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Teaching Parish Program

The Tolton Teaching Parish Program is at the heart of seminarian formation at Mundelein. This innovative program immerses our seminarians in parish life throughout their time in seminary. Every seminarian (and second-year Pre-Theology students) are assigned to one of more than 80 teaching parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago and nearby dioceses. Spending their entire seminary tenure at the same parish, they are able to form true bonds with parishioners and fully invest themselves in the life of the parish. Our seminarians spend time each week at their teaching parishes—learning practical and pastoral skills from experienced mentor pastors, participating in Masses and parish events, getting to know parishioners personally, and gaining a better understanding of what it takes to shepherd a community of faith.

While the Teaching Parish Program is an essential educational experience, it is also an opportunity for our seminarians to enrich local parishes through their presence and spiritual gifts. Seminarians are frequently called upon to teach CCD and RCIA classes, lead parish Bible studies and small faith-sharing groups, and attend youth and young adult group meetings and events. By interacting with the lay community in these ways, they learn to pass on their faith—inspiring vocations in young Catholics and renewing hope in the future of the Church.

The seminarians also grow in their sense of priestly identity. This helps to ground them in selfless dedication to the local Church which they will serve one day as diocesan parish priests.

The process of priestly formation proceeds along a series of sequential stages that are designed to configure the seminarian’s life to that of Christ. This means that his identity must increasingly resemble the qualities that Jesus himself manifested to his disciples.

He must take on the heart of a shepherd, ready to compassionately lead God’s people without a domineering attitude.

He must develop a servant’s heart, willing to put the needs of others before his own and be able to offer competent assistance in a wide variety of situations and to people of disparate backgrounds.

And he must come to see himself as the spouse of Christ’s Church, able to sacrifice his own needs and desires out of love for her people.

Throughout this process, he is accompanied in multiple ways by people who are entrusted by the Church to help him grow intellectually, spiritually, pastorally, and in his ability to know himself better and to interact more effectively with others. The Teaching Parish Program is an essential element in this formation process.

Support the Teaching Parish Program

Current Teaching Parishes

Ascension Oak Park
Good Shepherd Chicago
Holy Name Cathedral Chicago
Immaculate Conception Chicago
Incarnation Palos Heights
Mary Queen of Heaven Cicero
Mary, Seat of Wisdom Park Ridge
Most Blessed Trinity Waukegan
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Chicago
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Glenview
Our Lady of Ransom Niles
Our Lady of the Woods Orland Park
Our Lady of Victory Chicago
Prince of Peace Lake Villa
Sacred Heart Melrose Park
Santa Maria del Popolo Mundelein
Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe Des Plaines
Ss. Faith, Hope and Charity Winnetka
St. Agnes of Bohemia Chicago
St. Alphonsus Chicago
St. Anastasia Waukegan
St. Andrew Chicago
St. Ansgar Hanover Park
St. Bartholomew Chicago
St. Catherine Laboure Glenview
St. Damian Oak Forest
St. Dismas Waukegan
St. Edna Arlington Heights
St. Edward Chicago
St. Emily Mt. Prospect
St. Ferdinand Chicago
St. Gall Chicago
St. Gilbert Grayslake
St. Giles Oak Park
St. Henry Chicago
St. Hubert Hoffman Estates
St. James Highwood
St. James Arlington Heights
St. John Bosco Chicago
St. John Brebeuf Niles
St. John Cantius Chicago
St. John Fisher Chicago
St. John of the Cross Western Springs
St. John the Evangelist Streamwood
St. Josaphat Chicago
St. Joseph Libertyville
St. Julian Eymard Elk Grove Village
St. Juliana Chicago
St. Julie Billiart Tinley Park
St. Leonard Berwyn
St. Mary Buffalo Grove
St. Mary of the Annunciation Mundelein
St. Mary of Vernon Indian Creek
St. Michael Orland Park
St. Norbert Northbrook
St. Pascal Chicago
St. Paul the Apostle Gurnee
St. Peter Volo
St. Peter Damian Bartlett
St. Raphael the Archangel Old Mill Creek
St. Tarcissus Chicago
St. Theresa Palatine
St. Thomas of Villanova Palatine
Transfiguration Wauconda
St. Mary Griffith
St. Michael the Archangel Schererville
Holy Family Shorewood
Holy Ghost Wood Dale
Immaculate Conception Elmhurst
Our Lady of Mercy Aurora
St. Dominic Bolingbrook
St. John the Baptist Winfield
St. Jude Joliet
St. Mary Mokena
St. Mary Immaculate Plainfield
St. Michael Wheaton
St. Walter Roselle
St. Bridget Loves Park
St. Patrick St. Charles