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Midnight Mass Comes Back To Shrine Near Green Bay

Shrine Of Our Lady Of Good Help Has Vatican’s Stamp Of Approval

Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help
Public Domain

For the first time in recent memory a Catholic shrine in northeastern Wisconsin will celebrate midnight mass on Christmas Eve.

The Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion will welcome worshipers late Saturday night.

The shrine is the only Vatican-approved site in the United States to have a documented apparition of the Virgin Mary. A Belgian immigrant farm girl, Adele Brise, reported seeing a vision of the Virgin Mary on Oct. 9, 1859.

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The Rev. John Broussard, who will lead the mass, said church leaders determined the story of the farm girl is true.

“The Church acknowledges that there was supernatural activity here that our blessed Mother had come.”

Broussard said there are no records of when the last midnight mass was held at the chapel. The shrine is a logical place to hold the ceremony, seeing as how Mary is the mother of Christ and legend has it she gave birth at night, Broussard said.

“How appropriate for that to be especially during the celebration of Christmas and the first celebration of Christmas and the opening celebration, if you will, that we do through devotion to our Blessed Mother,” he said.

Broussard said the chapel can accommodate around 300 people, the lower level shrine will also be open to worshippers on Christmas Eve.

The tradition of midnight masses is going away in some areas, he said.

“Some places still celebrate it routinely. It kind of depends on where you’re at,” Broussard said. “Some places it might not be as safe to celebrate a mass at midnight, you know if you live in a dangerous big city or things like this.”