University of St. Mary of the Lake – Mundelein, IL


Boat Landing Stairway

I’m a sucker for Catholic Campuses with statuary. The University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, IL fits to a “T”. It has some great historical significance in that at least one Pope visited the location in years past. What is great about the place is its nascent beauty. Everywhere you could see tracks of small animals criss-crossing the snow layers. We even spotted deer standing beside the roadway inside the property gazing quizzically at us without seeming to be intimidated,  in any way, by our presence.

University of Saint Mary of the Lake, also called Mundelein Seminary, is the principal seminary and school of theology for the formation of priests in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, governed from Chicago, Illinois in the United States. It is recognized as the first institution of higher education in the City of Chicago. Chartered by the Illinois General Assembly in 1844, it has the longest continuous academic charter in the state of Illinois. The Reverend Monsignor Dennis J. Lyle is therector and president of the seminary and university. Cardinal Francis GeorgeO.M.I., is the chancellor in his capacity asArchbishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

The largest major seminary in the United States,[1] Mundelein Seminary serves 45 dioceses in eight different countries and was the first ecclesiastical faculty in the U.S.

In addition to the seminary, the University of St. Mary of the Lake offers the Lay Formation Program, Instituto de Liderazgo Pastoral, Diaconate Formation Program, and the Liturgical Institute.

Chicago Studies is an academic journal for priests and others in parish ministry. It is edited by the university/seminary faculty along with priests of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

My first encounter with this place was nearly 25 years ago when I was still taking large format camera images (4×5-inch and 5×7-inch) with my Deardorff and later my Zone VI view cameras.

But that was a lifetime ago. I doubt seriously whether I would be able to seriously contemplating the transport of a camera and tripod that large these days, especially when my options include a Nikon 1 V1 with three lenses.

The grounds are several hundred acres in size and include a very nicely positioned lake, trails and campus buildings replete with statuary. In monochrome these statues are quite majestic and even eerie. But in color they take on a more approachable quality. On my next visit I would love to venture inside the main cathedral area to view its ceilings and niche statuary. Protestants never quite grow used to all of this beauty.

Most of the images of the boat landing area were taken by Connie.

We headed into Native Foods Cafe for luncheon where I took a few more images. All-in-all it was a great day for blue skies and powdery snow.