Share a story of a parish priest who has had an impact on your faith.
Each one of the priests has had an impact on my faith. Very Rev. Greg Sakowicz shows his deep sense of kindness to all he meets. He wants the parishioners to feel a sense of belonging to the parish. All of the priests have made a difference in my life, especially Father Louis Cameli, who was in spiritual development at the Seminary and is in charge of Youth Faith Formation in the Archdiocese. He has been my spiritual director for six years and has helped me to understand God’s love for me and for all the people of God. His praying of the Mass is inspirational in many ways: he ties the Scriptures together in a loving manner. Father Ramil Fajardo who is now the rector of the Shrine and always gives us a homily that incorporates Mother Mary. Very Rev. John Kartje has assisted me in getting over some significant bumps in the road. I hope we will continue to spread the good news of how priests help us in our faith. We are blessed with a newly ordained priest Father Andy Matijevik who is making a difference already and Father Smolka who works tirelessly on schedules for both the English-speaking as well as the Polish population around Chicago.
What memories would you like to share about Mundelein Seminary?
From the beginning of my relationship with Mundelein Seminary there has been a deep sense of goodness and love that was given to me. Father Mike O’Connell at St. Michael’s brought us to a retreat at the Seminary and put us all on a mailing list. I went to the Seminary for retreats now and then, and my faith deepened. I went to the Christmas celebration when my sons were still living at home and it became a marker of ours. Throughout my life the Church has been important to me as a vessel in a storm. The priests at St. Michael and Holy Name Cathedral spoke of their experiences at the Seminary with love. I prayed hard during rough times when my sons were growing up that we would hold tight to the vessel. I came to the retreats given by Very Rev. John Kartje, one on poverty and another on relationships. Both retreats made a significant difference in my relationship with God. I also attended a course on Liturgy from Father Kartje.
I attended liturgical celebrations whenever I could as there is such a grace-filled presence at the Seminary. It seems that the grace of God and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit rises from the ground. The Seminarians that came/come to our parish at Holy Name Cathedral offer us the presence of God through prayer and good works. This year we had seminarian Martin Nyberg work in the RCIA program and the participants in RCIA were moved by his faith, energy, thoughtfulness, kindness and knowledge of the Church. His musical abilities add to the beauty of the Seminary. The seminarians pray the Mass with such fervor and faith that the people of Mass imitate their behavior.
Every time I am at a celebration of giving at the seminary, the seminarians are there, plus all the people from the development committee who go out of their way to assure everyone of a sense of belonging.
What are your hopes for the future of Mundelein Seminary?
The Holy Spirit has the answer to the future of Mundelein Seminary. With the work of the Seminary and the Institutes we have developed people engaged in ministry. We need to continue to develop our imagination and creativity in regard to what the Seminary needs. The goodness and ability in leadership of Father Kartje and Cardinal Cupich is filled with an attitude of love and care for the faithful. We need to promote the goodness and deep faith of what happens at Mundelein Seminary in the hearts and minds of all the people of God.