Archbishop Cupich to lead Mass, dedicate altar Sunday at Des Plaines church

  • Archbishop Blase Cupich will preside over Mass and the dedication of a new altar Sunday at St. Stephen Protomartyr Church in Des Plaines.

    Archbishop Blase Cupich will preside over Mass and the dedication of a new altar Sunday at St. Stephen Protomartyr Church in Des Plaines. AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

 
 
Updated 4/28/2015 2:29 PM

Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich will lead Mass at St. Stephen Promartyr Church in Des Plaines Sunday as the parish dedicates a new altar and celebrates its diversity.

As many as 900 worshippers are expected to fill the church -- which seats 800 -- for the 11 a.m. Mass, said the St. Stephen pastor, Rev. Noel Reyes.

 

"It's really a big event that we are putting together for the community," he said.

The new altar, along with shrines to the Holy Family, St. Stephen and The Word, were added to the church at 1280 Prospect Ave. last year as part of a renovation. The project was funded by several donors, Reyes said.

After the Mass, the church will host its first International Luncheon to celebrate the many ethnic communities it serves. St. Stephen has large contingents of Hispanic, Polish and Filipino parishioners, as well as smaller groups of Vietnamese and Indian families in its congregation, Reyes said.

"This parish is very diverse, and it's that gift of diversity, along with the new altar, that we'd like to celebrate," he said, adding that Cupich is expected to attend the luncheon and greet parishioners.

Reyes said he initially contacted Cardinal Francis George last year about attending the dedication ceremony, but figured that when George retired last year while in failing health, the event would have to go on without a diocesan leader. That changed last month when the Archdiocese of Chicago contacted him to let him know Cupich planned to attend in George's place.

"We've been very busy since," he said. "Everybody is getting ready for Sunday."

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