The mission story begins in 1995, with the opening of my son's restaurant in Naperville, Illinois. From the beginning, the restaurant was given a warm and friendly reception from not only Naperville, but many surrounding towns. After three years, my son decided to open a second restaurant, this time in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.
My son asked me to go with him to see the site, which was just starting to be developed in September, 1998. Upon arriving, I could not help but notice a beautiful building across the street. It is on Roosevelt Road, just west of I-355.
Gazing at the bell tower, I believed it to be a Church. I asked my son if we could go there. As we arrived, the picture was not as I thought. Windows were all broken, doors smashed, no signs of life to be found.
Returning to Naperville, I began asking customers if they knew anything about this building. They said it was the Maryknoll Seminary, abandoned for 13 or more years. It was built in 1947 and dedicated in 1950. There had been 550 seminarians at one time.
After Maryknoll, many attempts were made to try and maintain this structure, all failed. It was bought at an auction in 1993. Again the attempt to rebuild it failed, the man that bought it died.
After finding out all of this information, I could not wait to go back again. On Sunday, September 20th, my son, my mother, and I went to see the progress that was being made on the new restaurant and afterwards, I asked again to be brought to the old Maryknoll gates.