Seminarian John Washington, Diocese of Yakima

The opportunity to get to know one’s roots is one that passes many people by in the name of expedience and the rush of modern life. However, the only way that we can move ever more confidently forward into a unknowable future is to draw from the strength that the certainty of the past can offer.

While the past is full of its own mysteries, the faith of the men and women who have passed through the gates of Mundelein Seminary over the last 100 years stands as a testament to their conviction that this place is the beating heart of the Church in Chicago, and an important center of learning for the global Catholic community.

Over the last several months I have had the opportunity to get to know some of these people in their pictures, journals, recordings, and objects. It has been especially moving to read of the lives of the seminarians who have lived and prayed here before me. These are my brothers in faith who have already walked this journey that I currently find myself on, and I would be remiss if I didn’t let them teach me the lessons they have learned and glean from them their wisdom.

While I have been greatly bolstered by the spiritual lives of these men of the past, I find that I have also connected to them in a very human way as well. These seminarians, even 100 years ago, in a world seemingly so different than our own, were young men just like me, and just like the men I call my brothers here today. They laughed and joked with one another, they lived very joyful lives here among these same halls, these same fields, and in these same rooms. In that spirit they discovered the plan of God in their lives, they reached the goal that we all strive for here at Mundelein today.

They have left us a great inheritance and we stand as children of the promise that the Lord made them in faith, I pray that we all have open hearts to receive those gifts every year, but especially during our centennial celebrations.

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