The 2024 Walk to Mary

On May 4th, thousands will gather in De Pere, Wisconsin at the National Shrine of St. Joseph to make the 11th annual, 21-mile trek to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion. This journey is known as the Walk to Mary, and over the past few years, it has become a pilgrimage like no other for its participants, proving that nothing is impossible with God.

In 2009, a friend of Father Francis “Rocky” Hoffman’s told him about the nearby shrine to Our Lady of Good Help. After finally getting a chance to visit, Father Rocky said he was “immediately” convinced of its legitimacy. After some time passed, while Father was hosting a conference for some men, he asked them to pray about the possibility of a pilgrimage walk to the shrine in Champion.

On December 8th, 2010, Bishop David Ricken formally approved the apparitions of Our Lady of Good Help, making it the first Church-approved Marian apparition in the United States. Pat Deprey and Tom Schmit, the co-founders of the Walk to Mary, and others met to discuss the possibility of making the pilgrimage a reality. They finally decided on the 21-mile walk from De Pere to Champion and in May of 2013, the first Walk to Mary took place.

Every year, more and more people come from more and more places. In its second year, the Walk to Mary had about 500 participants, the third year had about 800-900, and last year, it had over 5,300 participants from all across the country. We hope to have even more this year.

“And what people take away from the pilgrimage largely depends on what they bring to it,” said Father Rocky. “And I encourage people to bring their intentions, to realize that with God’s grace, nothing’s impossible. And God can give us miracles of transformation in our own life: saving marriages and saving lives and getting a second chance. Because as Christians, we believe not only in forgiveness and redemption, but we believe in second chances. We don’t have to live in the past.”

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Register now for Walk to Mary – May 4th, 2024, 7:00 am CT

The Annual 2024 Walk to Mary will take place on Saturday, May 4th, beginning at the National Shrine of St. Joseph at 7:00 am CT. If 21 miles sounds too difficult, there are also several options to join the walk at different points, including the two-mile ‘Walk with the Children” for families. More information regarding the alternative walks can be found on the Walk to Mary website. Hope to see you there for the Walk to Mary!

Register for the walk here!


If you would like to see what the route looks like and all the various starting points you can use, please see the map below.

Walk to Mary Route

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John Hanretty serves as a Digital Media Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of the Gupta College of Business at the University of Dallas. Besides being passionate about writing, his hobbies include drawing and digital design. You can read more of his daily articles at and on the Relevant Radio® app.