Accused priests lived at Mundelein seminary near school for 13 years

Daily Herald

[with timeline]

Bob Susnjara

Priests accused of sexual misconduct against children lived on a Mundelein seminary’s grounds for more than a decade, their names unknown to the public until the recent release of previously secret Archdiocese of Chicago documents.

The priests remained at Cardinal Stritch Retreat House seven years after some Lake County authorities initially suggested they should move, in part citing the building’s proximity to Carmel Catholic High School. The documents detail measures that were in place to keep tabs on the men at University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary off R oute 176.

Just as quietly as the priests arrived at the retreat house in 2000, the last one departed in 2013, the archdiocese has confirmed. The confirmation came after the release of the documents in November by the archdiocese.

Mundelein’s former police chief, who worked with the archdiocese to address the situation when the priests’ presence became known in 2005, said authorities originally were concerned about them living across the street from Carmel. As part of the fallout, the archdiocese in 2006 banned Carmel students from using the seminary’s property for an annual walkathon.

Raymond J. Rose, the retired Mundelein top cop now working as Lake County’s undersheriff, said safeguards he and others pushed for led authorities to conclude it was safest for the community to have the priests clustered in one building.

And Rose said the church complied with demands to give Mundelein police the names, photographs and other information about the priests at the retreat house.

However, outside visitors who made day and overnight trips to the retreat home were not informed, he said.

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