The Shrine Newsletter

Carry the Message and the Mission Forward

On these grounds over 150 years ago, the Holy Mother appeared to the young Adele Brise and instructed her to teach the children in the faith. This is where Sister Adele began her work and inspired the efforts of generations of faithful Christians.
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January 30 – Marie Adele Joseph Brise is born in Dion-le-Val, Belgium. Read Adele Brise



May 13 – At a conference in Baltimore, the Bishops of the United States, under her title of the Immaculate Conception, choose Our Blessed Mother as the patron of the United States.


Immigrants from Holland, Belgium and Germany arrive in the area around Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA. This area becomes known as the Bay Settlement.


December 8 – The Pope declares the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.


February – Our Blessed Mother manifests herself and expresses her will to St. Bernadette in Lourdes, France.


October 9 – Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary occur to Adele and she begins her teaching mission. Read The Good News


Her father, Lambert Brise, builds the first chapel on the Shrine grounds. Read Haven for Healing and Celebration


Pilgrimages to the Shrine begin. Read Celebrating Together


A group of Franciscan Tertiaries begin their life together in a farmhouse near the chapel. The school and convent are built. Read Teach the Children


The chapel school opens as Saint Mary’s Boarding Academy. Read Teach the Children


October 8 – The Peshtigo Fire destroys everything in the area surrounding the Shrine except the convent, school, chapel and five acres of land consecrated to the Virgin Mary. Read Shelter from the Fire


The Diocese builds a brick residence and school with money solicited by Adele.


Sister “Maggie” (Marguerite Allard), assistant to Adele and secretary for the tertiary group at the chapel, dies.


Bishop Messmer solicits the help of the Canons of Premontre from Berne Abbey in Holland to work on the peninsula. Father Bernard Pennings and his group of Norbertines are the first of their order to come to America.


July 5 – Adele dies. Leadership of the chapel and school are entrusted to her associate Sister Madeleine. Read Adele Brise


Two remaining Tertiaries at the chapel enter the Community of Franciscan Sisters at Bay Settlement. Bishop Messmer of Green Bay entrusts the work at the chapel to the Sisters of St. Francis from Bay Settlement. Sister Pauline LaPlante, O.S.F. is assigned to the chapel and remains as its head for the next 24 years. Read Sister Pauline


March 15 – Sister Pauline dies at the chapel and is buried at the Bay Settlement Sisters cemetery. Read Sister Pauline


Bishop Paul Peter Rhode of the Green Bay Diocese closes the chapel’s boarding school. Franciscan Sisters are asked to remain and care for the complex. Read Teach the Children


The brick convent and school is remodeled as a home for crippled children. Read Teach the Children


December 8 – Bishop Rhode lays the cornerstone of the fourth and present chapel.


July 12 – Bishop Rhode dedicates the new chapel to Our Lady of Good Help. Read Haven for Healing and Celebration


The crippled children’s home is closed and the buildings are leased to the Sisters of St. Francis at one dollar per year and converted into a Pre-Novitiate High School for girls desiring to enter the convent. Read Teach the Children


The Most Reverend S. V. Bona, Bishop of Green Bay, appoints the first resident chaplain for the chapel.


Because of the increase in vocations, a new dormitory is built on the chapel grounds to house the young women attending high school and religious formation. Read Teach the Children


The Franciscan Pre-Novitiate High School is closed due to lack of vocations. The Franciscan Sisters continue on at the chapel serving the people in the area. Three Benedictine priests arrive at the chapel but stay only one year.


August – The Most Reverend Jean Jadot, Apostolic Delegate to North America (and native of Belgium) was the main celebrant of an outdoor Mass in honor of the Blessed Mother at the chapel. The Mass attracted more than 500 faithful.


The Carmelite Sisters from Grand Rapids, Michigan take possession of the chapel complex.


The Carmelite Sisters depart from the chapel and the Diocese of Green Bay resumes control of the chapel and all shrine operations.


Bishop Ricken appoints a commission to formally investigate the apparitions that occurred on the site.


December 8 – Bishop Ricken approved the apparitions in a formal declaration at the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Read the Decree Approving the Apparitions


The Fathers of Mercy began serving the sacramental needs of the Shrine pilgrims.

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