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Geography

Holy Hill is in the eastern part of Erin Township and sits on the highest peak of the Kettle Moraine. The Kettle Moraine is a specific chain of hills and pot shaped valleys that begins in the Whitewater area and extends northeast to Door County. The hill upon which the Shrine has been erected is a moulin kame. These kames were formed from the silt, sand, gravel and boulders left by torrents of water flushing down channels at the periphery of stagnate ice sheets. This meltwater deposited the debris into the cone formation in much the same way that sand forms a cone as it trickles through an hour glass."

Originally Holy Hill embraced forty acres of land and stood 289 feet above its base, 824 feet above the level of Lake Michigan and 1409 feet above sea level. Since the erection of the first log chapel, the top of the hill has been leveled twice to provide a suitable foundation for this present shrine and its predecessor. Holy Hill rises 1335 feet above sea level.'" Today, Holy Hill stands as protectorate over an additional 400 acres of natural woodland. This acreage has been acquired by the Discalced Carmelite Friars over a period of years for Holy Hill in order to preserve its contemplative atmosphere.

The atmosphere is felt as one walks through the woods along the outdoor Way of the Cross or looks out over the wooded hills and valleys from the observation deck of the present shrine. During the early morning and evening hours of spring, summer and fall, the fragrant air is filled with the music of nature's symphony. In this ambience, a passage from the psalms comes alive before us: "When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?" (Ps.8: 3-4).

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