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Bishop Ricken approves Marian apparitions at Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help at Champion

A press release distributed by the Green Bay Diocese:

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.

Reading 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.

In 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 do the same, 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.

After receiving the apparitions, Adele Brise began work immediately to fulfill the obligations entrusted to her by the Blessed Virgin. 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, Adele 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.

The 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 thanks to a prayer vigil that circled the area, which was organized by Adele Brise.

More information on Shrine background and timelines can be at http://www.gbdioc.org/ and http://www.shrineofourladyofgoodhelp.com/.

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Who we are: The 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.


Contact: Dcn. Ray DuBois, director of Communications, phone 920-272-8213 or e-mail rdubois@gbdioc.org.

Related links:
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

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

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