It is with much excitement that I write to share some special news! The Shrine has received word from the Holy See’s Dicastery for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments confirming the Shrine’s ability to celebrate an annual Solemnity Day on the grounds of the Apparition site under the title “Our Lady of Champion” every October 9 – the established anniversary day of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s second and third apparitions to Adele Brise in 1859.
The inaugural Solemnity Mass of Our Lady of Champion will be celebrated on the grounds of the National Shrine this October 9th, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. CST. I invite you to join us then to celebrate our Blessed Mother’s apparition in Champion, and to reflect on her profound presence here in the United States.
Please know that at this time, the new Solemnity of Our Lady of Champion will only be celebrated on the Grounds of the Shrine and will not be included in the Diocese of Green Bay liturgical calendar, nor in the Proper Calendar for the Dioceses of the United States of America or General Roman Calendar.
Consistent with this new Solemnity under the title “Our Lady of Champion,” and in keeping with similar nomenclature used for other approved Marian Apparition Sites worldwide that take the name of the location where the apparitions occur, I am excited to share that we will officially be changing our name from the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Champion.
Beginning in May, we will make the steady transition around the grounds of the Shrine and across digital platforms, which will culminate as we near the new Solemnity of Our Lady of Champion on October 9th.
I pray you know that we, at the Shrine, will always have a deep devotion to the history and title of Our Lady of Good Help. For myself and so many, the title of Our Lady of Good Help is connected to many graces that have been received through prayer and pilgrimage. It brings peace to remember that the many titles to Our Lady – through location or history – all refer to the same Blessed Virgin Mary, whose only desire is to bring souls to her son, Jesus.
With the transition from Our Lady of Good Help to Our Lady of Champion, the Shrine is hoping to further identify Our Blessed Mother to the location and community in which she appeared. Not only will this step align more closely with other beloved Marian Apparition sites around the world, but it will also help address any confusion that has existed in the past related to the Blessed Mother’s title in reference to the National Shrine – including titles such as Our Lady of Good Health, Our Lady of Good Hope, Our Lady Help of Christians, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
While our name will change, our mission remains. In a spirit of humility and simplicity, we continue to be a welcoming sanctuary of peace, inviting all to grow in their relationship with Jesus through his Blessed Mother. We continue as a destination for pilgrims who seek healing of mind, body, and soul through the Sacraments and prayer – while also providing an environment that fosters the teaching of the Catholic faith to children and adults. This all remains. And through your generous support – giving of your time, talents, gifts, and prayers – it truly flourishes.
The Most Reverend David L. Ricken, 12th Bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay, shared this news publicly at the National Shrine in Champion on April 20.
Please keep the Shrine in your prayers as we embark on this transition, and please know of our prayers for you and your family at this time!
Our Lady of Champion, Pray for Us!
Fr. Joseph Aytona, CPM
Rector of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help
To Read Bishop Ricken’s Decree, please click here for PDF File