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Historic Catholic Mass to be Held at Downtown Chicago's Federal Plaza

Catholic pro-life, peace & justice groups to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe

Contact: Tom Brejcha, Thomas More Society, 312-782-1680, 312-590-3408 cell; Ann Scheidler, Pro-Life Action League, 773-777-2900, 312-965-1030 cell; Tom Ciesielka, TC Public Relations, 312-422-1333

CHICAGO, Dec. 10 /Christian Newswire/ -- At noon this Friday, December 12, the Thomas More Society (TMS) and the Pro-Life Action League will help sponsor a Catholic Mass which will be celebrated at Federal Plaza in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This Mass will be the first ever held on Federal Plaza in downtown Chicago.

"Chicago has such a strong Catholic tradition," says Ann Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League, which is underwriting the event. "This is a great chance for Catholics to show their love for Our Lady of Guadalupe--patroness of Mexico, of the Americas, and of the Unborn."

Tom Brejcha, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Society, originally asked that the Mass be celebrated and made legal arrangements for holding the celebration in Federal Plaza, a designated public forum where farmers' markets and political rallies have been held. As part of their "Religion in the Public Square Project," Brejcha and TMS have been involved in numerous events in Illinois involving the exercise of First Amendment rights in the public forum The Society recently represented the Springfield Nativity Scene Committee which unveiled a Nativity Scene now standing in the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield through December 28.

"There is every reason to proclaim religious messages in America's public square," says Brejcha. "If you can set up your soapbox and proclaim your politics, then equally you may celebrate your religious faith and the values it embodies. The Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, held so dear by Latinos and Catholics of all ethnic backgrounds, is a perfect occasion on which to pay homage in this public venue to the profoundly important values that she signifies - love, compassion, hope and the ineffable beauty and sanctity of all human beings, no matter how exalted or humble, wanted or unwanted, rich or poor they might be. We hope that others will step forward to proclaim their religious values - values our society desperately needs to reaffirm and embrace - in our public spaces!"

Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago Gustavo Garcia-Siller, a charismatic minister of Christ's Gospel whom the late Pope John Paul II personally invited to come to Chicago, will celebrate this historic Mass while musicians from St. Agnes of Bohemia will provide liturgical music. Following the Mass, attendees should stay for the fiesta featuring music entertainment and traditional Mexican sweet breads, hot chocolate and coffee - all complimentary.

Additional sponsors for this event include the Archdiocese of Chicago's Office for Hispanic Catholics, its Respect Life Office and its Office for Peace and Justice. Federal Plaza's street address is 50 W. Adams, at the intersection of Adams and Dearborn in Chicago's Loop. The weather forecast for Friday is sunny and in the low 30s.