Abp. Listecki: Mundelein Seminary

Last weekend, I fulfilled a promise to the members of the Archbishop’s Circle, namely, a trip to Saint Mary of the Lake University, Mundelein Seminary. Last year when we planned the trip, it unfortunately had to be cancelled when I experienced an unforeseen heart event that landed me as an emergency patient at one of our excellent Catholic hospitals, Columbia St. Mary’s.

On Saturday, we boarded a bus at the Cousins Center at 8:30 a.m., traveling the Wisconsin and Illinois highways. During our trip, we prayed the rosary for our archdiocese. God provided spectacular 75 degree weather with sunshine, blue skies and billowy white clouds, which made Mundelein all the more glorious. I spent 25 years of my life on that campus, and I am well aware of the treasures that exist there.

The staff at the seminary could not have been more welcoming. We were greeted by Father Robert Barron (of the Catholicism series) who is the rector, Father Tom Franzman and Mr. Mark Teresi. We began our tour at the center of the complex, the chapel dedicated to the Immaculate Conception. It seats over 800 and is a copy of the First Congregational Church in New England. Cardinal Mundelein was the first Cardinal of the West and he left his mark on the Church by combining his love of Rome and his dedication to the United States of America.

On display in the seminary library were some of the great works usually kept locked away in vaults. We examined the complete set of signatories of the Declaration of Independence; Letters of Mary Todd Lincoln; early books when printing was just beginning; and many handwritten letters of the saints. One letter in particular was from Saint Francis De Sales, who is the patron of our seminary. Also on display were various chalices used by Popes and a vestment made from the gown of Maria Teresa of Austria, to name just a few. We celebrated Mass in the deacons’ chapel and were treated to lunch. The group then walked to the seminary mall, which overlooks the lake. Being a gorgeous day, everyone drank in nature’s beauty.
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