On Monday, March 9, the Staff of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines, IL participated in a day long retreat at Cabrini Retreat Center. This included celebration of the Eucharist in the Retreat Center Chapel.
Later in the week, on Friday, March 13, Rev. Esequiel Sanchez, Rector of the Shrine, provided a reflection on the Suspension of Eucharist in the Archdiocese of Chicago:
The COVID virus is a deadly global virus. The impact is not only on our health, but is also on the lives of the poor, those losing their jobs, those in need of health care, and so many basic things needed to survive.
One area that it cannot impact us is in our conviction that we must care for one another. Even if it is in the simplicity of our prayers that we stand in solidarity.
This is the time in which we Catholics celebrate our Lenten season.
Lent is a time of austerity, of letting go, but never did we ever imagine one of the things we would have to let go of is the Eucharist itself
The inability to gather together for fear of hurting for another is a thing we must overcome. Let us take this Lenten season and this horrible experience that we are going through as a way of preparing for Easter, in which life comes out of death. We continue in our faith, we continue in our journey, we continue together.”
Rev. Esequiel Sanchez, Rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Since 2013, the Shrine is the most visited shrine in the USA dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the second most visited in the world after the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico. In June 1997, the site was granted being a place where pilgrims can fulfill their pledges or promises to Our Lady of Guadalupe as if they were being fulfilled at the Basilica of Mexico.
The full statement can be viewed in Spanish and English at https://www.solg.org/en/rectors-statement/