September 11, 2017- Travel Day 39
I believe I mentioned how much quieter the campground is compared to our first night on Saturday. Well the place has turned into a veritable ghost town. The only people here are out of towners- all six of us- Jil, our muttzo Megan, myself and 3 others that we know of. This park has 175 sites- about 1/4 of them still have trailers but no vehicles. It’s so quiet it’s spooky. What do they know that we do not. Are we at ground zero? Was it something we said or did? Almost all the people that camp at Quietwoods are locals from around the Green Bay area. They come here on weekends, then go home Sunday afternoon. Some leave their trailers here, most take them with. Like an old camp host once said “Its the Hoover effect. It’s like Sunday afternoon a big Hoover vacuum sucks everybody out of camp”.
The whole purpose of us coming to Door County and the inspiration for the trip to the Great Lakes was to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help located in nearby New Franken.
Our Lady of Good Help Shrine
The shrine sits on peaceful farmland surrounded by- farms. This area was settled by Belgian immigrants. The site preserves the spot where the Queen of Heaven, St. Mary, appeared to a young Belgian immigrant woman named Adele Brise in 1859. The Message of the Blessed Virgin was simple: Teach the Catholic Faith to the children of a people who were losing their faith through neglect. Sister Adele took the message to heart and for thirty-five years dedicated her life to this mission. She would do this by traveling as far as 50 miles on foot up and down the Green Bay Peninsula. It’s quite a story of dedication from a very dedicated woman.
The shrine is the only place in the U.S. that the Vatican has recognized as a legitimate appearance of St. Mary. And Mary appeared not once but three times, the first scared Adele- then it happened the next Sunday. The third appearance Adele asked who the beautiful lady was….. the reply was “I am the Queen of Heaven” and then gave Adele instructions to teach the children. “Teach them what they should know for their salvation”.
We enter the Shrine and one feels a sense of Her presence. As if St. Mary is here. This day also coincides with the 9/11 attacks 16 years ago. Jil and I silently pray for all those who were personally affected by the loss of a loved one, their loved one, and for those who were involved in the search and rescue effort be they civilian or uniformed. We also pray for those who are needy economically and spiritually. We do this not knowing that our life partner has prayed for the same.
Directly below the altar in the chapel is the Shrine. Even if you are not religious this place will feel special. Outside is a small cemetery where Sister Adele is buried and a large beautiful grassy area surrounded by a gravel path. The center of the grassy area are the Stations of the Cross, in one corner is a memorial to September 11, 2001- “We Shall Never Forget”. Signage mentions an old Belgium tradition of building a small shrine on ones’ property and by golly we find one in the front yard of a farmhouse in Brussels. It building measures no larger than 6’x8′. Inside an unlocked door is the shrine. A very old guest book lies under the newer one so that all visitors can look back in time to see who visited , when they visited and from where they hale.
Downtown Green Bay is only 13 miles from New Franken- let’s go! I-41 is elevated so we can see our target- Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers football team.
The people own the Packers team. That came to be in 1922 when the teams finances were on hard times and the Chicago Bears refused to play in Green Bay because they weren’t guaranteed the box office fee of $4000. The cash strapped team realized they had to raise cash somehow so they offered stock at $5 a share- buy 5 shares and a season ticket was included. So the shares are now sold for $250 when offered- which isn’t often. The last sale was for upgrading Lambeau Field. Owning Packer shares offer no season ticket privileges, no dividend, can’t be sold- no nada………. but you can transfer your shares to your kid!
Lambeau is a thriving business. We are there the day after game day. The visitor parking lot is nearly full. Inside the Atrium are shops and several docents offering guided tours. This place is here because all of Green Bay loves the Packers and are proud of their stadium and rightfully so. This place is amazing!
We head back to the ghost town of an RV park and do some wash. Two washers and two dryers in the wash house and they are all ours. Our clothes are washed, dried and folded in no time at all. Tomorrow we’ll travel to the other side of the Green Bay and start heading back towards the U.P.- Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.