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Queen of the Americas Guild
P.O. Box 851
St. Charles, IL 60174
Fax: (630) 587-2200

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October 18, 2007 - "A Fragrance of Roses" presentation now available in DVD format
The Guild is pleased to announce that our educational presentation, "A Fragrance of Roses" is now available in DVD format. This comprehensive, narrated presentation covers the entire story of Our Lady's apparitions, historical background leading up to her appearances, as well as information on all of the Basilica's facilities.  It is an excellent teaching tool for schools and parishes, and home-schools.

The presentation can be run on any DVD player or DVD capable computer. An LCD projector hooked to the computer will allow you to share the show with large groups, but of course, it can also be viewed an any TV screen. A Powerpoint CD-Rom is still available for use on computers only.

For more information, or to purchase, click HERE.

March 29, 2007 - 2008 Mexico Pilgrimage itinerary finalized
The Guild invites you to join them and spiritual leader Bishop Joseph J. Madera for our 2008 Pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, February 28 - March 4, 2008.  Please visit our Pilgrimage page for complete itinerary, pricing, and reservation form - click HERE.

February 1, 2007 - New Guadalupe movie released
The movie Guadalupe , directed by Santiago Parra, was filmed in both Spain and Mexico. It is the story of two couples coming together during their quest to learn about the miracle of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The main character, Jose Maria, is a workaholic archaeologist who through his constant travels and research, has lost touch with his wife and family. He works closely with his sister Mercedes, also an archaeologist, who is a single woman torn between her career and her desire to settle down and have children. A fellow archaeologist friend finds an inscription in Jerusalem that prophecies the apparitions of Our Lady, and they decide to learn more about the story of Guadalupe by traveling to Mexico to research it.

Jose Maria talks with experts in Mexico and learns about the studies on Our Lady's eyes, the chemical makeup of the tilma, and other technical details about the apparitions. Mercedes takes a different approach, joining her friend on a pilgrimage from his hometown to the Basilica, learning about Our Lady on the way, and participating in the joyous celebrations as they travel into the city.

Interwoven with the present day story is the story of St. Juan Diego's travels to Tepeyac Hill and Our Lady's appearances to him. The story is told in segments, and all five apparitions are shown, as well as St. Juan Diego's meetings with Bishop Zumarraga. The story is presented accurately and completely from St. Juan Diego's first surprise encounter with Our Lady to the unveiling of the rose-filled tilma to Bishop Zumarraga. Our Lady is shown as a very young woman, speaking Nahuatl in gentle tones to St. Juan Diego. As the Guadalupe story unfolds, the Nican Mopohua is seen being written by an unidentified man, and then in present day being read by Jose Maria.

The movie concludes with the arrival of Jose Maria at the Basilica on the Feast Day, along with Mercedes and the pilgrimage she has joined. Jose Maria enters the Basilica and realizing what he has lost (wife and family), breaks down into tears. Just then, his wife appears and they are joyfully reunited. Likewise, Mercedes finds love with the friend she had joined on pilgrimage. Obviously, the implication is that Our Lady of Guadalupe has led them on their own separate journeys towards their true loves.

The movie concludes with a view of the New Basilica and facts about the number of visitors on the Feast Day, as well as noting that the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe is the most visited Shrine in the Western Hemisphere.

Guadalupe is rated PG, and is suitable for all ages. There is nothing presented that is objectionable or offensive in any way. The PG rating is probably due to a brief scene in which Jose Maria's grandmother is seen in pain as she passes away. The movie is presented in Spanish with English subtitles. While the production values are not on par with Hollywood blockbusters, Guadalupe is an entertaining and accurate way to present Our Lady's miracle. Cardinal Rivera Carrera has endorsed the movie, allowed the filmmakers access to the Basilica for filming, and his crest appears on the movie's website. More information can be found at .

July 13, 2006
The 2006 Queen of the Americas Guild newsletter is now available to download in its entirety. Click here to download your .pdf copy now.

March 31, 2006
The Guild's second annual conference at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin will take place August 4 - 6, 2006. Highlights will include an optional dinner with honored guests Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, founder of the Shrine and Bishop Joseph J. Madera, Queen of the Americas Guild Episcopal moderator.   Plan on joining us to enhance your faith and learn more about the Guild, Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Shrine. Space will be limited, so make your reservations early! For more information, contact Sr. Christa Marie, Executive Director of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe at 608-788-8601 or the Queen of the Americas Guild at 630-584-1822 or watch this space for more information.

