Mary Page News
December 22, 2000
Mary Page News items give insight into our interest areas, our outreach, and the myriad ways
people honor Our Lady. We welcome your input and your comments.
We Wish You a Christ-filled Christmas
The director, faculty and staff of The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute
wish you a truly blessed Christmas! May the mother of Jesus present the Christchild to you as
she did to the shepherds and sages of old! As she gave birth to Christ, may you also assist in
giving birth to him in your heart and the hearts of countless who are simple and pure of heart.
See our new nativities at: The
If You Missed December 8th's News...
We are not certain how it happened, but our news feature of two weeks ago was posted
incorrectly. If you would like to catch up on what was missed, please see:
News, December 8, 2000
See our feature on resources for the Christmas season at:
Mary and the Christmas Season
Marian Award Scouts Visit Marian Library
On Sunday, December 17, seven young women and their troop leader, Mrs. Tina Wagoner,
visited the Marian Library as part of their formation and training in the girl scouts' Marian
Award program. The girls braved the bitter cold to give part of their Sunday to learn more about
the library and the Blessed Virgin Mary.
In the jps featured here, the group tours the library with its many devotional statues of Mary and
listens as the library symbol, Our Lady of the Book, is explained.
Jpgs courtesy of Tina Wagoner.
Like Winter Waiting
This Advent saw the premier of a Christmas musical written by Rev. John Foley, SJ, "Like
Winter Waiting". The Miami Valley Catholic Church Musicians presented the new musical at
three locations in the Dayton area December 15, 16, and 17. Fr. Foley could be present for two of
the premiers. To quote the evening's program:
Christ is the way. Christ is the light, Christ is the word of life. Come, Lord Jesus,
The Miami Valley Catholic Church Musicians was founded in 1993 for the purpose of
supporting and sharing music ministry among the pastoral musicians in the parishes of the
greater Dayton area. Through conversation, education, discussion, and performances such as
"Like Winter Waiting", MVCCM is building bridges with many benefits beyond music and
John Foley, of St. Louis Jesuits fame, composed this musical play that recounts the Advent story
with humor, poignancy and joy. It celebrates the anticipation of Christmas the way an expectant
mother joyously awaits the birth of her child -- the waiting is a sacred time of reflection,
preparation and hope
The performance of "Like Winter Waiting" was dedicated to the memory of the late Brother
Todd Ritter, SM, whose hard work, vision and dedication in the founding of this organization
was an inspiration to all. Besides his position at the University of Dayton, Brother Todd Ritter
also gave courses in Marian Music to students of the International Marian Research Institute.
January 1: Solemnity, Mary Mother of God
EWTN will transmit live, the Solemn Mass of Mary, Mother of God from the Basilica of the
National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC, at 12 noon, EST.
Pope John Paul II and Mary
- Pope John Paul II, who often ends his greetings to various pilgrim groups by calling on
Mary, on November 26, the Jubilee of the Apostolate of the Laity, said "And you, Mary, Mother
of the Redeemer, his first and most perfect disciple, help us to be his witnesses in the new
- To the pilgrims of the Syro-Malankara Church and the community of the Pontifical Institute
of St. John Damascene, he said on November 20, "And may the all-holy Mother of God, through
whom the light rose over the earth, guide you safely on your pilgrim way." To the faithful from
Sabina-Poggio Mirteto he said on November 18, "The solid traditions of a strong faith that is
firmly rooted in the heart distinguishes your community. This is witnessed, among other things,
by the popular Marian shrines of Ponticelli, Monterotondo and your cathedral, dedicated to the
Virgin of Praise. I invited you to entrust all your pastoral projects to Mary." Reported in
L'Osservatore Romano on November 29.
The Holy Father addressed Jubilee pilgrims from Milan and Venice on November 4, asking that
Mary Most Holy be the model for their faith and the star that guides their steps. On
November 7 he told the national Jubilee pilgrimage of the Netherlands, the Church "shows you
Mary, Stella Maris and 'Sweet Mother' of your noble people. May God, through her
intercession, bring to completion the work that in these days he is accomplishing in you!" On
October 27 he invoked the "maternal protection of Mary" on the members and friends of the
Lazio Sports Club, who were celebrating the 100th anniversary of the football team's foundation.
Reported in L'Osservatore Romano on November 22.
- Pope John Paul II brought a basket with 250 pink roses to the foot of the 77-foot Column of
the Immaculate Conception on December 8, an annual event that marks the start of the Christmas
season in Rome. Placing flowers at the base of the 143-year-old column on the feast of the
Immaculate Conception is an old Roman tradition; Pope John XXIII joined the tradition in 1958.
Reported by AP Online on December 8; the Dubuque, IA Telegraph Herald the following day,
and the South Bend Tribune on December 10.
Virginia Kimble Featured on 20/20
Barbara Walters hosted a 20/20 TV segment titled "Who was Mary; Life of Mary, the Mother of
Jesus, and how she has affected the world" on ABC News December 15. Featured on the show
was recent IMRI student, Virginia Kimble.
