The Saint James Chapel, located in the Archbishop Quigley Center, is the former minor seminary of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Inspired by Paris’ Sainte Chapelle, it was completed in 1919. Its French Gothic Revival design, with its arched windows and soaring vertical buttresses and exterior walls surrounded and guarded by statues of saints, has been called a “hidden jewel” in this historic city.
Its eight nave windows depict, in glowing color and intricate detail, scenes from the Old Testament and the Acts of the Apostles, while the west-facing Rose Window depicts the life of Mary, Jesus’ Mother. The sanctuary windows tell the story of the life of Christ. The heart of the Chapel, its altar, is carved of Caen stone, brought to the U.S. from France.
Yet, in all of its glory and splendor, Saint James Chapel has a significance beyond that of the visual. The chapel is, and for a century has remained, a sacred place for Eucharist liturgies and a refuge for those seeking God’s quiet counsel.
From 1918 to 2007, Quigley Preparatory Seminary housed the Saint James Chapel that served and comforted seminarians by the thousands, providing a place in which Quigley friends and benefactors might be thanked, mourned, and honored. In 2007, the high school seminary was closed. It reopened in December 2008 as the completely refurbished Archbishop Quigley Center, one of two new locations for the ministerial offices of the archdiocese. Today, the Saint James Chapel serves the spiritual needs of archdiocesan employees with daily Mass, Eucharistic Adoration each Friday, and opportunities for personal and group prayer.
And of course, it remains a sought-after destination for weddings in Chicago’s glorious Magnificent Mile.
Weddings at Saint James Chapel are held on Saturdays only, at 12:30 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. Given it’s beautiful setting, the Saint James Chapel calendar fills very quickly. We recommend you reach out to our team, as soon as you learn of your engagement to begin making plans.
All couples are encouraged to attend a marriage Q&A session through Saint James. At this session we review the various aspects of planning your liturgy and preparing for marriage, as well as all the requirements and specific guidelines. There are several sessions per year, and remote makeup sessions are available by contacting Carol Leitch-Miller Dotson
Once You Become Engaged
Contact your parish or school to schedule a meeting with your priest or deacon to establish a date that he is available to celebrate your wedding at St. James Chapel, counsel you and prepare your canonical file, and establish your freedom to marry in the Catholic Church.
Contact the chapel wedding ministry team to establish a date and time with the chapel. Complete a registration form and make the fee payment as indicated on the form.
As Soon as Possible
Attend a marriage preparation program sponsored by the Archdiocese of Chicago (Pre Cana, etc.) and provide completion certificate to your celebrant.
Complete a premarital inventory (Catholic Couple Checkup or FOCCUS) and provide completion certificate to your celebrant.
Request two affidavits each affirming your freedom to marry and provide to your celebrant.
Complete premarital questionnaires with celebrant for both bride and groom.
No More than 6 Months before Your Wedding
Request and submit baptismal certificates to your celebrant.
At Least 90 Days Prior to Wedding
Attend a Wedding Q&A session to help plan the liturgy for your ceremony.
90 Days Prior to Wedding
Receive and work on Wedding Rehearsal and Music Selection forms.
60 Days Prior to Wedding
Obtain a marriage license from Cook County, IL: cookcountyclerk.com or 312.603.7790
30 Days Prior to Wedding
Submit Wedding Rehearsal and Music Selection forms. Celebrant must submit canonical marriage file.
Week of Your Wedding
Seek the Sacrament of Reconciliation (confession)
Saint James is accustomed to working with couples and celebrants from out of town. If your celebrant is from out of town, he will prepare your marriage file and forward it one month ahead to: Father Ramil Fajardo, Rector, Saint James Chapel of the Archdiocese of Chicago. If your celebrant is from outside of the Archdiocese of Chicago, please have him consult Mrs. Carol Walters for further instructions.