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The Deacon's Bench


Our Lady of Good Help: “Worthy of belief”

posted by jmcgee

800px-OurLadyOfGoodHelpChapel.jpg For the first time ever, a Marian apparition in the United States has received formal approval.

Details:

Bishop David Ricken announced today that he officially approves the Marian apparitions at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help at Champion.

The announcement was made during a special Mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help at Champion.

Reading from his decree, the Bishop stated, “I declare with moral certainty and in accord with the norms of the Church that the events, apparitions and locutions given to Adele Brise in October of 1859 do exhibit the substance of supernatural character, and I do hereby approve these apparitions as worthy of belief (although not obligatory) by the Christian faithful.”

Today’s declaration makes Our Lady of Good Help at Champion the first and only site in the United States of an approved apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

October 1859, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared on three occasions to Adele Brise, a young Belgian immigrant. Brise stated that a lady dressed in dazzling white appeared to her and claimed to be the “Queen of Heaven who prays for the conversion of sinners.”

The Lady asked Brise to pray for sinners, as well as to gather the children and teach them what they should know for salvation. The Blessed Virgin followed the commands with these words of assurance to Adele Brise, “Go and fear nothing, I will help you.”

Since 1859, countless faithful have made the pilgrimage to Champion, Wisconsin to offer prayers of thanksgiving and petition to Jesus and to ask for intercession from Our Lady of Good Help.

And that’s just the beginning. Read the rest. And visit the website for the shrine.

Our Lady of Good Help, pray for us!



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James Martin SJ

posted December 8, 2010 at 3:33 pm


The year after Lourdes! Mary was busy.



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Klaire

posted December 8, 2010 at 6:12 pm


Does the Vatican also have to approve it for it to have the same weight as Lourdes or Fatima?



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Steve P

posted December 8, 2010 at 7:02 pm


Deo Gratias!



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Deacon Greg Kandra

posted December 8, 2010 at 8:04 pm


Klaire…
I think the bishop’s statement stands as definitive. From one of the news reports:
The Diocese of Green Bay has published information on its Web site regarding apparitions in the Church.
The statements clarify that it is a diocesan bishop and not the Holy See nor the episcopal conference that is responsible for judging the authenticity of apparitions that are said to have occurred in his diocese.
The statements further noted that not all alleged apparitions are given Church approval, and in the United States, for example, supposed apparitions at Necedah, Wisconsin, and Bayside, New York, were examined and declared to be false.
“No one can prove the supernatural,” the statement recalled. “The Church judges apparitions on the basis of their consistency with sacred Scripture, sacred Tradition and the teachings of the Church, the subsequent spiritual benefits in the lives of people, and whether there is anything in the life of the seer that detracts from the credibility of the account.”
Dcn. G.



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nnmns

posted December 8, 2010 at 9:10 pm


So, why hasn’t she been back? And why doesn’t she show up for cameras? How about when people know she’ll be there?
But it should bring in a lot of money for the Green Bay diocese.
I would suggest she not bother coming on a Sunday when the Packers are playing.



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Rick

posted December 8, 2010 at 11:03 pm


I enjoy your blog, Deacon, and I’m looking forward to the move. Since you’ve been on Beliefnet there’s been a lot of insults, mockery and baiting directed at Catholics. Some of the commenters sure seem to think they are funny, but who know’s what seeds you’ve planted with them.



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Bill Donovan

posted December 9, 2010 at 7:48 am


1859?! Have they been studying it all these years? Weird!



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Klaire

posted December 9, 2010 at 10:08 am


Thanks for the info Dcn. Greg. I guess I’m a bit confused because of Medjugorie where the Vatican appears to have taken it OUT of the hands of the local bishop, thereby left wondering if the Vatican really does have the final say.
Bill, it’s not really strange for apparations to take over a century to confirm. Sometimes their approval coincicdes with the right time in history and culture, when it might be more needed.
When it comes to the supernatural, all bets are off on how things play out. Heck, even Dostoevsky “saw the prophecies of Fatima/Russia” long before the Fatima apparitions. Go figure!



