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Sophomore Class Visits Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine 


On October 27, Cristo Rey’s Campus Ministry team led the sophomore class on a retreat to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines—the first all-class, in-person event for the Class of 2024 who started their Cristo Rey experience virtually last year. Paul Bubash, Campus Minister, and the Campus Ministry department planned this retreat for the sophomores with the intention to reflect on the journey of Juan Diego and see it as a model and inspiration for their own lives. “The Shrine of Our Lady Guadalupe was the perfect setting for this reflection,” Paul said. “Ultimately, our goal is that through reflection and prayer, our students could better realize their own mission, recognize their supports, and continue on a journey that will transform the world.” 

The theme for this retreat came about in conversation between Paul and English teacher and Cristo Rey alum Rex Ovalle ’08. Paul explains: “The idea came up of how Juan Diego is kind of like a Cristo Rey student. He is a brown, indigenous man with limited resources missioned to ask something from a white institution that was not built for him. When he does make that ask, he was met by a series of systemic barriers and personal obstacles. He struggles with institutional and racial injustice, goes through periods of self-doubt, and must navigate the internal conflict between taking care of his family or continuing with his mission. At the same time, Juan Diego experiences unrelenting support from Our Lady and needs to seek help to succeed. This journey models the experience of many of our students. And like Juan Diego, we believe that when our students follow their mission, the results are transformative to the student, the community, and the entire world.” 

Sophomore Diana O. reflects on her experience at the Shrine: 

“At this retreat we focused on one’s journey in life. I learned that every person finds their path in a different way. During this retreat I learned that God always has a plan, even when it might take you in a different direction than what you planned. This made me feel like we should have more faith in God because he knows exactly what he’s doing to help us. 

Another topic that was discussed at this retreat was the matter of insecurities. A lot of people face insecurities, especially when they get older. At the retreat we all put our heads down and Mr. Bubash would ask us questions about different insecurities. If you ever faced that insecurity, you would put your hand up. At the end of this exercise everyone put their heads up and Mr. Bubash announced the number of people who raised their hand. He explained that we are never alone, that other people go through the same struggles. 

Towards the end of the day, we took a walk to the Shrine. We each got four pieces of paper that held different meanings... As we followed the path, we pinned each one to a cross. At the end of the path, we arrived at the Shrine and prayed in front of Our Lady of Guadalupe and presented the crosses. The walk helped us reflect on gratitude and it made me realize that a lot of things in life are taken for granted, from the clothes on our back to the places we get to go to. 

When I was younger, I used to go to the Shrine every year for Guadalupe's birthday. I never really understood why we would go or what it really meant. At this retreat I figured out that the true meaning behind going to the Shrine is to reflect on all the decisions that one has made. One should ask themselves if everything they have done is leading up to how they see their future.” 

. . . . . 

As the only Catholic high school in Chicago serving exclusively Spanish speaking families, Cristo Rey is proud to serve as a bridge to faith for our students and their parents. Campus Ministry provides Cristo Rey students numerous opportunities to deepen their relationship with God in the context of a Christian community. 

In addition to learning about faith in religion class, students participate in retreats, liturgies, and other programs. At Cristo Rey, students are invited to pray, reflect, serve, discuss, and play - all for the greater glory of God.