Mary Page News

September 14, 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

Congratulations to the Mary Page!

We just learned that our Mary Page web site was featured in St. Anthony Messenger magazine's "Web Catholic" column, in both the print and the online editions.  St. Anthony Messenger, of course, is the national Catholic family magazine that has been in print since 1893 (340,000 subscribers) and on the Web since 1996.  It's a ministry of the Franciscans. The column is a one-year effort to highlight trends on the Internet for Catholics and to show them exemplary sites.  Mary Page was featured in the May, 2001 edition of the magazine and at the on-line link below:

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New Exhibit: Michael Montag

A new exhibit, A Journey with Mary, featuring 21 sculpture pieces by Michael Montag, will be on display through October 5, 2001.  These works can be seen in our Marian Library Gallery Monday through Friday from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm or online by clicking into Current Exhibit from our Gallery section.

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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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Marian Events

This section 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 through June 18, 2001.

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News from Around the World

XIIIth International Mariological Symposium

The Pontifical Theological Faculty "Marianum" will host the XIIIth International Mariological Symposium in Rome on October 2-5, 2001.  The topic will be "Contemporary Hermeneutics and Biblical Mariological Texts: Verification and Proposals."  For more information email the Secretarial office of the Marianum at:

From Zenit

Woman Episcopalian Priest Converts to Catholicism

Linda Poindexter Defends All-Male, Celibate Clergy

WASHINGTON, D.C., AUG. 30, 2001 ( In 1999 the wife of Rear Admiral John Poindexter, a onetime national security adviser to U.S. President Ronald Reagan, ended her 13 years as an Episcopal priest. Linda Poindexter became Catholic.

She spoke recently with the National Catholic Register

Q: Your first "conversion" was from the Disciples of Christ Church to the Episcopalian Church. How did that come about?

Poindexter: John and I married in 1958. He had graduated the Naval Academy. The Protestant chapel services the midshipmen attended were always according to the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer. You could attend another church in town, but at the Navy chapel the Protestant service was Episcopal. Back then, attendance at some service was mandatory.

I was down there most weekends when we were dating so I'd become quite accustomed to the services by the time we were married. John was raised a Methodist, so we looked at several churches when we married and quickly settled on the Episcopal Church, primarily for the liturgical part of the worship.

Q: What was your attitude toward the Catholic Church?

Poindexter: Growing up I always thought my Catholic friends had the neatest church in the world. Going to Mass with them in the '40s and '50s was so dramatic and so moving. I also thought, "Catholic kids really have to do something," and I found that very appealing. Something was demanded of them.

Q: You've said that the emphasis on the communion service in your childhood church prepared you for your conversion. What else did?

Poindexter: In this very Protestant church where I grew up they had a small chapel, and it was called "Madonna Chapel" -- a Protestant chapel called Madonna Chapel!

I can remember there was a painting of the Blessed Mother in the front of this little chapel. Somebody must have donated it and put it up there, but I found that unusual. It's always been a Protestant thing that Catholics "worship" Mary, and it's wrong. But to have this chapel in there, it just makes my mind click. I've been given an awful lot of gifts along the way. It's amazing how long it takes for it to sink in.

Q: What finally led you into the Catholic Church?

Poindexter: There is a tendency among Protestants to "think for themselves" and that's what's led to so many differing denominations.

There is an unclear sense of authority. I was able to accept the structure of the Church's authority more easily. Thus I am at peace, and because I believe, I don't have to argue with others about it. It certainly makes sense that God would have chosen this kind of structure to let people know about him and about what they're supposed to be doing.

Of course, Newman said it much better than I do. The first thing I did when I felt drawn to the Church was to buy Newman's "Apologia." I guess he's the standard for Anglicans who become Catholic. I had underlined the passage where he talks about authority.

Q: What was your next step?

Poindexter: When I was serving in a parish, I'd find it difficult to pray in the same place that I worked. There was a Catholic Church just a few minutes away, so I'd pop in there for some quiet prayer. I'd put a scarf around my neck to hide the clerical collar. I remember feeling something like a wish, "Maybe I could be here someday."

Q: In your studies, did you come across the Marian strains in Martin Luther's writings? Apparently, the founder of Protestantism was very fond of her.

Yes, I know he was, though I didn't really study Luther until seminary. In seminary we did some reading into Luther, and he certainly was Marian. As an Episcopalian I had no problem with that.

I was always very drawn to learning more about Mary. What I do then is buy a lot of books I don't have time to read, thinking I'd develop a course on the Episcopal understanding of Mary. Many in the Episcopal Church are very dismissive about the Catholic reverence and devotion to Mary. A lot of people are now thinking the baby got thrown out with the bath water, that they've robbed themselves by not understanding and venerating the Mother herself.

Q: What is your perception of the all-male priesthood? Having been an Episcopalian priest, did this pose a problem for you later?

Poindexter: In the context of the Roman Catholic Church, I believe in and support the all-male, celibate priesthood. I find it difficult to accept intellectually all the reasons for this, but I am content to believe that the magisterium of the Church is divinely guided and inspired and perhaps may contain more truth than my own thinking on the subject. Within the Anglican Communion and the various Protestant communities, it is a different matter.

I do believe that many women are very gifted in many pastoral, educational and administrative capacities and I am happy to see that the Catholic Church is striving to allow those gifts to be used.

A: Should Catholics allow married clergy, as the Episcopalians do?

Poindexter: In our parish, we happen to have a married former Episcopal priest, and I felt very drawn to talk to him when I first considered converting.

That's a tough thing, trying to support a wife and family and to change your whole life is very difficult.

I think the celibate priesthood is the way to go. I said that all the time I was actively in a parish, and I began to understand the gift. It's tough to give your all to a parish and give your all to a spouse and family.

