Editorial: Region should prepare for Our Lady of Good Help shrine visitors

It's only a matter of time before Christians from around the world pass through our area on spiritual journeys to Our Lady of Good Help in Champion.

Will Northeastern Wisconsin be ready?

Within 24 hours of the announcement last week that it had become the first recognized Marian shrine in the United States, Our Lady of Good Help was besieged with inquiries about pilgrimages and prayer requests, said Karen Tipps, gift shop manager at the 19th-century shrine about 16 miles northeast of Green Bay.

"People out here are just exuberant," Tipps said Tuesday. "They're saying, 'Oh my gosh, we've made the map. Now everybody knows where we are.'"

It's difficult to gauge when our region might see an increase in travelers to the shrine, which now carries the same designation as the internationally renowned sites of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico and Our Lady of Lourdes in France. When pilgrims arrive, Champion and surrounding communities — including the greater Green Bay area — should be prepared.

Already, callers from California to New York have asked about lodging, Tipps said, adding that she plans to look for discounts at Green Bay-area hotels for busloads of people who may plan pilgrimages to the site. About 15 buses per year travel to the site, she said; and she's expecting many more based on the steady stream of calls and e-mail inquiries she has received in the past week.
The rest at GB Press Gazette 


Rick said...

I would not be surprise the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help be declared a minor basilica. The possibility also exists of building a bigger church next to the chapel to accomodate more pilgrims, etc.

kevin@treefrogclick.com said...

I think it's great that we in the U.S. have our first approved Marian apparition shrine. I hope there are lots of pilgrimages, and the shrine becomes a source of graces for many people.
I have just started a website about the shrine at www.goodhelppilgrimage.com, and need ideas and encouragement from folks to get it started. Visit the site and tell me what you think.