Formation | A Podcast from Mundelein Seminary
RECTOR REFLECTION: Is this Part of God’s Plan? | January 24, 2021

RECTOR REFLECTION: Is this Part of God’s Plan? | January 24, 2021

January 26, 2021

Homily for Mark 1:14-20

After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” As he passed by the Sea of Galilee,
he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea; they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Then they abandoned their nets and followed him. He walked along a little farther and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They too were in a boat mending their nets. Then he called them. So they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him.

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Audio courtesy of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Libertyville, Ill.

RECTOR REFLECTION: What Does Conquer the World Mean? | January 9, 2021

RECTOR REFLECTION: What Does Conquer the World Mean? | January 9, 2021

January 19, 2021

Homily for John 3:22-30

Jesus and his disciples went into the region of Judea, where he spent some time with them baptizing. John was also baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was an abundance of water there, and people came to be baptized, for John had not yet been imprisoned. Now a dispute arose between the disciples of John and a Jew about ceremonial washings. So they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you testified, here he is baptizing and everyone is coming to him.” John answered and said, “No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said that I am not the Christ, but that I was sent before him. The one who has the bride is the bridegroom; the best man, who stands and listens for him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made complete. He must increase; I must decrease.”

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Audio courtesy of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Libertyville, Ill.

RECTOR REFLECTION: Get to Know Saint Joe

RECTOR REFLECTION: Get to Know Saint Joe

January 15, 2021

Pope Francis recently announced that 2021 is the Year of Saint Joseph, honoring the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of Saint Joseph as the patron of the universal Church. Join the USML/Mundelein Seminary community in a variety of opportunities this year to grow in personal holiness through a spiritual exploration of Saint Joseph and a 30-day consecration.

In this opening reflection, USML rector/president Father John Kartje discusses Saint Joseph through the lens of affective maturity. When presented with the unbelievable circumstance of Mary’s pregnancy, he does not allow his emotions to cloud his vision of God’s plan for his life. Father John offers wisdom on how to apply these lessons in our own lives.

We hope you will join us as we “go to Joseph” during this special year for the Church! Sign up below to receive updates and join the celebration. Click here to sign up to receive more information about our upcoming events and opportunities.

RECTOR REFLECTION: How is God’s Fidelity Enough for Me? | January 13, 2021

RECTOR REFLECTION: How is God’s Fidelity Enough for Me? | January 13, 2021

January 13, 2021

Homily for Mark 1:29-39

On leaving the synagogue Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John. Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever. They immediately told him about her. He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up. Then the fever left her and she waited on them. When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons. The whole town was gathered at the door. He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons, not permitting them to speak because they knew him. Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed. Simon and those who were with him pursued him and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.” He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.” So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons  throughout the whole of Galilee.

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FORMATION #15: From the Army to the Seminary

FORMATION #15: From the Army to the Seminary

January 8, 2021

In this episode, seminarian Timothy Berryhill from the Archdiocese of Chicago discusses his vocation story and how a career in the military prepared him for life as a seminarian. He also recounts a harrowing experience that ultimately led him to the Church and put him on a path to the seminary.

Tim also credits his experiences at an Exploring the Priesthood weekend with ultimately solidifying his decision to enter seminary. Click here to learn more about EPW and the upcoming discernment events in 2021.

 

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RECTOR REFLECTION: The View from the Manger | December 25, 2020

RECTOR REFLECTION: The View from the Manger | December 25, 2020

January 4, 2021

The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas) | Homily for Luke 2:1-14

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town. And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

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Audio courtesy of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Libertyville, Ill.

RECTOR REFLECTION: The Christmas Star - Facts, Fiction and Faith

RECTOR REFLECTION: The Christmas Star - Facts, Fiction and Faith

December 17, 2020

Listen to this reflection from Father John Kartje on the planetary conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn that will visible on Monday, December 21. Read more of his thoughts below.

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Perspective matters. The personal significance of what we observe has everything to do with how we observe it. If you happen to be outside in the early evening on Monday, December 21, you will notice a remarkably bright spot of light in the southwestern sky—brighter than any natural phenomenon you have likely seen in the sky other than the sun and moon. Depending on the atmospheric conditions and how good your eyesight is, you will either see that it comprises two bright points of light, extremely close together, or else that it appears as one fuzzy blob. Those are the data, upon which all careful observers can agree. Now let’s add some perspective.

            If you’re someone who rarely notices the night sky, but you do happen to glance up on the evening of the 21st, the bright light will suddenly grab your attention and you will likely conclude that something is not normal.

            If you’re outdoors pretty regularly, then you will have been noticing for the past several weeks that two of the brightest “stars” in the sky have been drawing closer each night, with one poised to overtake the other within a few days. While you can appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of what will transpire on December 21, its occurrence will not take you by surprise.

