Lourdes, Fatima, Guadalupe and Champion, Wisconsin all are part of a select group of places worldwide where the Blessed Virgin Mary is believed to have appeared.

In America, The National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help at Champion covers the peace-filled holy ground deemed ‘worthy of belief’ by authority of the Catholic Church, that Mary, the mother of Jesus, appeared. Identifying herself as ‘The Queen of Heaven who prays for the conversion of sinners,’ Mary appeared in October 1859 to a Belgian immigrant woman, Adele Brise, on the grounds of Champion Shrine, when the town was known as Robinsonville.

According to the direct accounts of those who worked with Adele throughout the years of her mission work, she was instructed, in a series of locutions by Our Lady, to ‘make a general confession, pray and offer communion for the conversion of sinners and to gather the children in the wild country to teach them what they needed to know for their salvation.’ She further instructed Adele, to ‘teach the children their catechism, how to ‘make the sign of the cross’ and how to ‘approach the sacraments.’ Mary ended by saying: ‘That is what I wish you to do. Go and fear nothing, I will help you.’

These locutions by Our Lady of Good Help became the foundation of a life-long legacy of catechetical mission work by Brise with local families. She traveled on foot in a 50-mile radius around the present-day Shrine to teach and instruct as she was told by Mary. Adele’s father later built a chapel on the apparition site where she also began her teaching work.

On October 8, 1871, almost twelve years to the date of Mary’s last appearance, a Midwestern drought caused two of the worst fires in America’s history – one in Chicago and the other in Peshtigo, Wisconsin. The same drought caused an inferno that began raging through the rural area, threatening the chapel in the town of Robinsonville. Local families who had been involved with Adele Brise as part of her mission work in catechesis traveled during the fire to the chapel on the Shrine’s grounds, many with babies, small children and farm animals, to pray the rosary.

On their knees and in procession all night long, as the areas near the Shrine were reduced to ashes, those who gathered at the Shrine prayed the rosary, asking Our Lady of Good Help for her intercession with her Son, Jesus, to save them from the fire. Their prayers were answered when the rains came and extinguished the fire, preserving  the chapel and Shrine grounds.

According to the direct accounts of those who worked with Adele throughout the years of her mission work, she was instructed, in a series of locutions by Our Lady, to ‘make a general confession, pray and offer communion for the conversion of sinners and to gather the children in the wild country to teach them what they needed to know for their salvation.’ She further instructed Adele, to ‘teach the children their catechism, how to ‘make the sign of the cross’ and how to ‘approach the sacraments.’ Mary ended by saying: ‘That is what I wish you to do. Go and fear nothing, I will help you.’

These locutions by Our Lady of Good Help became the foundation of a life-long legacy of catechetical mission work by Brise with local families. She traveled on foot in a 50-mile radius around the present-day Shrine to teach and instruct as she was told by Mary. Adele’s father later built a chapel on the apparition site where she also began her teaching work.

On October 8, 1871, twelve years to the date of Mary’s last appearance, a Midwestern drought caused two of the worst fires in America’s history – one in Chicago and the other in Peshtigo, Wisconsin. The same drought caused an inferno that began raging through the rural area, threatening the chapel in the town of Robinsonville. Local families who had been involved with Adele Brise as part of her mission work in catechesis traveled during the fire to the chapel on the Shrine’s grounds, many with babies, small children and farm animals, to pray the rosary.

On their knees and in procession all night long, as the areas near the Shrine were reduced to ashes, those who gathered at the Shrine prayed the rosary, asking Our Lady of Good Help for her intercession with her Son, Jesus, to save them from the fire. Their prayers were answered when the rains came and extinguished the fire, preserving  the chapel and Shrine grounds.

In Champion Shrine history, this event marked what many believe to be one of the first graces granted through intercessory prayer with Our Lady of Good Help, to Jesus.

This and other miraculous instances at Champion Shrine continue to be a harbinger of hope for thousands who travel on pilgrimage to pray for help and healing. To this day, many descendants of those whose lives were spared during the October 8, 1871 fire come to celebrate the miracle of the fire on that day annually, praying the rosary all night long into the following day, October 9, the date historians believe marks the anniversary of the last appearance of Mary at Champion in 1859.

In December 2010, after a period of prayerful discernment during which he reviewed years of research and investigation by expert Mariologists, The Most Rev. David L. Ricken, Bishop of Green Bay, determined it to be ‘worthy of belief’ that the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Adele Brise.

On August 15, 2016,  The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops declared Champion a ‘National Shrine,’ by formal decree, distinguishing ‘The National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help’ as the first and only Catholic Shrine in America with a Church-approved Marian Apparition Site. This and other international media coverage of events that have occurred continue to draw thousands to Champion Shrine.

Champion Shrine grounds include a Chapel and apparition oratory in the lower level of the Chapel, a new prayer and events center, outdoor rosary walk and stations of the cross, a welcome center with Shrine history, a gift shop and the original historic schoolhouse building where Adele Brise once taught.  The Schoolhouse building contains meeting/ gathering rooms and an onsite cafe. The Chapel, Apparition Oratory, outdoor stations of the cross and outdoor rosary walk are open 365 days a year, from 7 AM until 7 PM.

Large gatherings, outdoor masses, processions, speaking engagements, retreats, educational workshops, Eucharistic healing services, and religious events are held throughout the year to carry out the message of Our Lady of Good Help and to carry on the mission she inspired in Adele Brise.

All are welcome to experience the peace of Champion Shrine in the presence of Mary through intercessory prayer to her Son, Jesus.

Our Mission at Champion Shrine:

To continue the gospel mission of Jesus Christ by responding to Mary’s call to Adele Brise to foster conversion, teach the children and minister to the sick and old.

In a spirit of humility and simplicity, the Shrine is:

  • A welcoming sanctuary of peace inviting all to grow in their relationship with Her Son, Jesus;
  • A destination for pilgrims who seek healing of mind, body, and soul;
  • An environment that fosters the teaching of the Catholic faith to children and adults;
  • A place to encounter Jesus in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, Reconciliation, and Anointing of the Sick, for the salvation of all throughout the world.
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