DAY SIX of Wisconsin Camino: Holy Resurrection Monastery to Glenbeulah

On DAY SIX of the Wisconsin Camino, we depart from one of the holy hotspots, Holy Resurrection Monastery, and visit another, Mary Queen of Our Hearts Chapel. In this Wisconsin Way chronology, I recount my journey—however, I recommend that you end this day in a bed and breakfast or hotel near Elkhart Lake. The stage described here was simply too long when concluded at Glenbeulah. Although the journey takes you to Catholic shrines in Wisconsin, it can be undertaken by people of any belief–like me, a Protestant. Looking for the beginning of this Wisconsin Way pilgrimage guide? Start here.

START: Holy Resurrection Monastery, St. Nazianz  |  END: Rooms at the Mill, Glenbeulah

21.3 mi/ 34.1 km  |  6h 58m  | Forest Section

DAY SIX of the Wisconsin Camino in Pictures

Table of Contents

Leaving Holy Resurrection Monastery

close up of white coffee cup filled with cafe con leche at Holy Resurrection monastery
Cafe con leche at Holy Resurrection Monastery is Camino pilgrim treat

I enjoyed a hearty breakfast of mushroom and bacon French omelet, juice, breads and homemade jams at Holy Resurrection Monastery. The frosting on the cake for Camino de Santiago pilgrims like me was the cup of steaming café con leche. Fr. Moses, the chief baker and Culinary Institute of America-trained chef, has walked el Camino de Santiago, so he knows an excellent Spanish breakfast.

UNSTOPPABLE Stacey stands with two men with conference name tags around their necks - Tall man on right is Fr moses from Holy Resurrection monastery
UNSTOPPABLE Stacey, Fr. Andrew Kurz and Abouna Moses from Holy Resurrection Monastery at American Pilgrims gathering in 2016

Fr. Moses and I first met at an annual American Pilgrims on Camino gathering. I recommend that you join the association to meet other pilgrims, and your membership helps support refugios and albergues in Spain and France.

Also recommended for the Wisconsin Camino is a night or two at Holy Resurrection Monastery. The Byzantine Catholic Monastery invites you for personal retreats as well as overnights. Be sure to make your reservations in advance. The suggested donation is $60 per person per night for a weekday stay, including one night and three meals.

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Farm Section of the Wisconsin Camino changes into the Forest Section

During Day 6 of the Wisconsin Way pilgrimage, the Farm Section changes into the Forest Section

I called Mary Ann Ristow as departing Holy Resurrection Monastery so she would have an idea of when I would arrive at Mary Queen of Our Hearts Chapel. The chapel is one of the Catholic shrines in Wisconsin positioned along the Wisconsin Camino. The Farm Section’s final stretch rolled into the Forest Section as I strode along the Wisconsin Way pilgrimage.

Lax Chapel on Wisconsin Camino Houses Rare 'Our Lady of Loučim' statue

white chapel with tall steeple sits high on hill, one of the Catholic shrines in Wisconsin - not far from Holy Resurrection Monastery
Lax Chapel is one of the Catholic Shrines in Wisconsin

The morning air was fresh and the route easy to follow, so I spent time meditating on the 3.4 miles/ 5.5 km to my first stop of the day: Lax Chapel.

Lax Chapel on the Wisconsin Camino is home to a rare Our Lady of Loučim statue. Frank Lax, a Bohemian immigrant, built the original chapel in 1875 as a tribute to Jesus’s mother, Mary. After asking her for help when he was deathly ill, his condition improved to his family and friends’ surprise. As a result, he built the chapel to honor Our Lady of Loučim.

That Frank Lax was a devotee of Our Lady of Loučim is evidenced by what he packed when he immigrated to Wisconsin in 1870.  Of all the things he must have left behind in Loučim, a Bohemian village in what is now the Czech Republic, he couldn’t go without a small statue of Our Lady of Loučim. He brought a replica of the original sculpture, which dates back to the 1400s.

The Story of Our Lady of Loučim

statue of Mary holding baby Jesus -she has a sword sticking out of her crwn - blood drips down her forehead in this shrine in Wisconsin
Our Lady of Loučim at the Lax Chapel along the Wisconsin Camino

The statue of Our Lady of Loučim became a symbol of devotion to the people of Loučim after an extraordinary event during the Hussite Wars (1419-1434) when persecution of the Catholic Church was widespread in Bohemia. It was then that Etibor Krcma attacked the village’s statue of Mary carrying the Christ child. But to the aggressor’s amazement, when he plunged his sword into the face of the figure, the wood started bleeding. Krcma was so freaked out that he threw the statue into a pond, where he hoped to conceal his transgression. However, the wooden figurine bobbed to the surface with blood flowing from the gash in its face. It’s probably not surprising to learn that the incident converted Krcma. After the Hussite persecution ended, the village people built a church on the spot where the manifestation took place. As people from around Bohemia visited the shrine, the church displaying Our Lady of Loučim with a sword in her head became a place of pilgrimage.

