitation the very reproach which perhaps, and often unjustly, the world hurls against the Messenger of the Gospel. Know how to listen to the groan of the poor, the candid voice of the child, the thoughtful cry of youth, the complaint of the tired worker, the sigh of the suffering and the criticism of the thinker. But, ‘Never be afraid.’ The Lord has repeated it.” (Homily, June 29, 1975)

    Of course as our papal nuncio reminded the bishops just last week, St. John Paul II began his pontificate with Christ’s comforting words to the disciples, “Do not fear.” Archbishop Vigano? then added: “we must not be afraid to walk with our Holy Father (Pope Francis) and to trust in the infinite value of following the Holy Spirit as our First Teacher in guiding the Church.”

    That is the urging of the Word of God today. Just as Jesus left the peacefulness of his mountain top prayer to embrace the disciples in all their too human and fallible journey, so now the Church in our day is called to be faithful to its mission, the mission taken up by Paul and Peter, by putting aside her fears and the allure of false securities, and leap into the turbulent but creative waters of life in the world with the guidance of God and the charge of the Gospel.

    Not being afraid is the gift that separates the disciple before and after the resurrection as we see in the responses of Peter and Paul through the readings today. Yet, it is providential that Peter experienced the terror that stormy night, for he could then uniquely witness for the Church in all ages through his successors, the power of the resurrection to vanquish all fears, disappointments, hesitations and doubts.

    Peter could then witness how the resurrection is not just a past event, but an ongoing reality. He could remind us that what Jesus did in crossing the sea, he did again, by crossing from death to life, from eternity to our time, as he continues to make that crossing with us in our day. He could tell us that Jesus came back from the dead for us, to be with us. That is the reason we are not afraid – because we are not alone.

    That is why now in our day Peter in his successor, Pope Francis, urges us to take up the task of crossing the seas to seek out, to invite and to accompany others, because the Risen Christ is in the boat with us.



  • Christmas Concert is Filled to Capacity | 11/11/2014


    Mundelein Seminary's annual Christmas Concert on Sunday, December 7th is filled to capacity. If you would like to attend, you can ask to be placed on a waiting list by calling (847)-970-4834. However, be mindful that this does not guarantee admission. 

  • Canceled: November 18th University Club of Chicago Lecture with Dr. Matthew Levering | 11/3/2014


    Due to the installation of Archbishop-elect Blase J. Cupich on November 18th, Mundelein Seminary has had to cancel a luncheon lecture by Dr. Matthew Levering that was part of the Mundelein Seminary Lecture Series at the University Club of Chicago. Be sure to come to the next scheduled luncheon lecture by Dr. Scott Hahn on March 10th, 2015 at the University Club of Chicago. 






  • Encuentro de Peruanos del Medio Oeste de los EUA | 10/31/2014


    On October 4th, the I Encuentro de Peruanos del Medio Oeste de los Estados Unidos de America held a conference at Mundelein Seminary entitlted "Promoviendo Cultura y Fraternidad." Among the many speakers, Ministro Efrain Saavedra was the main speaker of the event. Thanks to Rev. Elmer Romero and all the seminarians for organizing this event. Muchas gracias! 


    If you would like to watch the conference speeches, they are listed below:


    Ministro Agustin De Madalengoitia: "Cultura de la Fraternidad: base para una communidad solidare"

    Dr. Gustavo Saberbein: "Familia, Comunidad y Progreso"


    Diacono Julio Lam: "Migracion y Vocacion" 

    Dr. Jose Galvez: "Compartiendo Experiencias"

    Rev. Javier Vilchez: "Francisco, el Papa del Pueblo" 


    Ministro Efrain Saavedra: "El Orgullo de Ser Peruano"


    Presentacion de Peruvian Dance Folk Center - Ruben Pachas 






  • The Saint Pope John Paul II Chapel is Dedicated | 10/28/2014


    The Saint Pope John Paul II Chapel is dedicated! Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I., dedicated the Chapel on October 19th. The Dedication Mass was beautiful and unique. Mass began in darkness with the lighting of the Chapel happeing after the rites of anointing, incensing, covering, and lighting of the altar. A Dedication Mass is  so full of symbolism and significance that we highly encourage you to attend one. 




  • George Weigel on Saint Pope John Paul II | 10/28/2014


    On October 19th, George Weigel delievered a lecture on Saint Pope John Paul II at Mundelein Seminary. Mr. Weigel concluded his talk saying that the saint called all Christians back to Galilee to meet the Lord in the "encounter" that begets communion. From this can we go forth making disciples of all nations, drawing them into communion with Christ. 

    Watch George Weigel's lecture here: 


  • Newly Ordained Mass and Dinner | 10/10/2014


    Our newly ordained priests stopped by Mundelein yesterday. They celebrated Mass and had dinner. Some of them traveled long distances to get to Mundelein since they serve in dioceses throughout the country. They are very grateful for having followed God's call to the priesthood. 

  • Dr. Denis McNamara Featured in CNA Article | 10/8/2014



    Faculty member and Assitant Director of the Liturgical Institute Dr. Denis McNamara was recently featured in an article by the Catholic News Agency. The article covers a conference that took place in Colorado Springs, CO by The Society for Catholic Liturgy. The conference explored the link between Solomon's Temple and Catholic churches. Please read the article:


  • Thank You: Rector's Mass and Reception | 10/6/2014


    Thank you for coming to the Rector's Mass and Reception. After Mass, we processed to the newly restored Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes. Despite the cold, the day was beautiful. 



  • Archbishop-Designate Blase Cupich visits Mundelein Seminary! | 9/23/2014


    Archbishop-designate Blase Cupich visited Mundelein Seminary this morning for Mass and meetings with the faculty. He encouraged all seminarians to bring the joy of the faith to their family and friends. He encouraged us all to pray for an increase in vocations and to be thankful to those who have responded to God's call. 



  • Fr. Robert Barron delivers lecture at University Club of Chicago | 9/9/2014


     Fr. Robert Barron gave an excellent talk at the Univesity Club of Chicago entitled, "The Meeting of Heaven and Earth: A Theology of the Temple." Fr. Conor Danstrom, a newly ordained priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago, gave a follow talk about vocation and formation. 


  • Opening Day of School | 8/26/2014


    Yesterday was the opening day of school at Mundelein Seminary! We're so excited to have Dr. Scott Hahn on the faculty! 





  • Grotto Renovation Begins! | 8/20/2014


    The renovation of Mundelein's Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto has just begun. We look forward to it being finished before the Rector's Mass, October 5, 2014. It will be amazing. 


  • Dr. Denis McNamara on the Feehan Memorial Library, Part 2 | 8/7/2014


    Dr. Denis McNamara continues his explanation of the interior design of Mundelein Seminary's Feehan Memorial Library. He points out many interesting things that tend to go unnoticed. Watch this video to learn more about the rich theological vision embedded in the stone and glass of Mundelein Seminary. 


