Dear friends of Mundelein,
As a new year gets underway, we are blessed to be welcoming 200 men to campus: both those beginning their seminary journey and those returning from a wide variety of summer assignments such as language study abroad or full-time deacon ministry in parishes. Their stories and their vocations are a source of prayerful joy and hope.
And yet we know that such joy comes at a time of deep sadness and anger in our Church, much of it centered around revelations of heinous sinful and criminal actions involving some who were active in seminary life and culture. During our recent Orientation Week, I addressed the matter openly with the new students and stressed that there are multiple channels of communication open to them, both within and outside the seminary, for confidentially reporting any behavior of which they are wary. This includes a majority-lay review board which is empowered to conduct inquiry into allegations against priests.
In seminary formation, as in any family, nothing should ever be allowed to remain under a cloak of silence. This is not only a human crisis, but also a profoundly spiritual one, manifesting itself in destructive human decisions. I am hopeful that under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the combined efforts of lay leadership and those in religious life will affect the necessary reforms and acts of justice for true healing and renewed evangelization to occur. Mundelein Seminary is committed to being engaged in those efforts.
This week, our entire community enters into silent retreat. We will pray for the Church: for healing, for justice, for renewed hope. And be assured that we will be praying for you and your parish community. Please keep all of us in your prayers as well.
Yours in the Heart of Christ,
Fr. John Kartje
Rector of Mundelein Seminary
Click here to read a statement from our chancellor Cardinal Blase Cupich.
Father John Kartje welcomes new seminarians to Mundelein.
New Seminarians Complete Orientation
More than 40 new seminarians from 15 dioceses across the country arrived at Mundelein last week to get acquainted with their new home. Orientation activities included campus tours, a community BBQ, Masses, evening and night prayer, a campfire, a bus tour of Chicago, and general informational sessions regarding their studies and formation for the years ahead. To conclude their orientation, the men joined all returning seminarians for a five-day silent retreat leading up to the beginning of the fall semester next week. See the photos and video below for a look at some of the activities.
Robert Ernest, Tom Logue, and Greg Alberts (Theology I, Diocese of Joliet)