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The idea of pilgrimage began to take shape from a very young age when making informal pilgrimages to Holy Hill.  My family would frequently take trips there in the fall to enjoy the colors of God's creation. I would enjoy climbing the observation tower, and picking up a pumpkin for carving at one of the local farms on the way home. The spiritual experience was only scratching the surface of my soul. I did not know it at the time, but through these pilgrimages the seeds for a walking pilgrimage from the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help to the Shrine of Our Lady Help of Christians (Holy Hill) were being planted.

The call to make this deeper pilgrimage began when I was amazingly brought to the Diocese of Green Bay, home of the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help. I began to feel an inspiration to connect my childhood experiences with Holy Hill to my mission here in Green Bay.  I attribute my relocation to the Green Bay Diocese to the care of our Lady and when I came here I saw fit to thank Our Lady at her shrine just outside of Green Bay.

The message from the apparitions resonated in my soul and strengthened my faith in her intercession for the protection of my vocation.  The idea for a walking pilgrimage from the shrine to Holy Hill seemed like an unattainable dream. It seemed to be too daunting of a task for a 41 year old priest who didn't seem to have the time or energy to do such a thing.  I was thinking this might be an idea that I could encourage a youth group to undertake.

But when I presented the idea to some young men they said that I had to personally do it if it was going to work.  I put the idea to the side for a time and then I was appointed to the closest neighboring parishes to the Shrine.  I felt Mary was calling me to a greater pursuit of the idea by this appointment. I began to make more frequent visits to the shrine, the place where she was able to affirm the call to make the pilgrimage.

The pilgrimage no longer remained just an idea in my mind and it began to take the shape of a mission in my life.  One day an aspect of Our Lady of Good Help's message struck me.  It was the most unique part of the message to Sister Adel, "Go out into this wild country and teach the children what they need to know for salvation."  I came to realize this message was also meant for me and everyone who visits the shrine with devotion.

It also affirmed the idea of leaving from the Shrine to begin the pilgrimage. With all this I found a new and special kinship with Sister Adele, one of a shared mission, and I began asking for her intercession to help me take on this mission...this dream.  I began to look more deeply into possible routes to take from the Shrine to Holy Hill. I also made a couple of 7.5 mile walking pilgrimages to the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help from my rectory at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish. These activities began to inspire dreams in my sleep which had me walking the Pilgrim's Way to Holy Hill.

I began to investigate and inquire about possible stopping points for my longer pilgrimage.  In my investigations I have only been met with the support of others.  One day in particular was most affirming.  Driving on my way to meet my mom and dad for dinner on mother's day I came across some providential support.  I was headed down to the Holy Hill area in order to meet my parents and was running a bit early.  I remembered my investigation of possible stopping points on Google Maps and knew there were three possible parishes in West Bend, WI but I could only remember the name of one of them, St. Francis Cabrini.  I thought to myself that if I could stop in the Church and say a pray for the pilgrimage it would be an affirmation of my mission and dream.

As I drove up to the church I saw a man and a woman standing beside the church speaking to each other so I went to introduce myself.  Before I could say my name the man said, you're Fr. Andrew Kurz. Little did I know that he was a brother priest who I had met several times before when he was an assistant at my parent's parishes in the Milwaukee area. He had just been assigned to the West Bend parish within the last year.  After letting him know what I was up to he assured me that he would be able to work out some accommodations for my pilgrimage.  When I went into the church I was able to make a prayer of thanksgiving for all that God was providing.

I continue to see blessings in others who have been sent for encouragement and those who want to make this mission even more fruitful through technical tools that will help bring the message of salvation which Our Lady of Good Help has spoken of through modern day modes of communication.

Pray with Mary. Walk with Jesus.

Fr. Andrew Kurz

Published on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 in Pages

Support Our Mission

We would appreciate prayerful consideration and volunteers to fulfill the following needs:

  • Individuals located in Northeast Wisconsin with an entrepreneurial background or spirit who are able to serve on the Board of Directors.
  • A qualified Accountant to finalize our 501c3 paperwork
  • Prayers and financial support to firmly establish the foundation for The Wisconsin Way
  • Prayer support for upcoming pilgrimages

If you are able to help in any of these ways, contact us by email through the Contact Us page. Thank you for your interest and prayers!

Published on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 in Pages

The Wisconsin Way In the News

Catholic News Agency

Local priest blazes pilgrimage across Wisconsin
Local priest blazes pilgrimage across Wisconsin

Local priest blazes pilgrimage across Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wis., Oct 27, 2013 / 05:06 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- "Pray with Mary, walk with Jesus," is the motto of Fr. Andrew Kurz, who just finished praying and walking 120 miles in the Wisconsin countryside as part of a new pilgrimage he dubbed "The Wisconsin Way".

Fr. Kurz began the 12-day trek along the Ice Age trail Oct. 13, starting at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in New Franken, Wis., and ending at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians at Holy Hill in Hubertus, Wis.

The pilgrimage has been in the works since March, when Fr. Kurz was inspired by the movie "The Way", a 2011 film about the 500-mile Camino de Santiago in Spain.

Read more at the Catholic News Agency

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Published on Sunday, October 27, 2013 in Media