            Finally, if you’re an avid astronomy buff, then you know that on December 21 the planets Jupiter and Saturn will reach their point of closest approach to each other (known as a “conjunction”) as they orbit around the sun. From our vantage point on Earth, they will appear to be on a collision course when projected on the night sky, even though they will remain nearly half a billion miles apart. And while this event will be noteworthy, you will know that it is hardly unprecedented and has actually been expected.

            Jupiter and Saturn achieve conjunction roughly once every twenty years, but their alignment as viewed from Earth does not always appear in the evening sky. Sometimes it is washed out by daylight. Furthermore, the degree of observed separation between the planets varies slightly from one conjunction to another. What makes the event this week so special is that the planets can be clearly viewed in the evening sky with an extremely small degree of separation (about one-fifth of the diameter of a full moon). Between the years 0 and 3000 A.D. this happens only 7 times. The last such occurrence was March 4, 1226 A.D. But it will happen again in a mere 60 years! It’s just a matter of the basic physics of orbiting bodies. Furthermore, if you are struck by the fact that this conjunction is occurring on the very day of the winter solstice, that is also just a coincidence of the physics. Conjunctions can be observed at various times throughout the year.

            Many have tried to attribute various degrees of fateful significance to the conjunctions of the planets. It has even been suggested that a conjunction may have accounted for the Star of Bethlehem reported in Matthew’s gospel. But neither the dating nor the appearance of the conjunctions that occurred near the time of Jesus’ birth seem to work. There were conjunctions in 7 B.C. and 14 A.D., and in each of those cases the separation between Jupiter and Saturn was large enough for the naked eye to clearly distinguish two separate light sources, rather than one bright “star”. Furthermore, conjunctions do not suddenly appear unexpectedly. They result from the planets’ visible trajectories moving across the sky for several weeks, slowly converging and then moving apart. The conjunction itself does not “travel” since the planets are only aligned for a short time. This does not match the behavior of the star described by Matthew, which suddenly appeared and seemingly moved in advance of the Magi.

            Even though it might not be a herald of the Second Coming, the conjunction of 2020 points to a profound truth of the spiritual life. The heavens constantly proclaim the glory of God (Psalm 19) whether conjunctions are happening or not. God’s grace, like the planets, is always present to us, whether we choose to receive it or not. And sadly, the cries of the poor are always resounding in our ears, whether we choose to hear them and respond or not.

2020 Sounds of the Season Christmas Concert

2020 Sounds of the Season Christmas Concert

December 10, 2020

Please enjoy this audio version of the 2020 Sounds of the Season Christmas Concert, featuring the Mundelein Seminary Christmas Concert Choir. Current conditions forced us to reimagine this beloved annual tradition as a virtual event, but we hope you will be inspired by these timeless carols and accompanying reflections taken from an apostolic letter by Pope Francis. Please continue to keep Mundelein Seminary students, faculty and staff In your prayers, and have a blessed Advent.

Watch the video version of the concert: http://usml.edu/event/christmas

Download the concert program PDF: https://bit.ly/2LaXXKS

Make an end-of-year gift to support your future parish priests: http://usml.edu/christmas

 

Gabriel’s Message
Basque Carol, arranged by David Willcocks
© David Willcocks, 1975, transferred to Oxford University Press, 1978.

 

O Holy Night
Adolph Adam, arranged by Victor Harris
© Oliver Ditson Co., 1912

 

Veni, Jesu
Arrangement and original music by GIA, 2017
© OneLicense #A-704434

 

O come, All Ye Faithful
Words and Melody by J. F. Wade, arranged by David Willcocks and Richard Webster
© David Willcocks, Oxford University Press, 1961; © Richard Webster, For Brass and Timpani, 1983.

 

Silent Night
Franz Gruber, arranged by John Rutter
© John Rutter, Oxford University Press, 1981.

 

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
John Wyeth arranged by Michael Raehpour
© Raehpour Music, 2018

 

Permission to reprint, podcast, and/or stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE with license #A-704434. All rights reserved.

Reflections condensed from ADMIRABILE SIGNUM, a 2019 apostolic letter by Pope Francis.

Special thanks to our seminarian audio engineers: Matthew Cooke ‘24 (Diocese of Wichita) and Caleb Kuestersteffen ‘24 (Diocese of Wichita)

RECTOR REFLECTION: The Cross is Our Instruction Manual | December 6, 2020

RECTOR REFLECTION: The Cross is Our Instruction Manual | December 6, 2020

December 7, 2020

The Second Sunday of Advent | Homily for Mark 1:1-8

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way. A voice of one crying out in the desert: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.” John the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. People of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins. John was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He fed on locusts and wild honey. And this is what he proclaimed: “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

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Audio courtesy of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Libertyville, Ill.

RECTOR REFLECTION: Lessons in Faith and NASA Photography | November 19, 2020

RECTOR REFLECTION: Lessons in Faith and NASA Photography | November 19, 2020

December 4, 2020
Homily for John 15:9-17
 
Jesus said to his disciples: "As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love. "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another."
 
 

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