Saturday, December 25, 2010

what a friend we have in cheeses

We lived in Wisconsin for nearly five years in the early 1980’s, and quickly found some great, and lasting, friendships. It was a great time for the Brewers, who came within one game of defeating the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1982 World Series. The mighty Green Bay Packers weren’t as fortunate, since the team only had one post season appearance the nine years that Bart Starr was the head coach.

It’s a well known fact that Wisconsin produces more cheese than any other state, and is second only to Californian in total dairy production.

In spite of the fact that there’s a shrine to the Virgin Mary at a place called Holy Hill there have been no known apparitions at the site, nor any events that would be considered out of the ordinary. The closest that Wisconsin has come to anything resembling holy is the well known phrase, “holy cow!”

Wisconsin’s status took on a whole new direction earlier this month, in a way that very few people would suspect.

Since WWII, there have been 29 sightings of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the United States. Until very recently, NONE of them have been validated by the Roman Catholic Church. I’ve been to Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside, Illinois, and I strongly suspect that there’s a material spiritual force at work there. However, the Catholic Church still does not officially recognize the events that have occurred on the site, so I guess that my opinion doesn’t count.

The surprise entry into the “holiest of holy” sites is the Chapel of Good Hope, in Champion, Wisconsin, just a little north of Green Bay. It is one of only about a dozen sites worldwide that have been validated by Rome, and the first one in the United States.

Now that the chapel has been officially recognized, it’s entirely possible that there will be more pilgrimages to the town, but it’s doubtful that it will ever get anywhere close to Lourdes, France, which has had as many as 450,000 visitors on a single day.

By the way, if the title to this article sounds familiar, you may recognize the song posted below:

what a friend we have in Jesus

Merry Christmas, and a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

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