Our Lady of Good Help
July 11, 2018
Join us for a pilgrimage to the only approved Marian apparition site in the United States!
During October of 1859 the Virgin Mary appeared to a young Belgian immigrant woman, Adele Brise, on three occasions in Champion, Wisconsin. Since that time faithful pilgrims have continuously visited the chapel which stands on the site of those appearances.
The Adult Faith Formation and Year of Mary team is organizing a pilgrimage to The Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion, WI this summer. We will depart St. Patrick Church at 7:00am on Wednesday, July 11th via coach. It's a three hour drive to Champion, WI. Once we arrive we will attend Mass at 11:00am at The Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help. We will have lunch following Mass, tour the beautiful grounds and discuss the apparition that occurred nearly 150 years ago. We will depart around 2:30pm and arrive back at St. Patrick Church at 5:30pm.
Cost to attend is $100.00 per person. This includes transportation and lunch.
Reservations are no longer being accepted online.
The Marian Apparition
It was through the forests that a young lady named Adele Brise was walking on October 8, 1859. Adele was born in Belgium on January 30, 1831 and had emigrated to Wisconsin with her parents in 1855. Her father bought a 240 acre plot two miles from where the Shrine now stands and the family got to work.
As a little girl, she was in an accident with liquid lye that cost her the sight in her right eye and caused some permanent disfigurement. Raised a Catholic, Adele was deeply religious and actively involved in the church. This was no easy matter in America.
The Belgian community had not prospered like they hoped. Unlike their native country, Wisconsin was a wild and harsh land. Their primary vocation - lumbering - was not lucrative. As a result, the whole community was poor. Many people were lost to illness and the elements. Yet they still kept coming by the thousands.
In this battle for survival, their religion faded in importance. The nearest church was miles away and the parish at Green Bay only had one priest, Father Perrodin. He was becoming increasingly concerned that thousands of immigrants were moving into the area with no one to minister to them. In a letter to a fellow priest, he said the adults had become indifferent to their faith and the children were being raised as non-believers. That was about to change.
On that October Saturday morning, Adele was by herself on a family chore. Walking along a trail through a heavily wooded area, she came upon a woman standing astride the trail between a maple tree and a hemlock tree. The woman was dressed in white and seemed to have a ghostly floating appearance. Their eyes met but nothing was said. Then the apparition vanished, leaving a wisp of mist and a terrified Adele. She told her parents, who said there must be a logical explanation for it.
The next day, Sunday, October 9 it happened again. This time Adele was with her sister and a neighbor on their way to church. The same woman appeared in the same place and Adele was the only one who could see her. Her companions could only watch in shock as Adele started crying and fretting about "that woman." They were certain she had seen something, but had no idea what.
That same day, on the way home, the woman appeared again for the third and final time. Again, only Adele could see her. This time, the woman spoke. She said she was the "Queen of Heaven." This is a title used by Catholics for the Blessed Virgin Mary and Adele prostrated herself on the ground. Her companions did too, even though they could see or hear nothing.
Mary told Adele that the people were straying and needed to re-affirm their faith. In particular, the children needed to be taught the ways of the church and Adele was to teach them. If the people didn't return to the flock, Mary said Her Son might punish them. The Queen of Heaven told Adele that she would protect her and provide for her always, then faded away. Thus began the 40 year mission of Marie Adele Joseph Brise as Sister Adele. From that day until the day of her death on July 5, 1896, she completely devoted herself to the work she believed she had been called to do by the the Blessed Virgin Mary in the forests of Wisconsin.
Adele devoted the rest of her life to spreading Mary’s good news. Her commitment continues to be as inspiring as it is humbling to the thousands of visitors that journey to the Shrine every year. The Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help is now the only Marian shrine in the United States on the site of an approved apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary.