Sunday, November 6, 2011

St. Joseph's Seminary Chicago

My family and I just returned from a weekend trip to Chicago. The main purpose of our trip was to visit St. Joseph's Seminary College on the campus of Loyola University where my oldest son would like to begin his seminary formation, God willing. We spent a day touring the campus with the Fr. Mike Scherschel, the Vocations Director and two college seminarians from Milwaukee, Michael Steger and David Zampino. We were all greatly impressed by what we saw and John felt that the one thing that impressed him the most was the community life that the seminarians lead. In seminary formation, the men are formed through the four pillars of faith: intellectual, human, spiritual and pastoral, all of which are ingrained in communal living at the seminary. He felt that discerning the priesthood and being formed in community would be a great benefit as opposed to discerning on your own at any other college that isn't part of a seminary. Please continue to pray for John as he continues the process of discernment.

Upon the recommendation of my friend Christi, we headed over to Navy Pier to see the Stained Glass Art Museum. My favorite was the scene of St. Margaret Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. If this were the only piece of art displayed in the museum, it would have been enough for me. I can't look at a picture of His Sacred Heart without lingering in prayer and was so delighted to find this image at the museum. It's a blessing that no matter where I go, I always find reminders of God's great love though the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I was also greatly inspired by all of the mosaics in the museum and am now eager to begin trying my hand at creating a mosaic Madonna from all my found pieces of sea glass.

We attended Sunday morning Mass at the Loyola University church, the Madonna Della Strada Chapel. The beautiful chapel overlooks majestic Lake Michigan. It was here at the chapel where we met a couple that we recognized from daily Mass at St. Matthias Parish who were there visiting their granddaughter who attends Loyola University. How funny to travel 90 miles only to meet people whom you could have met any other day of the week at your home church!
No trip to the Windy City would be complete without a visit to Wrigley Field, the home of the Chicago Cubs, and of course, if we had to spend time visiting an iconic sports destination then equal time had to be given to visiting an iconic religious destination so we paid a quick visit to St. Ignatius Parish, the former parish of Milwaukee's Archbishop Listecki. I tripped up the stairs and into the end of a Spanish Mass and was left breathless at the beauty of the church and it's many frescoes. On our next visit to Chicago we will be heading there for more than just a quick visit, we will stay for Mass. (This photo is a sketch version of Paul, John and Joe outside of Wrigley Field.)

It's hard to believe that we are looking at sending the first of our children off to college and adulthood. The word to best describe my emotions would be overwhelmed, but I am grateful to know that no matter how John's adult years pan out, God will always be first in his life. It is a blessing that I will never take for granted.

(St. Ignatius Church, Chicago)


  1. I need to make more of a point of touring the churches around this city. It seems like I am missing much when someone who visits sees things I don't see and I've lived here for 22 years now. I remember seeing some stained glass when I was in Navy Pier last, but I didn't realize until your post that there was a museum there. I went to Loyola for my MBA, although my classes were downtown, and I was very familiar with the little chapel in the business school, I had never attended a mass at the Lakeshore campus. St. Ignatius does look beautiful. I am glad God is blessing you and your family and especially that you are seeing the work of God in your son's heart, that he is responding to the call of his Savior to serve, and following through to the discernment process. God Bless!

  2. Colleen, i had no idea that you live in Chicago! The next time we pay your wonderful city a visit, we'll have to make arrangements to meet! I think that the Madonna Della Strada is fairly new, so maybe it wasn't part of the Loyola Campus when you were attending the college.

    God bless you my friend!

  3. I grew up in Chicago, and these are nice reminders of the beauty there. I enjoy visits to the downtown, although it's been 5 years since my last visit. I had a cousin and his wife who taught at Loyola, and lived in a beautiful place on Lake Shore Drive.