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Formation | A Podcast from Mundelein Seminary
27 minutes | 7 days ago
FORMATION #17: From Prosecutor to Seminarian
Seminarians at Mundelein come from diverse backgrounds. Teachers, engineers, journalists, accountants or in the case of seminarian Ben Thomsen, a felony prosecutor. Ben entered Mundelein Seminary in 2015 to study for the Archdiocese of Atlanta and was freshly out of the courtroom when he wrote a piece for The Bridge—Mundelein’s seminarian-produced magazine—about how his career as a lawyer might impact his formation as a seminarian. Now that Ben is a third-year theologian preparing for his diaconate ordination, we asked him to re-read the column he wrote 5 years ago and share some updated thoughts on how his background has influenced his time in seminary, as well as sharing his vocation story and more experiences from his formation. Listen to his original column and stay tuned for our interview afterward. Support the seminary Submit prayer intentions Thank you for subscribing to Formation! Please spread the word to your family, friends and parish community about this podcast. Please rate and review this podcast wherever you listen to your podcasts so that others can discover it more easily. Together with you in Christ, we are Mundelein. We form parish priests.
12 minutes | 8 days ago
RECTOR REFLECTION: "Fasting, and Weeping, and Mourning" | February 17, 2021
Homily for Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18 Jesus said to his disciples: “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. “When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.” If you would like to receive these reflections to your email, sign up: usml.edu/rector-reflections/ Support the Seminary Submit Prayer Intentions
20 minutes | 15 days ago
FORMATION #16: A Million-Dollar Idea - Solar Power at the Seminary
"I can't give $1 million to Mundelein Seminary, but I thought maybe I could save them $1 million." David Brochu, a longtime donor and leader in clean energy technology, turned his million-dollar idea into a reality by partnering with other generous investors to create the first solar power array on a Catholic seminary campus in the United States. Read more about the project and see photos of the array. Support the seminary Submit prayer intentions Thank you for subscribing to Formation! Please spread the word to your family, friends and parish community about this podcast. Please rate and review this podcast wherever you listen to your podcasts so that others can discover it more easily. Together with you in Christ, we are Mundelein. We form parish priests.
9 minutes | 22 days ago
RECTOR REFLECTION: Noticing Speed Bumps as Opportunities | January 31, 2021
Homily for Mark 1:21-28 Then they came to Capernaum, and on the sabbath Jesus entered the synagogue and taught. The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes. In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” Jesus rebuked him and said, “Quiet! Come out of him!” The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him. All were amazed and asked one another, “What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.” His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee. If you would like to receive these reflections to your email, sign up: usml.edu/rector-reflections/ Support the Seminary Submit Prayer Intentions Audio courtesy of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Libertyville, Ill.
22 minutes | a month ago
YEAR OF SAINT JOSEPH: A Beloved Father | Bishop Joseph N. Perry
Each month Mundelein seminarians are commemorating the Year of Saint Joseph by gathering for vespers and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament followed by a spiritual reflection on Saint Joseph. A series of guest speakers will offer reflections on aspects of Saint Joseph’s life and spiritual character, based on Pope Francis’ Patris Corde and the Litany of St. Joseph. Bishop Joseph N. Perry, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago and Episcopal Vicar of Vicariate VI, presided over the January event and offered a beautiful reflection on Saint Joseph as a beloved father. Sign up to receive future #YearofSaintJoseph reflections via email: http://usml.edu/year-of-saint-joseph Thanks for listening and subscribing to the Formation podcast! Please rate and review this podcast wherever you listen so that others can find it. Support the seminary: https://usml.edu/support/ Submit prayer intentions: https://usml.edu/prayers/
12 minutes | a month ago
RECTOR REFLECTION: Parabolas and the Spiritual Life | January 27, 2021
Homily for Mark 4:1-20 On another occasion, Jesus began to teach by the sea. A very large crowd gathered around him so that he got into a boat on the sea and sat down. And the whole crowd was beside the sea on land. And he taught them at length in parables, and in the course of his instruction he said to them, “Hear this! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep. And when the sun rose, it was scorched and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it and it produced no grain. And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit. It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” He added, “Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.” And when he was alone, those present along with the Twelve questioned him about the parables. He answered them, “The mystery of the Kingdom of God has been granted to you. But to those outside everything comes in parables, so that they may look and see but not perceive, and hear and listen but not understand, in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven.” Jesus said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables? The sower sows the word. These are the ones on the path where the word is sown. As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once and takes away the word sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground who, when they hear the word, receive it at once with joy. But they have no roots; they last only for a time. Then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Those sown among thorns are another sort. They are the people who hear the word, but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches, and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word, and it bears no fruit. But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” If you would like to receive these reflections to your email, sign up: usml.edu/rector-reflections/ Support the Seminary Submit Prayer Intentions
15 minutes | a month ago
RECTOR REFLECTION: Is this Part of God's Plan? | January 24, 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. If you would like to receive these reflections to your email, sign up: usml.edu/rector-reflections/ Support the Seminary Submit Prayer Intentions Audio courtesy of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Libertyville, Ill.
