Mary Page News

November 30, 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

Thesis Defenses

Father Javier Alson, SMC, a student at the International Marian Research Institute, defended his S.T.L. dissertation, summa cum laude, on November 30, 2001 at the Marian Library.  The title of his thesis, "La Corredención Mariana: Un Estudio Sistemático de los Artículos Sobre la Corredención en la Revista Estudios Marianos Desde el Volumen I al Volumen LXIV (1942-1998)."

On the same day, Fr. Antonio Larocca, SMC, also  a student at the International Marian Research Institute, defended his S.T.L. dissertation, magna cum laude.  The title of his thesis, "Magisterio y Sentido de la Fe: Estudio de la Relación Entre Textos Mariológicos del Magisterio y la Devoción Mariana en Latino America, Venezuela y la Arquidiócesos de Barquisimeto."

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Internet Conference

Michael P. Duricy, webmaster for the Mary Page, attended the Multimedia World Forum sponsored by Signis in Rome earlier this month.  He attended webmaster seminars, gave presentations on the Mary Page web site and learned about many other good Catholic sites.  Please check out the "Links to Related Websites" section of our Resources index, as we have added links to many of these sites, especially under "International Links".  For more information on Signis, the organization for Catholics involved with media of social communication, see "News From Around the World" below.

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New Art Exhibit

The Marian Library (University of Dayton) owns more than 900 nativity sets (crèches) illustrating art and culture from around the world.  In the fourth annual international crèche exhibition, numerous sets will be on display for the first time in this year's exhibit.

The origin of the nativity goes back to St. Francis of Assisi in the 13th century.  To illustrate the Christmas narrative of God's love for all people, he used living persons to represent the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, the Infant Jesus, angels and shepherds, along with live animals.  This realistic portrayal worked so well that its popularity spread throughout Italy and Europe.  Missionaries took the idea, together with handcrafted representations of it, to other countries and cultures.  Over time, local features were incorporated in the statuary, landscape, and animals.

Nativity scenes exist in countries all over the world and all have their own particular traditions for telling the Christmas story.  The Marian Library collection includes many outstanding examples.

Who:      The Marian Library/University of Dayton

What:      International Crèche Exhibition

When:     November 20th, 2001 - January 6, 2002

Where:    Marian Library
                 7th floor of Roesch Library
                 University of Dayton
                 Phone (937) 229-4214                 

                 Dayton Art Institute
                 456 Belmonte Park N.
                 Dayton, OH 45405
                 Phone (937) 223-5277

                 Gallery St. John/Bergamo Court Campus
                 440 Shakertown Road
                 Dayton, OH 45430
                 Phone (937) 320-5404

Hours:    To be determined

Cost:       Free of charge

:    Kathy Kavanaugh
                           Phone (937) 434-6841

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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.  

We also encourage our readers to submit their opinions on various styles of Marian Art through an on-line art survey.

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News from Around the World


Catholic Media Group Picks Australian as First President

Congress That Created Signis Concludes

ROME, NOV. 27, 2001 (

Australian Sacred Heart missionary Peter Malone is the first president of Signis, the organization that combines OCIC and Unda, the Catholic film, radio and television associations.

Malone, a specialist in film arts, had been president of OCIC since 1998. He was elected Signis' president during the world congress that gave birth to this organization. The congress ended today.

The new vice presidents, elected by the 500 participants in the meeting, are Asian and European: Augustine Loorthusamy, professor of media communications in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and Gaye Williams Ortiz, associate professor at Ripon and York University College, and BBC radio and television program producer and presenter.

Among other things, the congress helped to appreciate the difficult challenge that faces all communicators today who wish to evangelize through the media, as Father Pierre Belanger revealed on Vatican Radio. Until today, Father Belanger was secretary-general of Unda.

"In very many realms, to engage in religious communication is certainly not an easy undertaking from the financial point of view," he said.

"The support of the economic community is often not very great," he added. "There are many areas in the world, including in the West itself, in which commercial, governmental and para-governmental organizations do not want to have too direct or too evident relations with organizations that are officially linked to a specific religious confession."

Given the situation, Father Belanger disclosed that Catholic communications organizations decided to dedicate "particular attention to formation, especially in developing countries."

