100,000+ expected for feast at Des Plaines' Guadalupe Shrine

Thousands of people will descend on Des Plaines in the next two weeks for the annual Our Lady of Guadalupe celebration.

More than 100,000 people attend the event, which marks the appearance of the Virgin Mary to Juan Diego, an Aztec Indian, in Mexico in 1531. Catholic pilgrims, mostly of Hispanic heritage, trek to the sight of the Des Plaines shrine on foot, bicycle and auto.

Des Plaines police shut down roads and help the visitors safely reach the shrine, which is located at on the Maryville Academy campus, Central and River roads.

A staff member at the shrine said masses would begin around 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11 at the shrine and repeat every two hours until midnight. Services will resume at 3 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, restarting every two hours until 7 p.m. [wowza!]  There will be a special ceremony at 11 a.m. Dec. 11 featuring artists singing to the Our Lady of Guadalupe shrine. That presentation will be broadcast nationally on Univision.

Des Plaines has been a destination for Hispanic Catholics since 1988, when the Our Lady of Guadalupe shrine made its permanent home at Maryville following a yearlong tour of Chicagoland.

The Rev. Marco Mercado, director of the shrine, announced plans last summer to eventually build a church dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe on the site.

Plans call for seating for as many as 4,500 people, making it the second largest church dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe in the world, behind only Mexico City’s.
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I have seen nothing further for the new church designs.  


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