George William Mundelein
|Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago|
|Installed||February 9, 1916|
|Term ended||October 2, 1939|
|Predecessor||James Edward Quigley|
|Other posts||Bishop of Brooklyn (1909-15)|
|Ordination||June 8, 1895|
|Consecration||September 21, 1909|
|Created Cardinal||March 24, 1924|
July 2, 1872|
New York, New York
|Died||October 2, 1939
|Coat of arms|
George William Mundelein (July 2, 1872 – October 2, 1939) was an American Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Chicago from 1915 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1924.
Early life and ministry
|Reference style||His Eminence|
|Spoken style||Your Eminence|
George Mundelein was born on the Lower East Side of 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 and Archbishop of New York). He graduated from Manhattan in 1889 with high honors. Mundelein also studied at St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and the Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome, where he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Charles Edward McDonnell on June 8, 1895.
On June 30, 1909, Mundelein was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Brooklyn and Titular Bishop of Loryma by Pope Pius X. He received his episcopal consecration on the following September 21 from Bishop McDonnell, with Bishops Charles H. Colton and John O'Connor serving as co-consecrators, at St. James Cathedral-Basilica.
Archbishop of Chicago
Mundelein was later named the third Archbishop of Chicago, Illinois, on December 9, 1915. He was formally installed as Archbishop on February 9, 1916, and was appointed an Assistant at the Pontifical Throne on May 8, 1920.
The archdiocese greatly expanded its charity functions during the Great Depression, rivalling that of Chicago's Associated Jewish Charities. A city-wide network of St. Vincent de Paul Societies was established.
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. In 1933, he was appointed judge for the apostolic process for Mother Cabrini's cause for canonization.
Mundelein served as papal legate to the eighth National Eucharistic Congress in New Orleans, Louisiana, on September 13, 1938, and was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 1939 papal conclave, which selected Pope Pius XII.
Church and politics
The trouble with [the Church] in the past has been that we were too often allied or drawn into an alliance with the wrong side. Selfish employers of labor have flattered the Church by calling it the great conservative force, and then called upon it to act as a police force while they paid but a pittance of wage to those who work for them. I hope that day has gone by. Our place is beside the workingman.
Despite the archbishop's political views, he was not insulated from attacks by the radical left. As early as 1916, a Chicago-based anarchist going by the assumed name of Jean Crones poisoned some 100 distinguished guests of industry, business, finance, and law at a banquet in 1916 given to honor the Archbishop when he laced their chicken soup with arsenic. None of the guests died, as a hastily-prepared emetic supplied by a doctor at the scene allowed the victims to vomit the poison out of their systems, though many suffered considerable agony.
Mundelein commented on the film industry in 1934, saying, "We don't like the Mae West type... The kind of film in which Will Rogers, Janet Gaynor, and Victor Moore appear is what we have in mind."
In 1935, he said "that not war, nor famine, nor pestilence have brought so much suffering and pain to the human race, as have hasty, ill-advised marriages, unions entered into without the knowledge, the preparation, the thought even an important commercial contract merits and receives. God made marriage an indissoluble contract, Christ made it a sacrament, the world today has made it a plaything of passion, an accompaniment of sex, a scrap of paper to be torn up at the whim of the participants." He was an outspoken opponent of contraception.
During his tenure in Chicago, Mundelein launched an effort to unify ethnic Catholic groups such as the Poles and Italians into territorial, instead of ethnic, parishes with mixed success. St. Monica's (Colored) parish, however, was endorsed by Mundelein as the city's sole black parish, leading to distaste for the Archbishop in both the early 1900s and today. After constructing the landmark Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary in Chicago, Mundelein built St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Area, now Mundelein, Illinois. Quigley Seminary was the site of Mundelein's 1937 "Paper hanger" speech, criticizing Adolf Hitler. He also organized the construction of other churches in the See, such as the Saint Philip Neri (Chicago) church and the Corpus Christi Church (Chicago), both designed by Chicago architect Joseph W. McCarthy. He publicly sparred with Rev. Charles Coughlin.
- Mundelein College
- Mundelein, Illinois
- List of people on the cover of Time Magazine: 1920s - 31 May 1926
- Miranda, Salvador. "MUNDELEIN, George William". The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church.
- "Two Americans". TIME Magazine. 1924-03-17.
- Walsh, James Joseph. Our American Cardinals. 1969, Ayer Publishing.
- "Catholics in Cleveland". TIME Magazine. 1935-09-30.
- "George William Cardinal Mundelein". Catholic-Hierarchy.org.
- "Chicago Tribunal". TIME Magazine. 1933-09-18.
- "Builder's Death". TIME Magazine. 1939-10-09.
- "Plot". TIME Magazine. 1938-11-21.
- "Religion and Democracy". TIME Magazine. 1939-01-16.
- "Catholics for Labor". TIME Magazine. 1941-06-02.
- Avrich, Paul, Sacco and Vanzetti: The Anarchist Background, Princeton University Press (1991), p. 214
- The doctor was J.B. Murphy, who although mildly stricken himself, was able to help the other victims.
- Avrich, Paul, Sacco and Vanzetti: The Anarchist Background, Princeton University Press (1991), p. 98
- Bruns, Roger A., The Damndest Radical: The Life and World of Ben Reitman, University of Illinois Press (1987), ISBN 0-252-06989-7, p. 154
- "Mundelein Message". TIME Magazine. 1934-10-01.
- "Marriage". TIME Magazine. 1935-10-01.
- "Birth Control". TIME Magazine. 1923-12-17.
- Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary
- University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary - Contact us
- Joseph William McCarthy at Emporis
- "Not Authorized". TIME Magazine. 1938-12-19.
|Catholic Church titles|
James Edward Quigley
Archbishop of Chicago