Liturgical Season 10/17/03 World News
New Resources  Marian Events  Mary in the Secular Press
 News from the
Marian Library
 Prayer Corner News Archives

Mary Page News items give insight into our interest areas, our outreach, and the many ways people honor Our Lady. We welcome your input and your comments.

Liturgical Season

To celebrate the month of October with Mary:

Marian Commemoration Days

Mary Page offers a variety of resources inviting study, reflection and meditation.  We also list important Marian dates for each month of the year.  Please see Marian Commemoration Days for the month of October.

Rosary Markings

Rosary Markings is an answer to John Paul II's proclamation of "The Year of the Rosary" (2002-2003).  Rosary Markings will explore various facets of the rosary all through this anniversary year.  It will be updated frequently.  

See our recent addition from October 17.  Previous Reflections are listed on our Rosary Index.  Please note that many of these documents are available in Spanish as well as English.

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New Resources

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

A section on Marian Spiritualities has also been added to our Resources index.  The latest addition was a paper on the Rosary spirituality of Faustino Perez Manglano.  Expect more articles to follow.

We have also posted The Book of Hours and Our Lady under Resources and Marianists on the Road to Sainthood under Meditations as well as adding a section on the Philippines to our list of Marian Shrine Addresses Around The World.

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  News from the Marian Library

Vatican Exhibit on Display Now!

The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute invites you to visit The Mother of God: Art Celebrates Mary, thirty-eight paintings and sculptures from the permanent collection of The Vatican Museums, spanning seventeen centuries of Christian art and reflecting cultures worldwide.

September 4 - November 10, 2003

Roesch and Marian Library Galleries in Roesch Library on the University of Dayton Campus.
Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.  Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Free Admission -- Parking Available

For tours and information call: (937) 229-4254 or email: VaticanExhibit@notes.udayton.edu.
A virtual exhibit may be seen on our Gallery section under Current Exhibit.
Seminars related to the exhibit will be held in the LTC on Thursday nights through November 20.
For details on these lectures, click into http://www.udayton.edu/mary/gallery/vatseminars.html.
Exhibits of Rosaries of the World and of Creches will also be on display during this time.
See also the article by Pamela Gregg in the August 22 issue of U.D.'s Campus Report.

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Alumni Update

Michael Duricy, webmaster for the Mary Page, recently had two Marian articles accepted for publication.  "Snow White and Mary" is scheduled to appear in the October issue of Integra and "The Life of the Virgin Mary in Film" is scheduled to appear in the October issue of Ephemerides Mariologicae.

Also a certified Field Producer for DATV, a recent documentary production of his, "Beyond Boxes: A Portrait of Dayton Artist, Jane Dunwoodie", will air on DATV at 11:35 a.m. next Wednesday (10/22/2003).

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International Marian Research Institute Course Schedule

The schedule of IMRI courses for Fall 2002 - Fall 2003 is now available for view.  
Courses for the Fall semester are scheduled to commence on Oct. 20, 2003.

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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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Marian Events

Special Event!

The Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the United States will visit the Marian Library in Dayton, Ohio on November 8, 2003.

Come and join the ESBVM as it tours the world's largest Marian Library outside of the Vatican!

Events include a tour of the facilities (including the Vatican Art Exhibit), and a panel discussion on:

"Ecumenical Perspectives of the Blessed Virgin Mary"

For a list of accommodations and a schedule of events see their website at: www.esbvm.org

To register, contact Susan Crowley by email at: suecrowley@msn.com

Registration fee: $25.00 to be received by October 20 [includes tour and discussion]

Click this link for a list of all of the current Marian Events by geographical position.

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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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News from Around the World

Mater Dolorosa Sculptures

Eve Black recently created a series of fourteen bronze sculptures which look at Christ's Passion from Mary's eyes.  They portray the emotions and feelings which Mary, the Mother of Sorrows, experienced as she witnessed the Stations of the Cross.  For further details, click into her website at: www.materdolorosa.co.nz.

"Mary of Nazareth" Project

The purpose of the project "Mary of Nazareth" is to make the Virgin Mary known and loved, because Our Lady opens all Christian faith, by showing the beauty, the truth and the depth of her mystery, with the exceptional participation of all the Christian Churches and the best Marian specialists.  This project will radiate from Nazareth out towards the whole world by using the most modern means of multi-media, in order to touch hearts and to announce the Gospel to the men and women of our time.

Plans for the completed project include: a multi-media center in Nazareth; an Internet site in 12 languages; Evening Operas in images and hymns; Film, TV and Radio programs; and Books, DVDs and Videos.

The simultaneous presentation of these various initiatives in August and September 2005 can constitute one very strong event to show the beauty, the truth and the major direction of the work of God in the world.  The spiritual impact of this innovative historical project, radiating itself from Nazareth in Israel, can be really very considerable.