  • The Chicago Tribune Features an Article on Cardinal Mundelein | 7/25/2014


     The Chicago Tribune recently featured an article on Cardinal Mundelein titled, "Chicago's 1st Cardinal set strong standard." Mundelein, the founder of Mundelein Seminary, was a very strong leader in the American Church. In regards to his plans for Mundelein Seminary, one would think he heeded a  famous quote by Daniel Burnham: "Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work."


    Here is a link to the article:,0,3822850.story


    Here is a link to a photo gallery of Cardinal Mundelein:

  • The Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph statues have recently been installed in the JP II Chapel | 7/17/2014


    The JP II Chapel is close to being finished. Statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph were installed today. Now we have the entire Holy Family in the Chapel! We look forward to the installation of some more stained glass windows in the next couple of weeks! 




  • Mundelein Seminarians enrolled in the Institute of Priestly Formation summer program at Creighton University! | 7/14/2014

    Some Mundelein seminarians (incoming and returning) were enrolled in the Institute of Priestly Formation summer program at Creighton University! There were nearly 30 men in the group.

    Fr. James Presta had the opportunity to visit with them a few days ago. They prayed Evening Prayer and had dinner together at a restaurant in Omaha. He said they are really enjoying the program and reaping many spiritual benefits from it.

  • New Book on Mundelein Seminary by Gail Kahover | 7/3/2014


    Mundelein Seminary is happy to announce the release of a new book about the seminary written by Gail Kahover. Gail spent much time and effort immersing herself into the history of Mundelein Seminary so as to share it with the wider public.  The grandeur of Mundelein Seminary is beautifully displayed. Here is the publisher's description of the book: 

    "Anyone who has driven through central Lake County, Illinois, has likely wandered across the entrance to Mundelein Seminary. The arched gateway is a teaser to the magnificence that lies within. The heavily forested grounds and sparkling lake provide a backdrop to the unique Colonial architecture of the buildings. The seminary was the dream of George William Mundelein, who told reporters as early as 1916 of his plans to build a seminary shortly after he was named archbishop of Chicago. Mundelein’s vision was grand. He wanted a seminary to rival the best in the world, and he wanted it to be truly American. He succeeded. Today, Mundelein Seminary is the largest priesthood preparation program in the country, training priests for Chicago and 31 dioceses around the country and the world."


    Be sure to buy this great book:



  • Very Rev. Robert E. Barron delivers talk at Summer Scripture Seminar | 6/27/2014


     The Very Rev. Robert E. Barron, Rector of Mundelein Seminary, delivered a talk at the Summer Scripture Seminar entitled, " The Archetypes of the King in the Old Testament: Reflections on Adam, Moses & David". 


  • Mundelein Seminary Presents: Very Rev. Thomas A. Baima on Academics at Mundelein Seminary (Part I) | 5/29/2014


    The Very Rev. Thomas A. Baima, the Vice Rector for Academic Affairs of USML and Dean of the Seminary and Graduate School of Theology, explains the importance of academics at Mundelein Seminary and the necessary intellectual competence of a priest. 



  • Fr. Barron Embarks on Production of New Documentary, "Catholicism: Pivotal Players", This Month | 5/28/2014


    Fr. Robert Barron and his film crew begin filming "Catholicism: Pivotal Players", this month. Follow them as they embark to Rome, Naples, Siena, Florence, Avignon and Paris to document the lives of St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Catherine of Siena. 


    Read more here


  • Mundelein Seminary Presents: Fr. James Presta on Lumen Gentium and Mary | 5/20/2014


    Fr. James Presta, Mundelein Seminary's Mariologist, discusses Mary's role in the Dogmatic Constitution of the Church, Lumen Gentium, and he explains why Mary is included in the document on ecclesiology. 


  • Mundelein Seminary Presents: Fr. James Presta on Marian Devotion at Mundelein Seminary | 5/19/2014


    Fr. James Presta, Mundelein Seminary's Mariologist, presents the Confraternity of Our Lady of the New Evangelization, and he discusses the importance of Mary in a priest's life. 






  • Mundelein Seminary Presents: Fr. Ron Hicks on Priestly Formation at Mundelein Seminary | 5/16/2014


    Fr. Ron Hicks, Dean of Formation at Mundelein Seminary, talks about priestly formation and what makes for a great priest. Learn why formation is integral to the seminary. 


  • The 40th Annual Summer Scripture Seminar at USML | 5/15/2014


    The 40th Annual Summer Scripture Seminar will take place at USML from June 22-27, 2014. This year's seminar is titled: "Conquest & Kingship: Leadership in Joshua, Judges, 1-2 Samuel, 1-2 Kings". Featured speakers are: Very Rev. Robert Barron, Rev. Lawrence Hennessey, Rev. David Monaco, C.P., Gina Hens-Piazza, Rev. John Kartje and Rev. Leslie Hoppe, O.F.M. 


    Please register here

  • World Day of Prayer for Vocations | 5/9/2014

    The 51st World Day of Prayer for Vocations is May 11, 2014. Pope Francis encourages us to "dispose our hearts to being 'good soil', by listening, receiving and living out the word." May we pray for those who are discerning their vocation and the courage to follow the call of the Lord, especially for the seminarians here at Mundelein Seminary.

    Read the Pope's message here


    Fr. Barron on discerning vocation 

  • Fr. Barron on "Pope Francis and the New Evangelization" | 5/8/2014


    Today, Fr. Barron speaks on "Pope Francis and the New Evangelization" at the University Club of Chicago. This event is sponsored by the Lumen Christi Institute and Word on Fire.  

    Read more here

  • Fr. Barron's Homily & Eucharistic Procession: May 4, 2014 | 5/6/2014

    Fr. Barron's homily is about the Road to Emmaus and why Christ, immediately after the breading of the bread, disappears into the mission of the Church. Eucharistic Procession followed Mass and Marian Crowning at Mundelein Seminary. 





     Preview of Fr. Barron's Homily & Eucharistic Procession


     Fr. Barron's Homily (Full Version) and Eucharistic Procession: May 4, 2014

  • Fr. Barron and Dr. Hahn Conversation: April 2010 | 5/2/2014


    In a preview of things to come when Dr. Hahn comes to teach at Mundelein Seminary this fall, we offer these clips from our good friends at Word On Fire.





    Theological Conversations 

     Modernity, the Bible and Theology


     Modern Spirituality and Gnosticism 


    Biblical Interpretation and the Liturgy


    New Atheism


    God and Human Freedom

  • Pope Francis: the joy of being a priest | 4/21/2014

    In case you missed it, at this year's Chrism Mass, Pope Francis spoke on the joy of being a priest. As we count down the weeks until our next class of seminarians are ordained (30 this year from Mundelein Seminary!), this is a great example of the lives that our priests live every day.

