The Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Robinsonville concluded a year-long celebration marking its 150th anniversary on Oct. 9 with a Mass celebrated by Bishop David Ricken. (Sam Lucero photos)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (December 8, 2010) -- Bishop David Ricken announced today that he officially approves the Marian apparitions at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help at Champion.
The announcement was made during a special Mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help at Champion.
Declared with moral certaintyReading from his decree, 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."
Today’s declaration makes Our Lady of Good Help at Champion the first and only site in the United States of an approved apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Three apparitions in 1859In October 1859, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared on three occasions to Adele Brise, a young Belgian immigrant. Brise stated that a lady dressed in dazzling white appeared to her and claimed to be the "Queen of Heaven who prays for the conversion of sinners."
The Lady asked Brise to pray for sinners, as well as to gather the children and teach them what they should know for salvation. The Blessed Virgin followed the commands with these words of assurance to Adele Brise, "Go and fear nothing, I will help you."
Since 1859, countless faithful have made the pilgrimage to Champion, Wisconsin to offer prayers of thanksgiving and petition to Jesus and to ask for intercession from Our Lady of Good Help.
Fulfilling obligationsAfter receiving the apparitions, Adele Brise immediately began to fulfill the obligations the Blessed Virgin entrusted to her. She gathered local children and taught them how to pray, make the sign of the cross, and to give love, thanks, and praise to the Lord.
As part of her commitment to the Blessed Virgin, Brise set up a Catholic school and began a community of Third Order Franciscan women. Eventually, a school and convent were built on the grounds to further the mission entrusted to Brise.
Spared during Peshtigo fireThe 151-year history of the Shrine is rich with written and oral accounts of prayers that have been answered at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help. The sources document physical healings and conversions that have taken place as a result of pilgrimages to the Shrine.
In addition, as the Peshtigo fire of 1871 engulfed the surrounding area, the entire five acres of land consecrated to the Blessed Virgin remained unscathed. It is believed that the land was spared after Brise organized a prayer vigil that circled the area.
- Decree approving the Authenticity of the Apparitions of 1859 at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion
- Decree approving the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion as a Diocesan Shrine in the Diocese of Green Bay
- Basic information on apparitions at Champion
- Brief history of the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion
- Web site for the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion
Finding the Shrine
Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help
4047 Chapel Drive
New Franken, WI 54229
Phone: (920) 866-2571
Who we areThe Catholic Diocese of Green Bay works to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ by helping people in need and by providing academic, leadership and spiritual formation opportunities to parish and school leaders. Established in 1868, the Diocese is composed of 345,000 Catholics in 16 counties: Brown, Calumet, Door, Florence, Forest, Kewaunee, Langlade, Manitowoc, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto, Outagamie, Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara and Winnebago.
ContactDeacon Ray DuBois
Director of Communications
Phone: (920) 272-8213 or 1-877-500-3580, ext. 8213