For more information, visit their web site, MariedeNazareth.com [currently under construction].

New Book on Mary

The Word Among Us Press recently published My Soul Magnifies the Lord: A Scriptural Journey with Mary by Jeanne Kun and has donated two copies to the Marian Library.  To order this and other fine books from The Word Among Us Press, log on to www.wordamongus.org, call 1-800-775-9673, or visit your local Catholic bookstore.

From Zenit

2.5 Million Attend Religious Festival in Brazil

BELEM, Brazil, OCT. 14, 2003 (Zenit.org)

About 2.5 million faithful converged to participate in the ceremony of the "Candle of Our Lady of Nazareth," the most important religious festival of the Amazon region. The faithful came from all corners of Para to honor the state's patroness. The feast is considered "Para's Christmas." Bishop Jesús María Cizaurre Berdonces, of the Prelature of Cameta, presided over the Mass that opened the event Sunday.

After the Mass, Archbishop Vicente Zico of Belem placed the image of the Blessed Virgin on a cart, which carried it in procession for over six hours. Devotion to the Blessed Virgin of Nazareth in the Amazon region began in 1700. It became official with the first candle procession in Belem on Sept. 8, 1783. The feast is celebrated annually on the second Sunday of October.


From L’Osservatore Romano

Not posted this week.

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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.

The Power and Clash of Symbols [Source: Newsday (New York), 9/23/2003]

Beverly Donofrio's poetics about her search for self and how she and the Virgin Mary discovered each other are funny, sad and spiced with enough profanity to let the reader understand the writer as another imperfect human being on the hopeful road to self-actualization.

She had been, Donofrio writes, a bad daughter, a bad mother, a struggling teenage wife divorced early from a struggling young drug addict. She self-destructed in her quest for love, was noncommittal to all except her art. She was a lapsed Catholic who kept a garden outside her old house in the North Fork hamlet of Orient and once placed a California dream above her only son's need for her incarnate presence in his life.

By some accident that really was more fateful than accidental, Donofrio came to possess a single, small statue of the Virgin Mary. As things went, she began to collect other Virgin statues, tchotchkes, charms, medallions and also Virgin stories. The devoted worldwide claim visions of the Virgin, and there is, in fact, an entire underground of people who rattle off sites, dates and miracles connected with this deified mother of Christ. They journey to those places, communing and worshiping, petitioning the Virgin to bring order to their jumbled-up selves.

Something about being in the presence of the Virgin drove Donofrio, jaded, her life a mess, to tears. Weeping, to my thinking, is a form of prayer and, though we have never met, my recent reading of Donofrio's work amounted to a comingling of her tears and laughter and cussing with mine.

In the end, "Looking for Mary (Or, the Blessed Mother and Me)" turned out to be splendiferous. And I almost missed the gift. I was forced to wade past a couple hundred pages of Donofrio's 246-page paperback confessional about her Mary-inspired conversion before finding a Virgin with whom I could more fully relate. Past page 200, Donofrio lands in Mexico, where La Virgen takes the form of a brown-skinned woman, and I thank God for Mary's resurrection with a Mexican face and Donofrio's obvious clarity on how versatile Mary must be. Up until that point, all of the Marys, as much as I could decipher, were of porcelain skin and aquiline features, which is allowable, but, if the scholars are correct, hardly the gospel truth.

Iconography, with its inherent power to enforce fact or myth, is a product of those with sufficient resources to construct an icon and keep that machine running. The prophet Moses made his Hollywood debut with Charlton Heston's face, and that face remains somewhere still on the television dial in perennial rebroadcasts.

Whether Hollywood will release "The Passion," filmed with another all-white cast and traversing the last 12 hours of Jesus' stormy life, is the lingering, unanswered $25 million question of the moment. Some Jewish activists have begun anew to disavow the film - which director Mel Gibson has been trying for some time to bring to moviehouses - as anti- Semitic and say it is likely to cue anti-Semites to ratchet up their harangue. Chafing at that sort of censorship, film supporters dismiss the anti-Semitic fears as baseless and reactionary.

My question is this: Is there a black-skinned, brown-skinned, yellow-skinned, red-skinned, nappy- headed Jesus talent to be tapped anywhere in La-La Land?

Neither scholar nor theologian am I. Yet, I've read the book for myself, and it says that some big prophesying characters of the Bible saw visions of a Jesus with hair like lamb's wool (white and kinked) and feet tinted in burnished bronze (definitely a darker shade). One side of the debate will demand that such imagery was merely a vision, certainly not to be taken at face value, which, decoded, means those debaters, perhaps, are sickened by the thought of a dark-skinned Jesus.

That Jesus was a carpenter from Palestine in an era when most everyone with their feet planted in Palestinian soil was dark-skinned makes the matter something of a no-brainer and, to my thinking, settles it.

