Monday, August 29, 2011

Queen Mother

A story about the site of the only Church approved Marian shrine in the United States from the National Catholic Register.

An excerpt.

“CHAMPION, Wis. — At the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help outside of Green Bay, Wis., it used to be that the largest crowds came each year for the Aug. 15 outdoor Mass with the bishop. However, according to longtime caretaker of the shrine Karen Tipps, every day is now like the feast of the Assumption.

“There is a night-and-day difference between the summer of 2010 and this summer,” Tipps said. “We are seeing 10 times the number of daily visitors we would typically have in the summer.”

“That’s because last December, on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, Green Bay’s Bishop David Ricken announced that this shrine was an approved apparition site of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is the only Church-approved Marian apparition site in the United States.

“It was here, in 1859, when the Blessed Mother appeared three times to a young Belgium immigrant, Adele Brise. The message of the Blessed Mother to Adele was to “gather the children in this wild country and teach them what they should know for salvation.”

“The new rector of the shrine, Father Peter Stryker, hopes that message will continue to inspire pilgrims. Father Stryker and a fellow priest, both members of the Fathers of Mercy, a religious order of priests based in Kentucky, arrived in early July to take over the shrine’s daily operations at the request of Bishop Ricken.

“Both of us feel very welcomed and appreciated here,” said Father Stryker. “The holy traffic has indeed increased during these summer months. We feel honored to be serving at the first and thus far only site of Church-approved Marian apparitions here in the United States.”