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Video: Highlights from Sunday’s Our Lady of Guadalupe celebration at St. Ann Church

by Melanie Jongsma

LANSING, Ill. (December 17, 2021) – The Virgin of Guadalupe is an important figure in Mexican culture and Catholic history. As explained by, a “Lady from Heaven” appeared in 1531 to Juan Diego, a poor Indian with no social standing, and gave him instructions about building a temple. For Mexican Catholics, the Lady’s choice of a commoner is a reminder that both Mary and God care about people from all levels of society. Evangelical Christians find similar affirmation in the Bible’s account of the infant Jesus’ birth in a stable and the angelic announcement to lowly shepherds.

In 1999 Pope John Paul II declared December 12 a Liturgical Holy Day for all of Mexico, and the day is celebrated annually with a Mass and a feast. Particularly for Lansing’s first-generation Latinos, this day is a poignant reminder of home, family, and faith traditions. Celebrating the Our Lady of Guadalupe Mass each year provides opportunities to remind younger generations, especially those who grew up in America, of the richness of their culture and beliefs.

The Lansing Journal was allowed to video the celebration at St. Ann Church last Sunday afternoon. The mass was planned as a bilingual celebration co-led by St. Ann’s Fr. Mark Kalema and Fr. Gary Graf of St. Agnes/St. Kieran. However, as he was in the process of putting on the vestments, Fr. Kalema was called away suddenly to offer last rites. Fr. Graf therefore led the Our Lady of Guadalupe celebration alone.

The first video below is a 14-minute sampling of the traditions and symbolism involved in the two-hour mass. The second video provides an “extended cut” of the celebration, including the full homily offered by Fr. Graf.

Reporter’s note: I am grateful to members of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Planning Committee, pictured below, who answered my questions and helped me understand the service. Any incorrectly identified segments or people in the videos are my errors, and I offer my apologies.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebration – highlights

Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebration – extended cut

This year’s Our Lady of Guadalupe Planning Committee included (from left) From left: Susy Padilla Arteaga, Delia Diaz, Maria Dolores Garcia, Carmen Padilla, Maria de Jesus Casillas, and Martha Vargas. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

St. Ann Catholic Church is located at 3010 Ridge Road in Lansing, Illinois. The parish that meets there is now known as All Souls Parish.


Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.


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