There is persuasion in iconography, with the religious icon among the most evocative of all. It is a filter through which we dictate our culture, which influences politics and whole economies. It is what would prompt Donofrio to write a book about her personal experience with Mary, making it clear that hers is one woman's experience. It is what leads director Gibson to hand-pick from a shallow pool a certain embodiment of actor to portray on the behemoth Big Screen one celebrity's version of those last 12 hours.

My question is this: Can I get a black, brown, yellow, red, nappy-headed Jesus on my TV? Just once?

I call that equal time. Fair play. Parity. Tit-for- tat.

'Our Lady' redeems Guterson's early promise [Source: Chicago Sun-Times, 9/21/2003]

Our Lady of the Forest

By David Guterson

Knopf. $25.95.

Faith is one of life's most fascinating experiences. It is believing something without the burden of proof, knowing something is there even when you cannot see it or touch it or otherwise experience it through your senses, yet you feel something so right that it can only be real. David Guterson, who first won fame for his blockbuster best-seller Snow Falling on Cedars, takes faith head on in Our Lady of the Forest, his novel about a young homeless woman who sees the Virgin Mary while picking mushrooms near North Fork, Wash.

Subject matter, in significant ways, often dictates tone. Some subjects scream out for toughness, lest the reader dismiss them as sweet-toned songs better enjoyed in Sunday school. Truth should be unflinching, the ugly must balance the beautiful, or beauty goes unrecognized. Guterson's third novel easily could have wandered into sentimentality or pathos or some other saccharine territory, but the reader is jolted on every page into the musty, decaying rot of a community locked in a kind of purgatory, its inhabitants seemingly lost, staggering through their hopeless days. It is a place ripe for renewal and the rediscovery of faith.

North Fork is a worked-out logging community. The people have had their lives turned upside down, undone by outside interests--environmentalists, big-money bankers--their hopelessness as convincing and thorough as if they were connected by strings to some evil puppeteer in the sky.

There are many stories in the naked forest and Guterson picks some goodies. The book starts with the sighting of the Virgin Mary by Ann Holmes, a young woman folded into herself, hiding under the hood of her sweatshirt, almost without shape, on the verge of disappearing inside herself.

Ann would never be on anyone's short list for sainthood. Born into a shattered, self-immolating family, she is a poster girl for the homeless young, a sickly, imploding drug abuser with no apparent moral structure except lately an obsession with Jesus and Catholicism.

But by all measures she does seem to experience visions and conversations with the Virgin, who asks that a new church be built on her visitation site, owned by a big logging company. Of course, no one else sees the apparition, only Ann, seemingly defying gravity and the laws of physics as she reaches out, head tilted back, eyes raised to that spot she tries to embrace, her lips moving. Something is going on, people think when they see Ann.
And they come by the hundreds, by the thousands, the Internet-connected subculture that feeds upon religious sightings, trooping through the forest, selling Virgin Mary merchandise from vans. They seem to know each other from similar sightings. They are professional vision-chasers, collecting videos, photographs and trinkets.

Tom Cross guides us through the circles of purgatory that are North Fork. Surely this is where troubled souls restlessly seek redemption or salvation, their crimes against their own souls. Tom is the ruined father of a ruined family, a man weighted by guilt over a logging accident resulting in his son's wasting away, paralyzed in a wheelchair, the boy's self-pity and anger reducing his world to what he can stare at out the window. Tom is so disappointed by life that he has withdrawn into a ghost man, drifting around North Fork like a brooding figure in a Scandinavian play.

He moves idly from his motel room to one of several bars to sitting in his car outside his house, noting things falling apart, rotting. He drives to the campground and sees the mess there. Tom's search for absolution reaches a climax in front of the local church's altar with Ann and the local priest, Father Collins, and Carolyn, Ann's constant companion.

Our Lady of the Forest is, then, the story of several characters' desperate search for faith. Father Collins is on the run from himself and his choices. He seems almost startled to have awakened one morning and found himself a priest, like a kid who joined the Marines on a lark must have felt when he found himself in a foxhole, tracers lighting up the sky. Father Collins finds it impossible to hurdle his intellect, unable to make the leap to faith, it apparently having never occurred to him that such a thing could exist.

Carolyn leaps at the chance to become Ann of Oregon's No. 1 disciple. She works the growing crowd, passing a bucket for bucks, and in the end makes off with the money. But even she beneath her veneer has her own struggles. Against her better instincts, she wishes there was something larger than her cynicism.

Finally, Ann just wants to build a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

This is Guterson's best book, certainly better than his last novel, East of the Mountains, which wallowed in the kind of sentimentality that this book avoids. Perhaps the ending is too pat. Perhaps there is too much speechifying. Perhaps the conclusion requires the kind of leap that faith begs.

But remember this: If even a single person perceives a light, all others may be led to its brilliance if the seer has words to make it so. Guterson finds the words.

