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US bishop approves Marian apparitions

Catholic World News - December 09, 2010

Bishop David Ricken of Green Bay has officially approved the Marian apparitions at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion, Wisconsin.

“I declare with moral certainty and in accord with the norms of the Church that the events, apparitions and locutions given to Adele Brise in October of 1859 do exhibit the substance of supernatural character, and I do hereby approve these apparitions as worthy of belief (although not obligatory) by the Christian faithful,” he said on December 8.

“Today’s declaration makes Our Lady of Good Help at Champion the first and only site in the United States of an approved apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” according to a diocesan press release.

In 1859, Adele Brise, a 28-year-old Belgian immigrant in Wisconsin, reported that the Blessed Virgin had appeared to her and asked her to catechize children. “Gather the children in this wild country and teach them what they should know for salvation,” the Blessed Mother said. “Teach them their catechism, how to sign themselves with the sign of the cross and how to approach the sacraments.” In 1861, a chapel was built on the site, and in 1867, Sister Adele founded a school to educate children in the faith.

“We need this message today as much as they needed it 150 years ago: the message to proclaim the Gospel, each one of us, in our families and in our workplace,” said Bishop Ricken. “We need to have that same zeal for souls that Adele Brise had. And we need to make sure that we are responsible to our children and to the next generation by providing adequate catechetical formation for them so that they understand the Gospel and that they are able to defend and explain the teachings of the Church. This message is ever ancient and ever new. Each generation must take it.”

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