Wisconsin Catholic pilgrimage to Our Lady of Loučim

Today pilgrims visit the replica of Our Lady of Loučim at the Lax Chapel in Wisconsin on July 4. The annual Mass and Wisconsin Catholic pilgrimage is celebrated at Lax Chapel on Independence Day. The Bavarian museum in Germany, which conserves the original Lady of Loučim, shows a map of pilgrimages with a line drawn from Loučim to Lax Chapel on the Wisconsin Camino.

The Catholic shrine in Wisconsin was closed due to COVID-19 while I was there, but after COVID-19 is in the rearview mirror, Jim Lax, the chapels’ caretaker, might open it for you.

I continued the short distance to:

Steinthal Chapel AKA Mary Queen of Our Hearts Chapel

concrete path winds to dark wood sided chapel, one of the Catholic Shrines in Wisconsin
Mary Queen of Our Hearts Chapel, one of the Catholic Shrines in Wisconsin Way

Like so many of the other ‘Holy Hotspots’ along the Wisconsin Way, Mary Queen of Our Hearts Chapel has a spiritual story that predates the physical structure’s construction. The year was 1951. Polio was raging in Milwaukee, similar to the COVID-19 flare-ups during my pilgrimage across America’s Dairyland. (Wisconsin was the nation’s COVID hot spot when I arrived.) Milwaukee’s Polio Epidemic of 1951 had parents fearful and hospitals, like now, restricting intakes and surgeries.

Mary Ann Ristow was a young teen with a high fever. After several days of 105° to 106° temperatures, her mother took her to the hospital.

“If she lives, she’ll have brain damage and heart problems,” the doctor told Mary Ann’s mother. Her mother was not a stranger to near-death tragedy. During WWII, three of her sons served overseas, and one suffered a burst appendix while flying. “He was about ready to die,” says Mary Ann about her brother. Mary Ann’s Mom recited the Prayer to Mary, Queen of all Hearts, for nine consecutive days and her brother lived through the ordeal.

So when illness disabled 15-year-old Mary Ann in Milwaukee, her mother prayed the same prayer. Part of the prayer declares:

You can answer our prayers through

the merits of your divine Son, Jesus Christ.

We promise, if our prayers are heard,

to spread your glory and to make you known

under the title of Mary, Queen of all hearts…

See the whole prayer below.

Priests gave Mary Ann last rites three times during her severe sickness, while her mother continued to pray the novena. The fever finally broke after nine days.

“They didn’t know what was wrong with me, although they first thought it was polio,” recounted Mary Ann, who spent the next three years recuperating. Three years of convalescence slowed down her schooling, so she was sent to northern Wisconsin to finish her high school years. That’s where she met her husband Delano, who was named after FDR, the president who suffered polio.

In keeping with her prayerful pledge to spread your glory and to make you known under the title of Mary, Queen of all hearts, Mary Ann’s mother had a shrine to Mary Queen of Our Hearts installed at her church, Mother of Good Counsel Church, in Milwaukee. The Catholic shrine in Wisconsin honored Mary’s help in the healing of her two children.

84 year old woman stands at altar of one of the Catholic shrines in Wisconsin - stained glass window above and cross on wall
Mary Ann Risow in front of stained glass depicting Saint Louis de Montford at Mary Queen of Our Hearts Chapel | UNSTOPPABLE Stacey photo

Decades later in 2008, Mary Ann felt as if the Lord were telling her to build a chapel to dedicate to Mary Queen of Our Hearts. So she approached the high schools in the area, and found a woodshop program that would take on her project. “Students spent two days per week here,” Mary Ann said pointing to the cozy chapel. “They got it framed up, and my husband finished the rest.” Abler Art Glass located in Kiel, Wisconsin, created the stained glass, fashioned after a painting of Saint Louis de Montford.  The well-known stained glass designers did the restoration work on the stained glass at St. Michael’s in Whitelaw.

Mary Queen of Our Hearts Chapel, one of the many Catholic shrines in Wisconsin, sits at the corner of Steinthal Road and Town Line Road.

Faith and prayer lead to life’s purpose

“I think we all have a purpose in life, and with prayer and faith you are led in that direction even though you may face many obstacles along the way,” Mary Ann said in a 2008 interview with Tri-County News. “I sometimes think that way back many years ago when I was a young teenager very close to death, all the prayers of my mother and her friends to Mary Queen of Our Hearts were answered, and Mary asked our Lord to let me live. The only way to thank her is to spread devotions to her.”

Before I left home to walk the Wisconsin Way pilgrimage, I’d arranged with Mary Ann to meet me at Mary Queen of Our Hearts Chapel, open it up and tell me her story about the Catholic shrine in Wisconsin.

