Why the Walk to Mary is a Pilgrimage Unlike Any Other

Are there any pilgrimages that are on your bucket list? The Holy Land? Lourdes? Walking the Camino? Well, you don’t have to go to another continent to experience a prayerful and powerful pilgrimage. The Walk to Mary takes place each year and is a pilgrimage to the only approved Marian apparition in the United States.

Rev. Francis J. Hoffman (aka Father Rocky) stopped by The Patrick Madrid Show recently to share with listeners what makes the Walk to Mary such a beautiful experience year after year.

Explaining why people go on pilgrimages, Fr. Rocky said, “There is a long-standing tradition in the Catholic Church, and even before the Catholic Church, that believers in God go on walking pilgrimages to a holy place. This was the case with Abraham in the desert finally going to Mount Moriah. And that was the case of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph every year walking from Nazareth down to the temple in Jerusalem.”

“There have been some holy places all over the world where the Blessed Mother has appeared. For instance, Lourdes in France, or Fatima in Portugal, or Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City,” he continued. “And now it’s our turn for Catholics and Christians in the United States to become aware of the holy place called the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help.”

The National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help is a Marian shrine, located within the Diocese of Green Bay. The chapel is in the community of Champion, Wisconsin, about 16 miles north east of Green Bay, Wisconsin. It stands on the site of the reported Marian apparition to a Belgian-born woman, Sister Adele Brise, in the year 1859. The video below tells the history of the apparition, and the message Our Lady gave to Sister Adele.



Fr. Rocky, who has participated in the Walk to Mary in the past, gave listeners the details of the Walk, which will take place on May 4th this year. He explained, “We walk from the National Shrine of St. Joseph at St. Norbert’s College in De Pere, WI all the way out to the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help. And you can walk all 21 miles, you can walk 14 miles, you could walk seven miles. Families of young children just walk the last two miles. Last year we had over 1,000 people walk the 21 miles.”

Not only is the Walk to Mary spiritually enriching, but Fr. Rocky pointed out other aspects of the pilgrimage that keep people coming back year after year.

“You’re disconnected from the internet, the cell phone, all the rest,” he told Patrick Madrid. “You’re talking with people around you, you’re meeting people. And it’s very well-organized.  Safety is the first concern, so there is drinking water along the way, there are portable toilets, there is food and nourishment every seven miles.”

“This is really quite unique. One day, 21 miles to a shrine where our Blessed Mother has appeared. That’s quite unique.”

More details and registration information can be found hereOur Lady of Good Help, pray for us!

Stephanie Foley serves as a Digital Media Producer at Relevant Radio®. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where she studied journalism, and she has worked in Catholic radio for 12 years. Stephanie is a wife, a mother of three boys, and in her free time she enjoys reading, running, and really good coffee. You can find more of Stephanie’s writing at relevantradio.com and on the free Relevant Radio mobile app.