12 minutes | a month ago
RECTOR REFLECTION: What Does Conquer the World Mean? | January 9, 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.” If you would like to receive these reflections to your email, sign up: usml.edu/rector-reflections/ Support the Seminary Submit Prayer Intentions Audio courtesy of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Libertyville, Ill.
43 minutes | a month ago
RECTOR REFLECTION: Get to Know Saint Joe
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.
4 minutes | a month ago
RECTOR REFLECTION: How is God's Fidelity Enough for Me? | 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. If you would like to receive these reflections to your email, sign up: usml.edu/rector-reflections/ Support the seminary: usml.edu/giving/ Submit prayer intentions: usml.edu/prayers/
29 minutes | 2 months ago
FORMATION #15: From the Army to the Seminary
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. Support the seminary Submit prayer intentions Thank you for subscribing to Formation! Please spread the word to your family, friends and parish community about this podcast. Please rate and review this podcast wherever you listen to your podcasts so that others can discover it more easily. Together with you in Christ, we are Mundelein. We form parish priests.
14 minutes | 2 months ago
RECTOR REFLECTION: The View from the Manger | December 25, 2020
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.” If you would like to receive these reflections to your email, sign up: usml.edu/rector-reflections/ Support the seminary: usml.edu/giving/ Submit prayer intentions: usml.edu/prayers/ Audio courtesy of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Libertyville, Ill.
32 minutes | 2 months ago
RECTOR REFLECTION: The Christmas Star - Facts, Fiction and Faith
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. If you would like to receive these reflections to your email, sign up: usml.edu/rector-reflections/ Make an end-of-year gift to support your future parish priests: http://usml.edu/christmas Submit prayer intentions: usml.edu/prayers/ 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.
38 minutes | 3 months ago
2020 Sounds of the Season Christmas Concert
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)
11 minutes | 3 months ago
RECTOR REFLECTION: The Cross is Our Instruction Manual | December 6, 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.” If you would like to receive these reflections to your email, sign up: usml.edu/rector-reflections/ Support the seminary: usml.edu/giving/ Submit prayer intentions: usml.edu/prayers/ Audio courtesy of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Libertyville, Ill.
17 minutes | 3 months ago
RECTOR REFLECTION: Lessons in Faith and NASA Photography | November 19, 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." Read more about the Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity for the Third-Year Theologians. If you would like to receive these reflections to your email, sign up: usml.edu/rector-reflections/ Support the seminary: usml.edu/giving/ Submit prayer intentions: usml.edu/prayers/
10 minutes | 3 months ago
RECTOR REFLECTION: What Are We Preparing For? | November 29, 2020
First Sunday of Advent | Homily for Mark 13:33-37 Jesus said to his disciples: “Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come. It is like a man traveling abroad. He leaves home and places his servants in charge, each with his own work, and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch. Watch, therefore; you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning. May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’” If you would like to receive these reflections to your email, sign up: usml.edu/rector-reflections/ Support the seminary: usml.edu/giving/ Submit prayer intentions: usml.edu/prayers/ Audio courtesy of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Libertyville, Ill.
9 minutes | 3 months ago
RECTOR REFLECTION: The Grace-Filled Samaritan | November 11, 2020
Homily for Luke 17:11-19 As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him. They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, saying, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” And when he saw them, he said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” As they were going they were cleansed. And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. Jesus said in reply, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.” If you would like to receive these reflections to your email, sign up: usml.edu/rector-reflections/ Support the seminary: usml.edu/giving/ Submit prayer intentions: usml.edu/prayers/
11 minutes | 4 months ago
RECTOR REFLECTION: When that Moment Comes | November 4, 202
Homily for Luke 14:25-33 Great crowds were traveling with Jesus, and he turned and addressed them, “If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion? Otherwise, after laying the foundation and finding himself unable to finish the work the onlookers should laugh at him and say, ‘This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.’ Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down and decide whether with ten thousand troops he can successfully oppose another king advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops? But if not, while he is still far away, he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms. In the same way, everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.” If you would like to receive these reflections to your email, sign up: usml.edu/rector-reflections/ Support the seminary: usml.edu/giving/ Submit prayer intentions: usml.edu/prayers/
42 minutes | 4 months ago
FORMATION #14: The Cowboy Seminarians of Cheyenne
Happy National Vocation Awareness Week! In this episode, we get to know Seth Hostetler (Third Theology) and Lee Noel (Second Pre-Theology) of the Diocese of Cheyenne, Wyoming. They talk about how they initially discerned their vocations to the priesthood and what life and the Church are like in their rural home diocese compared to the Archdiocese of Chicago. They also share what they learned in seminary this week. Read more about National Vocation Awareness Week and encounter more seminarian vocation stories: https://usml.edu/national-vocation-awareness-week/ Support the seminary Submit prayer intentions Thank you for subscribing to Formation! Please spread the word to your family, friends and parish community about this podcast. Please rate and review this podcast wherever you listen to your podcasts so that others can discover it more easily. Together with you in Christ, we are Mundelein. We form parish priests.
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