Faithful wait in the heat for glimpse of holy relic [Source: San Antonio Express-News (Texas), 9/14/2003]

The look on her face said it all.

Maria Pilar Hernandez traveled several hours Saturday from Rio Grande City with grandson Octavio Martinez and two daughters just to catch a glimpse of a tiny piece of the tilma, or cloak, that Juan Diego was wearing when the Virgin Mary appeared to him in Mexico in 1531.

Hernandez had just celebrated her 96th birthday last week and when asked what she wanted as a present, she couldn't think of anything better than wanting to get closer to God.

So Martinez, 28, changed his weekend plans and drove his grandmother and his Tia Trini and Tia Gloria here to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower.

For nearly an hour, the women stood in a line that snaked around the building under the bright sun. Ivory-colored veils covered their heads; each had a rosary in one hand and a red rose in the other. When it was their turn to be face-to-face with the relic, they said it was worth the trouble.

" Cuando me arrime, senti a Dios (As I came near, I felt God's presence)," Hernandez said, her voice shaking, tears in her eyes.

The half-inch-square piece of cloth is encased in Plexiglas and hangs from a silver chain around a statue of the Virgin Mary, which is itself inside a Plexiglas case, set on a pillar at the front of the church.

Hernandez prayed, asking the Virgin Mary to please watch over her family and keep them out of harm's way.

After the visit, she said she felt weak and strong all at once.

"It's a feeling I've never felt before in my life," said Hernandez, her eyes fixed on her rosary.

Although the tilma should have disintegrated years ago, it remains intact, an indicator to the faithful that the event was real. Juan Diego was canonized as a saint last year by Pope John Paul II in Mexico City.

The original cloak remains in Mexico City. The small piece on display was sent to Archbishop John Cantwell of Los Angeles in 1941 by Archbishop Luis Maria Martinez y Rodriguez after Cantwell led a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.

Saturday, people were flocking to the Tilma of Tepeyac Tour by the thousands. San Antonio is one of 21 cities selected for the tour, which began in May and ends in December.

The scene outside the church would have been familiar to concertgoers. All kinds of memorabilia was on sale, including T-shirts of Juan Diego kneeling before the Virgin Mary, fresh roses in buckets, and candles with an image of the Virgen de Guadalupe and the message: " Visit of the Relic of the Tilma of Tepeyac, September 12, 13 & 14, 2003."

Some of the proceeds will be used to defray costs for security and portable toilets.

A church official estimated that some 20,000 people had visited the relic by Saturday afternoon. People started lining up in front of the church at 3:30 a.m. Saturday.

A special " despedida " Mass is to be held today at 6 a.m.

The recent bad publicity surrounding the Catholic Church didn't seem to hinder the attendance at Saturday's event.

"People are really not lost. They are longing for God," Father John Suenram said. "Certainly the numbers of people that are showing up here does show the vitality of our Catholic faith."

Wheaton nuns make Canada connection [Source: Chicago daily Herald, 9/27/2003]

Twenty sisters with ties to Loretto Convent in Wheaton recently traveled to Toronto, Canada, for an historic re-union of two global branches of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The meeting officially re-united the Irish Branch with the North American Branch to form the new Loretto Branch of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary that will be based in Rome.

"This was a very historic moment for us, because we're going back to our roots," said Sister Rosemary Lynch of Wheaton.

The Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary was originally founded in Ireland in 1609. In September of 1847, five sisters traveled to Toronto to start a new branch that eventually became the North American Branch.

"It was really a matter of communication; it was easier to start a new branch and develop a separate government," said Lynch. "It was hard to communicate and travel back and forth to Ireland."

A third branch of the Institute remains separate and consists of sisters who primarily live in Germany and Eastern Europe.

This new combined branch consists of sisters based in Canada, the United States, Australia, England, India, Rome and Peru. Representatives of all those nations were on hand in Toronto for the official re-uniting as one congregation. The union was formally approved by the Vatican. The event in Canada had included 50 sisters from the United States and another 100, with a total of 150 in attendance.

"There's been discussion of this process since the early 1900s, but it finally picked up steam in the late 1980s," Lynch added. "We've been working on it seriously since 1996 and it was approved by the Vatican in March (2003)."

Uniting the branches allows the sisters and the institute to approach its work in a more globalized fashion, gaining strength in numbers for mission work and to spread a gospel vision of peace, justice and love of fellow neighbors.

The Wheaton location will serve as a Provincial House of the Loretto Branch, representing the United States to the Rome headquarters. There will be nine other provincial governments around the world. There are 85 sisters based in the United States, living in Illinois, California, Arizona, Michigan and Florida.

The event to reunite the branches was a special time for the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, said Lynch.

"It was amazing," she said. "It's exciting to be part of such an extensive international community."

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