This is a photo of George Mundelein who was the Vatican's man in Chicago between 1915 and 1939. To be honest he looks like a gangster in drag.

You can read loads more about him at PATHEOS.



  1. But isn’t that the point of becoming a priest? You get to dress up and get paid for it?

  2. This guy looks so joyless, I suppose he’s thinking of what St Peter would say!


  3. His get up was a cunning plan. If he ever upset any of his gangster friends, he would say, “You boys wouldn’t shoot a lady, would you?”

  4. The RC’s in Chicago built a seminary and named it after George – we just called it Mundelein and I had no idea how it got its name. Now I know!

    It was built for the visit of some pope or other, complete with a pier for to tie up the pope’s barge. Evidently he arrived by water.

    It’s a huge facility. We Episcopalian seminarians, including women, had our retreats there, and we attended our classes in ecumenism there. The main chapel has steps up to altar named for the steps toward priesthood, beginning with acolyte, if I remember correctly. It was so empty, as was the seminary. Very few RC students.

    In the crypt, though, were all these chapels along the walls on either side – for individual priests each to say daily masses.

    The grounds were great. But enough about this grand memorial to George Mundelein of Chicago.

  5. he wasn’t born here, but he is an echt Chicagoan, and his impact on the city was impressive. A good friend of labor unions and a supporter of workers against corporations, the organizer of vast charities, and an outspoken anti-Nazi when America was determined to be isolationist. He did get a little too close to the gangsters during prohibition. But he accomplished a lot of good for this town, too.