The following information was submitted by Karen Elliot of the City of Des Plaines.
Des Plaines police announced that due to the 80,000 to 100,000 people expected to attend the Our Lady of Guadalupe religious celebration at Maryville Academy on Tuesday and Wednesday, a number of road closures will occur, and additional off-site parking will be available.
The Our Lady of Guadalupe celebration takes place from approximately 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11 to the closing Mass at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 12.
Traffic on River Road in both directions is expected to be backed up continually during this time, police stated.
The following roads will be closed:
- Central Road at River Road in Des Plaines will be closed to vehicle traffic beginning at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11.
- Central Road will be closed at East River Road to any westbound traffic.
- Central Road at Wolf Road will be closed to any eastbound traffic.
- Central Road is expected to be closed until 6 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 12.
- Central Road will be closed as listed above from approximately 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesday.
All of these intersections will be manned with officers, squads and barricades, police stated.
There will be a short fireworks display on the north end of the Maryville campus on Tuesday at 9:30 p.m.
There will be limited parking on the Maryville Campus.
The off-site parking is at Palwaukee Plaza, St. Emily’s Church in Mt. Prospect, Korean Church at Wolf Road and Dursey Lane in Des Plaines, and the Northwest Assembly of God at Wolf and Kensington roads in Mt. Prospect.
Shuttle buses will be available to those that park at any of these locations. Motorists should avoid these areas if possible, police stated.
Thousands of people are expected to travel northwest-bound on Milwaukee Avenue through Glenview and Niles to attend the Our Lady of Guadalupe celebration, Patch reported.
Lady Guadalupe history
The shrine was built on land formerly utilized by Maryville Academy. Joaquin Martinez, a local Catholic, acquired a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico around 1987 and helped launch a celebration of her feast day, according to information sent from a representative of the shrine about its history to Patch.
The statue toured the Archdiocese of Chicago, but no churches agreed to create a home for it until Rev. John Smyth, then-director of Maryville, and now president of Notre Dame College Prep, arranged to place it in its own chapel at Maryville.
In 1996, according to the document from the shrine, a distinguished Mexican priest brought an exact replica of the Our Lady of Guadalupe image and frame from Mexico to Maryville.
As the first-ever such replica to leave Mexico, the shrine considered it a great honor. In emotional ceremonies, the replica was blessed and enshrined in a holy hill on the grounds.
In Sept. 2008, Cardinal Francis George designated 62.8 acres for the shrine, the document stated.
More Lady Guadalupe history
In the winter of 1531 a woman who identified herself as the Virgin Mary appeared to a 57-year-old Aztec American Indian, Juan Diego, on a hill near Mexico City as he was on his way to mass, according to the Catholic Church. The woman told Diego to ask the bishop of Mexico City to build a church on the hill to assist in converting people to the faith. For the story, visit Trinity Communications’ website.