Catholic Spirit Radio conducted a bus pilgrimage to two Marian Shrines of Wisconsin on August 14/15. Sites included the Basilica and National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians at Holy Hill near Hubertus and the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help east of Green Bay. The two-day trip included 34 pilgrims from a dozen parishes.
The group departed Central Illinois during the predawn morning hours of Saturday. They drove to Holy Hill, where they attended Mass, received an orientation to the Basilica, and toured the grounds.
After an overnight at Manitowoc, the group arrived at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help on Sunday in time for Mass with Bishop David Ricken of Green Bay. This was followed with an outdoor rosary procession, benediction, and a visit to the apparition oratory.
The day was special due to it being the Feast of the Assumption of Mary. The event was attended by some 2,000 pilgrims and was blessed with a clear blue sky and pleasant weather conditions.
Few people realize that the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help is the only Church-approved Marian apparition site in the United States of America. It has been deemed “worthy of belief” that the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared here in October 1859 to a young Belgian immigrant, Adele Brise. Adele spent the rest of her life carrying out Mary’s decree of prayer, teaching, and promoting the sacraments. On October 8-9, 1871, the 6-acre apparition site and all who were gathered at the shrine were miraculously preserved from the great Peshtigo fire, perhaps the worst wildfire in US history. That fire burned over 2,400 square miles and killed more than 1,500 people. Today, the site remains a place of sanctuary, healing, and peace for all.