The stirring image of red roses, set up in front of an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, turned up in a variety of Viatorian institutions. No matter where the celebration, each was filled with all the hope and joy on her feast day, just as the flowers did more than 450 years ago when the Mexican peasant, Juan Diego, brought them to the bishop as a sign of the Blessed Virgin’s appearance.

Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Our Lady of Guadalupe on their feast day.

“It is with great joy that we have gathered on this day to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe,” said Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, Provincial, at the Mass celebrated in Spanish at the Province Center. “Our Lady, Mother of God and our Mother, has always been concerned about all her sons and daughters. She continues with her maternal work of listening to the pleas, the sorrows, the joys and the concerns of all of us.”

Seated in the first row were members of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Our Lady of Guadalupe, who have partnered with the Viatorians for more than 60 years. Consequently, their feast day is a day to reflect on their joint ministries and renew their vows.

Viatorians also celebrated the feast day at St. Patrick Church in Momence, IL, where Associates David and Susan Surprenant continue to carry on the Viatorian mission at the parish. Fr. Moses Mesh, CSV, celebrated the Mass, with Br. John Eustice, CSV, proclaiming the gospel.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine at St. Patrick’s.

At Saint Viator High School, Fr. Dan Lydon, CSV, continued the tradition of celebrating a Mass on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe with students enrolled in Spanish classes.

“¡Feliz Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe,” said Associate Kurt Paprocki, who teaches Spanish at the high school. “A special gracias to Padre Dan for offering masses to our students in Spanish today.”

Br. Peter Lamick, CSV, joined with members of Iskali — whose mission is to provide young Latinos with an experience with God through dynamic activities — on a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, located in Des Plaines, IL. The shrine draws hundreds of thousands of pilgrims each year on the feast day, but this was a first for Br. Peter, who walked 16 miles to the shrine.

Br. John Eustice and Fr. Moses Mesh

“One of the takeaways was that you saw so many young people passionate about their faith,” said Br. Peter Lamick. “There was so much vitality revealed with the presence of young Catholics continuing the sacred traditions of their Mexican heritage.”

During his homily, Fr. Mark drew a strong connection between Our Lady of Guadalupe and immigrants who come to her with their joys and sorrows.

The Iskali pilgrimage

“She who has crossed borders to be with us, is always present wherever you are,” he said. “She walks with us in our sorrows and anxieties, our joys and joys, always present, together with everyone, but in a special way with the immigrants! Her message continues to ask us, as believers, to love every person, the immigrant, the unborn, the disabled, the poor, the orphan, the widow, the unemployed, the one who is different.”