December 7 at St. Ann Catholic Church; December 12 at Three Roosters Grocery
by Jennifer Pallay
LANSING, Ill. (December 1, 2019) – A bilingual Mass to celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico, will take place at 7:00pm, December 7, at St. Ann Church, 3010 Ridge Road in Lansing. Father Mark Kalema of St. Ann, and Father Len Dubi, retired pastor of St. Victor Church in Calumet City, will co-celebrate the Mass in Spanish and English.
In addition, a Spanish Mass to celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe will take place at 9:00am, December 12, at Alberto’s Beauty Salon, 3220 E 171ST Street in Lansing, the plaza anchored by Three Roosters Grocery. A priest will conduct that service entirely in Spanish, and El Mariachi Imperial Azteca will play the Biblical songs for the mass.
Responding to a need
Our Lady of Guadalupe Masses have recently been growing in numbers in this area, said Susy Padilla Arteaga, co-chair of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Committee at St. Ann’s parish. The committee was started by parishioner Rose Rivas 20 years ago when she noticed that St. Ann did not have a Mass of Our Lady of Guadalupe. “There was a Latino presence at St. Ann, so she wanted to see if they could do a Mass to honor her,” Arteaga explained, noting that in Mexico the feast day is a major holiday. At that first celebration of the Mass, St. Ann’s was one of two churches in the area doing it.
When Three Roosters Grocery (3224 171st Street) opened in Lansing nearly 10 years ago, they also wanted to serve the Spanish-speaking community with a traditional Our Lady of Guadalupe celebration. Owner Ernesto Acevedo donated food for the gathering, and neighboring Alberto’s Beauty Salon set up chairs to accommodate up to 100 people. The December 12 celebración has become an annual tradition, with a visiting priest—often from Chicago—conducting the Mass.
About the tradition
The Mass is traditionally celebrated by Catholics each year on December 12 and honors the Virgin Mary. The event celebrates the mother of God appearing to a man named Juan Diego at Tepeyac, a hill northwest of Mexico City. “An incredible list of miracles, cures, and interventions are attributed to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Each year an estimated 10 million people visit her Basilica, making her Mexico City home the most popular Marian shrine in the world, and the most visited Catholic church in the world after Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican,” according to the Catholic News Agency.
Because of this appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe, an evangelization of Mexico began, Arteaga said. “She said, ‘Here are my roses, show them to the cardinals and let them know I exist and I am here.’ That’s what it was back then, and that’s what we are doing now with this Mass.”
Celebrating in Lansing
Arteaga co-chairs the St. Ann event with her mom, Carmen Padilla, and a committee of about 10 women. The committee typically hosts the Mass earlier than December 12 because it is difficult to find a Spanish-speaking priest on the actual feast day.
The Mass begins with a procession including a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe decorated with roses followed by the children in attendance carrying roses. The Mass at St. Ann also includes a children’s mariachi band from East Chicago, Indiana, and dancers who perform in honor of Mary.
Though both celebrations—at St. Ann as well as at Three Roosters—are particularly meaningful for Hispanics, hospitality is extended to all of Lansing. The Lady of Guadalupe is said to represent the poor and marginalized, and Mexican-American hospitality is famous for making people feel welcome.
After the St. Ann Mass, attendees are invited to the school hall for a free meal, beverages, and basket raffles, all made possible through donations from Hispanic businesses in the area. There is no charge to attend the meal but a free will offering will be taken.
After the Mass at Alberto’s, attendees are welcome to stay for posole, tacos, Mexican coffee, and sweet breads, all donated by Three Roosters owners Ernesto and Ricardo Acevedo.
“It’s an important day in the community,” explains Daisy Herrera, manager at Three Roosters.
“The door is open to everybody,” says Arteaga. “Come celebrate with us in her honor.”
Our Lady of Guadalupe: two celebrations in Lansing
Saturday, December 7, 7:00pm
St. Ann Catholic Church (3010 Ridge Road in Lansing)
FYI: Arrive 15 minutes prior to Mass for children to be in procession
Thursday, December 12, 9:00am
Alberto’s Beauty Salon (3220 E 171ST Street in Lansing)
FYI: Arrive 15 minutes early to ensure you get a seat