Where We End

National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help

The Walk to Mary ends at the place Mary's message and mission began: the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, the only Church-approved Marian apparition site in the United States of America.

About Champion Shrine
The National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help is located in the quiet, peaceful, humble farming community of Champion, WI where the Blessed Mother appeared in 1859 to Adele Brise, a young Belgian immigrant.  According to Adele Brise, Mary stated, "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 to do.  Go and fear nothing. I will help you."

Adele dutifully followed Our Lady's instructions to teach the children and catechize, traveling by foot throughout a 50-mile radius of the area that now serves as the Shrine's main grounds, in the wild and then heavily forested country of Northeast Wisconsin.  Eventually, Adele's father built a chapel on the site and Adele started a school and a community of women to teach in it.  The actual apparition site is on the grounds where the fourth and current chapel is located with a Shrine to Mary in the Chapel's lower level.  The Chapel was dedicated on July 12, 1942.  Adele Brise is buried near the Apparition oratory site.

Early Miracle of the Fire at Champion
In the fall of 1871 when record drought in the Midwest had given rise to two of the most devastating fires in US history, the Chicago Fire and, on the other side of the Bay of Green Bay, the Peshtigo Fire, an inferno of fire also spread across the area of Northeast WI where Champion is located.  It reached its zenith by Oct. 8, 1871, ravaging the countryside.  Area residents, most of whom had been learning their catechism through the mission of Adele Brise, flocked to the chapel grounds praying the rosary all night, carrying a statue of Mary.  In what many still perceive as the first early Miracle of Champion, everything outside that five-acre area was burned except the grounds where pilgrims - most of whom were connected to Adele Brise through her teaching - were praying the rosary.

Every year, Oct. 8th, into Oct. 9th, pilgrims reenact that procession.  Called the Miracle of the Fire celebration,  hundreds gather at Champion to hold a rosary procession, with all night Exposition and Adoration and rosary prayed on the hour every hour.  Morning Benediction and a Special Apparition Anniversary Mass take place on Adele Brise Day, Oct, 9, the culmination of the annual nine-day National Novena to Our Lady of Good Help, with speakers and events scheduled to speak to the daily prayer intention of the National Novena.

Official Marian Apparition Site, National Designation and National Novena
The inaugural National Novena to Our Lady Good Help was initiated in 2016, the same year the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops designated Our Lady of Good Help a "National Shrine," distinguishing it as the only approved Marian apparition site with National Shrine designation in the United States of America.  The historic designation took place August 15, 2016 after Holy Mass for the Feast of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven, the Shrine's largest annual outdoor mass and Eucharistic Rosary processional event.

On Dec. 8, 2010, at a special Mass at the Shrine for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Bishop David L. Ricken of Green Bay announced that he officially approved the Marian apparitions at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help.

Scheduling Pilgrimages Events and Conferences
The National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help is a not-for-profit organization operated by a staff of about a dozen professionals who receive help from more than 200 volunteers who provide docent services, serve for Mass, work in the gift shop and cafe and care for the apparition site, Apparition Chapel and grounds.

Each year, thousands of pilgrims come to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help on pilgrimage for peaceful prayer, retreat, healing, reflection, spiritual edification and to give thanks for blessings received through intercessory prayer with Our Blessed Mother to her son, Jesus.  Three Priests from the Fathers of Mercy live on site and provide spiritual guidance and catechesis while directing the liturgical services for the Champion Shrine.  Mass is held daily, celebrated by the Fathers of Mercy and, on special Feast Days and other celebrations by Principal Celebrant David L. Ricken, Bishop of Green Bay.  Daily mass time is at 11 AM (CST), with additional Masses held at 8:30 AM Tuesdays and Saturdays and The Chaplet of Divine Mercy prayed daily at 3 PM.  Monthly Holy Masses include a Mass with Eucharistic Healing Services provided the last Saturday of every month at 11 AM CST, a Mass with Anointing of the Sick on the ninth of each month, also 11 AM and a Mass for the Sanctification of the Members of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta at 8:30 AM on the first Friday of every month.  Order of Malta, the oldest layperson order in the Catholic Church serves the needs of the sick and the poor and has a special Marian devotion through the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help.

All pilgrims - individuals and those in groups, large or small - are encouraged to visit and experience the peaceful, serene beauty of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help.  Pilgrims are also encouraged to learn more about the history of the apparition of Our Lady of Good Help and The National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help itself at the Shrine's new Welcome Center onsite or online at www.shrineofourladyofgoodhelp.com. To set up a pilgrimage, contact Ashley Saxe, Pilgrimage Planning Coordinator at 920-866-2571 ext. 113.  To hold a special event or conference at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help contact: Corrie Campbell, National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, Communications and Events Coordinator at 920-866-2571 ext. 111.

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"As part of the New Evangelization, I invite all in our area who are able to join in this journey of faith. Participation in this pilgrimage is a wonderful way to engage the entire family, and especially our young people."

Bishop David L. Ricken
of the Diocese of Green Bay