    Read the article by clicking here






      The Calling... 

    If you have been thinking and praying about the priesthood and a life of service in the Lord, please contact Reverend Francis Bitterman Vocation Director for the Archdiocese of Chicago. He can direct you toward the next steps on your journey.

  • The University is Accepting Applications for an Associate Dean of Formation | 4/9/2014


       Associate Dean of Formation
       CPE and Field Education

    The University of Saint Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary is seeking an Associate Dean of Formation who would be responsible for the direction of CPE and Field Education. The position of associate dean has three components. First, the associate dean is a member of the Formation Faculty, working with the Dean of Formation and other associate deans. Secondly, this position carries with it some teaching in the Formation Department’s weekly conferences, coordination of Pre-Theology Mission Trips, seminary calendar and safe environment training. Finally, the associate dean is responsible for the placement, oversight and evaluation of students in their field education and clinical pastoral education. Full information is available at

    Applicants should be Catholic Christians in good standing with the Church; and committed to theological education. The ideal candidate would be as an experienced ministry practitioner with a M.Div. or similar professional degree. Applicants should be interested in and capable of working with the seminary faculty to prepare men for priesthood, and possess a Catholic understanding of human, spiritual and pastoral formation. Women religious are especially encouraged to apply.

    The University of Saint Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary is the major seminary and graduate school of theology of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Founded in 1844, USML trains Roman Catholic priests and those who collaborate with them in ministry. The Associate Dean of Formation reports to the Dean of Formation.

    If you are interested in being considered for this opening, please send the following information via email to Be certain to include your name on each document. Indicate the complete title of the position for which you are applying in the subject line of your email.

    1. Cover Letter
    2. Resume or curriculum vitae
    3. Salary requirements

    Incomplete submissions will not be considered.

    Thank you for your interest in the University of Saint Mary of the Lake.


  • Mundelein Seminary Presents | 4.3.14 | 4/3/2014


    Mundelein Seminary Presents: Fr. Barron on the Canonization of Blessed Saint John Paul II

    In this interview, Fr. Barron talks about his plans to attend the Canonization of Saint John Paul II and about the significance of dedicating Mundelein Seminary’s new chapel to the Saint.Fr. Barron will be traveling to Rome as a correspondent for NBC News for the Canonization ceremony taking place April 27th. 

    Learn more about the ceremony: 

  • What is the Future for Notre Dame? Paluch Downtown Lecture by Fr. Wilson Miscamble | 4/1/2014


    On March 11th, the Paluch Lecture brought Mundelein Seminary to downtown Chicago!

    Fr. Miscamble, a professor of history at Notre Dame for over 25 years who thinks the university is coming dangerously close to denying its own Catholic identity, is Mundelein Seminary’s visiting 2014 Paluch Professor of Theology this year.

    After the lecture by Rev. Wilson Miscamble, Fr. Barron spoke about the future of Catholic Education. 

    Read More

  • Pope Francis discusses the vocation to the priesthood | 4/1/2014


    During his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square on March 26th, Pope Francis explains bishops and priests need prayers and grace - to be holy, loving.

    "Priests, bishops, deacons must care for the Lord's flock with love, and if they don't do it with love, they're unnecessary," said Pope Francis. He then explained how a pastoral minister "dedicates his whole being to his community and loves it with his whole heart: It is his family...That's why we have to help bishops and priests." The way to help is by praying to help them get closer to God. 

    Read More

  • Fr. Barron’s reflections mark the halfway point of Lent. | 4/1/2014


    Fr. Barron illuminates concerns on one of the season's major aims, how to center ourselves on Christ.

    "When one’s life is centered on Christ, all the energies, aspirations, and powers of the soul fall into a beautiful and satisfying pattern." - Fr. Barron 

    Read More

  • Weekly Points from Pope Francis: “The Lord’s mercy is far greater than any prejudice…” | 4/1/2014


    Pope Francis urges listeners not to be afraid, judgmental or prejudiced.

    Pope Francis spoke in front of 40,000 people gathered in St. Peter's Square Sunday. 

    “We too have many questions that we would like to ask, but we lack the courage to turn to Jesus!” Lent is the right time to look inside ourselves, allow our deep spiritual needs to come to the surface, and to ask the Lord for help in prayer. The example of the Samaritan woman invites us to say: Jesus, give me that water that will quench me in eternity” -Pope Francis

    Read More

  • Pope Francis Invited to Address Congress | 3/18/2014


    Pope Francis is reportedly planning to visit the United States next year and possibly Congress.

    "Pope Francis has inspired millions of Americans with his pastoral manners and servant leadership," wrote Speaker  Boehner, a Roman Catholic, in the invitation letter, noting "his tireless call for the protection of the most vulnerable among us."

    Washington Catholic Archbishop Donald Wuerl said Thursday “This is, indeed, a high honor, one that recognizes the importance of the qualities the Holy Father embodies – a desire for peace, care for the poor, an ability to bring people together to address the needs of the suffering and marginalize.” Read more



  • Local Ukrainian Catholics Praying for their Homeland | 3/18/2014


    As the conflict in Ukraine continues, local Ukranian Catholics are supporting their country.

    "During the last three months, the church, especially the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, was with its people. And it will continue to remain with its people." - Ukrainian Catholic Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk

    There are approximately 50,000 Ukranian Americans in Chicago, with the center of population in the Ukranian Village neighborhood that surrounds St. Nicholas Cathedral. Prayers and Support for those in Ukraine are the focus here. Read more

  • Video: Fr. Barron on the Practices of Lent | 3/18/2014


    Father Barron comments on the three practices of Lent:

    Prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. He offers practical advice to enact these three pillars in your own life. In addition, he comments on the traditional practice of receiving ashes on Ash Wednesday. 

  • Fr. Barron: “Lent is a time for deep, spiritual reflection…” | 3/11/2014


    In this video, Fr. Barron invites you to journey through lent with him in his new series of daily reflections.

    To find more information or subscribe, visit

  • Pope Benedict XVI Recalls the Life of John Paul II in Rare Interview | 3/11/2014


    Benedict XVI speaks of his time collaborating with John Paul II, highlighting the deceased Pope's sanctity and commitment to the truth.“In the years of collaboration with him it became ever more clear to me that John Paul II was a saint,”

    Watch Fr. Barron’s video interview on Blessed John Paul II and Mundelein Seminary’s new Chapel named after the saint here:

    Read the full article:

  • Francis Cardinal George on Lent | 3/11/2014


    Cardinal George, March 9, 2014:

    “Lent is a time to open our lives to that embrace, to become deliberately poor and self-sacrificing in order to create space for God to transform our lives. Lent is a time for us to enter a season of renewal by taking stock of our lives, preparing for the Sacrament of Penance, and professing our faith at the Easter Vigil.”

