With the participation of the Grand Master of the Order of Malta, Fra’ John Dunlap, the annual pilgrimage in Wisconsin of the three American Associations to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Champion took place between 3 and 6 August. Formerly known as the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, it is the site of the only Marian apparition in the United States approved by the Catholic Church.
During the Order of Malta’s tenth pilgrimage to the shrine, members from all over the United States participated in numerous events during the three days.
The opening mass of the pilgrimage, led by the Western Association, was celebrated in the Cathedral of Saint Francis Xavier by Reverend John Girotti, ChM, who illustrated the various ways to enhance the spiritual benefits of the pilgrimage in his homily. The Grand Master was later given a plaque containing a relic of the two trees between which the Madonna appeared to Adele in 1859.
On the second day the pilgrims visited two sacred places: the National Shrine of Our Lady of Champion and the National Shrine of Saint Joseph. In the first shrine, led by the Federal Association, Father Richard Mullins celebrated mass in the Chapel of the Apparitions. In the second shrine there was an Adoration, then Confessions, the Anointing of the Sick and a reflection by Father Augustine Puchner.
During the third and final day there was the rosary procession behind the statue of Our Lady of Champion, followed by a vigil mass in the Apparition Chapel, led by the Western Association and celebrated by Fr. Augustine Puchner.
The pilgrimage was attended by the Regent of the Sub-priory of Our Lady of Lourdes, Fra’ Nicola Tegoni and the Presidents of the American Association, Peter Kelly, of the Federal Association, Fra’ Thomas Mulligan and of the Western Association, Kenneth Olsen.
Thanks to Peter Scudner for the photographs