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The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines will Host a Mass in Memory of Bishop John Manz, Today, Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at 7 p.m.

Bishop Manz was a cherished friend of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Archdiocese of Chicago Hispanic community

Des Plaines, Ill. (November 14, 2023) – The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe will host a memorial Mass in memory of Bishop John Manz on Tuesday, November 14, 2023. The commemorative service will take place at 7 p.m. in the Chapel of Saint Joseph, located at 1170 N. River Rd., Des Plaines. All are invited.

Bishop John Manz, who passed away on July 15, 2023, at the age of 77, was an esteemed figure within the Archdiocese of Chicago, leaving a mark on the community he served for 52 years as a priest and 27 of those years as a Bishop. The memorial Mass aims to celebrate his life and acknowledge his profound contributions to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Affectionately known as the "Godfather" of the Shrine, Bishop Manz played a pivotal role in its construction in 1995, actively contributing to its early development. His unwavering support and guidance were crucial to the Shrine's growth, and he extended his generosity and care to the Hispanic Community, both within the Shrine and across the entire Archdiocese of Chicago.

Bishop Manz's presence was felt throughout all the significant projects of the Shrine, including the inauguration of the Saint Joseph Chapel in 2018 and the dedication of the entrance in 2021. In 2001, he solemnly blessed the installation of a replica of "The Offering," a famous sculpture at the Basilica of Mexico, in the Shrine’s Cerrito. This act symbolized his enduring commitment to the Shrine and its cultural significance.

“The man was just loved by everybody,” said Father Esequiel Sánchez, rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines. “He was not hard to love. He was very fatherly to everybody and he had this jovial attitude.”

A dedicated advocate for justice and the dignity of immigrants, Bishop Manz served as chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on Pastoral Care of Migrants, Refugees, and Travelers. His leadership extended to the USCCB’s Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church and the Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America.

Through his study of Spanish and interactions with Hispanic communities, Bishop Manz developed a deep appreciation for Hispanic culture. This cultural understanding allowed him to connect on a personal level with individuals from diverse backgrounds. Bishop Manz formed genuine friendships with members of the Hispanic community and they affectionately called him “Padre Juan.” His ministry to Hispanic Catholics and his national leadership in ministry to migrants highlighted his commitment to understanding and addressing the unique issues facing these communities.