(Champion, Wis.) – Pilgrims from Northeast Wisconsin, and far beyond, will make the journey from the Shrine of St. Joseph at Old St. Joseph Church in De Pere to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion, Wis. on Saturday, May 4. Registration for the 7th annual Walk to Mary is now open.
“The 21-mile trek from Shrine to Shrine is a wonderful reminder of the journey many of us take with Mary to Jesus,” says Pat Deprey, Walk to Mary co-founder, who also serves as the event director. “Faith is a test of perseverance. It’s the journey we take to get there that makes it worthwhile.”
“Our Lady’s instructions to Adele Brise, when she appeared for the final time to her at Champion in 1859, inspired Brise to journey in a 50-mile radius around Champion to teach children their catechism at homes in the area,” Deprey said. “It was Adele’s faith and her covenant to bring more people to Jesus through Mary that inspired her journey.”
The Walk to Mary will again be supported by Father Francis Hoffman. Known as “Father Rocky,” he is executive director of Relevant Radio, the largest Catholic radio broadcasting network in the U.S., headquartered in Green Bay.
“Father Rocky was the first to bring up the idea of a pilgrimage and, with Mother Mary’s help, Walk to Mary has become a reality,” said event co-founder Tom Schmit. “It’s great to see how this event has grown in the last few years. We look forward to welcoming more and more pilgrims.”
In addition, the Fathers of Mercy will celebrate Mass at 3:30 p.m. Saturday and The Most Reverend David L. Ricken, Bishop of Green Bay, will celebrate Mass at the Shrine at 5:15 p.m. Saturday. On Sunday, May 5 at 11 a.m., Father Rocky will serve as principal celebrant at Mass with the traditional May Crowning ceremony at the Shrine.
To register for Walk to Mary, visit www.walktomary.com. Shorter walking routes are available for the journey with lunch provided at Holy Cross Parish in Green Bay.
About the Shrine: On Oct. 9, 1859, the Queen of Heaven appeared to Adele Brise in Champion, Wisconsin, and said to her, “Gather the children in this wild country and teach them what they should know for salvation. Teach them their catechism, how to sign themselves with the Sign of the Cross and how to approach the sacraments; that is what I wish you to do. Go and fear nothing. I will help you.” In 2010, Bishop David Ricken granted formal Church approval to the Marian apparition at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help. In 2016, it was designated as a National Shrine by the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops. It is the first and only confirmed appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the United States.
Mass is held at the National Shrine daily at 11 a.m. and at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday and Saturday. Confession is at 10 a.m. Sunday – Friday and 9:15 a.m. on Saturday. Devotions take place Wednesday at 4:30 p.m., during the Sunday Holy Hour at 2 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m. and the first Saturday of the month after the 8:30 a.m. Mass.