By Cynthia Germain
The National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help located at the door to the Door is celebrating a special anniversary this week. There has been a series of presentations and activities leading up to the apparition anniversary day celebration of October 9th. The Shrine is the only national apparition site approved in the United States by the Catholic Church, and many come from here and abroad to pray and experience the healing in the apparition oratory. Corrie Campbell, Communication and Events Coordinator for the Shrine, has observed many graces in response to visiting the site.
158 years ago, Adele Brise, a Belgian immigrant, was said to be empowered by the Virgin Mary’s appearance to teach area children of Catholicism, and in doing so, became a hub of faith’s activities. In 1871, Adele was the center of the first miracle at the site, having led prayers with community members during the Peshtigo fire, witnessing the fire subside and area remaining unburned. Many of the over 200 volunteers are descendants of those who experienced this historic event. This year, the staff and volunteers of the Shrine have seen 150,000 visitors, receiving 4-5 busloads a day. They expect a half million people to come to the Shrine over the next five years. The Door County Visitors Convention Bureau continues to assist them in providing housing options for the pilgrimage participants.