Compass sponsors pilgrimage to Wisconsin shrines

ALLOUEZ — Father of Mercy Peter Stryker, rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion, will lead a three-day “Wisconsin Shrine Pilgrimage” to approved Marian shrines. The pilgrimage is sponsored by The Compass.

This year’s pilgrimage — featuring stops at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians at Holy Hill; the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, La Crosse; and the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, Champion — will take place in September.

Pilgrims will board the motor coach at 7:45 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 22, at the Diocese of Green Bay campus, 1825 Riverside Drive, for departure to Holy Hill in Hubertus. More than a half-million people from all over the world visit the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary each year.

Holy Hill was dedicated as a minor basilica by then Archbishop Timothy Dolan on Nov. 19, 2006. There are fewer than 60 minor basilicas in the United States.

Before Mass, celebrated at the basilica by Fr. Stryker, there will be time for praying the rosary and the sacrament of reconciliation. Following lunch, there will be a presentation about the shrine. Lunch will be served at Holy Hill and pilgrims will then have time to pray, walk the grounds and visit the gift shop prior to traveling to La Crosse.

Dinner is scheduled at North Country Steak Buffet in La Crosse. The group will lodge at Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center in Onalaska.

Breakfast at the hotel will kick off the itinerary for Friday, Sept. 23. Pilgrims will have free time to see devotional areas at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe prior to a directed tour of the shrine church and works of art.

The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe was dedicated on July 31, 2008. The 100-acre grounds include a visitors’ center, a rosary walk, Stations of the Cross, a friary and a votive chapel. Among its works of art is a mosaic of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the sanctuary that measures 9-feet by 6-feet, created by the Vatican Mosaic Studio.

Mass will be celebrated in the shrine church. Lunch will follow on site. Pilgrims will then have more free time to pray at devotional areas on the grounds and visit the gift shop. A wine tour and tasting is scheduled at Branches Winery, Westby, followed by dinner at Old Towne Inn Supper Club, Westby. Following dinner, the motor coach will return to Onalaska for lodging.

The final day of the pilgrimage, Saturday, Sept. 24, will begin with breakfast at the hotel. The motor coach is expected to arrive at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help early in the afternoon. Pilgrims will gather for lunch at the shrine.

The Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help is built directly over the site where Mary appeared to Adele Brise in 1859. The Marian apparition at the shrine was granted official church approval on Dec. 8, 2010.

Pilgrims will have time to visit the gift shop and grottos and pray in the crypt. Mass in the shrine church will close the pilgrimage. The motor coach will return to the Diocese of Green Bay campus at approximately 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 24.

Recitation of the rosary and opportunity for confession will be offered before each Mass. Cost is $599 per person based on double occupancy. An additional $102 is required for single occupancy. All meals, tips and taxes are included.

All pilgrims under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a paid adult. The pilgrimage capacity is 55. Download a complete brochure at thecompass news.org or contact Amy Kawula, (920) 272-8212; email: [email protected].