CHAMPION — The National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help will celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary with a novena leading up to the feast day Mass on Saturday, Aug. 15 at 11 a.m.
The novena includes nine days of prayer beginning Friday, Aug. 7 and culminating Saturday, Aug. 15, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Assumption commemorates Mary’s death and the assumption of her body and soul into heaven. The traditional feast day Mass will be followed by the outdoor Eucharistic Rosary Procession.
“The novena is a beautiful way to connect to Jesus through Mary,” said Father of Mercy John Broussard, shrine rector. He welcomed all to participate in prayer during the novena.
The Assumption novena prayers will be included as part of the shrine’s daily Mass at 11 a.m. in the chapel. Pilgrims can pray the novena by attending the Mass at the shrine or pray along remotely on the shrine’s website (click on “Novenas” in the upper right part of the home page). Visitors can include an email address and have the daily prayers sent to them via email.
In addition to the traditional feast day Mass at 11 a.m., two additional Masses will be celebrated at 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. in the chapel by the Fathers of Mercy. The 8:30 a.m. Mass will be livestreamed on the shrine website.
Bishop David Ricken will be the principal celebrant at the 11 a.m. feast day Mass, which will take place in the indoor/outdoor facility, Mother of Mercy Hall. Additional tent seating will be available outdoors to ensure proper distancing.
The annual rosary procession takes place at 12:15 p.m. on the shrine grounds, followed by the second annual Assumption Day Family Picnic. Visitors can bring their own lunch or purchase food and refreshments at the site.
Pilgrims visiting the shrine will be able to view the newly-restored “Queen of Heaven” statue in the historic chapel and the newly installed stained glass windows in Mother of Mercy Hall. The windows illustrate the encounter the Queen of Heaven had with Adele Brise when she appeared on shrine grounds in 1859.
All visitors are asked to follow social distancing guidelines, both inside the buildings and outdoors, and observe room capacity restrictions that are posted throughout the shrine grounds.
For more information, visit championshrine.org.