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Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Chicago to Open the Bishop’s Mausoleum for Public Visitation in Honor of the 25th Anniversary of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin’s Death on Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021

Located at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Hillside, the mausoleum is Cardinal Bernardin’s final resting place. Guests may visit his crypt from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Chicago (Nov. 11, 2021) – Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Chicago will observe the 25th anniversary of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin’s death by opening his resting place, the Bishop’s Mausoleum, at Mount Carmel Cemetery, 1400 S. Wolf Rd., in Hillside, to visitors on Sunday, Nov. 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visitors can tour the building and offer private prayers. Staff will be onsite to speak about the distinguished history of the building.

“Cardinal Bernardin was a remarkable man who faithfully served the Catholic Church at the local, national, and international levels,” said Fr. Larry Sullivan, priest director of the Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Chicago. “He provided tremendous leadership in every position and post he held.”

The mausoleum was the brainchild of Archbishop Patrick Feehan, the first archbishop of Chicago who died in 1902, who wanted a suitable location for burial of the archdiocesan ordinaries. Archbishop James Quigley, the second archbishop of Chicago, commissioned construction of the mausoleum which was built between 1905 and 1912.

The mausoleum is the focal point of the entire cemetery, positioned on high ground. It was designed as a Romanesque building and contains a domed classical chapel, complete with an altar, religious murals, clerestory windows and crypts on both sides of the altar. The Papal and U.S. flags flank the altar. The heavy bronze gates open into the mausoleum, symbolizing the gates of heaven. A statue of the Archangel Gabriel sounding his trumpet at the moment of the final resurrection is on top of the chapel.

The clergy buried in the mausoleum are: Bishop William Quarter, the first bishop of Chicago; Bishop James Duggan, the fourth bishop of Chicago; Archbishop Patrick Feehan; Archbishop James Quigley; Archbishop William O’Brien, auxiliary bishop of Chicago who was the first Catholic bishop in the United States not to head a diocese to be named an archbishop; Cardinal Samuel Stritch, the fourth archbishop of Chicago; and Cardinal John Cody, sixth archbishop of Chicago.

Joseph Louis Bernardin was born on April 2, 1928 in Columbia, South Carolina, to a family of Italian immigrants. He was ordained a priest in 1952. At 38, he was named auxiliary bishop of Atlanta, becoming the youngest bishop in the country. In 1968, he became the general secretary of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (now the USCCB), a post he held until 1972. He was elected president of the NCCB (USCCB) in 1974, serving in that role until 1977. He was instrumental in founding one of the conference's most influential and successful programs, the anti-poverty Catholic Campaign for Human Development.

Pope Paul VI appointed Cardinal Bernardin archbishop of Cincinnati on Nov. 21, 1972 and he served there for nearly 10 years. He was installed as archbishop of Chicago on August 25, 1982 and was elevated to the Sacred College of Cardinals by Pope John Paul II on Feb. 2, 1983.

Cardinal Bernardin is remembered as a pioneer in Church’s efforts to reform clergy sexual abuse of children by implementing in 1992 the strongest, most comprehensive policies on priests accused of sexual misconduct with minor. The Chicago policies formed the basis for national and global child protections programs. He was also a strong advocate for the "seamless garment," a consistent ethic of life across a broad range of issues, including abortion, capital punishment, modern warfare and euthanasia, asserting that all human life is valuable and must be respected consistently from conception to natural death.

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