    On Health…

    “If I may speak personally, this Lent finds me once again in poor health. My cancer, which was dormant for well over a year, is still confined to the area of the right kidney, but it is beginning to show signs of new activity. After many tests, scans, biopsies and other inconveniences, the settled judgment is that the best course of action is to enter into a regimen of chemotherapy, with drugs more aggressive than those that were used in the first round of chemo. This treatment will take place over the next two months, when my reaction to the chemo will be evaluated.

    I was able to maintain my administrative schedule well during that first round, although my public schedule was sometimes curtailed because of lowered immunity. As I prepare for this next round of chemo, I ask for your prayers, which have always sustained me, and for your understanding if I cannot always fulfill the schedule already set for the next several months. While I am not experiencing symptoms of cancer at this time, this is a difficult form of the disease, and it will most probably eventually be the cause of my death. Chemo is designed to shrink the tumor, prevent symptoms and prolong life.”

    On Retirement…

    I imagine this news will increase speculation about my retirement. The only certainty is that no one knows when that will be, except perhaps the Holy Father, and he hasn’t told me. As required by the Code of Canon Law, I submitted my resignation two years ago and was told to wait until I heard from the pope. The consultation the pope makes through the Apostolic Nuncio takes a good number of months, and it hasn’t formally started yet.

    In the meantime, Lent gives me a chance to evaluate not only my life of union with the Lord but also my life and actions here as Archbishop of Chicago. Every life is more tactics than strategy, i.e., each day is filled with activities that meet the needs of the hour and that respond to people in front of you. But behind the daily activities, leadership demands a sense of strategy: What are the overall goals of the varied activities that fill our lives?

    For more, visit:

  • Ash Wednesday is approaching: Explore the meaning of Lent’s Length | 3/4/2014


    Marcellino D’Ambrosio of Catholic News Service, provides a thoughtful explanation of the history behind this special season before Easter, also known as the “Season of the 40 Days”.

    Think back to the Old Testament: Noah and company were in the ark for 40 days. Moses was up on Sinai for 40 days while he received the Ten Commandments. The Israelites wandered around the desert for 40 years.

    “All these 40s are a necessary and not-so comfortable prelude for something new.”


    What about our 40 days? They give us time to use the tactics modeled by our captain: prayer, fasting, humble service fueled by the heavenly bread of the Eucharist and Scripture.

    If we make use of them diligently during this season, pregnant with possibilities, we can enter into greater freedom. Darkness can give way to increasing light. Something new and wonderful can be born.

    - Marcellino D’Ambrosio, Catholic News Service (February 23 - March 8, 2014)

    For more, visit the article:

  • Fr. Barron on "Extreme Demand, Extreme Mercy" | 3/4/2014


    What is the universal call to holiness? How does one become a saint?

    See Fr. Barron’s responses in this video from our friends at Word On Fire Catholic Ministries.



    For more Word On Fire, visit their website:

  • Pope Francis asks the world's Christians to pray for Ukraine | 3/4/2014


    "I ask you again to pray for Ukraine, which is in a very delicate situation..." - Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square, Midday recitation of the Angelus on March 2, 2014 

    Pope Francis addressed tens of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square, on Ukraine’s current situation and the importance of creating dialogue. 

    In Ukraine, March 2 was "Forgiveness Sunday" for Eastern Catholics and members of the Orthodox churches; Lent began March 3 for Catholics and Orthodox who follow the Byzantine tradition. 

    "While I hope that all sectors of the country will endeavor to overcome misunderstandings and build the future of the nation together...”

    "Our people and our country are currently in danger," the archbishop said. "We must stand up for our country, to be ready -- if necessary -- to sacrifice our lives in order to protect the sovereign, free, independent, and unified state," he said in the statement distributed by the Catholic magazine Credo.

    For more on this story, visit:


  • Sign-up for Fr.Barron Exclusives and more! | 2/13/2014

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  • House resolution commending Catholic schools | 2/6/2014


    In honor of Catholic Schools Week, U.S. Congressman Dan Lipinski (D- Ill.) introduced a House resolution commending Catholic schools for their work and contributions to society. His resolution commended Catholic schools for promoting a “broad, values-added education emphasizing the lifelong development of moral, intellectual, physical, and social values in young people in the United States.”

    In honor of Catholic Schools Week, U.S. Congressman Dan Lipinski (D- Ill.) introduced a House resolution commending Catholic schools for their work and contributions to society.

    “As a proud graduate of Catholic grammar school and high school, every year I look forward to highlighting the achievements of America’s Catholic schools during Catholic Schools Week,” said Rep. Lipinski in a Jan. 23 statement.

    His resolution commended Catholic schools for promoting a “broad, values-added education emphasizing the lifelong development of moral, intellectual, physical, and social values in young people in the United States.”

    The resolution also extends support to “the goals of National Catholic Schools Week” and welcomes the “key role” that Catholic schools “play in promoting and ensuring a brighter, stronger future for the Nation.”

    This year marks the 40th anniversary of Catholic Schools Week, instituted by the National Catholic Educational Association and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The theme for this year – which runs Jan. 26 to Feb. 1 – is “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.”

    Each year during Catholic Schools Week, Lipinski visits some of the Catholic schools in his district.

    -Catholic News Agency

    Click here to read more

  • Pope Francis on Universities and the importance of a clear, uncompromising Catholic identity | 2/6/2014


     “Catholic universities must give "uncompromising" and "unambiguous" witness to church teaching and defend themselves from all efforts to dilute their Catholic identity” -Pope Francis


    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Catholic universities must give "uncompromising" and "unambiguous" witness to church teaching and defend themselves from all efforts to dilute their Catholic identity, Pope Francis said.

    Catholic universities, "by their very nature, are committed to demonstrating the harmony of faith and reason and the relevance of the Christian message for a full and authentically human life," he said in an audience with members of the board of trustees of the University of Notre Dame and other officials.

    The pope met Jan. 30 with some 130 people representing the Indiana-based Catholic university, who were in Rome for the inauguration of the university's new Rome center.

    Speaking in Italian, Pope Francis praised the university, saying it "has made an outstanding contribution to the church in your country through its commitment to the religious education of the young and to serious scholarship inspired by confidence in the harmony of faith and reason in the pursuit of truth and virtue."



    - Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service

    Click here to read more

  • Fr. Barron on “Why Goodness Depends on God” | 2/6/2014


    What I would like to do is lay out, in very brief compass, the Catholic understanding of the relationship between morality and the existence of God and to show, thereby, why it is indispensably important for a society that wishes to maintain its moral integrity to maintain, at the same time, a vibrant belief in God.


    One of the commonest observations made by opponents of religion is that we don’t need God in order to have a coherent and integral morality. Atheists and agnostics are extremely sensitive to the charge that the rejection of God will conduce automatically to moral chaos. Consequently, they argue that a robust sense of ethics can be grounded in the consensus of the human community over time or in the intuitions and sensibilities of decent people, etc.

