Mount Carmel Cemetery (Hillside, Illinois)

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Mount Carmel Cemetery
The Bishops' Mausoleum at Mount Carmel Cemetery.
Year established 1901[1]
Location Hillside, Illinois
Country United States
Coordinates 41°51′51″N 87°54′27″W / 41.86417°N 87.90750°W / 41.86417; -87.90750Coordinates: 41°51′51″N 87°54′27″W / 41.86417°N 87.90750°W / 41.86417; -87.90750
Type Roman Catholic
Owned by Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago
Size 214 acres (0.87 km2)
Number of graves 226,275
Website Mount Carmel

Mount Carmel Cemetery is a Roman Catholic cemetery located in the Chicago suburb of Hillside, Illinois. Mount Carmel is an active cemetery, located within the jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. The cemetery is located near the Eisenhower Expressway (Interstate 290) at Wolf and Roosevelt Roads. Another Catholic graveyard, Queen of Heaven Cemetery, is located immediately to the south of Mount Carmel, on the south side of Roosevelt Road.

Mount Carmel Cemetery was consecrated in 1901 and is currently 214 acres (0.87 km2) in size. It maintained its own office until 1965, when it combined operations with Queen of Heaven Cemetery. There are more than 226,275 people buried at Mount Carmel; about 800 remains are interred there annually.

Mount Carmel Cemetery is also the final resting place of numerous local organized crime figures, the most notorious of these being Al Capone. In all, there are more than 400 family mausoleums located on the cemetery grounds.

The majority of burials at this cemetery are people of Italian ancestry. The cemetery contains hundreds of headstones and monuments adorned with statues and elaborate engravings of religious figures such as Jesus, The Blessed Mother and many saints as well as angels. Many of the graves contain photographs of the inhabitants, which reflects a custom brought here from Italy.

The cemetery contains British Commonwealth war graves of two World War I soldiers of the Canadian Army.[2]

Mausoleum of the Bishops and Archbishops of Chicago[edit]

The structure informally known as the Bishops' Mausoleum, designed by architect William J. Brinkmann, is located at Mount Carmel Cemetery and is the final resting places of the Bishops and Archbishops of Chicago; its formal name is the Mausoleum and Chapel of the Archbishops of Chicago, and it is the focal point of the entire cemetery, standing on high ground. The mausoleum was commissioned by Archbishop James Quigley and was constructed between 1905 and 1912.[3] The roughly rectangular-shaped mausoleum has a stepped pyramidal roof surmounted by a statue of the Archangel Gabriel sounding his trumpet at the moment of the final resurrection. The mausoleum is designed as a Romanesque building outside with a domed Romanesque Classical chapel inside, complete with altar, religious murals, clerestory windows providing light, and the crypts flanking the altar on either side. Also flanking the altar are two flagpoles, one bearing the Vatican flag, the other the U.S. flag. Brinkmann did not design the lavish interior, however, although he was more than capable, as evidenced by his interior for Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica. Instead, Archbishop Quigley engaged one of the foremost religious architects of the day, Aristide Leonori, who was famous at the time for the design of the Mount St. Sepulchre Franciscan Monastery (completed in 1899) in Washington, D.C. as well as his interiors of Mediterranean churches during the early part of the 20th century. For the mausoleum chapel interior, Leonori relied heavily on the use of marble and mosaics to give the chapel a Roman look while still referencing Celtic, Nordic and Slavic saints in the design, thus reflecting the archdiocese's many ethnic groups and national churches.[4]

Most recently, the body of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin was interred here after his death in 1996 from liver and pancreatic cancer. Cardinal Bernardin had visited the chapel a few months before his death to select the site of his own crypt; choosing a spot to one side of the late Cardinal John Cody. Bernardin was said to have remarked, "I've always been a little left of Cody."[5]

Famous People Buried At Mt. Carmel[edit]

Below is a partial listing of people buried at Mt. Carmel Cemetery.

Religious Figures[edit]

Organized Crime[edit]


External links[edit]


  1. ^ Graveyards of Chicago
  2. ^ [1] CWGC Cemetery report, details from casualty record.
  3. ^ " - Graveyards of Chicago". Retrieved 13 April 2013. 
  4. ^ Floro-Khalaf, Jenny and Savaglio, Cynthia, Mount Carmel And Queen of Heaven Cemeteries, Images of America series, Arcadia Publishing, Chicago: 2006, p. 27
  5. ^ " - Graveyards of Chicago". Retrieved 13 April 2013.