Then I see younger women with children and I don't see how they're doing this. Once you've taken marital vows you do have those obligations. It becomes most confusing. The way it seems to have worked out in the Episcopal Church is that people are overly concerned now with their contracts and their benefits, their time off and all the rest of it, because that's necessary if you're going to be part of a family.

But that means it becomes a 9-to-5 job, which means many of them won't do anything on a day off. You've got to go find somebody else. If somebody dies on your day off, that's too bad. It's a very awkward situation. Granted everybody needs some free time, and I'm glad when they get it, but it is just very difficult when you have a family.

I see Episcopal priests taking off to pick up their kids from school, and they have this and that, and then I hear Catholics say we have to have married priests because we're so short [of priests]. That's just not a good reason. You don't know what you're asking for. For one thing, are you prepared to triple your parish budget?

It becomes a very different view of the priesthood. There's just something very special about someone who has the gift of celibacy and is set apart for that reason. There again we get into the awe and mystery that I think contributes to that.

If our priest is just like us, why would I feel drawn to confession?

Marianists Urged On by John Paul II

Sends Message on Occasion of General Chapter

VATICAN CITY, JULY 18, 2001 ( John Paul II encouraged the Marianists in their mission to evangelize, noting "that the waters of the so-called post-Christian era have nothing to give."

The Pope addressed a message to Father David Joseph Fleming, superior general of the Society of Mary, on the occasion of its 32nd general chapter, being held in Rome from July 8-29.

The theme of the chapter meeting is "To Recreate With New Impetus the Missionary Plan of Our Founder." The papal message, dated July 7, was written in English.

Referring to the beatification of Guillaume Joseph Chaminade, founder of the Marianists, during the Jubilee Year, the Pope pointed out the blessed "was born in difficult times" for France.

"He was a man who lived the turbulence of the Revolution, preferring exile and death threats to the forced concessions the clergy had to make at that time," the Pope wrote, adding that Father Chaminade "never ceased to regard Mary as his hidden strength."

Not only facing the Revolution but also the "no less pernicious threat of religious indifference that gnawed at the heart of Christianity, your founder demonstrated qualities of apostolic imaginativeness and boldness, which have their roots in genuine holiness," the Holy Father wrote. In founding the Society of Mary, Chaminade endeavored to offer the de-Christianized society of his time "the spectacle of a nation of saints," the Pope explained.

John Paul II then quoted Christ's words to Peter, "Duc in altum! Go into the deep." The Pope reminded the Marianists that they are "the wonderful resultant catch," since the moment Father Chaminade decided to go into the deep.

"It would seem that the waters of our so-called post-Christian era have nothing to give," the Pope stated. "We live at a time when many people cry for liberty, but resist truth; doubt, not only faith, but the very reason for their existence; insist on their rights, but evade their responsibilities; long for plenitude, but resist love."

The Holy Father added: "In such intransigent waters, as sons of Blessed Guillaume Joseph Chaminade, you must lower your nets knowing that only Jesus can satisfy the profound yearnings of the human heart."

Web Site Offers a Marian Magazine

NEW BEDFORD, Massachusetts, JULY 2, 2001 ( A bookstore, postcard service and bimonthly Internet Marian magazine are among the offerings of the official Web site of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate in the United States.

"It is dedicated primarily in promoting knowledge and love of the Immaculate Virgin Mary after the inspiring example of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe," said Webmaster Father Martin Mary in a statement. Find it at

European Christian Artists Flock to Shrine

150 Professionals Huddle in Oropa, Italy

OROPA, Italy, SEPT. 7, 2001 ( For the first, the International Seminar of European Christian Artists was held in the Italian Shrine of Oropa, a five-day festival of art and prayer. This event has a great tradition in the Netherlands, where it is celebrated annually in Doorn. Some 150 people, including professors, professionals and artists in fields such as music, dance, painting, sculpture and mime joined in the ecumenical meeting, which ended Monday.

This sacred place in northern Italy is dedicated to Our Lady of Oropa, represented by a Black Virgin, a wooden sculpture brought here, according to tradition, by St. Eusebius. Legend attributes the sculpture itself to St. Luke.

From L’Osservatore Romano June 13

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New Resources

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

A new section on international stamps with images of Mary has been added to our Resources section.  The latest added is Canada.  Expect more countries to follow.

A multimedia presentation on Marian National Patronages has been added to our Resources section under Marian Shrines.  This page uses Flash and requires Shockwave software to run.  If you don't already have Shockwave, our page will guide you to download it for free or to simply display an HTML version.  Please let us know what you think of this format.  Expect more multimedia presentations in the future!

We've posted memorials to three long-time faculty members who died recently:

Fr. Frederick M. Jelly, O.P.

Fr. Walter M. Brennan, O.S.M.

Fr. Théodore Koehler, S.M.

The graphic at the top left of our home page now randomly displays flowers named after the Virgin Mary.  Click on the flower to enlarge the image and display information about it. 

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Documents, Pronouncements (Magisterial, doctrinal)

Address to Women Religious

Address of Pope John Paul II at Turin, September 4,1988
"May the Mother of the Church be an inspiration for the discovery of a new feminine identity.
[Internet source: California Institute of Technology]

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Marian Themes in Magisterial Documents

The Life of Mary: Calvary

In conjunction with the Commemoration of Our Lady of Sorrows (September 15), please note these Post-Vatican II Magisterial Documents concerning the theme, Mary's Life, Calvary. These teachings of the Catholic Church may prove useful to include in talks, homilies or for research. ...

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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.  Please take a look!  This site has been updated and enhanced and now allows users to directly submit prayer requests or to volunteer as a prayer partner for these intentions!

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