    What I would like to do is lay out, in very brief compass, the Catholic understanding of the relationship between morality and the existence of God and to show, thereby, why it is indispensably important for a society that wishes to maintain its moral integrity to maintain, at the same time, a vibrant belief in God.

    Why do we do the things that we do? What motivates us ethically? Right now, I am typing words on my keyboard. Why am I doing that? Well, I want to finish my weekly column. Why do I want to do that? I want to communicate the truth as I see it to an audience who might benefit from it. Why would I want that? Well, I’m convinced that the truth is good in itself. Do you see what we’ve uncovered by this simple exercise? By searching out the motivation for the act of typing words, we have come to a basic or fundamental good, a value that is worthwhile for its own sake. My acts of typing, writing and communicating are subordinate, finally, to the intrinsic value of the truth.

    Take another example. Just before composing that last sentence, I took a swig of water from a plastic bottle on my desk. Why did I do that? Well, I was thirsty and wanted to slake my thirst. But why did I want to do that? Hydrating my system is healthy. Why is health important? Because it sustains my life. Why is life worth pursuing? Well, because life is good in itself. Once more, this analysis of desire has revealed a basic or irreducible good. Catholic moral philosophy recognizes, besides truth and life, other basic values, including friendship, justice and beauty, and it sees them as the structuring elements of the moral life.

    When Pope Benedict XVI complained about a “dictatorship of relativism” and when Catholic philosophers worry over the triumph of the subjective in our culture, they are expressing their concerns that these irreducible values have been forgotten or occluded. In her great meditations on the sovereignty of the good, the Irish philosopher Iris Murdoch strenuously insists that the authentic good legitimately imposes itself on the human will and is not a creation of that will. At the limit, contemporary subjectivism apotheosizes the will so that it becomes the source of value, but this puffing up of our freedom is actually ruinous, for it prevents the appropriation of the objective values that will truly benefit us.

    This “basic goods” theory also grounds the keen Catholic sense that there are certain acts which are intrinsically evil, that is, wrong no matter the circumstances of the act or the motivations of the agent. Slavery, the sexual abuse of children, adultery, racism, murder, etc. are intrinsically evil precisely because they involve direct attacks on basic goods. The moment we unmoor a moral system from these objective values, no act can be designated as intrinsically evil and from that state of affairs moral chaos follows.

    So far we have determined the objectivity of the ethical enterprise, but how does God figure into the system? Couldn’t an honest secularist hold to objective moral goods but not hold to God’s existence? Let’s return to our analysis of the will in action. As we saw, the will is motivated, even in its simplest moves, by some sense, perhaps inchoate, of a moral value: truth, life, beauty, justice, etc. But having achieved some worldly good — say of writing this column, or slaking a thirst, or educating a child — the will is only incompletely satisfied. In point of fact, the achievement of some finite good tends to spur the will to want more of that good.

    Every scientist or philosopher knows that the answering of one question tends to open a hundred new ones; every social activist knows that righting one wrong awakens a desire to right a hundred more. Indeed, no achievement of truth, justice, life or beauty in this world can satisfy the will, for the will is ordered to each of those goods in its properly unconditioned form.

    As Bernard Lonergan said, “the mind wants to know everything about everything.” And as St. Augustine said, “Lord, you have made us for yourself; therefore our heart is restless until it rests in thee.” You’ve noticed that I’ve slipped God somewhat slyly into the discussion! But I haven’t done so illegitimately, for in the Catholic philosophical tradition, “God” is the name that we give to absolute or unconditioned goodness, justice, truth and life.

    Now we can see the relationship between God and the basic goods that ground the moral life: the latter are reflections of and participations in the former. As C.S. Lewis points out in “Mere Christianity,” the moral absolutes are, therefore, signposts of God. And this is precisely why the negation of God leads by a short route to the negation of moral absolutes and finally to a crass subjectivism.

    Removing God is tantamount to removing the ground for the basic goods, and once the basic goods have been eliminated, all that is left is the self-legislating and self-creating will. Thus, we should be wary indeed when atheists and agnostics blithely suggest that morality can endure apart from God. Much truer is Dostoyevsky’s observation that once God is removed, anything is permissible.



  • Super Bowl XLVII Special pays tribute to Vince Lombardi’s Catholic Faith | 2/5/2014


    Super Bowl XLVII Special pays tribute to Vince Lombardi’s Catholic Faith

     The Super Bowl pre-game special celebrates Vince Lombardi’s identity and faith beyond the realm of football.


  • Mundelein Seminary Presents: Fr. Barron on Blessed John Paul II | 2/4/2014


    Stay tuned for a series of upcoming Mundelein Seminary exclusives with Fr. Barron...

    In this series of exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews brought to you by Mundelein Seminary, Fr. Barron takes us through the new Blessed John Paul II Chapel and its stained glass windows, each dedicated to a different Saint.


  • Pope names 19 new Cardinals | 2/3/2014

    Stressing that their role would be one of service rather than honor, Pope Francis named 19 new cardinals, including six men from his home region of Latin America.

    The pope announced the nominations Jan. 12 after praying the Angelus and said he would formally induct the men into the College of Cardinals February 22nd. 

    Sixteen of them are "cardinal electors" under 80 and thus eligible to enter a conclave to elect a pope. They come from Italy, Germany, Britain, Nicaragua, Canada, Ivory Coast, Brazil, Argentina, South Korea, Chile, Burkina Faso, the Philippines and Haiti.

    Half of them are non-Europeans, indicating the importance Francis attaches to the developing world. Francis is the first Latin American pope and the first non-European pontiff in some 1,300 years.

    The pope, who made the announcement to tens of thousands of people in St. Peter's Square for his Sunday blessing, has said often since his election on March 13 that he wants a church that "is poor and for the poor."


  • Pope Francis Speaks on Unity | 2/3/2014

    "To journey together is already to be making unity"

    - Pope Francis provided the following translation of the Jan. 25 ecumenical prayer service marking the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity:

    "Has Christ been divided?" (1 Cor 1:13). The urgent appeal which Saint Paul makes at the beginning of his First Letter to the Corinthians, and which has been proclaimed at this evening’s liturgy, was chosen by a group of our fellow Christians in Canada as the theme for our meditation during this year’s Week of Prayer.

    The Apostle was grieved to learn that the Christians of Corinth had split into different factions. Some claimed: "I belong to Paul"; while others claimed: "I belong to Apollos" or "I belong to Cephas", and others yet claimed: "I belong to Christ" (cf. v. 12). Paul could not even praise those who claimed to belong to Christ, since they were using the name of the one Saviour to set themselves apart from their other brothers and sisters within the community. In other words, the particular experience of each individual, or an attachment to certain significant persons in the community, had become a yardstick for judging the faith of others.

