Liturgical Season 2/20/04 World News
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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 February 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 February.

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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 Guyana.  Expect more countries to follow.

A section on Mary and Women is now under construction in our Resources index.  The latest addition was Magisterial Documents on Women.  Expect more articles to follow.

We have expanded our material on the Hail Mary in Foreign Languages.  We have also added the latest version of our Marian Library Newsletter, as well as our answer to a reader's question, Is Morgan a derivation of Mary?

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  News from the Marian Library

Mary Page Advisory Board Meeting

In the Service of Our Marian Mission

From February 13-15, 2004, scholars from across the country converged at The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute at the University of Dayton to evaluate the Mary Page and establish criteria for its future. They came from California, Louisiana, Massachusetts, and as far away as Costa Rica. Lay men and women, Marianists, and members of other forms of consecrated life were united in their love for Mary and their conviction that the Mary Page website will be an ever-growing effective tool to further knowledge and service of her and her mission to continuing giving birth to Christ in our contemporary world.

Collaboration A Sign of Hope

When the participants summed up their gathering, Albert Nolan’s pithy statement was called to mind, "Faith can’t be taught; it has to be caught." It is said that the web presents no barriers. The Church encourages evangelization and outreach through these means. Like never before, the message of the Incarnation can reach the world.

Each participant left with a bundle of homework: writing articles, researching themes, and continuing critical evaluation of Mary Page. The vision includes meeting yearly for such a conference. It is hoped that future collaborators will be found who dearly love Mary and will underwrite this venture with their prayerful support and their financial contributions to make the continuation of this work possible.

At present our Advisory Board is composed of the following members: Rev. Johann G. Roten, SM, Director; Rev. Benedict O’Cinnsealaigh; Rev. Sam Maranto, CSSR; Bro. John Samaha, SM; Rev. Gerald T. Chinchar, SM; Rev. Robert Hughes, SM; Sr. Mary Catherine Nolan, OP, STD; Dr. Ron Novotny; Dr. Deyanira Flores; Mr. Michael Duricy; Sr. M. Danielle Peters; Mr. Alejandro Cañadas; Sr. M. Jean Frisk; Ms. Kris Sommers; and Ms. Virginia Kimball.

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International Marian Research Institute Course Schedule

IMRI courses for the Fall 2003 semester concluded on Nov. 14.  The schedule of future IMRI courses will be posted on the Mary Page when available.

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IMRI Professor will take students for critical viewing of Gibson's Passion

When Father Bert Buby, S.M., accompanies a group of U.D. students to the Ash Wednesday debut of Mel Gibson's film, he won't need to rely on the subtitles. His concern is the accuracy of the story and much-hyped portrayal of Jews in the film.

University of Dayton students and Father Bert Buby, S.M., already have their tickets to the Ash Wednesday debut of Mel Gibson’s "The Passion of the Christ."

Buby, a Professor at the International Marian Research Institute, is a member of the Dayton Christian Jewish Dialogue. Unlike most, he won't need to rely on the subtitles in the movie as he understands Aramaic, the language used throughout the film.

"I've heard that a renowned Jewish scholar of the New Testament has found 45 points in the film that are offensive to the Jewish religion," Buby said. "We Christians are often not able to see these offending things without a trained eye or help from a Jewish friend. I've also heard that, due to poetic license, a number of other Scriptural passages are not used accurately in the film. This happens when Gospels are merged to present something as a historical event when, in reality, it is the theological point of view of four different sources or Gospels."

Buby was invited to view the movie with a group of students from U.D. Charles Lockhart III, a graduate student in electrical engineering, organized the group.

According to the film's official Web site, its director, Mel Gibson, says he will show audiences "the humanity of Christ as well as the divine aspect. It's a rendering that for me is very realistic and as close as possible to what I perceive the truth to be."

Buby hopes the influence of Gibson's movie will serve as a teachable moment, a way to look more closely at the life of Jesus as depicted in critical historical studies of the Gospels.

"With analysis, students can learn to critique what is inaccurate, to profit from what motivates a Christian in the suffering of Jesus, and to share with others what we know about the Gospels," Buby said. "We'll be able to compare what the film is faithful to in the texts and what the film has adjusted to the perspective of the director. Good heroic movies can serve as a catharsis, and this could be a plus for the season of Lent, which should be all about charity and non-judging of others."

