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Mundelein, Cardinal
Arms: Quarterly 1 Azure the monogram AM Or, 2 Gules a mullet Or, 3 Gules three bees close Or, 4 Azure the word HUMILITAS ensigned with a coronet Or

SOURCE/NOTES & CREDITS: Wikipedia article image for background, text adapted from Wikipedia article and from the book “A Transportation Miracle”, XXVIII International Eucharistic Congress, Chicago, June 20-24, 1926, Editor Norman Carlson, Shore Line Interurban Historical Society Dispatch Seven, 2016.

George Cardinal Mundelein, Archbishop of Chicago was born on 2 July 1872 in Manhattan to Francis and Mary (née Goetz) Mundelein. One of three children, he had two sisters, Margaret and Anna. His father was of German descent, and his mother was Irish. His grandfather fought in the Civil War.

He attended La Salle Academy and Manhattan College, where he befriended Patrick Joseph Hayes, a future cardinal himself and Archbishop of New York. He graduated from Manhattan in 1889 with high honors. Mundelein also studied at the Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome, where he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Charles Edward McDonnell on June 8, 1895.

Returning to the United States, he then did pastoral work in the Diocese of Brooklyn and served as secretary to Bishop McDonnell until 1897. From 1897 to 1909, he was chancellor for the diocese.

On June 30, 1909, Mundelein was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Brooklyn and Titular Bishop of Loryma by Pope Pius X. At age 36, Mundelein was the youngest bishop in the country at that time.

Mundelein was appointed the 3rd Archbishop of Chicago, Illinois, on December 9, 1915. As Archbishop Mundelein was extremely energetic in building and expanding the archdiocese in its charitable functions and its seminary, the University of Saint Mary of the Lake.

Pope Pius XI created him Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria del Popolo in the consistory of March 24, 1924. With his elevation, Chicago became the first diocese west of the Allegheny Mountains to have a cardinal.

A couple of years later in 1926, he presided over the 28th International Eucharistic Congress, which was held in Chicago. To our thinking, this 28th International Eucharistic Congress was the high point of his career. The organizing of the congress and arranging for transport of 500,000 of the faithful to the congress was fantastic beyond belief. Remember this was 1926 when airplane travel was in its infancy !

Cardinal Bonzano the Papal Legate and the ten cardinals who came with him along with hundreds of bishops and archbishops, priests & nuns sailed across the Atlantic and traveled on a unique New York Central RR train with cardinal red painted Pullman cars and dining cars is hard to imagine now in 2022. The 28th Intl Eucharistic Congress was a huge success ! Only by reading and viewing the book mentioned above may one get an idea of how big, how largely attended and successful this Congress was.

Cardinal Mundelein was politically liberal and a good friend and advisor to President Franklin Roosevelt particularly regarding the anti-Catholic nature of Nazi Germany. Mundelein once described Hitler as “an Austrian paperhanger and a poor one at that”.

Cardinal Mundelein died in his sleep on 2 Oct 1939, age 67.

The artwork is a rendition of John Hamilton Gaylor.

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