Elgin Parish Blesses Guadalupe Shrine
By Margarita Mendoza, El Observador Editor
November 30, 2017
ELGIN—St. Laurence Parish recently held a simple ceremony to bless a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe in an area across the street from the church, at the southeast corner of Standish and Jewett Streets, here.
Father Robert Camacho, a retired diocesan priest, and Father Andrew Mulcahey, pastor,  guided the prayers in Spanish and English, as a chorus of voices, guitars and violin, led  participants in singing hymns to Our Lady.
The event started with prayers inside the church, then the priests started a procession that ended across the street. 
Once there, Father Camacho unveiled the image of Our Lady to more songs and prayers. 
Father Mulcahey ended the ceremony by blessing the statue with holy water.
Father Mulcahey said that it was a “great opportunity for our parish to be united as we face new realities, new situations,” including the growing Hispanic population in the parish. 
“Do not be afraid, we are all children of the same God,” said Father Camacho. “To be Catholic means to be universal, to invite everyone into our faith. So this is one of the ways we can do that in peace.” 
After the ceremony, about 50 people went to the basement of the parish for champurrado (a chocolate-based Mexican drink), and bread.
Bilingual Masses are celebrated here in St. Laurence on Sundays at 9 a.m. 
“We look for ways to survive and flourish within our society…  We need all hands on board,” concluded Father Mulcahey.