Happy new year from all of us at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary!
The new year is an annual opportunity to reflect on where we have been over the last year, and to think about what goals we would like to achieve in the next. As Mundelein Seminary celebrates its centennial, we have been engaging in similar self-reflection. For 100 years, Mundelein Seminary has formed priests whose hearts are burning to serve in parishes across the country and around the world. Our alumni are present at the most important moments of people’s lives. They serve as holy bridges between God and His people—helping them recognize the light of Christ shining in the darkest corners of the world to bring hope and peace.
This mission is vital to the Church and only grows more important with each passing year, as our society increasingly turns away from the sacred, failing to recognize the divine spark that gives life a greater purpose. Every priest is ordained to remind us of our mission in God’s eyes and to help us embrace His vocational call to us for sainthood.
You very likely have a personal story of a priest who has enhanced your faith or been present for you in a time of need. As we enter the new year, I invite you to personally reach out and thank that priest for his service to the Church and his impact on your own individual faith journey. I know that your gratitude will help encourage him to continue being that bridge to Christ for all the people he continues to encounter.
While the choice to discern a priestly vocation is seemingly counter-cultural, it is in fact beautifully true to the authentic identity of a disciple of Jesus Christ, as lived by his first apostles. I am heartened by the more than 100 seminarians at Mundelein who are embracing that identity and discerning the call of the Holy Spirit in their lives. By their continuing to listen to God’s voice, and with your support, they will increasingly come to know His desire for them, and will progress along their path to the altar as your future parish priests. Your prayers for them are essential.
No matter what joys or challenges you are experiencing in your life right now, I pray that the peace of Christ will surround you in the new year. Please continue to pray for us and be assured of our ongoing prayers for you.
Yours in the heart of Christ,
Father John Kartje
Rector, Mundelein Seminary
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