Archdiocese of Chicago Ordinations Postponed | 2020 Convocation Ceremony Canceled

Posted on March 27, 2020

The University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary announced today the postponement of the priesthood and diaconate ordination for candidates from the Archdiocese of Chicago. Given the current restrictions on large public gatherings in the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois, the ordinations will be indefinitely postponed until public ceremonies can once again be scheduled.

“Cardinal Blase Cupich and I are deeply saddened that these liturgical celebrations have to be postponed. They represent the culmination of years of spiritual, academic, and pastoral formation,” said Father John Kartje, rector/president of USML/Mundelein Seminary. “However, it is important that we abide by the current directives for large gatherings. We want these liturgies to be accessible to all, and they will serve as a joyful beginning for the entire Archdiocese to celebrate when we come out of this situation.”

The diaconate ordination was originally scheduled for Saturday, May 9 and the priesthood ordination was scheduled for Saturday, May 16, both at Holy Name Cathedral.

When the events are rescheduled, seven seminarians will be ordained to the priesthood and eventually assigned to parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Fourteen seminarians will be ordained to the transitional diaconate on their way to being ordained as parish priests in 2021. This includes 11 seminarians from the Archdiocese of Chicago, 2 from the Diocese of Kiyinda-Mityana, Uganda and 1 from the Vincentian community. Thirty men will be ordained to the permanent diaconate.

USML also announced the cancellation of the convocation ceremony that was scheduled for Saturday, May 2 on the university campus. In addition to preparing more than 170 seminarians from over 30 dioceses to become parish priests, USML also trains hundreds of lay, religious and clergy through the Institute of Diaconal Studies, Institute for Pastoral Leadership, Instituto de Liderazgo Pastoral and the Liturgical Institute.

All students and seminarians are currently completing the semester through distance learning, and many seminarians are living at parishes throughout the Archdiocese, helping priests to minister to their parishioners in unique and creative ways since the suspension of in-person Masses and other in-person gatherings.

Plans to recognize the Class of 2020 are still being developed. This year the university will award 211 degrees and certificates to the graduates of it six schools and institutes.

Mundelein Seminary                                        53 graduates

Pre-Theology Certificate                                        7

Master of Arts (Philosophy and Religion)              9

Master of Divinity                                                  37

Pontifical Faculty of Theology                         23 graduates

Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology                      17

Licentiate in Sacred Theology                               6

Liturgical Institute                                           5 graduates

Licentiate in Sacred Theology                               4

Doctorate in Sacred Theology                               1

Institute for Pastoral Leadership                      27 graduates   

Lay Leadership Certificate                                   12

Catechetical Leadership Certificate                       8

Lay Ecclesial Ministry Graduate Certificate            3

Doctor of Ministry                                                    4

Institute for Diaconal Studies                          22 graduates

Certificate in Diaconal Studies                               22

Instituto de Liderazgo Pastoral                        81 graduates

Lay Leadership Certificate                                     63

Catechetical Leadership Certificate                         5

Certificate in Diaconal Studies                               13

About Mundelein Seminary and the University of Saint Mary of the Lake
Mundelein Seminary, located on the campus of the University of St. Mary of the Lake (USML), is the major seminary and graduate school of theology for the formation of priests in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Led by Cardinal Blase J. Cupich as chancellor and Father John Kartje as rector, Mundelein Seminary educates nearly 200 seminarians from 34 dioceses across the country and around the world. USML is the oldest university in Chicagoland and is composed of six schools and institutes, all devoted to ministry formation. USML serves approximately 1,000 students through its degree and certificate programs. Its Conference Center serves 35,000 clients a year.

About the Archdiocese of Chicago
The Archdiocese of Chicago, the third-largest in the United States, serves more than 2.2 million Catholics in 316 parishes in Cook and Lake Counties, a geographic area of 1,411 square miles. The archdiocese, pastored by Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, has more than 15,000 employees in its systems and ministries, including Catholic Charities, the region’s largest nonprofit social service agency. The archdiocese also has one of the country’s largest seminaries. The archdiocese’s 205 elementary and secondary schools comprise one of the largest U.S. private school systems. It has garnered more U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Awards than any system of any type.



Matt Paolelli
University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary

Susan Thomas
Archdiocese of Chicago