Kimble defended her licentiate thesis on November 11, 2000 at The Marian Library/International
Marian Research Institute. Her research was entitled: Liturgical Illustrations: Marian Theology in
the Ancient, Eastern Orthos, Morning Hours.
Kimble was contacted by ABC just prior to the 20/20 feature, wisked off to New York from her
home near Boston, and given the joy of being interviewed by Barbara Walters. Kimble, mother
of nine, is used to surprises. Prior to her current college teaching position, she was a religion
journalist for an eastern network of papers.
Founder of Marian Helpers Bulletin Dies on Mary's
Fr. Walter Pelczynski, MIC,died on December 8th, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception,
of a heart attack at his community's provincialate in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. He was 84
years old and a long standing member and supporter of the Mariological Society of America. He
was the founder of the "Marian Helpers Bulletin" and was a great promoter of Marian devotion
and piety. Fr. Pelczynski is also well known for his promotion of the Divine Mercy devotion to
the Heart of Jesus.
The faculty and staff of The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute remembers
him in gratitude for his love for Our Lady and untiring efforts to promote Marian devotion.
The Marian Library Newsletter
The Winter 2000-2001 edition of The Marian Library Newsletter was mailed in time to reach the
homes of its subscribers by Christmas. The newsletter contains the following features:
- Mirror of Hope: Mountain of Salvation (a study of the new sculpture by Kevin Hanna)
- Pope John Paul's Act of Entrustment (describes the highpoint of the Jubilee year during the
Jubilee of the Bishops and explains the historical background of the notion of entrustment)
- The Beatification of Father Chaminade
- Marian Library Crèches at the Dayton Art Institute
- "With the Mother of the Lord on Pilgrimage to the New Millennium: - 51st Annual Meeting
of the Mariological Society of America.
- A review of the book, Ex Abundantia Cordis: a Study of the Cordimarian Spirituality of
the Claretian Missionaries by José M. Hernandez Martine, Rome:
Secretariat of the Heart of Mary, 1991.
- Reviews of various articles (which will be posted on the Mary Page News at a later date)
- ...Update (also to appear in future news segments)
Mary in the Secular Press
Commentary on Mary in various news articles from December 6 through 17, 2000.
The director and editors of Mary Page under the auspices of the International Marian
Research Institute do not necessarily endorse or agree with the events and ideas
expressed in this feature. Our sole purpose is to report on items about Mary gleaned from
a myriad of papers representing the secular press.
The Life of Mary
- The Faith & Values section of the Minneapolis, MN Star Tribune on December 9 listed
four upcoming Observances: celebration of the Conception of the Virgin Mary by Orthodox
Christians on December 9; second Sunday in Advent for Western Christians on December 10;
Feast Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe for Roman Catholics, particularly those of Mexican
heritage, on December 12, and Laylat al-Quadr, an Islamic night of power during the final days
of Ramadan, on December 13.
Also in Minneapolis, the mentally challenged members of St. Stephen's parish were to present
their third annual Christmas pageant on December 16.
Celebration of the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the U.S. as well as Mexico was widely
reported. The Virgin Mary first appeared to Juan Diego on Tepeyac hill near Mexico City in
In Los Angeles, members of the Filipino community danced the turumba during the annual
celebration which began with a procession down Cesar Chavez Avenue and ended with a Mass
celebrated by Cardinal Roger M. Mahoney, archbishop of Los Angeles, in the East Los Angeles
College stadium in Monterey Park. The LA Times said on December 9 that the turumba comes
from the town of Pakil, where a cult devoted to the Virgin Mary formed after a framed oil
pointing of the Virgin was found floating in Laguna Lake.
In Houston, David Heredia's 3 «-foot statue of the Lady of Guadalupe headed a procession of a
thousand Catholics honoring "la Virgen Morena,' or the Brown Virgin, on December 9. The
Houston Chronicle said Heredia, who believes he was saved by God and the Virgin Mary from a
life-threatening illness last year, made a promise to thank the Virgin by making a pilgrimage to a
Guadalupe shrine in his hometown of Monterey, Mexico. Five thousand to 10,000 devotees were
expected to flock to Our Lady of Guadalupe church during festivities December 11 and 12.
The Hispanic community of St. Cecilia church planned special ceremonies to celebrate the feast
of the patron saint of Mexico, the St. Petersburg Times said on December 9. A vigil before an
image thought to look like the Virgin Mary on the glass windows of an office building, a special
Mass at 4:30 a.m. because Mary is said to have appeared at dawn, a procession around the church
and another Mass followed by a dinner party were planned for the week. A separate story by the
St. Petersburg Times on December 17 told about Maria Guadalupe, a Clearwater resident,
stopping to pray before the image of the Virgin Mary on the glass wall of an office building.
