Beginning in June, Regina Wiese began communication with the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity to host students from St. Mary High School, O’Neill, Nebraska for a pilgrimage to Our Lady of Good Help Shrine, Champion, Wisconsin. The fieldtrip was supported by monies of the Franciscan Sisters of Colorado Springs , the Saint Joseph Province of an international congregation, the Sisters of Saint Francis of Perpetual Adoration. Regina’s husband, Roger Wiese, is the nephew of Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Thelma Wiese. Roger, Regina and family who visited Sister Thelma more than once at Holy Family Convent in Manitowoc in the past, thought this would be an important leg on the journey.
On arrival August 15, the pilgrims received a tour of our convent. Tuesday morning they shared Eucharist with us in St. Mary Chapel Mass and ate breakfast with us in our cafeteria. By 9 a.m., they were off to the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help. Following the time of prayer, the group took in legendary Lambeau Field.
Returning in time to the Motherhouse for the evening meal, all enjoyed lively conversation. Picture-taking, sharing of our Sisters’ hobbies, outdoor games and s-mores continued the relationship-building.
Since there is no ice cream like Wisconsin ice cream, a quick trip to see Bernice the cow at Cedar Crest Ice cream Parlor in Manitowoc was also initiated. At Wednesday morning’s early Mass, our Sisters sang a Blessing of St. Francis for our guests praying that they arrive safely home and that the Lord be with them as they continue their life’s journey with faithful, generous hearts.
In our last communication with the pilgrims we learned that they had a flat tire east of Sioux City and were a bit delayed. However, the young people said the only thing they’d change about the trip is more time with the Sisters. We, too, will remember these special visitors with great joy! We learned much from them.