November 1, 2005
The Queen of the Americas Guild is pleased to announce the addition of Sr. Christa Marie Halligan, F.S.G.M. to our Board of Directors. Sister Christa Marie is the Executive Director of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin and works closely with Archbishop Burke in directing all Shrine activities. We look forward to a long and successful relationship. Welcome!

April 1, 2005
The Queen of the Americas Guild is pleased to announce the availability of a new Learning Rosary. The Rosary has been completely re-designed to include the new Luminous Mysteries. For more information, click here.


November 23 , 2004
The Queen of the Americas Guild was saddened to hear of the passing of Mother Maria Ramirez, M.C.M., who passed away at age 88 on Tuesday, November 23, 2004.   Mother Marie was a Director of the Guild and was very active in fundraising efforts for the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.

A Holy Rosary and Mass was said on Friday, November 25, followed by a funeral mass on Saturday, November 26 at the Cordi-Marian Villa Chapel in San Antonio, Texas, where Mother Maria had resided in recent years.

Donations in Mother Maria's memory can be made to the Cordi-Marian Sisters, 11624 FM 471, San Antonio, Texas 78253.


September 8, 2004

Bishop Joseph J. Madera, M.Sp.S., Episcopal Moderator of the Queen of the Americas Guild, was honored in Washington, D.C. on the occasion of his retirement from the Military Services. Bishop Madera was an Auxiliary Bishop for the Military Services, U.S.A., and spent many years traveling the globe in service to all our military personnel stationed worldwide. He has since moved to Sacramento, California and will continue to be the Guild's Episcopal Moderator.

June 1, 2004

The Queen of the Americas Guild is extremely pleased to welcome to its board of directors The Most Reverend Raymond Leo Burke, Archbishop of St. Louis.


Born in Richland Center, Wisconsin, Archbishop Burke attended the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. He undertook his studies for ordination at the pontifical Gregorian University in Rome from 1971 to 1975 and was ordained to the priesthood by Pope Paul VI in 1975 at the Basilica of St. Peter.

He was an associate rector of the Cathedral of St. Joseph the Workman in LaCrosse and taught religion at Aquinas High School in LaCrosse.


In 1980, he returned to Rome to study Canon Law at the Pontifical Gregorian University. In 1984, he was named Moderator of the Curia and Vice Chancellor of the Diocese of LaCrosse.

In 1989 he returned to Rome when Pope John Paul II named him Defender of the Bond of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature, the first American to hold this position on the Church's highest court. He was named Bishop of the Diocese of LaCrosse in 1994.

On January 6, 1995, Bishop Burke was ordained to the episcopacy by Pope John Paul II at the Basilica of St. Peter.

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January 1, 2004

The Queen of the Americas Guild lost one of its founders and a longtime faithful supporter when Rev. Jacob J. Joerger passed away on January 1, 2004 at the age of 80.


A Dominican priest, Father Joerger originally came from New Mexico where his fondness for the Indian population and his deep devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe began. As a young boy, he frequently attended mission churches in New Mexico where his uncle was also a priest. On occasion, he worked closely with Bishop Jerome Hastrich who resided in Gallup, New Mexico, the poorest diocese in the United States.

Because he was fluent in Spanish, Father Joerger came to Chicago to help immigrants from Mexico adjust to life in America. While administering to newcomers in the U.S., he became dedicated to building a shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Pius Church in Chicago where he served.


Queen of the Americas Guild President Frank Smoczynski recalls how he, Father Joerger, and others dedicated to Our Lady, including several bishops, met in Washington, DC and discussed their dedication to Our Lady of Guadalupe and their intention to form a group.

The following year, there was another meeting, and it was decided unanimously to form an international organization dedicated to Our Lady to be named The Queen of the Americas Guild. Father Joerger immersed himself in the religious aspects of the new organization, as Frank took on the challenge of the business side, eventually accepting the presidency.

Frank says, "Through the years, Father Joerger helped me in a thousand different ways, bridging the religious and the secular challenges. He was dedicated to establishing a retreat center in Mexico City near the Basilica, a project we've worked on for years and continue to pursue."

For several years, Father Joerger lived and worked at the Basilica as the English speaking coordinator.

Father Joerger realized his dream of building a shrine at St. Pius Church in Chicago, and many have visited the beautiful place of worship. The church and shrine to Our Lady can be visited at 1909 S. Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL 60608.

"He was always a faithful and active member of the Build and of our board of directors," declares Frank Smoczynski. "To me, and to the Guild, he was a friend, a companion, and a guide. He was one of the best supporters the Guild ever had."

Memorials to Fr. Joerger may be made to the Society for Vocational Support, c/o Dominican Provincial Office, 1909 S. Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL 60608.

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