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Queens Catholic

posted December 9, 2010 at 10:09 am


What Rick says is very true! But if the WHOLE truth be told, some of the Catholics who comment on this blog are among the most offensive, mean spirited and uncharitable people I have ever seen. As a practicing Roman Catholic who’s more than a bit traditional, they embarrass me.
They repsresent neither the breadth, the depth, nor beauty of the Catholic tradition. Some of them think they are a ecumencial council, censor librorum and theology department all wrapped up in one! And they don’t take into consideration that as Catholics, they are supposed to be representing Christ in both their thoughts and actions.
Sometimes I think that Catholic bloggers should be required to take some sort of test, class, or get certification before they are allowed to let people who aren’t Catholics be deceived into that these are the official representatives of Catholic teaching.
But that’s just my opinion. And we all know what opinions are like!



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Klaire

posted December 9, 2010 at 10:44 am


Queens Catholic I see your point, but one of the most interesting things I’ve come to appreicate about this blog at BNet IS the fact that it is so diverse. Sure it can get out hand at times, but I think all and all Dcn. Greg has done a pretty good job of regining it in when it does.
IMO (for what’s it’s worth), when you have so many points on the spectrum, it almost acts as a check and balance. Let there be no doubt that the “know it alls” probably rec’d as many “seeds” as the trolls. As much as I initially didn’t want to come to a “secular” blog format (secular in that it was for the most part, removed from the Catholic blogsphere), I’ve come to really appreicate all the points of views, providing they are respectful.
Also, it’s a fact that often when a person speaks truth, many who aren’t ready to hear that truth view the person as “mean sprited.” Even in charity, sometimes it just isn’t easy to speak/write truth, but never doubt that it’s in those “unconfortable” times that seeds often take root, even if they decades more to sprout.
Most of all, being the goal of all Catholics should be to evangalize, what better place to go “outside the choir” and get a real grasp on what the outsiders really think?
There is for sure a place for both. We need strong Catholic blogs to edify Catholics, but I also thing we need just as many strong Catholics outside of the Catholic blogosphere where many fallen or lost Catholics would never thing of coming.
Again, I will trust the Holy Spirt that he’s taking Dcn. Greg where He wants him. After all, the best of all worlds would be if the secular world DID follow him into Pathos, at least IMO :)



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Deacon Greg Kandra

posted December 9, 2010 at 10:52 am


Thanks for you thoughts, Klaire …
FWIW, Patheos is similar to Beliefnet, in that it serves as a gathering place for a wide range of religious beliefs — everything from Catholicism to Judaism to Paganism. I’ve found the level of discourse over there to be thoughtful, respectful and wide-ranging. The site has relationships and partnerships with a number of secular outlets — notably, USA Today, Huffington Post and the Washington Post — so I feel confident it will attract some new and interesting readers. And I have full confidence in (and deep affection for) the Catholic Portal Manager over there, Elizabeth Scalia. I feel I’m in good hands. :-)
For a variety of reasons, this seemed like a good time to move there. I’ll just have to see what the Holy Spirit has planned :-)
Dcn. G.



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JIM

posted December 9, 2010 at 3:04 pm


** Pretty serious consequences when worshiping the ” QUEEN OF HEAVEN ”
Read JEREMIAH 44
The judgment of GOD was brought on against the offering of cakes baked to the false goddess : ” THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN ”
Pagan goddess worship imported into CHRISTANITY !
The roman virgin MARY does not hear prayers/ she has no supernatural divine powers/ she answers no prayers / she sends no grace,
2 great hoaxes > the POPE – REPRESENTATIVE OF JESUS CHRIST
MARY – source of spiritual graces
2 lies right out of the pit !
I leave you with this : ” But i am afraid that just as the serpent deceived EVE by his treachery, your minds may be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to JESUS CHRIST ” SELAH



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Deacon Greg Kandra

posted December 9, 2010 at 3:22 pm


JIM…
With all due respect, you have no idea what you’re talking about. Mary is not a goddess.
Why on earth do you even visit this blog if you hate Catholics so much?
Dcn. G.



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JosephW

posted December 9, 2010 at 3:58 pm


Why does he hate the Mother of God?



