The Mission of the 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
The National Shrine of Our Lady of Champion, formerly dedicated as the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, is a Catholic shrine to Mary, mother of Jesus located within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Green Bay in the United States. The chapel is in the Champion section of Green Bay, about 16 miles (26 km) northeast of downtown Green Bay proper. It stands on the site of the reported apparition of Mary to a Belgian-born woman, Adele Brise, in 1859.
The apparition was formally approved on December 8, 2010, by Bishop David L. Ricken, becoming the first Marian apparition approved by the Catholic Church in the United States. Bishop Ricken also approved the chapel as a diocesan shrine, recognizing its long history as a place of pilgrimage and prayer. On August 15, 2016, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops designated the shrine as a national shrine. In recognition, the shrine's name was changed to The National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help.
On April 20, 2023, the shrine's name was changed to The National Shrine of Our Lady of Champion.
Apparitions of 1859
Adele Brise was born in Belgium in 1831. Together with her parents, she immigrated to Wisconsin in 1855. In early October 1859, Adele reported seeing a woman clothed in white and standing between two trees, a hemlock and a maple. Adele described the woman as surrounded by a bright light, clothed in dazzling white with a yellow sash around her waist and a crown of stars above her flowing blond locks. Brise was frightened by the vision and prayed until it disappeared. When she told her parents what she had seen, they suggested that a poor soul might need prayers.
The following Sunday, October 8, 1859, Brise saw the apparition a second time while walking to Mass in the community of Bay Settlement. Her sister and another woman (Marie Therese Frisson, 1821–1898) were with her at the time, but neither of them saw anything. She asked the parish priest for advice, and he told her that if she saw the apparition again, she should ask it, "In the Name of God, who are you and what do you wish of me?"
Returning from Mass that same day, she saw the apparition a third time and, this time, asked the question the priest had told her to ask. The apparition replied, "I am the Queen of Heaven, who prays for the conversion of sinners, and I wish you to do the same." Brise was also tasked to "gather the children in this wild country and teach them what they should know for salvation."
She was 28 years old at the time of her vision of the apparition and devoted the rest of her life to teaching children. She initially travelled on foot from house to house but later opened a small school. Other women joined her in her work and formed a community of sisters according to the rule of the Third Order Franciscans, although Brise never took public vows as a nun.
Brise died on July 5, 1896.
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