"In our organizations, interest in formation has existed for a long time," he added, "But in recent years there has been an accentuation: We have realized the importance of reinforcing the professional character of our personnel to support them in their insertion in the work environment, thanks to the quality of their work."

"One third of the projects we have, for example, with the Congregations for the Evangelization of Peoples, in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, have the dimension of formation for our members," Father Belanger revealed.

Pope to Convene Holy Land´s Catholic Leaders on Dec. 13

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 28, 2001 (

John Paul II has called Catholic leaders of the Holy Land to a meeting in the Vatican on Dec. 13 to discuss "The Future of Christians in the Holy Land."

In a press statement, Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro-Valls described the meeting as "of purely pastoral character."

The Holy Father has taken the initiative, given "the delicate situation in the Holy Land," to express "once again his spiritual closeness to those peoples and share the drama of their daily life, too often tried by violent and discriminatory acts," the director of the Vatican Press Office said.

"The meeting will bring together heads of the Catholic communities of different rites in the Holy Land, and the presidents of some episcopal conferences," Navarro-Valls said.

"It will offer the possibility to demonstrate the concern of the whole Church for those Christians, in particular for the Catholic community, as well as manifest the common commitment to the continuity of its millenarian presence in the region," he added.

Papal Address Before Angelus

John Paul II Invites Believers to Prayer and Fasting for Peace


Dearest Brothers and Sisters!

1. The international scene continues to be disturbed by worrying tensions. We cannot forget the intense sufferings that have afflicted and still afflict so many of our brothers and sisters in the world: thousands of innocent victims in the grave attacks of last Sept. 11; innumerable people forced to abandon their homes to face the unknown and, sometimes, a cruel death; women, the elderly and children exposed to the risk of dying of cold and hunger. ...

At this opportune time, I ask Catholics to make next Dec. 14 a day of fasting, during which to pray with fervor to God so that he will grant the world a stable peace, based on justice, and make it possible to find adequate solutions to the many conflicts that trouble the world. May what is saved from fasting be placed at the disposal of the poor, especially those who at present suffer the consequences of terrorism and war.

I would also like to announce that it is my intention to invite the representatives of the religions of the world to come to Assisi on Jan. 24, 2002, to pray for the surmounting of oppositions and the promotion of authentic peace. In particular, we wish to have Christians and Muslims come together, to proclaim before the world that religion must never be a reason for conflict, hatred and violence. Whoever really accepts the word of the good and merciful God, cannot but exclude from his heart every form of rancor and enmity. In this historic moment, humanity needs to see gestures of peace and to hear words of hope.

As I said 15 years ago, when announcing the meeting of prayer for peace, which was held in Assisi the following October: "It is urgent that a choral invocation be raised from the earth to heaven, to implore from the Almighty, in whose hands is the destiny of the world, the great gift of peace, the necessary condition for any serious endeavor at the service of humanity's real progress."

From this moment I entrust this initiative to the maternal intercession of Mary Most Holy, asking her to sustain our efforts, and those of the whole of humanity, in the way of peace.

We ask you, Queen of Peace, to help us respond with the force of truth and love to the new and overwhelming challenges of the present time. Help us also to surmount this difficult moment, which disturbs the serenity of so many people, and to work unhesitatingly to build, every day and in every environment, an authentic culture of peace.



Mary our Mother

53. To conclude this Apostolic Exhortation, I invite you to join me in turning to the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus and Mother of the Church, who is so revered throughout Oceania. Missionaries and immigrants alike brought with them a deep devotion to her as an integral part of their Catholic faith; and since that time, the faithful of Oceania have not ceased to show their great love for Mary.(177) She has been a wondrous helper in all the Church's efforts to preach and teach the Gospel in the world of the Pacific. In our time, she is no less present to the Church than she was at Pentecost, gathered with the Apostles in prayer (cf. Acts1:14). With her prayer and presence, she will surely support the new evangelization just as she supported the first. In times of difficulty and pain, Mary has been an unfailing refuge for those seeking peace and healing. In churches, chapels and homes, the image of Mary reminds people of her loving presence and her maternal protection. In parts of the Pacific region, she is especially venerated under the title of Help of Christians; and the Bishops have proclaimed her as Patroness of Oceania under the title of Our Lady of Peace. In Jesus Christ, whom she nurtured in her womb, there is born a new world where justice and mercy meet, a world of freedom and peace. Through Christ's Cross and Resurrection, God has reconciled the world to himself, and he has made the Lord Jesus the Prince of Peace for every time and place. May Mary, Regina Pacis, help the peoples of Oceania to know this peace, and to share it with others! At the dawn of the Third Christian Millennium, may true justice and harmony be God's gift to Oceania and to all the nations of the world!(178) With gratitude for the grace of this Special Assembly, I commend all the peoples of Oceania to the maternal protection of the Blessed Virgin, trusting absolutely that hers is an ear that always listens, hers a heart that always welcomes, and hers a prayer that never fails. 