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Your Name

posted December 9, 2010 at 4:18 pm


“Most of all, being the goal of all Catholics should be to evangalize,…”
Not to lead good lives or raise good children, but to evangelize. Wow. The pope apparently didn’t get the memo.
And maybe JIM doesn’t hate you (I don’t) but from his warped perspective is warning you.



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Deacon Greg Kandra

posted December 9, 2010 at 4:54 pm


YN…
I would argue that in many ways “to lead good lives or raise good children” is, in fact, a form of evangelization.
As someone once said: “Preach the gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.”
Dcn. G.



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Klaire

posted December 9, 2010 at 4:55 pm


Your Name living a holy life IS evangalizing. I believe it was St. Francis, when teaching evangalization, taught to use the bible “only when necessary.” There is no better evangalization than the holiness of our lives, despite the fact that the bible came FROM the Catholic Church, subsequently, I’m quite sure the Pope “got the memo.”
Perhaps you should learn some facts Your Name before you mislead.



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nnmns

posted December 9, 2010 at 6:36 pm


YN was me. And if the poster wanted to say the goal of all Catholics should be to lead a good life, which btw would lead to evangelization, he could have done so. He did not. And atheists, Jews, Muslims and all sorts of folks lead good lives and aren’t evangelizing, certainly not for the RCC.
As for giving us the Bible, a) given all the yahoos who use it for evil that’s not such a good thing and b) wasn’t it “God” who’s supposed to have given us the Bible? Admitting it was written by the early Church members may be more truth than some people are ready for.



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Klaire

posted December 10, 2010 at 1:35 am


nnmms thanks for ID’ing yourself! I’m not much of a nitpicker, but since I’m the “poster”, I want to clarify that you are misquoting me. Again, good living IS evangalizing, not a by product of it. If one has the entire bible memorized and can quote backwards and forwards, it’s USELESS if said person doens’t live it.
FYI, faith is most often “caught” from another than “taught” in the literal sense.
I do agree that many misuse the Bible, but so is the case with most good things, from medicine/science to sex.



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nnmns

posted December 10, 2010 at 6:47 am


Ah, Klaire, but “most good things” are not “inspired”. Shouldn’t something “inspired by God” be proof against the kind of misuse the Bible has experienced?
Unless of course there’s no god.



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Klaire

posted December 10, 2010 at 7:55 am


Absolutely not nnmms, for the simple reason that we are HUMAN, and born with original sin (which of couse can be found in the bible). The fact that we are human is all the more reason why we would “misuse” many or all good things.
Three more things: Jesus was FULLY human too, (albeit without sin), as much as he was also FULLY Divine.
Secondly, ALL good things come from God,including the pleaseures of sex and food, to the genius behind cell biology. I don’t need to go into detail as to how all mentioned can be greatly misued.
Thirdly, being that the bible was INSPIRED by God and written by man, it DOES have mistakes, albeit only human ones. The second Vatican Counsel addressed the issue clearly, noting that despite the (human) mistakes, the bible must be acknowledged by it’s INTENT (as in not historical accuracy) for the truth that God wanted for our salvation.
Anyway NM, my point of all the rambling is to reinforce that as humans, we DO make mistake, we DO misuse, but all good things are truly inspired by God, and when used as intended, especially in our day to day lives as witness, we are indeed “evangalizing” the Christain Faith.



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nnmns

posted December 10, 2010 at 1:03 pm


You’d think “God” would have issued an instruction manual on how to use the Bible correctly. Or, failing that, written it so it’s a lot more clear what she does and doesn’t want.



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Klaire

posted December 10, 2010 at 1:37 pm


Actually nnmns, God DID issue the “instruction manual” for the Bible. It’s called the Magesteruim of the Catholic Church. Being that the Magesterium (teaching authority) of the CC is “divenly inspired by the Holy Spirit”, the “teaching authority” is ALWAYS without error when it comes to Biblical interpretation.
For centuries, the church has had biblical scholars, all part of “the plan and instruction manual.”
Sadly, many still think the bible means whatever “they” think it means, which relegates the bible to a human error-prone book, not “divine revelation” as intended.
P.S. A short easy book I recommend is Scripture 101 by William parker, and/or Dr. Peter Kreefts book on how to read the bible.



