Mount Carmel Cemetery (Hillside, Illinois)

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Mount Carmel Cemetery
The Bishops' Mausoleum at Mount Carmel Cemetery.
CountryUnited States
Coordinates41°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
TypeRoman Catholic
Owned byRoman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago
Size214 acres (0.87 km2)
No. of graves226,275
WebsiteMount 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. It is located near the Eisenhower Expressway (Interstate 290) at Wolf and Roosevelt Roads. Another Catholic cemetery, Queen of Heaven, is located immediately south of Mount Carmel, across 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 remains at Mount Carmel and 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, the cemetery grounds contain over 400 family mausoleums.

Many remains at the 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 tombstones contain photographs of the inhabitants, reflecting a custom common in Italian cemeteries.

The cemetery contains 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. The Papal and U.S. flags also flank the altar. 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, the noted for his 1899 design of the Mount St. Sepulchre Franciscan Monastery in Washington, D.C., as well as the interiors of early 20th century Mediterranean churches. 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]

The most recent interment was the body of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin 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."[3]

Notable people buried at Mount Carmel[edit]

Below is a partial listing of interments in Mount Carmel Cemetery.

Notable interments[edit]

Organized crime[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Hucke, Matt; Bielski, Ursula (9 November 1999). Graveyards of Chicago. Lake Claremont Press. p. 125. ISBN 978-0964242647.
  2. ^ "Find War Dead: Search Results". CWGC. Retrieved 2014-10-31.
  3. ^ a b "Graveyards of Chicago: Mount Carmel". Retrieved 2014-10-31.
  4. ^ Floro-Khalaf, Jenny; Savaglio, Cynthia (5 June 2006). Mount Carmel And Queen of Heaven Cemeteries. Chicago: Arcadia Publishing. p. 27. ISBN 978-0738540177.
  5. ^ Wilson, Scott (2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed. McFarland. p. 234. ISBN 978-1-4766-2599-7.