O Mary, Help of Christians,
in our need we turn to you
with eyes of love, with empty hands
and longing hearts.
We look to you that we may see your Son,
our Lord.
We lift our hands that
we may have the Bread of Life.
We open wide our hearts
to receive the Prince of Peace.
Mother of the Church,
your sons and daughters thank you
for your trusting word that echoes
through the ages,
rising from an empty soul made full of grace,
prepared by God to welcome
the Word to the world
that the world itself might be reborn.
In you, the reign of God has dawned,
a reign of grace and peace, love and justice,
born from the depths of the Word made flesh.
The Church throughout the world joins you
in praising him
whose mercy is from age to age.
O Stella Maris, light of every ocean
and mistress of the deep,
guide the peoples of Oceania
across all dark and stormy seas,
that they may reach the haven of peace and light
prepared in him who calmed the sea.
Keep all your children safe from harm
for the waves are high and we are far from home.
As we set forth upon the oceans of the world,
and cross the deserts of our time,
show us, O Mary, the fruit of your womb,
for without your Son we are lost.
Pray that we will never fail on life's journey,
that in heart and mind, in word and deed,
in days of turmoil and in days of calm,
we will always look to Christ and say,
"Who is this that even wind and sea obey him?"
Our Lady of Peace, in whom all storms grow still,
pray at the dawn of the new millennium
that the Church in Oceania
will not cease to show forth
the glorious face of your Son,
full of grace and truth,
so that God will reign in the hearts
of the Pacific peoples
and they will find peace
in the world's true Saviour.
Plead for the Church in Oceania
that she may have strength
to follow faithfully the way of Jesus Christ,
to tell courageously the truth of Jesus Christ,
to live joyfully the life of Jesus Christ.
O Help of Christians, protect us!
Bright Star of the Sea, guide us!
Our Lady of Peace, pray for us!

Given in Rome at Saint Peter's, 22 November 2001, the twenty-fourth of my Pontificate. JOANNES PAULUS PP. II

Excerpts of the Papal Address Before the Angelus

"Paradoxical" Power of Christ Has No Place in Earthly Logic, Pope Says

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 25, 2001 (

Dearest Brothers and Sisters!

Compared to the criteria of this world, the royalty of Jesus seems to be, so to speak, "paradoxical." In fact, the power that it exercises has no place in earthly logic. It is, on the contrary, the power of love and service, which requires the free gift of self and consistent witness to truth (John 18:37). For this reason, the Lord sacrificed himself as an "immaculate victim of peace on the altar of the Cross" (Preface), knowing that only thus could he rescue humanity, history and the cosmos from the slavery of sin and death. His resurrection attests that he is the victorious King, the "Lord" in heaven, on earth, and under the earth (see Philippians 2:10-11).

The creature who more than any other was associated with Christ was Mary, whom he himself crowned Queen of heaven and earth. The saints, whom the Church today presents to us for our veneration, looked to her as their constant model. We also look to her, so that she will help us to "reign" with Christ to build a world where peace "reigns."

We must pray ceaselessly to obtain this great gift, which is peace, a gift of which humanity is in such great need. We will invoke it confidently, including with the two initiatives that I announced last Sunday: the day of fasting in December, and the January prayer meeting in Assisi with the representatives of the world's religions. May Mary, Queen of Peace, intercede for us before her divine Son, immortal King and Lord of peace.

From L’Osservatore Romano

Not posted this week.  Expect an update to this section next week.

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Marian Events  

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

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New Resources

An Irish Litany of Mary dating from the 11th century has been added to the "Litanies" section of our Prayers index.

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

A section on international stamps with images of Mary has been added to our Resources index.  The latest added was Dominican Republic.  Expect more countries to follow.

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.

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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 November 15-27.

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

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