Thursday, August 28, 2014

Shhh....It's a Library Post!

Photo Credit:   John Bender

I've always been a lover of libraries and was blessed to work as a "Page" at the Manitowoc Public Library during my high school years.  My favorite library, The Salzmann Library, on the campus of Saint Francis de Sales Seminary in Milwaukee, has been the subject of many blog posts here, and I've enjoyed reading other's library posts, as well, such as a post on the world-famous Kansas City Library, One of the Most Unusual Libraries in the World, by Christi Jentz and Milwaukee's Sublime (Public) Library by Cream City Catholic.  (Please do take the time to visit both of those posts and the links they provide as well-you will love them!)

Recently my children and I had the great privilege of visiting a library that completely took my breath away.  I was astonished by it's beauty and saddened that my time there was far too short.  Much to my chagrin I was equally saddened that, although I took many photos of my favorite parts of the library, they were accidentally deleted from my camera.  Thankfully, my son, John, took a few photos which he generously shared with me, and I found lots of google images as well, so I have shared some of them here, but you can find so many more with a simple google search.  It may be a while before I find another opportunity to visit the Feehan Memorial Library and McEssy Theological Resource Center at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois, which is renown as one of only 250 of the world's greatest libraries, so I will try to put the missing pictures into words and share the beauty of that magical place of learning here and now without waiting for another trip to Illinois to capture more photos.

If you are ever afforded the opportunity to visit St. Mary of the Lake Seminary at Mundelein, after enjoying the beautiful grounds, lush with lakes and gardens and statues, and perhaps after bending your knees in prayer in the bright and spacious chapel, do pay a visit  to the Feehan Memorial Library, and, like a book that you just don't want to finish and return to the library, be renewed.

Photo Credit:  John Bender

Photo Credit:  John Bender

Photo Credit:  John Bender

Silenced by the Wonder

Open the door to hush and coolness and beauty, leave the natural and architectural feats behind, and bask in the wonder of books towering three floors high.

Stack after stack of knowledge is waiting to be imparted to those seeking the treasure of wisdom and learning that is available here.  I can't help but ponder whether the knowledge found in this library will be shared in future homilies.

For in a building not too far away, bishops and priests and seminarians still in training find that this source of knowledge is theirs for the taking.  And it's not only men of the cloth who can take advantage of this wonder, but anyone who thirsts after meaning and understanding in this world today and is eager to find that which they seek in the written word, in the wealth of timeless books written across the centuries. Who would not be overjoyed by this gift to be had for free?

Climb the metal spiral to the furthest hidden away corner on the third floor to find rows of Civil War history books wrapped and tied with cloth. Best to leave them wrapped and tied, I suppose.  Why loosen the wounds of war in a world already besieged with too many battles?

Just below another spiral stair, a quiet lounge awaits, immaculately clean and inviting, with relics and statues of Our Lovely Lady to enchant the visitor and accompany the student working quietly nearby.

Oh, blessed librarian, who quietly sits in waiting for those who come to explore the written words held within the hallowed walls of this magnificent library, may you long bring the joy of knowledge to those who enter your world of silent wonder!

google images
google images/Mundelein Seminary

google images


  1. That is a "dignified" library setting for sure. I hope to get to the Kansas City KC, MO location (not KC,KS) to check theirs out. The cities are next to each other. Will report back. Christi MJ

  2. No words. Just oooohs and aaaaahhhs....... :)

  3. Quick question ... what's a library? :)

    Thanks for posting these beautiful images, and God Bless.

  4. Now THAT'S a library! Wow!

    Loved "Silenced by the Wonder", Anne :)

  5. Awesome! What a blessing that you were able to visit. We have a young man from our area at that seminary. Please add Tom to your prayer list:)

    1. Tiffany, I will gladly add Tom to my prayers! Thanks for letting me know!