There is parking available at every one of our “join in” points – SS Peter and Paul Parish and Holy Cross Parish/School. If you are joining in for the Walk with the Children you need to park at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help and take a shuttle bus to that join in point.
Both before the masses and after masses pilgrims are transported by bus back to the point at which they started and Humana parking area.
There are porta-potties, water refill stations, and first-aid available along the entire route, every 1.5 – 2 miles.
You can certainly drop someone off at the start. Since parking is not allowed on campus at St. Norbert College for Walk to Mary pilgrims, we have a volunteer who monitors vehicle traffic entering campus. Simply let the volunteer know you are dropping someone off and you will be allowed through.
The National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help DOES allow limited parking overnight in designated areas. You must contact the Shrine Staff to let them know you will be parking overnight.
You can certainly park at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help early in the morning. However, at this time, there aren’t any buses to take you to the start of the Walk to Mary.
We have larger groups participating in the Walk to Mary all the time. We have some tools, like a customized Excel spreadsheet, that you can use to register people from your group. Contact a member of our Walk to Mary staff at 920-883-1127 for more information.
Registration fees are used to help offset the costs associated with the Walk to Mary. The larger expense items for the Walk to Mary are transportation and busing costs – porta pottie, equipment and tent rental – marketing and advertising costs – food and beverage costs – pilgrim souvenirs including lapel pins, medallions and collector cards – police, county highway department, and emergency rescue services.
There is no requirement to check in someplace before you start your journey.
We prefer that registration take place before the day of the pilgrimage. However, in very rare cases we will accept registration on the day of the Walk to Mary.
It would be nice to know if you changed your mind about your starting point. Via the “Contact Us” section of the website you can send us a message indicating your change.
No, we don’t allow people to ride bikes nor do we allow people to run the route the day of the Walk to Mary. This is not a sporting event. This is a walking spiritual pilgrimage.
In our Walk to Mary prayer we pray:
Just as the three Kings journeyed from the East to find Christ;
Just as Jesus, Mary and Joseph travelled by foot from Nazareth to the Temple in Jerusalem;
Just as Peter and James and John hiked up the mountain all day with the Lord;
Just as Christian Pilgrims have trekked across Europe and the Middle East to the Holy Places;
Just as Saint John Paul II voyaged to all mankind to find Christ and bring Christ;
So too we set forth on foot today, starting at the National Shrine of St. Joseph and Walking to Mary, to visit the grounds made holy by Our Lady of Good Help, Queen of Heaven, as we commit ourselves to answering her call to “teach the children what they need to know for their salvation.”
Will we be able to cross Hwy 57 with the stroller in the bus?
Yes, many parents and grandparents bring strollers for their children. You will be able to store the stroller in compartments under some of the buses. Make sure you board a bus that is able to accommodate a stroller.
The Walk to Mary starts at 7:15 at Old St. Joseph Church on St. Norbert College campus. There is a prayer service and blessing before the walk at 7:00am. See more details about the day’s schedule of events on The Walk To Mary – Schedule of Events.
The entire journey of 22 miles is certainly a challenge for everyone, especially children. However, many children have walked the entire route. Some families bring strollers or burleys to assist their children should they get tired. Like adults, children should train to ensure they are physically prepared for the journey.
The first thing you will need to do is pick up your lapel pin and medallion (if this was the first time you completed the pilgrimage) as you enter the Shrine grounds. These are wonderful souvenirs. Masses are held at 3:30pm and 5:15pm CST. Depending on the time you arrived you can find the confession areas and receive the sacrament of reconciliation. You can spend time in the Shrine gift shop. You can visit and pray in the crypt where the Shrine of Our Lady resides and where the apparition occurred. You can rest and relax your body from the long journey.
It typically will take from 7:30am (the start of the pilgrimage) to 3:30pm-ish to get to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help. Of course, it could take a bit longer assuming you are walking slower than the group leading our journey carrying the statue of Our Blessed Mother.
Are the buses able to accommodate wheel chairs?
Pilgrims who require wheel chairs have participated in the pilgrimage. There are buses available to accommodate and transport people with wheel chairs. We encourage you to contact us via the “Contact Us” page on our website or by phone to let us know you will be bringing a wheel chair. By knowing the requirements we can make sure we have adequate busing accommodations. Unfortunately, we do not provide wheel chairs.
There will be two masses – one at 3:30pm for anyone who wants to attend mass but must leave early. And, the regular mass that starts at 5:15pm celebrated by Bishop David Ricken of the Diocese of Greeen Bay. Either mass counts as your regular Sunday obligation.
The Walk to Mary started in 2013. In its first year there were 350 pilgrims participating in the journey. In 2019, it has grown to over 2,000+ pilgrims coming from 27 different states. We have even had pilgrims come from Mexico, Canada, Spain and Africa.
You can send us an email on our “Contact Us” form and let us know you’d like to sign up for our Newsletter and emails.
We have Walk to Mary Ambassadors from many parishes throughout the country doing just that – promoting the Walk to Mary within their parish and community. We can supply you with promotional materials to help us get the word out. Please give us a call or send us an email in the “Contact Us” area and let us know you are interested in helping.
Where do I need to go? What time should I get there?
Families are encouraged to park at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help and then take a shuttle bus to the “Walk with the Children” starting location. There is no place to park at the “Walk with the Children” join in point. This location is in the middle of nowhere – farm fields, farm land, and the intersection of two county roads. Once dropped off by the shuttle bus you wait at the Walk with the Children join-in point until the pilgrims get there. Then you simply join in. The pilgrimage should reach this location at approximately 3PM at the latest. Buses will begin to shuttle pilgrims from the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help to the “Walk with the Children” starting location at approximately 1:30pm. The last shuttle bus will leave at promptly 2:00pm, so give yourself plenty of time, but don’t be late!
Transportation will be made available to assist Pilgrims who struggle to complete the walk. Prior to our lunch stop, Holy Cross Church/Parish, there are numerous courtesy vans available to assist pilgrims to continue to move forward along our route. At Holy Cross there are buses available to transport fatigued Pilgrims directly from our lunch stop to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help. There will also be a bus available to transport Pilgrim’s back to their starting point – either SS Peter and Paul parish or the Humana parking location.
Lunch is included – sandwiches, hot dogs, chips, water, and fruit.
We certainly don’t want our pilgrims to feel we are not pet friendly, but only “Service Dogs” that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability are allowed on the Walk to Mary. The Walk to Mary is a spiritual pilgrimage, not a sporting or exercise event. Furthermore, it is the policy of the bus company we use to transport pilgrims that only service dogs are allowed on the buses. Additionally, the service dogs must be approved by the bus company on a case by case basis. The National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help does allow pets on-site but they must be on leashes. Service animals are allowed on all grounds and buildings and in the chapel.
A safety plan for the 2021 Walk to Mary event was drafted in cooperation with and accepted by the Brown County and City of De Pere health departments. Please review the full document for information on safe transportation, bathrooms, lunch distribution, and more.