Mexicans of the Catholic faith, several of whom credited the Virgin Mary with recovery from
serious illness and auto accidents injuries, were to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
with a mariachi Mass at the Catholic Mission of the same name in Wimauma, the Tampa Tribune
said on December 12. The mission, which serves farm workers and their families, had been
celebrating for three days with Indian dances, games and a Mexican fiesta.
Latino garment workers celebrated the feast in a makeshift Catholic chapel at St. John Knits in
Irvine two hours before their 7 a.m. shift began, the LA Times said on December 13. They wiped
tears from their eyes as they sang songs they had known since childhood about the Virgin of
Guadalupe. Permission to hold the annual services was given more than a decade ago after Maria
Guadalupe Femat told executives of the designer clothing company that the early shift meant
employees could not attend regular church services before work.
The Chicago Sun-Times on December 13 wrote about thousands of pilgrims arriving early at the
basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City and the Chicago delegation's activities and
visits to sacred sites.
The Madison, WI Capital Times on December 6 wrote about a 4 «-foot statue of the Lady of
Guadalupe Luis Montoto found in Matamoros, Mexico and donated to Centro Guadalupe, which
previously had to borrow a statue to use on the feast day celebration.
In Manhattan the Tepeyac Association said police were unfairly trying to block the group's
planned spiritual pilgrimage from St. Patrick's Cathedral to 125th St. and then to Central Park
West to mark the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Permit requests for a march the two previous
years had been issued after initial refusals, the New York Daily News said on December 7.
Shaken by the murder of six persons, four of them parishioners, in a two-week period in October,
Father David O'Connell organized 5,000 families from St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church and
nearby Ascension Church into 91 discussion groups, using a Latin American ritual in which
Catholic gather for nine nights leading up to the feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Instead of
meeting with them simply for prayer, the priest directed church members to devise solutions to
stem the violence, the Los Angeles Times said on December 12. The novena produced a fiery
arena for change, and Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca was scheduled to meet with the
congregation and offer suggestions for addressing their complaints.
The story of the Virgin Mary's appearance in 1531 was briefly told by the Chicago Sun-Times
on December 10, which headlined the story: "Virgin Mary said to have left mark on man's
An actress portraying both a painter creating an image of the Virgin, and the Virgin herself, in
Milagritas/Little Miracles, the centerpiece of Cara Mia's Virgen Project, "both reveres and
tweaks the Lady from Guadalupe" in a "modest, moving and hilarious production," the Dallas
Observer wrote on December 14.
Inspired by her first pilgrimage to Medjugorje, Mimi Kelly organized a conference in New
Orleans in Mary's honor. That was 10 years ago and his year the seventh Marian conference,
"Our Lady of the Millennium," spanned two days at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner, the New
Orleans Times-Picayune wrote on December 7. As a result of the conference, there are now
hundreds of Marian prayer groups throughout the area, Kelly said.
Forty-seven bathtubs serve as sturdy shelter to an equal number of plaster statuettes of the Virgin
Mary in Salvatore Verdirome's backyard in Norwich, Conn. The retired carpenter began building
the Sanctuary of Love about 30 years ago with the goal of capturing a vision of Mary that he had
in the late 1960's. The "oddball tourist destination" may soon become the property of the
Norwich Finance Department, the New York Times said on December 8, citing Verdirome's
$100,000 debt to the city for property taxes and overdue electric bills.
Mary was featured in Christmas programs reported by the Washington Post on December 19, the
Ottawa Citizen December 6 and 15, the London Sunday Telegraph December 10 and the Chicago
Daily Herald December 15.
The Calgary Herald reported on December 8 that the Christ Child has been stolen from the
nativity scene in front of city hall. "The Christ Child and the camel are gone, the Virgin Mary is
ripped off the brackets and the Joseph and shepherd figures have bent brackets," a member of the
Knights of Columbus, which sets up the scene each year, said.
Nativity, Epiphany, Flight to
The Mary Page theme for this news brief about the Blessed Mother is culled from
magisterial documents since Vatican II. The theme covers various aspects of Mary's
life. Mary is a real, historical person who lived in Nazareth 2000.
The example from magisterial writings below is derived from the Catechism of the Catholic
526 To become a child in relation to God is the condition for entering the kingdom. (Cf..
Mt 18:3-4) For this, we must humble ourselves and become little. Even more: to become
"children of God" we must be "born from above" or "born of God." (Jn 3:7 et al) Only when
Christ is formed in us will the mystery of Christmas be fulfilled in us. (Cf.. Gal 4:19) Christmas
is the mystery of this "marvelous exchange": ...
O marvelous exchange! Man's Creator has become
man, born of the Virgin. We have been made sharers in
the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share our
humanity. [ See Catechism of the Catholic
The Life of Mary:
Nativity, Epiphany, Flight to Eygpt
Prayer Corner Requests
You are invited to help us pray for our prayer corner intentions.
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