    Amid this divisiveness, Paul appeals to the Christians of Corinth "by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" to be in agreement, so that divisions will not reign among them, but rather a perfect union of mind and purpose (cf. v. 10). The communion for which the Apostle pleads, however, cannot be the fruit of human strategies. Perfect union among brothers and sisters can only come from looking to the mind and heart of Christ (cf. Phil 2:5). This evening, as we gather here in prayer, may we realize that Christ, who cannot be divided, wants to draw us to himself, to the sentiments of his heart, to his complete and confident surrender into the hands of the Father, to his radical self-emptying for love of humanity. Christ alone can be the principle, the cause and the driving force behind our unity.

    As we find ourselves in his presence, we realize all the more that we may not regard divisions in the Church as something natural, inevitable in any form of human association. Our divisions wound Christ’s body, they impair the witness which we are called to give to him before the world. The Second Vatican Council’s Decree on Ecumenism, appealing to the text of Saint Paul which we have reflected on, significantly states: "Christ the Lord founded one Church and one Church only. However, many Christian communities present themselves to people as the true inheritance of Jesus Christ; all indeed profess to be followers of the Lord but they differ in outlook and go their different ways, as if Christ were divided". And the Council continues: "Such division openly contradicts the will of Christ, scandalizes the world, and damages the sacred cause of preaching the Gospel to every creature" (Unitatis Redintegratio, 1).We have all been damaged by these divisions. None of us wishes to become a cause of scandal. And so we are all journeying together, fraternally, on the road towards unity, bringing about unity even as we walk; that unity comes from the Holy Spirit and brings us something unique which only the Holy Spirit can do, that is, reconciling our differences. The Lord waits for us all, accompanies us all, and is with us all on this path of unity.

    Christ, dear friends, cannot be divided! This conviction must sustain and encourage us to persevere with humility and trust on the way to the restoration of full visible unity among all believers in Christ. Tonight I think of the work of two great Popes: Blessed John XXIII and Blessed John Paul II. In the course of their own lives, both came to realize the urgency of the cause of unity and, once elected Bishops of Rome, they guided the entire Catholic flock decisively on the paths of ecumenism. Pope John blazed new trails which earlier would have been almost unthinkable. Pope John Paul held up ecumenical dialogue as an ordinary and indispensable aspect of the life of each Particular Church. With them, I think too of Pope Paul VI, another great promoter of dialogue; in these very days we are commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of his historic embrace with the Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople.

    The work of these, my predecessors, enabled ecumenical dialogue to become an essential dimension of the ministry of the Bishop of Rome, so that today the Petrine ministry cannot be fully understood without this openness to dialogue with all believers in Christ. We can say also that the journey of ecumenism has allowed us to come to a deeper understanding of the ministry of the Successor of Peter, and we must be confident that it will continue to do so in the future. As we look with gratitude to the progress which the Lord has enabled us to make, and without ignoring the difficulties which ecumenical dialogue is presently experiencing, let us all pray that we may put on the mind of Christ and thus progress towards the unity which he wills. And to journey together is already to be making unity!

    In this climate of prayer for the gift of unity, I address a cordial and fraternal greeting to His Eminence Metropolitan Gennadios, the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarch, and to His Grace David Moxon, the representative in Rome of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and to all the representatives of the various Churches and Ecclesial Communities gathered here this evening. With these two brothers representing everyone, we have prayed at the Tomb of Paul and have said to one another: "Let us pray that he will help us on this path, on this path of unity and of love, as we advance towards unity". Unity will not come about as a miracle at the very end. Rather, unity comes about in journeying; the Holy Spirit does this on the journey. If we do not walk together, if we do not pray for one another, if we do not collaborate in the many ways that we can in this world for the People of God, then unity will not come about! But it will happen on this journey, in each step we take. And it is not we who are doing this, but rather the Holy Spirit, who sees our goodwill.

    Dear brothers and sisters, let us ask the Lord Jesus, who has made us living members of his body, to keep us deeply united to him, to help us overcome our conflicts, our divisions and our self-seeking; and let us remember that unity is always better than conflict! And so may he help us to be united to one another by one force, by the power of love which the Holy Spirit pours into our hearts (cf. Rom 5:5). Amen.

  • Mundelein Seminary Presents: Fr. Barron on Our Lady of Guadalupe | 1/28/2014


    Stay tuned for a series of upcoming Mundelein Seminary exclusives with Fr. Barron...

    In this series of exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews brought to you by Mundelein Seminary, Fr. Barron takes us through the meaning behind the stained glass windows, each dedicated to a different Saint, in the Seminary's new Blessed John Paul II Chapel.


  • Mundelein Seminary Presents: Fr. Barron on Saint Thomas Aquinas | 1/22/2014

    Stay tuned for a series of upcoming Mundelein Seminary exclusives with Fr. Barron...

    In this series of exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews brought to you by Mundelein Seminary, Fr. Barron takes us through the meaning behind the stained glass windows, each dedicated to a different Saint, in the Seminary's new Blessed John Paul II Chapel.


  • Pope Francis on Priesthood | Casa Santa Marta, January 11th | 1/16/2014


    “Our relationship with Jesus Christ, a relationship of anointing for the people,” Pope Francis said, “grows in us priests” more and more each day..."

    Excerpts from Pope Francis' January 11th delivery:

    “He went to the Father,” He retreated “to a deserted place to pray.” This is a kind of “touchstone for priests” he said: whether or not we seek to find Jesus. “What is the place of Jesus Christ in my priestly life? Is it a living relationship, from the disciple to the Master, from brother to brother, from the poor man to God, or is it a somewhat artificial relationship... that does not come from the heart?”

    “We are anointed by the Spirit, and when a priest is far from Jesus Christ he can lose this unction. In his life, no: essentially he has it... but he loses it. And instead of being anointed he ends up being smarmy. And how damaging to the Church are smarmy priests! Those who put their strength in artificial things, in vanity, in an attitude... in a cutesy language... But how often do we hear it said with sorrow: ‘This is a butterfly-priest,’ because they are always vain... [This kind of priest] does not have a relationship with Jesus Christ! He has lost the unction: he is smarmy.”

    “We priests have so many limits. We are sinners, all. But if we go to Jesus Christ, if we seek the Lord in prayer – prayer of intercession, prayer of adoration – we are good priests, even though we are sinners. But if we are far from Jesus Christ, we necessarily compensate for this with other, worldly attitudes. And so [we see] all these figures... priest-wheeler dealers, priest-tycoons... But the priest who adores Jesus Christ, the priest who talks with Jesus Christ, the priest who seeks Jesus Christ and who is allowed to seek Jesus Christ: this is the centre of our life. If that is not there, we lose everything. And what will we give to the people?”

    Read full article from the Vatican Radio website 

  • 3rd Year Seminarians Journey through the Holy Land | 1/27/2014

    Thirty-two third year seminarians are in the Holy Land for their ten-week pilgrimage...

