Mary Page News

March 23, 2001

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.

News from the ML/IMRI

It is with great sadness that we inform you that Fr. Walter (Thomas) Brennan, O.S.M., a long-time instructor at the International Marian Research Institute died on March 7, 2001, at the age of 65 and after 42 years of religious life.  Please remember, Fr. Brennan and his family in your prayers.  Below is his obituary from the Chicago Tribune:

Rev. Walter Brennan, an affable Irishman and Catholic Theological Union professor, conducted research on Mary, the mother of Jesus, that provided a crucial link for theologians among disparate cultures, popular devotions and mainstream Catholic thought.

Father. Brennan, 65, died Wednesday, March 7, at his desk in St. Domatilla Parish in Hillside.

Religious devotion to Mary, though a relatively small portion of Catholic theology, nonetheless holds a central role in how Catholics celebrate their religion, said CTU's president, Rev. Donald Senior.

In his work, Father Brennan sought to explain that devotion by plumbing cultural and religious traditions.  It was an obscure, but important area of study, Senior said.  "It doesn't have that kind of public or controversial impact, but on a personal level it has a lot of feeling attached to it," Senior said.  It's religion of the heart; there are not a lot of scholars doing that."

Father Brennan wrote scores of scholarly articles, newsletters and books on the person Christians call the mother of God, including the 1988 book, "The Sacred Memory of Mary."

A native of the West Side, Father Brennan entered Mater Dolorosa seminary in Hillside in 1949, just after grade school.  He graduated from the seminary in 1953, and was ordained in Chicago in 1961.  He received a master's in Philosophy in 1965 and a PhD in 1970 from DePaul University.

A charter member of the faculty at CTU, founded in Hyde Park in 1968, he also taught courses for years at DePaul and, most recently an evening course at St. Peter Catholic Church downtown.

A member of the Mariological Society of America since 1983, he served as the association's vice president from 1993 to 1994, and as its president from 1995 to 1996.

He is survived by three sisters, Mary Coco, Anne Sherlock and Evelyn Storto; two brothers, Michael and John; and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be from noon to 6:30 p.m. Monday in Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica, 3121 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, followed at 7 p.m. in the church. 

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Personal thoughts and reflections about Mary from our readers 

We've added a section to our Research and Publications section showing selected personal comments from our readers about the Virgin Mary.  Click here to see comments received within the past month.  From this page, feel free to submit your own personal thoughts on Mary.  

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Current Exhibit: The Scheufelen Collection

A closing event of U.D.'s Sesquicentennial Celebration will be an exhibit of religious art prints on loan from the collection of Ulrich Scheufelen, chairman of the European Art Paper Association. The exhibit is entitled From Barlach to Baselitz: Religious Print Art of the 20th Century. 75 pieces of signed print art from some of the world's most noted 20th-century artists will be on display Feb. 22-April 30 at the Roesch and Marian Library galleries and the Law School [all on the University of Dayton campus]. More information on the exhibit may be found under 'Current Exhibit' in the Gallery section of the Mary Page.

The exhibit and lecture series is sponsored by the Roesch and Marian Libraries and by Mr. and Mrs. Burnell and Karen Roberts. During March and April, a series of lectures will be presented on the following topics in relation to the works on exhibit:

April 5 Giving Context to Art: Expressionism and German Culture by Dr. Robert C. Conard from the University of Dayton

April 19 Balance of an Exhibit: Panel on Art and Christianity in 20th Century Expressionism with Dr. Roger J. Crum, M. Dominique Vasseur, Dr. Eugene B. Cantelupe, Rev. Joseph W. Goetz, Dr. Judith Huacuja-Pearson and Rev. Johann G. Roten.

Special events will be offered at the Marian Library Exhibit Gallery to enable viewing and meditating on Grieshaber's Stations of the Cross and Pechstein's Our Father.

Open Every Day:
Monday thru Wednesday and Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, 8:30 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.

Tours available Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. or by special arrangement (937) 229-4214

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Book Signing

Saturday, March 31, 2001 at 2:00 pm Mary's Flowers by Vincenzina Krymow at Barnes&Noble in Dayton, OH

Barnes & Noble welcomes local author Vincenzina Krymow for a discussion and signing of her book Mary's Flowers.  Krymow's book discusses flowers named after Mary and retells ancient legends that inspired their names.  It also explores gardens containing flowers and herbs named after Mary.  Come meet Vincenzina and learn all about Mary's Flowers.

