Mass of Healing and Hope for families suffering loss of a child

The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines will celebrate a bilingual (English and Spanish) Mass of Healing and Hope for families who have lost a child at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20.

The Rev. Manuel Dorantes, strategic adviser to the Vatican's Dicastery for Communication and pastor of St. Mary of the Lake and Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, will be the main celebrant. The Rev. Esequiel Sanchez, rector of the shrine, and the Rev. Jesus Puentes will concelebrate the Mass.

Families who have suffered the loss of a child are invited to come together in faith and heal from the pain of death. During the Mass, the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick will be administered to both mothers and fathers who have lost a child.

The goal is to advocate healing and hope for the loss of all children, including those lost due to abortion, miscarriage, illness, accidents and violence.

"The loss of a child at any stage is a tragedy that has painful, emotional ramifications no matter when the loss happened or how," said Fr. Sanchez.

"Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patroness and an inspiration for the pro-life movement and, here at the shrine, we encounter families on a daily basis who come grieving the loss of children and family members at all stages of life and from all causes."

After Mass, during the coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, attendees will have the opportunity to offer a red or white rose to Our Blessed Mother as a symbol of purity, innocence and forgiveness.

Each flower will have a label with the words "my little angel" and "Angelito o Angelita," symbolizing the lost child.

The schedule of events is as follows:

• 11-11:50 a.m.: Vocalists and dance groups perform.

Noon: Holy Rosary will be prayed in English, Spanish, Polish, Italian, Hindi and Tagalog.

• 1 p.m.: Solemn Mass to be celebrated at the outdoor plaza, followed by the coronation of the Virgin Mary.

2-4 p.m.: Mariachi Perla de Mexico Heather's House (Aid for Woman) and the Respect Life Ministry from St. Mary and St. Stephen Parish in Des Plaines will staff information tables at the shrine and be present throughout the day.

Heather's House is a maternity home, part of the Aid for Women organization, that supports all pregnant women who choose to keep their babies. People can contact them through their 24-hour helpline at (312) 621-1100 or via text at (312) 880-9840.

Please note: Only the Rosary and the Mass will be live streamed at

For information, visit

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