German settlers established Steinthal (‘stein’ means stone and ‘thal’ denotes valley ) in 1854, with a general country store, post office, sawmill, blacksmith shop, shoemaker, ice house and a few log homes located in the center of the valley.

farm with 3 tall silos on top of hill with county road stretching to it on the Wisconsin pilgrimage
Wisconsin Camino between Holy Resurrection Monastery and Mary Queen of Our Hearts Chapel | UNSTOPPABLE Stacey photo

Since I spent so much time at Mary Queen of Our Hearts Chapel, Mary Ann gave me a ride to one of the Ice Age Trailheads. We drove by a river, and I thought to myself, “Oh, it would be so much easier to be canoeing than backpacking.” I grew up in a canoeing family and taught canoeing to city kids as a YMCA camp counselor. I really desired a paddle in my hand at that point.

Wisconsin Camino and Ice Age Trail Overlap Again

sign reading in part: Ice Age Trail La Budde Creek Segment on the Wisconsin Way pilgrimage

From the trailhead, I walked the outskirts of the town of Elkhart Lake, around Crystal Lake and then southeast to Glenbeulah, where I’d reserved an AirBnB for two nights. Fr. Kurz and Fr. Moses would take turns shuttling me back and forth to enable me to continue walking and stay in Glenbeulah for two nights.

As I mentioned earlier, this stage was too long. I recommend finding a place to stay near Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. See the Booking.com map below:

Booking.com

Glenbeulah, WI, Overnight on the Wisconsin Way Pilgrimage

Rooms at the Mill is an Airbnb in Glenbeulah, WI | Photo by UNSTOPPABLE Stacey

Hot and tired, I wobbled up to the Rooms at the Mill in Glenbeulah. The sun shone on the sizeable millpond next to the historic structure. An artist captured the reflections of fall colors on the still water with her watercolors. Inside the old mill, my Airbnb room with a shared bath awaited. Although I felt spent, the Alumacraft canoe lying upside down on the front lawn renewed my spirit. I felt like the Lord was giving me the desires of my heart.

I texted the innkeeper, asking if I could use it. Once I had permission, I tried to hoist the 52-lb/ 24-kg canoe over my head by first rolling it up onto my bent knees. The technique that worked for young Stacey wasn’t as successful for 65-year old Stacey. I put the canoe down and looked around for alternative solutions.

Humility is a hard pill to swallow

One thing I’ve learned as a pilgrim is that sometimes you must ask strangers for help. For self-reliant UNSTOPPABLE Stacey, humility is a hard pill to swallow, and everyday I’m in a situation that helps me learn that lesson. So I approached the artist, asking if she’d like to go for a canoe ride. When she declined, I asked if she wouldn’t mind helping me carry the canoe to the water’s edge. Being of good Wisconsin stock (doesn’t everyone in Wisconsin canoe, eat cheese and drink beer?), she handily picked up her end of the boat and together, we carried it to the water.

Time for Reflection on the Wisconsin Way Pilgrimage

author with sunglasses smiles at camera while sitting in canoe with fall colors behind
UNSTOPPABLE Stacey paddles canoe after walking for miles on DAY SIX

That evening I walked to Fudgienuckles Family Sports Pub & Grill. I enjoyed the local culture along with the locavore Haystack of Shredded Onion Rings and a Carolina-style BBQ brisket sammie. Relaxing at the bar gave me time to remember Day Six on the Wisconsin Camino. Indeed, the Wisconsin Way pilgrimage offered me time for reflection at Holy Resurrection Monastery. I’d relished my encounters at Mary Queen of Our Hearts Chapel and Lax Chapel, both fascinating Catholic shrines in Wisconsin.

I was looking forward to what Day Seven might bring.

 

For Meditation

Think of times when it has been difficult for you to ask for help. Consider how pilgrimage invites you to examine your need for assistance.

You could say the Mary Queen of Our Hearts prayer.

Prayer to Mary, Queen of all Hearts

statue of St Louis de montford kneeling near statue of Mary holding Jesus
Prayer card of Mary Queen of Our Hearts Shrine in Milwaukee, WI

Prayer to Mary, Queen of all Hearts

O Mary, Queen of all hearts,
Advocate of hopeless causes,
Mother so pure, so compassionate,
Mother of divine Love and full of divine light,
I place in your hands so gentle
the favors that we await from you today.

Look upon our wretchedness,
our hearts, our tears, our interior trials, our sufferings:
You can answer our prayers through
the merits of your divine Son, Jesus Christ.

We promise, if our prayers are heard,
to spread your glory and to make you known
under the title of Mary, Queen of all hearts
and Queen of all creation.

Graciously hear our prayers at your altar,
where every day you give so many proofs of your power and your love
for the healing of the soul and of the body.

We hope against all hope:
Ask of Jesus our healing, our pardon and our final perseverance.

O Mary, Queen of all hearts, heal us. We place our trust in you. (3 times)

UNSTOPPABLE Stacey was NOT provided with accommodations, meals or other compensation for the purpose of this guide. The Arizona travel writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.

In addition, this blog, UNSTOPPABLE Stacey Travel, contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, Stacey earns a commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help reduce the costs of keeping this travel blog active. 

Further, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks for reading.

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