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Thesis Defense

Rev. Father Sylvester Ajagbe, a student at the International Marian Research Institute, will defend his STL dissertation, The Place of Mary Among the Yoruba People of Nigeria (Diocese of Lokoja - A Case Study), on Friday, March 23, 2001 in the Marian Library Reading Room [University of Dayton] at 3:00 P.M.

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Marian Events

This section which lists all of the current Marian Events by geographical position.

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Mary in the Secular Press

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.

Commentary on Mary in various news articles from March 9 through March 20, 2001.

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News from Around the World

International Concert of Christian Music "The World sings Mary"

Monday 30 April 2001 at 8:30 PM at the Astra Theater (Teatro Astra) in Schio (province of Vicenza)

The Associazion of San Massimiliano Maria Kolbe of the radio broadcaster RADIO KOLBE of Schio is presenting the second annual International Festival of Christian Music "The World Sings Mary". It will be a musical gala which will give value to the expression of Marian music. Based on the success of last year's event which was attended by a thousand spectators (sold out theater) and the interest of many mass-media people who didn't want to miss the event. Local and national TV and newspaper headlines documented the concert. Furthermore, the concert was broadcast completely by satellite Telepace of Rome, K-Tv Austria, The event, again sponsored by the town of Schio will take place on Monday 30 April 2001 at 8:30 PM at the Astra Theater of Schio. 

There will be four international singer/songwriters, as well as six Italian artists sharing the stage. Along with their music, they will be sharing their faith testimonials as an expression of their artistic maturity, enriched through conversations that changed their lives. Franco Fasano, who sang at San Remo and has composed and arranged music for many famous Italian singers, has also confirmed his participation in the concert as one of the guests of light music. Fasano also works with Mediaset and with the Antonian of Bologna "Zecchino d'Oro". He will present some of his hit songs as well as his new album, recently broadcast on the radio by Sr. Myriam Castelli, host of the radio program "Cristianità" ("Christianity") on the Rai International network.

The concert will be broadcast live via satellite and internet by Radio Kolbe, Radio Telepace, Radio Sacra Famiglia and Radio Mater. 


From Zenith March 18-22

Papal Address to World Union of Catholic Women´s Organizations
Prevailing Culture Spreads False Models of Life, He Warns 

VATICAN CITY, MAR. 22, 2001 ZENIT - Summary of the address

The Holy Father welcomed the participants in the General Assembly of the World Union of Catholic Women's Organizations, which took place in Rome from 17 to 21 March 2001. The movement started in 1910 and succeeded to unite Catholic women from all continents and from a great variety of backgrounds and cultures. John Paul II regards the meeting at the heart of the universal Church as a special opportunity to reaffirm the identity of catholic women in today's world and to draw on the graces of the Jubilee for their homes and communities.

The Pontiff thanked the 600 delegates for accepting and embracing their vocation as women. His hope is that with the help of God and the good work of their assembly the many obstacles which still hinder full recognition of the dignity and mission of women in society and within the ecclesial community will be overcome.

"Feminine holiness to which each one of you is called, is indispensable to the life of the Church", the pope exhorted. "The Second Vatican Council, confirming the teaching of the whole of tradition, recalled that in the hierarchy of holiness it is precisely the 'woman', Mary of Nazareth, who is the 'figure' of the Church. She 'precedes' everyone on the path to holiness" (Mulieris Dignitatem, 27). Women who live in holiness are "a model of the 'sequela Christi', an example of how the Bride must respond with love to the love of the Bridegroom" (ibid., 27). ...

The theme of your Assembly, The Prophetic Mission of Women, should offer an occasion for you to engage in a broad reflection on your commitment. The world and the Church need your specific witness. The Church's presence and action in the new millennium passes by way of woman's capacity to receive and keep God's word. In virtue of her specific charism, woman is uniquely gifted in the task of passing on the Christian message and mystery in the family and in the world of work, study and leisure." Regarding the specific mission of women, the Holy Father reminded the delegates that "every task, even the most ordinary, provided it is carried out with love, contributes to the sanctification of the world. This is an important truth to recall today, in a world fascinated by success and efficiency, but in which many people have no share in the benefits of global progress and are becoming poorer and more neglected than ever." He concluded "I once again assure you of my closeness in prayer, confident that this Assembly will be an occasion for you to find fresh energies for your mission. Entrusting all of you to the protection of Mary, Mother of the Redeemer, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing.