    Please keep these men in your prayers as they travel and study in the Holy Land. Check in here for updates, and visit the Seminarians' Blog for more daily details.

    January 18, 2014 | Blessed Arrival:
    The 2014 Pilgrimage Group reaches the Land of Christ...

    January 22-25, 2014 | The Beauty & Reality of The Holy Land:
    The Group experiences the reality of their long-awaited arrival, travels to the sites of Masada and En Gedi, begins the “working” portion of our pilgrimage with classes.


    January 30, 2014 | The Biblical Beauty 
    The group travels to Neot Kedumin and experiences the beauty of the countryside as well as getting a glimpse into how the people in scripture lived on a daily basis.











    February 1, 2014 | King Herod "The Builder"
    The group travels to Herodium and see the greatness of a man made mountain and what remains of a palace.










    February 2, 2014 | Bethlehem University 
    The group journeys to the University of Bethlehem where a group of students guide them around campus.























    February 4, 2014 | "With the Lord One Day is a Thousand Years" 
    The group travels to Tel Arad and discover the ruins of the ancient biblical city. 











    February 5, 2014 | "Whoever receives this child in My name receives Me..."  (Mk 9:48)
    The group meets the Sisters of St. Elizabeth who run the Home of Peace Orphanage on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem and the Home of Peace Orphanage in Bethlehem.













    February 6, 2014  | "You Shall Go Ahead Of The Lord To Prepare His Ways..."
    The group visits the birthplace of St. John the Baptist. 

    February 10 - 11 | "This is my Beloved Son in Whom I am All Pleased" 
    The Seminarians receive a team from Catholic Relief Services, celebrate the memory of St. Jerome, make visits to the Church of the Visitation and the Jordan River, and more.


    February 13, 2014 | Visit to Ancient Times
    The group journeys to Galilee, and stopped at Caesarea Maritima as well as the edge of Mount Carmel.



    February 16, 2014 | On Mount Carmel
    The Seminarians visit Mount Carmel which overlooks the town of Haifa. 


    February 19, 2014 | Holy Sites by the Sea of  Galilee
    The group celebrates Sunday Mass at the Church of the Multiplication of Loaves near the Sea of Galilee. 


    February 20, 2014 | Cesarea Philippi 
    Cesarea Philippi is where Christ asked his followers "who do you say that I am?" They responded that He is the Son of God.


    February 21, 2014 | On the Mount of Beatitudes
    The group spends time at the Mount of Beatitutdes the place where Jesus delivered his groundbreaking sermon revolving around anger, love, and morality (Matthew 5-7).  


    February 23, 2014 | Behold, We Go Up To Jerusalem 
    The Seminarians visit Jerusalem and see many holy sites commemorating the Passion of our Lord including the Church of Holy Sepulcher, which contains the tomb of Jesus.



    February 28, 2014 | Via Dolorosa-Stations of the Cross
    On Fridays, the group has the opportunity to go with the Franciscans and join them in the Stations of the Cross. 


    March 2, 2014 | The Holy Sepulcher
    The group visited the Church of the Holy Sepulcher where they saw the Tomb of Jesus Christ. 



    March 4, 2014 | The Dead Sea
    The Seminarians traveled to Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered and then visit the Dead Sea.   


    March 7, 2014 | The Church of St. Lazarus in Bethany
    As lent begins, the group receive their ashes at the Church of St. Lazarus in Bethany and then visit the tomb of Lazarus.  


    March 8, 2014 | Gethsemane
    The Seminarians visit the Church of all nations which is situated amidst the garden of Gethsemane.  


    March 11, 2014 | Visit to Nabi Samuel and Abu Gosh
    The group visits the tomb of Samuel and then continued on to the village of Abu Gosh.

    The place where Jesus appeared before two of his followers on the road to Emmaus after His Resurrection. 


    March 13, 2014 | Holy Sepulcher Overnight
    This last week, 12 members of the group spent the night at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. 


    March 14, 2014 | The Temple Mount and The Dome of The Rock
    The group travels to The Temple Mount a very holy place for Christianity, Judaism and Islam. 


    March 16, 2014 | Hebrew Speaking Catholic Community
    The group hear a talb by a  priest of the Hebrew speaking community who has also worked at the forefront of Jewish Christian relations.


    March 18, 2014 | The Mount of Olives and Religious Orders
    The seminarians visited the Mount of Olives where they saw three churches:  Bethpage, Pater Noster, and Dominus Flevit.


    March 19, 2014 | Visit to Jaffa
    The group visit the ancient port city of Joppa (now called Jaffa) where they visited Saint Peter's Catholic Church.



    March 20, 2014 | Just a Few More Days
    The Seminarians visit the Home of Peace Orphanage in Jerusalem. 


    March 22, 2014 | Blessed Return Home
    The group arrives home after their journey in the Holy Land.


    Follow the Seminarians' Journey on their blog:


  • Mundelein Seminary Presents: Fr. Barron on Blessed Frassati | 1/14/2014

    Stay tuned for a series of upcoming Mundelein Seminary exclusives with Fr. Barron...

    In this series of exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews brought to you by Mundelein Seminary, Fr. Barron takes us through the meaning behind the stained glass windows, each dedicated to a different Saint, in the Seminary's new Blessed John Paul II Chapel.


    Learn more about the Blessed John Paul II Chapel renovations here.

  • Fr. Barron Exclusive: The Blessed John Paul II Chapel | 1/3/2014

    Stay tuned for a series of upcoming Mundelein Seminary exclusives with Fr. Barron...

    The new Blessed John Paul II Chapel at Mundelein Seminary is making great progress. Here, we go behind-the-scenes with Fr. Barron, who explains the meaningful changes taking place.

    Check out the Photo Gallery of the Blessed John Paul II Chapel Here

  • Pope Francis delivers message of hope for the New Year | 1/2/2014

    "I, too, believe that it will be good for us to stop ourselves in this path of violence and search for peace"
    - Pope Francis, 1.1.14

    On January 1st, a day the Catholic church dedicates to the promotion of world peace, a peace march by thousands of people concluded in St. Peter's Square and a powerful speach from Pope Francis.

    The Pope urged people to work towards creating a world where everyone accepts each other's differences, calling out violence and injustices around the world

    "We are also called to see the violence and injustices present in so many parts of the world, and which cannot leave us indifferent and immobile," Francis said. "There is the need for the commitment of all to build a society that is truly more just and united."

    - The Associated Press, WBIR

    Click Here to Read More

  • "New Vocational Event Called a Success" | 12/27/2013

    "I think ‘Who Will Fill These Shoes’ was the most successful vocation event we have ever had in the archdiocese." - Fr. Robert Barron 

    Reflections from Fr. Barron & Excerpts from Fr. Francis Bitterman's Review of the Event

    In his recent write-up in Catholic New World,Fr. Francis Bitterman recapped the 'Who Will Fill These Shoes' event, where over 140 men, accompanied by nearly 80 priests and three auxiliary bishops of the archdiocese, visited Mundelein Seminary's campus to explore a vocation to the priesthood.  

