New and returning seminarians gathered for various “Welcome Weekend” activities from August 28-29 at Mundelein Seminary. Historically, our transitional deacons plan the events which give the weekend a slightly different flavor each year. Highlight events this year included a campus beautification community service day, an outdoor Eucharistic Procession, a pig roast sponsored by a local Knights of Columbus chapter, organized games and competitions, community meals and the Rector’s address leading into the new school year.
Despite some hot late-August temperatures, much was accomplished during Saturday’s community service day. Among these physically intense activities were the installation of a new volleyball court behind the residence hall, the removal of many years’ worth of old furniture from basements in buildings across campus, and the addition of a basketball hoop and patio lights.
Saturday evening was a climactic moment as Jesus was lifted high in a beautiful procession down Principal Avenue. Seminarians processed behind Jesus and concluded with evening prayer and benediction in the Lourdes Grotto. Afterward, they were able to get a closer look at the stunning historic monstrance that was first used at the ceremony for the laying of the cornerstone of Mundelein’s Chapel of the Immaculate Conception in 1924 and was also used at the 1926 Eucharistic Congress held on the seminary grounds.
After the procession, dinner and fellowship were enjoyed on the Belvedere. On Sunday, our seminarians took a day of rest and games. The new men on campus and Deacon Class of 2022 were officially introduced. Towards the end of the evening, the Knights of Columbus hosted a pig roast which concluded with the Rector’s Address from Father John Kartje.
With the orientation and welcome activities behind them, the seminarians officially started the new school year with their first classes on Monday, August 30. Please keep these men in their prayers as they discern the call of the Holy Spirit in their hearts and continue their training to serve as your future parish priests.