From the Vatican, 7 March 2001   IOANNES PAULUS II 

Mary, "Star of the Third Millennium" [Vatican City, Mar 21, 2001]

The Blessed Virgin Mary is the "star of the third millennium," John Paul II said during a midweek general audience in which he went on to quote the father of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther.  The Pope recalled passages of the commentary on the Magnificat written by Luther in 1521, in which he referred to the "Mother of God" as the example who "teaches us how we must love and praise God."

Quoting other passages of both Eastern and Western Christian tradition, the Holy Father referred to Mary as "the sign of hope for the mass of poor, of the lost of the earth," who wander through the world at the beginning of the third millennium.  This is a road of faith that Mary also had to take, despite overwhelming difficulties.  From the Annunciation, until her Son's tragic death on the cross, her life unfolded in the "interplay of light and shadow, of revelation and mystery," the Pope said.  "She is the star of the third millennium, as she was at the beginning of the Christian era, the dawn that preceded Jesus on the horizon of history."

The Pontiff concluded: "The Church follows Mary and the Lord Jesus walking on the torturous road of history to raise, promote and appreciate the immense procession of women and men, poor and hungry, humiliated and offended."

John Paul II's Address Before Angelus

Points to "School" of Nazareth on Eve of St. Joseph's Feast

Before praying the Marian Angelus, the Pope gave the example of St. Joseph as an inspiration to find the answer to the many challenges facing people today. 

"In the first place, St. Joseph is a model of faith for us," Peter's Successor explained, an "encouraging example, especially when we are asked to trust in God's word" when we do not see "his plan clearly."

St. Joseph also is a model for the man of today of "humble exercise of obedience, a virtue that shines in him by way of determined silence and hiddenness," the Pope said.

Further, St. Joseph is "an eloquent witness for believers that to serve is to reign."  His example is not only valid for "fathers", but also for all those who have the responsibility to guide, John Paul said.

Peruvians to Mark "Day of the Unborn" 

LIMA, Peru, Mar. 18, 2001 ( - Peru's bishops have announced that the "Day of the Unborn" will be celebrated March 25, feast of the Annunciation.  The initiative invites Peruvians to be grateful for for the gift of life and to respect the right of life of every human being from the moment of conception.  In some Latin American countries, Day of the Unborn has been recognized even at the civil level.  The first to take this step was Argentina.

Court Finds No Deceit With Weeping Statue 

"Virgin of Civitavecchia" Continues to Draw Visitors

A judge found no evidence of deceit or trickery involved with a statue of the Blessed Virgin that witnesses, including a bishop, say weeps blood.  Fabio Gregori, a worker in Civitavecchia, a city near Rome, had declared publicly that the statue wept blood in February 1995.  The statue had been brought to his house by Spanish priest Pablo Martin from Medjugorje.

Bishop Grillo reports that an average of 3,500 pilgrims a week visit the church that houses the statue.  Five Masses are celebrated in the church on Saturdays, and seven on Sundays.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is analyzing the case of the weeping statue.  At Bishop Grillo's request, the Vatican congregation is allowing faithful to visit the statue.


From L’Osservatore Romano February 28 & March 7

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New Resources

We've added answers to two new questions submitted by our readers. 

We've posted a Spanish-language interview with Fr. Luigi Gambero in which he discusses his book "Mary and the Fathers of the Church." 

Also, we've posted New Marian Poetry in our Resources section. 

Another fresh aspect of the Mary Page is new Meditations for the fourth week of Lent.

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Documents, Pronouncements (Magisterial, doctrinal)

This section contains full-text official documents from the Catholic Church on matters related to the Virgin Mary and other points of Catholic Doctrine. This week's selection is "The Virgin Mary in Intellectual and Spiritual Formation", published on March 25, 1988 from the Congregation for Catholic Education.

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Marian Themes in Magisterial Documents

This section contains an index to Marian references within various official documents from the Catholic Church. This week's topic is the Annunciation, a feast celebrated on March 25.

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News Archive

This section contains excerpts from past editions of the Mary Page news.

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Our Mary Page web site is updated frequently. Please stop in again and see what's new. 



Prayer Corner Requests

You are invited to help us pray for our Prayer Corner intentions.

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