    “There was tremendous energy and enthusiasm throughout the day and we hope to have a similar event next year..." - Fr. Barron

    During his presentation on spiritual fatherhood, Barron stressed to the men in attendance that, “A father is someone who gives life, and that’s exactly what a priest does. A priest gives life in the spiritual order. And this is intimately tied to the sacraments. In baptism, he gives spiritual life; in the sacrament of reconciliation, he is the agent by which life is restored; in the Eucharist, he nourishes it; in confirmation, he strengthens it; in holy orders and marriage, he focuses it vocationally; in the sacrament of the sick, he heals it and orders it to its transcendent fulfillment. Radiating out from the sacraments is the totality of a priest’s life. All of his other fathering is a consequence of his sacramental life-giving.” - Fr. Francis Bitterman

    After Barron’s presentation, seminarians shared their vocation stories and how they discerned their vocation. During the Mass celebrated by Cardinal George, the cardinal shared his own vocational journey. He said his father was initially hesitant in encouraging his vocation but finally told him, “If you’re going to be a priest, be a good one!” - Fr. Francis Bitterman

    “The men were not only able to see the beauty of our campus but they were also able to meet likeminded people who will encourage them in their journey.” - Fr. Barron

    Fr. Francis Bitterman noted; "I will be contacting the men who attended the event to invite them to join one of the Vocation Office’s discernment programs. Men in high school are encouraged to participate in the Quigley Scholars Program. And men who are about to graduate high school or who already attend college are encouraged to consider applying to St. Joseph College Seminary at Loyola University." Father Mike Scherschel, assistant vocation director and recruiter for St. Joseph’s, said that one of the men who attended “Who Will Fill These Shoes?” has already contacted his office about transferring into St. Joseph’s Seminary for next year.

    "I was especially impressed by the number of priests who came and showed such enthusiasm for the priesthood and its future.” - Fr. Barron

  • The Blessed John Paul II Chapel Renovations | 12/27/2013

    The Chapel for the Mundelein Seminary at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake is making great progress.

    Check out the gallery of images from Mccrery Archritects to see the original chapel, a drawing of what was proposed, and the progress as it all comes together. 

    The Chapel Pre-Renovation: 

    The Proposed Design:

    Construction Underway:


    Construction Underway:

    New Chapel Design Taking Form:

    New Design Awaits New Stained Glass Windows: 

  • A Visual Recap: "Who Will Fill These Shoes?" Event | 12/20/2013

    A Few of the Moments Captured from the November 29th "Who Will Fill These Shoes?" Event at Mundelein Seminary...

    Fr. Barron and Cardinal George hosted this exciting vocational event at Mundelein Seminary on Friday, November 29th, to help young men learn more about the priesthood and how to go about discerning God's call.


    Watch the video interview with Fr. Barron on the event here.



  • Fr. Barron Reflects on his Vocational Experience | 12/20/2013

    Priests are called “father” because they are life-givers in the spiritual order. Spiritual fathers protect their children; they teach them; they are there for them. At the limit, they give their lives for them. 

    Thinking About Priesthood? Learn more about the Calling Here


    If you have been thinking and praying about the priesthood and a life of service in the Lord, please contact Reverend Francis Bitterman Vocation Director for the Archdiocese of Chicago.  He can direct you toward the next steps on your journey.

  • Cardinal George's Jubilee Celebration | 12/19/2013

    Watch Cardinal George's 50 years of priesthood jubilee celebration video:

  • Fall Semester Drawing to a Close | 12/17/2013

    December 17, 2013 marks the end of Mundelein Seminary's first term on the "semester" system.

  • Feast of the Immaculate Conception | 12/9/2013

    Celebrating belief in the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is celebrated December 8th.

    This celebration is special for anyone who spends it on campus at The University of Saint Mary of the Lake, whose chapel and statue represent the The Column of the Immaculate Conception, or la Colonna dell'Immacolata.

    The Chapel at University of Saint Mary of the Lake was completed in 1925, and is set upon a knoll overlooking the lake. It was made in honor of Mary under the title of the Immaculate Conception. Above the entrance is the inscription Deo et Beatae Virgini Sacrum, indicating that the building is dedicated to God and the Blessed Virgin. The titles of Mary from the Litany of Loretto are inscribed in Latin along the ceiling inside the Chapel. (Main chapel is the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, and she is the Patron Saint of our institution).



  • Modern Platform Offers Youth an Alternative to Traditional Schools | 11/27/2013


    The Archdiocese's Virtual Academy: Online classes for middle and high school students

    Sister Mary Paul McCaughey, superintendent of Catholic Schools comments:

    “We are aware of the evolving delivery systems and modes of digital learning and believe that the Virtual Academy will help our kids by expanding the definition of what is a great Catholic school,” McCaughey said in a statement.

    The digital teaching resource is also a tool for students who aren't able to attend a traditional school due to travel, family situations, illness, or mucial and athletic training for competitions or careers.

    Learn more about the Virtual Academy here

  • A Chance to Celebrate Parents' Role in Passing the Faith | 11/27/2013

    Teens of the Archdiocese of Chicago have been invited to participate in a contest by submitting a video on the importance of parental influence on faith...

    Teens of the Archdiocese of Chicago are invited to create an original 2-minute video about the importance of parents passing on the faith to the next generation, through a video contest with cash prizes for the first, second and third place winners.

    The contest is open to all teens of the Archdiocese of Chicago from freshmen to seniors and provides an opportunity to reach out to other teens.

    More information and the entry form can be found here

  • The Most Meaningful Gift this Season | 11/27/2013

    Help provide the best environment for young men to strengthen their knowledge and faith as they prepare to spend a lifetime in priestly ministry to serve the faithful...

    God continues to bless us with faithful young men who answer the call to join the vocation of the priesthood.

    We turn to priests during the most significant times of our lives. As celebrants at Mass, weddings, baptisms, anointing of the sick, funerals, and countless other moments of grace, our priests are there to guide us. The seminary is “a seedbed” where young men who use their courage and their intelligence live a life of service in Jesus Christ.

    When you make a gift to the University of Saint Mary of theLake/Mundelein Seminary, you’re joining thousands of supporters who help provide the best environment for young men to strengthen their knowledge and faith as they prepare to spend a lifetime in priestly ministry to serve the faithful here, around the country and the world.

    Make a Gift

  • The Feast of Christ the King closes Year of Faith | 11/26/2013

    Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I. Reflects on The Year of Faith

    Opened in October of 2012, the Catholic Church’s Year of Faith draws to a close. Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I. reflects on the Year of Faith and The Feast of Christ the King.

    Read the Article Here

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