Catholics react to shrine’s national designation

By Rachel Koepke | The Compass | August 24, 2016

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]CHAMPION — After Bishop David Ricken announced the national designation of the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help on Aug. 15, pilgrims and local parishioners alike reacted with enthusiasm and support.

“I think it’s quite an honor for the United States that they have (a) national shrine here in Champion,” commented Karen Coppersmith, a member of All Saints Parish in Denmark. Coppersmith and her family have been regular visitors to the shrine since she was a child. “My dad would bring us out here and as I recall we would say the rosary going around the altar on our knees.”


View photos of Assumption Mass, rosary procession on our Flickr site.


To stay connected to Mary, Coppersmith turns to her rosary. “(Mary) will protect us if we say the rosary,” she said. “(Mary) will save the world.”

Christine Gaulke, from St. John the Evangelist in Green Bay, was also in attendance for Bishop Ricken’s announcement. After Mass, she told The Compass about a personal miracle.

Her husband was drafted into the Vietnam War. “I was pregnant with our daughter and I came out (to the shrine) nine times in a row, did a novena to Our Blessed Mother,” she explained. “He was on his way to Vietnam, in the plane. They needed a clerk/typist in London, England. And out of all those hundreds of men they picked my husband.” She was able to travel to London, where they had their daughter. “The Blessed Mother, she answers your prayers.”

Gaulke said it is a blessing to have an apparition site so close to home. “We don’t have to travel all the way to Medjugorje or France or Lourdes,” she said. “We have it right here in our backyard.” Gaulke’s Marian devotion revolves around the rosary. “The rosary is the weapon against Satan,” she said. “The weapon to win peace in the world.”

“I think it’s a pretty cool thing, just to come here and know that the Virgin Mary appeared here,” said Tyler Dotterweich, a member of St. Mary Parish in Menasha. He said his favorite part of the shine is the church. “Just walking through those Holy Doors, knowing what it means.”

Mike Ambrosius, from the Diocese of St. Cloud in Minnesota, was making his annual visit to the shrine with his family when Bishop Ricken made the announcement. He said the national designation is “very special and it gives it authenticity for a Marian apparition. It will bring worldwide attention to Mary.”

Like many others in attendance, Ambrosius highlighted the blessing of having a shrine so close to home.

“A national shrine, for me, is a place where Catholics, or any Christian, who want to have intimacy with God through Mary come to pray for their intentions and to ask the Blessed Mother to continue to intercede on their behalf,” said Sr. Angela Dassinor, a member of the Handmaids of the Divine Redeemer, who serves at Father Carr’s Place 2B in Oshkosh. “It is through Mary that we see Jesus.”

She said witnessing the devotion to Mary, especially at the shrine, is “very beautiful. Seeing people from all walks of life, different nationalities, different people coming to pray through Mary, it gives me some kind of encouragement that we are all one in spirit.”

Sr. Angela has a special devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. “Mary hears her children all over the world and in a place like this, I have confidence that she does her job for everyone,” she said. “Our job is to spread the news.”



The interlocking shape pays homage to the pair of trees between which Mary first appeared. When overlapped, the hemlock and maple trees express unity while forming an M shape.Shrine-of-Our-Lady-of-Good-Help_logoweb2

The color blue represents the royalty, peace and nature associated with Mary.

The ring of stars is symbolic of Mary’s crown, divinely constructed from the 12 most splendid stars.

The shrine’s new title encircles the logo design.

Source: The Karma Group[/vc_message][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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