God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

Life In The Major Seminary

A young Seminarian

A young Seminarian

Early in September, 1938, our class of 59 entered the Major Seminary in Mundelein, IL (50 miles northwest of Chicago).  Our class was down from the 250, the entry number in 1933.  Twenty five of these men would reach Ordination!  St. Mary of the Lake Seminary offered a 6 year course, two for Philosophy and four for Theology.  The text books were written in Latin.  In class, we spoke only in Latin, an extra hurdle to deal with.

The strict rules stated that silence was to be observed in the dormitory at all times.  No visiting rooms.  Each room was self-contained, complete with bathroom facilities.  Breaking of the rules could lead to expulsion!  We rose at 5:30AM for morning prayers and daily Mass.  Four classes filled the day, along with study periods.  We had recreation time of one and a half hours – at 3:30PM.  No classes on Thursday.  At our disposal we enjoyed a large gym and swimming pool.  I liked the three 9-Hole golf courses, located on the grounds of the Seminary. At Quigley Seminary, as a student, I won the Golf Championship twice!

I found the first year of Philosophy difficult.  Homesickness, only fair success in studies, and daily issues of poor health tended to make me think that the priesthood was not for me.  All these trials made me turn to prayer.

The night study period (7:00PM – 10:00PM), tested me the most.  I setup a small image of the Sacred Heart on my desk and shared my feelings with the Lord every night!  The evil spirits in the dark corners of the room grew silent.

This image of the Sacred Heart came with me from building to building through the six years of Seminary life.  I consecrated my Priesthood to the Sacred Heart.  My Chalice had small statuatti of the Sacred Heart at its base.  My second appointment in Priesthood was for eleven years at St. Margaret Mary Parish, the messenger of the Sacred Heart to the world!

These challenges of Seminary life proved a blessing.  In all my difficulties of priestly life, I turned to the Sacred Heart for help – especially in Holy Hours in His Presence.  God IS Good!

Fr. George Mc Kenna

April 6, 2013 - Posted by | Bulletins


  1. You inspire and teach us to stay close to Our Lord every moment of our lives…our words cannot express gratitude enough for your faith-filled guidance…thanking God forever for the gift of your priesthood!
    Thank you Fr. George! A Blessed Divine Mercy Sunday!!! God’s Blessings, Love & Grace, Marianne

    Comment by mcs | April 6, 2013 | Reply

  2. What a handsome young man! and quite the golfer!! God is Good! and we are so blessed to have him to turn to in times of difficulty and so blessed to have you remind us of his presence in our lifes. Thank you,
    D. Hurle

    Comment by Anonymous | April 7, 2013 | Reply

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