Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, Champion (New Franken), WI

The image of Our Lady of Good Help in the crypt beneath the chapel on the
site of the two trees by which Our Lady appeared to Adele.

On my recent vacation, the first "shrine" of the day was the Packers' Lambeau Field stadium (or atrium) in Green Bay and the second was the National Shrine of St Joseph in De Pere. The day ended with a visit to the shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in New Franken, Wisconsin, in the diocese of Green Bay. I was accompanied by Father John Doerfler, currently the Rector of the shrine who edits the shrine's newsletter.
View of the chapel and shrine centre from the road.
If you are hoping for something to "see", you will be disappointed. You could drive by and miss it completely. But this shrine honours the appearances of Our Lady to a young Belgian immigrant women named Adele Brise in 1859.

Adele's grave beside the church.
Our Lady appeared to Adele on three occasions. On the first, it was simply an apparition of a lady dressed all in white standing between two trees.

Remains of the trees found preserved under the 1880 chapel.
On the following Sunday, October 9th, the lady appeared again as Adele, her sister and a neighbour were on their way to Mass. On the third occasion Adele saw the lady clothed in dazzling white with a yellow sash around her waist and a crown of stars upon her head. Following the advice of her confessor Adele asked the lady: "In God's name who are you and what do you want of me?"

The lady replied:
I am the Queen of Heaven ... Gather the children in this wild country and teach them what they should know for salvation ... Teach them their catechism, how to sign themselves with the sign of the Cross, and how to approach the sacraments; that is what I wish you do do. Go and fear nothing. I will help you.
The lady raised her hands as if calling down a blessing from Heaven and vanished, leaving Adele overwhelmed and prostrate on the ground.

The chapel as it appeared in 1885.
So Adele set to work and attempted to catechise children by calling from house to house up and down the Green Bay Peninsula, travelling as much as 50 miles on foot whatever the prevailing weather conditions.
The chapel today.
Eventually other young women joined her and founded St Mary's Boarding Academy near the site of the apparitions.

Processional statue given to Adele from Holy Cross Church,
still used for processions today. The large reliquiary contains
wood from the trees where the Blessed Mother appeared to
Adele in 1859. The smaller reliquiary contains a relic of Mary's veil.
Following a formal investigation, Green Bay's diocesan Bishop, the Most Reverend David Ricken, published a decree giving official approval of the apparitions. The decree was dated 8th December 2010, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. In it the bishop stated:
I declare with moral certainty and in accord with the norms of the Church that the events, apparitions and locutions given to Adele Brise in October of 1859 do exhibit the substance of supernatural character, and I do hereby approve these apparitions as worthy of belief (although not obligatory) by the Christian faithful.

It was a privilege for me to be able to pray at this site and to offer the Holy Mass for the intentions of many people who had asked me to remember them there.

PRAYER TO OUR LADY OF GOOD HELP

Our Lady of Good Help, Mother of GOD, Mother of Jesus, and Mother of the Church, it is with confidence in Thy tender mercy that we place our petitions before Thee as intercessor to Thy Divine Son. Resting our hope confidently in Thy Immaculate Heart to obtain for us that which will give glory to Thine only-begotten Son, we thank Thee.

O Queen of Heaven, as Thou didst ask Sister Adele to teach the children the holy catechism, so also teach us how to make the Heart of Jesus reign and triumph in us and around us, as it has reigned and triumphed in Thee. Reign over us, dearest Queen, that we may be Thine in prosperity and in adversity, in joy and in sorrow, in health and in sickness, in life and in death. Amen.

(Please report favours received through the intercession of Our Lady of Good Help to the Shrine.)
For further information visit the shrine website.

Cool licence plate and bumper sticker on a car outside the chapel.
UPDATE: Priests appointed to care for the shrine.

9 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing Father, I had not heard of these apparitions before. I enjoyed the shots of the bumper stickers too.

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  2. Lovely report Father. Love that prayer to Our Lady too.

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  3. sandy osterhout31 May, 2011 13:34

    Hello wonderful anything to do with our lady, wish i could order a holy card with our lady of good help, thank you

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  4. i visited the shrine of our lady of good help i loved every second i was fortunate enough to make mass there . iprayed for a friend who had been trying to have a baby a long time thank god and our lady she just found out she is having a baby i cant believe it im so happy for her and her family .prayers are answered.

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  5. on the same day i also prayed for a very good ffriend who had recentely found out she had breast cancer that was july thak god she has finished her last treatment and is doing good please anyone who reads this keep her in your prayers may she stay healthy and be completely cured

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  6. Andrew from Chicago19 December, 2011 17:10

    I too have visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help with my family. You can't help but feel the peace and serenity of our Lady's presence at this site. Our family consecrated ourselves to our Lady and laid all of our family concerns in her hands.

    We are truly blessed to have this gift from our Heavenly Father so close to our home.

    Andrew from Chicago

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  7. Many thanks for this post. Most informative

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  8. I have never heard of this shrine or of the apparitions! Yesterday after Mass I asked the gentleman in front of me to please pray for my son. He said not only would he pray, but he and his wife were driving up to the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help and he would definitely keep my son in his prayers! What a wonderful way to find out about this shrine. Thank you so much, to this new friend whom I have made and who is probably driving up to Wisconsin from Missouri today! God bless you!

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  9. My husband who is from Wisconsin handed me the article on the paper on Christmas Eve showing the Bishop approved of the apparition of the Blessed Mother. I was very excited about it & told him we're going there on our next trip the following year! We made it & on the morning I was going to mass at the town we were staying & I missed it because of the wrong information at the campground office. As it turned out, we made it to the Holy Hour at Our Lady of Good Help 15min later of our arrival. I felt very elated! Now, I'm trying to get the Holy Hour format to use in our church. I've told many people in our parish about my wonderful blessed trip there. Thank you for this post to be able to share my experience at Our Lady of Good Help Church...God bless all of you.

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