Updated: Friday, 03 Sep 2010, 2:25 PM CDT
Published : Thursday, 02 Sep 2010, 1:22 PM CDT
ROBINSONVILLE - Wisconsin could find itself in a unique part of history because of a reported holy sighting.
Hope and faith have drawn tens of thousands of people a shrine in Brown County throughout the past 150 years. People who say it's a holy experience.
“It's a good feeling, I don't know exactly how to explain it, but it's just a good feeling,” said Val Dubois of Brown County.
In October 1859, Sister Adele Brise claimed the Virgin Mary spoke to her and told her to teach God's word to children. The Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help was built on the site, and has kept a steady following of people like Hal and Val Dubois.
“It's been there since I was a kid. When I was five or six years old, I remember going there,” said Hal Dubois.
Shrine volunteer Karen Tipps says visitors find spirituality at the site. Now church officials are investigating the apparent visions.
“It became a great devotional spot over the years,” said Tipps.
“Bishop (David) Ricken initiated the investigation in January of 2009. So he appointed some scholars in the theology of the blessed Virgin Mary to look into the documentation of the history of the shrine and the apparition and to make some recommendations reports to him,” said Rev. John Doerfler.
Doerfler says if Ricken declares there's enough moral grounds to claim the apparition really did happen, this site will make national history.
“If it were approved, this would be the only approved apparition site of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the United States,” said Doerfler.
Doefler says there could be a variety of outcomes from the investigation. The information could support the sightings happened, didn't happen or the results could be inconclusive. But some say whatever the ruling, it doesn't matter.
“It doesn't affect what people have felt here for the last 150 years. It's not going to affect what people feel here for the next 150 years,” said Tipps.