Thousands of pilgrims to converge on Des Plaines for Our Lady of Guadalupe celebration

  • Nearly 400,000 pilgrims flocked to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines last year. The annual event honors Jesus' mother, Mary, and marks reported visions of her in Mexico City in 1531.

      Nearly 400,000 pilgrims flocked to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines last year. The annual event honors Jesus' mother, Mary, and marks reported visions of her in Mexico City in 1531. John Starks | Staff Photographer, 2021

 
 
Updated 12/1/2022 6:27 PM

Thousands of Roman Catholic pilgrims soon will converge on Des Plaines for the annual celebration at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The gathering is set for Dec. 11-12 at the eponymous shrine at Maryville Academy, 1170 N. River Road. It commemorates reported visions of Jesus' mother, Mary, in Mexico City in 1531.

 

Admission is free.

The first of several Masses is set for 9 a.m. Dec. 11, and it'll be in Spanish. The first English-language Mass will follow at 11 a.m.

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich will lead a Mass in Spanish at 6 p.m. the first day.

A 9:30 fireworks show is planned for that night.

"Las Mañanitas," a traditional birthday song, will be sung in Spanish and English at 11 p.m. Dec. 11.

Masses and other activities will be said overnight and through the next day, culminating with a closing Mass at 7 p.m. Dec. 12 led by Bishop Jeffrey Grob.

People driving to the shrine or through the area over those two days should know Central Road will be closed near the Maryville campus from 5 p.m. Dec. 11 to approximately 9 p.m. Dec. 12, Des Plaines police Cmdr. Matt Bowler said during a news conference Thursday.

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People driving to the shrine should enter the campus using River and Quigley roads, Bowler said. Parking at the sanctuary will cost $15.

Free off-site parking with shuttle-bus service will be available at Palwaukee Square, 664 Milwaukee Ave, Prospect Heights, and Oakton Community College, 1600 East Golf Road, Des Plaines.

Bus service will be available to and from those lots from 6 p.m. Dec. 11 through 3 a.m. Dec. 12.

Parking and bus service also will be available at St. Emily Parish, 1400 E. Central Road, Mount Prospect, from 8 p.m. Dec. 11 to 5 a.m. Dec. 12.

People walking to the Maryville campus should wear clothes that help make them visible to drivers, Bowler said, and they should stick to paths that will be designated by police.

No alcohol, guns, drones or pets will be permitted. The distribution of food, beverages, religious items, flyers or any other types of propaganda won't be allowed, either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

All events will be livestreamed on the shrine's website, solg.org, and on its Facebook and YouTube pages.

Nearly 400,000 people attended last year's event, said the Very Rev. Esequiel Sanchez, rector at the shrine.

For more information, call (847) 294-1806 or email info@solg.org.

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