Surviving the cold Chicago winters can be tough for anyone. For the more than half a million Mexican-Americans living in the Windy City, and the many more in the metro area, the frigid weather can be brutal. Instead of packing their bags and leaving for warmer climates, the Mexican immigrant population has managed to bring a bit of Mexico with them: by building a hill to enshrine an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the grounds of a Chicago-area Catholic children’s home.
According to Willard F. Jabusch, a Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago writing in Commonweal (subscription required),more than 7,000 people now attend Mass each Sunday at the shrine. On the recent feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the site drew many more–despite the bitterly cold December weather. Jabusch writes that the site’s popularity highlights the community’s resilience: “Racism, border guards, and fences have not kept out the newest wave of immigrants. Nor will their spiritual passion and zeal be suppressed.”