CHICAGO (CBS) — Hundreds of Des Plaines parishioners welcomed back their priest who survived a harrowing plane crash in Mexico.

Father Esequiel Sanchez celebrated mass for the first time at his church Sunday afternoon, the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, since the Aeromexico crash in July.

More than 100 people were on board the aircraft and everyone survived.

During the mass, Sanchez talked about the crash and how many passengers, including himself, were changed by the experience. He said that just about everyone had a near-death experience, thinking that the incident would be the end for them.

Sanchez said the “miracle” wasn’t just that the plane didn’t burst into flames, but seeing the people helping each other, making sure that the others were safe and OK.


He and many other passengers continue to recover from physical injuries. Sanchez himself injured his arm. The priest said he plans to continue regular services provided that his health is good and his doctor is OK with that.