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nnmns

posted December 10, 2010 at 2:39 pm


Klaire your faith in the RCC is astounding. But not inspiring. Good luck to you.



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Klaire

posted December 10, 2010 at 3:07 pm


When you speak of my faith nm in the RCC, do know that the faith is in Jesus Christ, who in reality IS the RCC, and IS, absolutely, atsounding!
As for the “institutional part”, not so much, after all, we’re “human.” By that I mean, man, even men of the “church and cloth” will forever be sinners and saints.
The most important thing is that when it comes to offical chruch teaching, in 2000 years, the chruch has never been in error, nor will ever be, because Jesus set it up that way, to always be protected by the Holy Spirit.
So yes, I have endless faith in Christ and His chruch, and endless hope for all the rest of us.
Thanks for the good wishes, same to you :)



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JIM

posted December 10, 2010 at 3:20 pm


** Deacon Greg ,
First of all , i don’t hate CATHOLICS ! My own sister and brother-in – law are CATHOLICS and i don’t hate them ! I just believe strongly they are being deceived by the accuser and lost in their
” religiousity “. / rules / man made rules / idolatry of worshipping of saints,etc .My point all along is this is ” unbiblical “.
Salvation by a combination of grace , faith , and works !
CATHOLICS don’t seem to understand the great DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICTION !
I happened to find this site and was amazed and saddened by what i was reading !
I had to respond , and i apologize if i came on too strong at times , but i believe in my heart that many are being misled / deceived by what many believe is a false religious system. Much of what is believed as church teaching is not found in the BIBLE and as sort of a ” watchman on the wall ” i must warn others of those preaching
” another gospel “.
I must defend the truth found in the BIBLE alone ! I know i may have offended you and many others , but i believe the truth must be
defended.BTY , there is no record at all that ST. FRANCIS made the often quoted comment !
Shining your light in front of others is wonderful / but so called “friendship evangelism ” is of no use when you fail to tell someone you supposedly love that if they don’t repent of their sins and change their ways they are going to ‘ HELL ‘ if they die in their sins ! ROMANS 6 : 23 // A FREE GIFT !!!
Finally , DCN GREG , i wish you the best in your new site. I hope someday to see you in ” glory land ” and wish you a ” BLESSED MERRY
CHRISTMAS ”



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RomCath

posted December 10, 2010 at 6:35 pm


Jim, please get some serious help. Preferably sooner than later. You must be a real blast at family reunions.



