USML | News

Mundelein Seminary

Mundelein Seminary | News

  • 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. 



  • October 19th | George Weigel Lecture & St. John Paul II Chapel Tours | 10/16/2014


    Mundelein Seminary invites you to a special lecture by George Weigel entitled, "Saint John Paul II and the New Evangelization". Before and after the lecture there will be tours of our new Saint John Paul II Chapel. The tours will be guided by Fr. Robert Barron and Dr. Denis McNamara. 

    George Weigel's Lecuture: Sunday, October 19th at 1:30pm in the Mundelein Auditorium

    Saint John Paul II Tours: 12:00 pm and following lecture from Mundelein Auditorium

    Please register! 

  • October 26th| Cardinal Mundelein Theater Organ Concert | 9/29/2014


    Sunday October 26th, Cardinal Mundelein Theatre Organ Redication concert with Lew Williams

    3 PM, Mundelein Auditorium

    The mighty Wurlitzer Organ has been fully restored and Mr. Williams, a world renown theatre organist,  has given concerts all over the world, will be the featured organist. This show requires a ticket to attend even thought it is free. To obtain a ticket use this link


  • 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. 



  • October 5th: Rector's Mass and Reception | 9/16/2014


    The Rector’s Mass and Donor Reception with Fr. Robert Barron. This is one of two public opportunities to hear Fr. Robert Barron, Rector/President of The University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary and Founder of Word On Fire Catholic Ministries as Celebrant and Homilist. This Sunday morning event is free and open to the public by reserving your space here online. The event begins at 9:00am and should conclude around 12:00 noon and includes Mass and a light brunch reception afterwards. Space is limited.

    Register here:

  • 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. 


  • 9.9.14 Luncheon Lecture by Fr. Robert Barron | 9/3/2014


    Make sure you get your ticket to Fr. Robert Barron's 11:30 a.m. luncheon lecture on September 9th, 2014 at the University Club of Chicago. Fr. Barron's lecture is entitled, "The Meeting of Heaven and Earth: A Theology of the Temple." Please reserve here:

  • 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

  • Very Rev. Thomas A. Baima on Holy Orders | 5/14/2014



    With the season of ordination upon us, the Very Rev. Thomas A. Baima, Vice Rector for Academic Affairs, recently wrote a good article on Holy Orders. 

    Read more here

  • Pope Francis: what makes a good priest | 5/13/2014

    On the 51st World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Pope Francis told seminarians what makes a good priest. He told them to turn to the Blessed Mother, making her their own mother. He warned them against becoming "orphan priests" who easily become "business priests" and "prince priests". Also, he said that "humility must be the weapon of the priest." 

    Read more

  • 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

  • Fr. Barron’s 7 Keys to Evangelization | 3/25/2014


    This past weekend, Father Barron delivered the keynote talk at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress.

    He laid out seven keys to the New Evangelization, which include things like "lead with beauty" and "don't dumb down the message." View the full video of his talk along with a summary by Catholic evangelist Marcel LeJeune.

    Watch the video here, courtesy of our friends at Word on Fire.

  • 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

  • Christmas Spirit: Pope Francis visits Hospital in Rome | 12/27/2013

    Pope Francis spends time the children, doctors and parents at Rome’s Bambino Gesu children’s hospital.

    For over two-and-a-half on December 21, 2013, Pope Francis visited sick children, their parents and doctors at Rome's Bambino Gesu children's hospital.

    The visit included over 3,000 children, parents and hospital staff, who shared ptheir prayers with and received hugs and blessings from Pope Francis. Pope Francis visited dozens of rooms throughout the hospital offering sick children his blessings. The day concluded with a basket full of notes from the children containing descriptions of their prayers.

    Cindy Wooden, of Catholic News Service, features a memorable moment as well as a quote from Pope Francis on this special day:

    "Thank you," the pope told the children. "We will present them together to Jesus. He knows them better than anyone; he knows what is in the depths of your hearts. Especially with you children, Jesus has a special bond," the pope said. "He is very close to you."

    Just outside the chapel, he blessed and held hands tightly with members of the "Children in Heaven" parents' support group.

  • Cardinal George's Christmas Letter 2013 | 12/27/2013

    Read Cardinal George's Christmas letter as featured in The Archdiocese of Chicago's Catholic New World.

    Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Celebrating the 50th anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood this December fills my heart with gratitude to God and with countless memories of people I have met and places I have served throughout my priestly ministry...

    I was ordained by Bishop Raymond Hillinger just before Christmas at St. Pascal Church, the parish in which I grew up on Chicago’s northwest side. When I became the Archbishop of Portland, Oregon, Brother Claude Lane, OSB of the Benedictine Monastery Mount Angel Abbey, created an icon for me that brought together two titles of Our Lady that he knew were significant to me: Our Lady of the Snows, patroness of the northern missions served by Oblates, and Our Lady of Guadalupe, because in Yakima the vast majority of Catholics are of Mexican descent.

    In this beautiful icon, the serene nativity scene is framed by storm and snow, and Brother Claude depicts Our Lady of Guadalupe gazing at the Christ Child on her lap. A black sash that indicated in Aztec culture that she was pregnant is now tied around her swaddled baby who has the face of his mother and yet something more. It’s always more: the sash signifies it is this baby that gives birth now to a new world. It’s a world where snow falls on the Esquiline Hill in Rome in August and where roses bloom on Tepeyac Hill in Mexico City in December. It’s a new world that looks like Jesus, son of God and son of Mary. It is a world in which God took on our human nature so that we could see the glory of God in an infant and so that our lives would be brightened by the truth about God and about ourselves.

    Christ took our nature to his divine Person so everything we are and do is elevated; everything is graced except sin itself. If we give ourselves up to what Christ is doing to and for us, we begin to see with the eyes of Christ, to know others and ourselves at a different level, and to do entirely commonplace acts for God and with God. At our best, all of us want a world marked by truth and justice, by peace and love, for those desires are born of our redeemed nature itself. May the newborn Jesus fill your heart with joy! You are in my prayers; please keep me in yours. Merry Christmas!

  • 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).



  • Thinking About Priesthood? | 12/3/2013

    Let our resources help guide you through the signs, questions and next steps. 

    A Message from Fr. Barron Here

  • 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

  • Reflections: Fr. Barron comments on C.S. Lewis | 11/20/2013

    Watch the Video 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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