As former Maryville Academy Executive Director Rev. John
Smyth (center) and Des Plaines Mayor Matt Bogusz look on,
reenactor portrays the vision he saw in 1531 in Mexico
of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
A national campaign to build a church at the shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines will begin in earnest next year.continue at Journal Topics
The Rev. Marco Mercado, rector of the shrine, announced the plan during a press conference to mark the 25th anniversary of the shrine at Maryville Academy, which was installed on July 4, 1988. The campaign will raise money for the construction of the new church.
The site now works with St. Emily Parish to conduct services either outside or in the Maryville Academy gymnasium.
Mercado said it would be among the largest churches dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe in the world, second only to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. The preliminary plan calls for a capacity of 4,000 to 4,500 people.
I hope this doesn't flop. All it will take is some crusader fighting in the name of "cultural appropriateness" to forever bomb this thing into the 1970s.
Also from Daily Herald:
The outdoor shrine attracts 7,000 to 9,000 people each Sunday for mass, who file in and out all day, Mercado said. People come from all over the country to visit, he added.
The attendance numbers make the it the second most visited Our Lady of Guadalupe shrine in the world, behind one in Mexico City, Mercado said. ...
Proponents already are in talks with Des Plaines city officials, said Joaquin Martinez, founder of the committee that brought the shrine its current home 25 years ago. He said they want the basilica to be at the corner of North River and East Central roads, near where the shrine is now.
Des Plaines Mayor Matthew Bogusz on Monday called the shrine an asset to the city.
Martinez first thought to bring a shrine to Des Plaines after arranging a religious celebration for Our Lady of Guadalupe in December 1986. The shrine was blessed in 1987 and permanently placed in 1988.
About 12 people came out to the shrine in 1988 for the Our Lady of Guadalupe festival, Martinez said. In 2006, close to 175,000 people attended the event held each December, he added.