CATHOLIC TRAVEL INSIDE THE UNITED STATES SERIES
When we think about Catholic pilgrimage sites, places like Rome, Lourdes, or Fatima come to mind. However, the United States offers dozens of amazing pilgrimage sites. These are only three of the many Catholic landmarks to visit in the United States, all located within the wonderful state of Wisconsin. Let's continue our trip to the second Shrine in Wisconsin.
National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help | Champion, Wisconsin
Sixteen miles Northeast of the city of Green Bay, the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help is the site of the only apparition of the Virgin Mary that has been officially recognized by the Catholic Church.
Our Lady appeared in October 1859 to a Belgian immigrant woman, Adele Brise, on the grounds of the Champion Shrine, when the town was known as Robinsonville. The Virgin presented herself saying, “I am the Queen of Heaven, who prays for the conversion of sinners…”
You can read a detailed account of the apparitions –including how a terrible fire that swept through twelve towns around the Champion area miraculously spared the church, its five-acre grounds, and the many people who took refuge there– by clicking this link: http://www.divinemysteries.info/our-lady-of-good-help-champion-wisconsin-usa-1859/
Of the three Marian sites mentioned in this article, the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help may be the simpler one in terms of architecture and infrastructure. However, it has a rustic, warm and peaceful feeling about it. When you visit, be sure to check out the Apparition Chapel and Oratory. This is located to the front right of the chapel and downstairs under the high altar. It can also be accessed from the outside of the church.
You can spend prayer time at the grave of Adele Brise, the Rosary Walk, and also at the Stations of the Cross on the property behind the chapel. The gift shop and the café are a good place to meet the warm and welcoming locals –visitors and volunteers– and hear a personal experience or two about miraculous healings obtained through the intercession of the Blessed Mother. The cafe offers a cool place to sit to grab a light snack and something to drink.