At dawn my brother and I arrived at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion, Wis. The place was deserted, except for one woman on her knees who looked like she never left the shrine, like Anna who never left the Temple. I found my way to the crypt chapel and knelt before a statue of Mary. Amid the flowers and flickering votive lamps, I prayed. My brother lit a candle, gave me a hug and then drove away. And then, through a light rain and howling wind, I left the chapel and started walking down a lonely farm road. I was on pilgrimage, not in a foreign land, but back where I had been born and raised. I was on the Wisconsin Way.
This new pilgrimage links the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, near Green Bay, with the Basilica and National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians (popularly known as “Holy Hill”), northwest of Milwaukee.