Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe welcomes back worshippers following COVID-19 closure

DES PLAINES, Ill. (WLS) -- Dozens of people returned to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines Sunday. For many, it was the first time in months.

As Illinois moves into Phase 4 of Gov. JB Pritzker's reopening plan, the shrine is welcoming back worshippers.

Luis Alcantar Rubio visited with his mother Araceli Rubio to pray after her recovery from COVID-19.

"She began to feel cold, had a lot of chills," Luis Alcantar Rubio said about his mother. "She felt really weak and her fever got up to like 105."

He said his mother was ill with coronavirus for a month, but now she's healthy again.

"Faith is the most important thing that we didn't lose," Alcantar Rubio said. "We just worked as a family to get through it."

The shrine's rector, Rev. Esequiel Sanchez, said many families have faced similar burdens during the pandemic.

"Stress and anxiety, depression, the need for spiritual growth," Sanchez said.

The priest said this congregation includes people who have lost their jobs, those sickened by COVID-19 and undocumented immigrants who have no health insurance.

All of these challenges have led people to this extended family, according to Father Sanchez.

On Sunday, the faithful were also welcomed back to indoor mass, with limited capacity.

"They very much need to feel like they're part of a community again," Sanchez said.
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