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AngelRai

posted February 2, 2011 at 7:46 am


A word for everyone:
To understand what truly matters:
Please check this link:
http://catholicfriends.multiply.com/journal/item/628/The_Most_Fruitful_Living_…_which
As for Jim:
If you think you have “the truth” and everything must be put to the test “in the light of the Scriptures”, (sola scritura) do you even think you would be even at Jesus’ side in His Time IF you would TEST His credibility in the light of the Jewish Scriptures? Remember, there was NO New Testament to base your assumptions with … all you have is the Torah as a light to determine whether a teaching is true OR false.
A lot of those who believed in Jesus weren’t those from the Sanhedrin (who were well versed in the Torah) but ordinary people with common trade. Those who believed in the Torah were Jesus’ most vocal critics … WHY? For one reason they would put everything He says and do in the light of their Scripture as YOU do today to Catholics.
On one instance, the Pharisees, “looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” (Mt. 12:10)
And I believe the same would be YOUR question. Remember, like the well-versed pharisees, you are putting everything to the test.
How did Jesus respond? Did He QUOTED from the Scripture? Or did He used His own philantrophic philosophy?
Observe His response:
on vss. 11-12:
“He (Jesus) said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”
Understand what Jesus say AND did NOT say:
First of all, Jesus did NOT quote from the Hebrew Writings or the Pentateuch to justify His (merciful/compassionate) actions. He did NOT say (as was His spiritual conflict with Satan): “It is written.” There is NO mention of Him saying that UNLESS of course, you would ADD to the written word.
Jesus employed the philosophy of compassion—which is, though it is NOT written “in stone” is written down on “men’s hearts.” What you’re doing today is judging a person based on your understanding of THE LETTER of the Law—NOT the Heart of the Law.
No wonder why there are many Christian sects and denominations today (Over 33,000 Google: Christian Sects & Denominations)
I wouldn’t be surprised IF you would be on the side of His Religious critics for, like them, everytime He’d perform a miracle you’d ask Him or say:
Rabii, “Where is that Written?” Or, perhaps, “Please give me a passage in the TANAKH that supports Your actions.”
Is there anything in the Old Testament that says you can work on the Sabbath? None! That is, IF you’re reading the Book by the LETTER. (2 Cor. 3:6) Sabbath violation was punishable by death. (Exodus 35:2)
Now if you read AND understand God’s word by THE LETTER (not by the Spirit) you would no doubt have Jesus (Yeshua) stoned to death, or perhaps even crucified—all because what He did was
“AGAINST the Scriptures …”
As you’re stoning Catholics today with your legalistic accusations because most of their traditions and beliefs, as you say are “against The Bible” …
Another instance was when Jesus forgave the adulterous woman on John 8:1-11; and I believe you know that passage fully well.
Remember, adultery, as Sabbath-violation was also PUNISHABLE by death.
(Levi.20:10)
But what did Jesus do? He forgave—for forgiving a person of their sin (the spirit of the law) shows God’s heart of compassion than God’s severity by implementing the letter of the law (Levi.20:10 death)
—Would you DO the same?
NOT if you base every thing a man does and say “in the light of the Scripture.”
On numerable instances Jesus broke many of the OT regulations. Such as when He allowed His disciples to pick grain on the Sabbath (Mark 2:23)touched a leper (Mark 1:40-45 cp with Levi.13:14), violated the traditions of the elders in ritual-handwashing (Mark 7:5) and the most common of all, was His fellowship with sinners. (Matthew 9:11 cp. with Proverbs 4:14-15)
Now, with YOUR present way of thinking, you would no doubt cast your voice WITH the pharisees, and accuse Jesus as a sinner because besides NOT keeping the Sabbath (John 9:16) SOME of His actions are NOT supported by the Tanakh (OT.)
So in light of all these things do YOU really think you would be on the side of Jesus in those days with your current legalistic mind-set?
I DOUBT IT.
So keep an open-mind, my friend as well as an open heart—understand that you cannot limit GOD’s words AND His revelations to 66 books of The Bible as much as you cannot limit This Infinite Being Who is Beyond space and time inside your “theological box.”
Judge NOT according to appearance, but judge righteously (fair judgment) John 7:24
IF this VISION is sent by GOD to convert sinners who are you to judge? IF it is not then, good for you. But WHAT IF? IF it is then it is YOU who is misled because of judging visions and apparitions by “the letter of the law” not by “the heart of the law.”
Remember the Bble also says: “Despise NOT prophesyings” (1 Thess. 5:20)
Then again, I would say, in the spirit of God’s Love and Grace, keep an open heart: for “knowledge puffs up BUT Love edifies. (1 Corinthians 8:1-2)
The Blessing of GOD be upon YOU ALL.
AngelRai
—————————
One more thing, brother JIM, since you hold everything you believe in accordance to the Scripture don’t you know that Christmas observance is ALSO UN-Biblical and PAGAN in Origin?
Follow the link below: http://www.google.com.ph/search?q=The+Paganism+of+Christmas&hl=en&spell=1&sa=X&aq=f&aqi=g1&aql=&oq=
So therefore IF that be true then YOU are EQUALLY lost with these Catholics you condemn bcuz, with YOUR own words you have greeted them:
a ” BLESSED MERRY CHRISTMAS ” …
So think of it, dear friend.



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Your NameKim

posted February 10, 2011 at 1:53 pm


I am Roman Catholic, in my fifties and I want to make a point. We are not Idle worshipers for one! We enjoy our saints they are good roll models for us. I what everyone who does not understand Our Holy Mother of Medugorje Said… and these are her WORDS ” Let the Saints be good examples for you! I Thank our heavenly Father for my faith and I thank Our Lord and Blessed Mother that I am a Roman Catholic. Check out Medugorje web-site just type that word Medugoje She is still to this day appearing there! Gods Blessing to all.



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