See http://alumni.udayton.edu/campusreport/morenews.asp?storyID=1437 for Linda Robertson's article in the Campus News Digest for 2/19/2004.

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Current Exhibit

Golden Madonnas

Straw Appliqué Madonnas by Marian Paskowicz will be on display in the Marian Library Gallery from January 15 to February 20, 2004.   The Gallery is open 8:30 am - 4:30 pm weekdays.  A virtual exhibit may be seen on our Gallery section under Current Exhibit.  For more information, or to arrange for viewing at another time, call (937) 229-4214.

New Crèches will also be on display in our museum through November 2004.

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Marian Events

The Immaculate Conception and the Life of the Church

A Theological Symposium in honor of the 150th Anniversary of the Proclamation of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception will be held on February 20-21, 2004 at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, D.C.

For questions, please call 413-298-2284 or email: jp2@marian.org

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

From Zenit

Not posted this week.

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.

Our Lady of the Rockies a symbol of Butte's identity [Source: AP State and Local Wire, 1/17/2004]

Travelers on Interstate 90 between Glacier and Yellowstone national parks have for years gazed at a shining beacon on the mountains above the mining city of Butte.

But "Our Lady of the Rockies," a 90-foot statue of the Virgin Mary, was not built as a tourist attraction. Like the pyramids of Egypt, the Statue of Liberty and even Seattle's Space Needle, the statue is a symbol of what the people of Butte feel about themselves, according to a University of Idaho sociologist.

In the case of Butte, the statue was a response to both the decline of the mining industry that fueled the economy, and the spectacularly denuded landscape that mining left behind, said John Mihelich, who spent several years studying the relationship between the community and the statue and recently presented his findings at Harvard University.

"There is a lot more to Butte than destroying the environment. The statue represents that," said Mihelich, 39.

The statue celebrates the uncommonly strong sense of community and religious faith that have long defined Butte, he said. The $3 million project also provided a new sense of purpose for people who had been laid off in the mines, but still wanted to work with their hands, he said.

"Our Lady held physical and psychological healing powers for individual women and men involved personally, and for the community, for a sense that all was not lost," Mihelich said.

Butte has long been one of the West's unique cities. In the early 1900s it was one of the biggest and richest cities in the region, with 20,000 miners extracting copper and other valuable metals from "The Richest Hill on Earth."

Butte had a rich ethnic mixture--heavy on Irish and Eastern European immigrants--a stubborn history of union activism, and an industrial economy distinct from the typical Montana cow town. Along with its 13 Roman Catholic parishes, Butte harbored 24-hour bars, casino gambling and a regulated red-light district.

In the 1970s, cheaper foreign copper began taking a toll on mining jobs. By 1983 large-scale mining had ended in the Mining City, and the population dropped as people left to find work.
Also in 1983, the Environmental Protection Agency designated Butte and its surroundings a Superfund site. While that brought federal cleanup funds, it also carried a stigma and appeared to be an indictment of the city's past and a dismissal of its present as a wasteland, Mihelich said.

In the face of the negative news, locals in 1979 proposed to build the white statue on a ledge blasted out of the Continental Divide, 8,510 feet above sea level. The statue, with upturned hands, overlooks the junction of Interstates 90 and 15, and was dedicated to all women, especially mothers.

Volunteers carved a road six miles to the top of East Ridge, sometimes making only 10 feet of progress a day. Many reveled in the tough job.

"It was an expression of everything they had done in their lives," Mihelich said. "Working on the Lady was like going down to work in the mines."

The base of the statue was poured with 400 tons of concrete in September 1985. Then a Nevada Air National Guard helicopter lifted the statue in four sections, with the head section placed on Dec. 20, 1985. Floodlights make the statue visible for miles at night.

A society's symbols are complex expressions, Mihelich said. The pyramids were monuments to Egypt's political elite. The Statue of Liberty symbolized a political agreement between the United State and France. Seattle's Space Needle, built in 1962 for the World's Fair, presaged that city's high tech future.

"The Lady wasn't that. It was an expression of everyday working-class Butte people," Mihelich said. "Grass-roots symbols of this scale are rare."

But the working class always enjoyed special status in Butte, which was highly unionized and had a long history of strikes against the Anaconda Copper Mining Co.

Mihelich was raised in Montana and has extensive family ties in Butte, especially his grandmother, Rose Mihelich. He teaches at the university in Moscow, Idaho, and presented his research at Harvard's Center for the Study of World Religions on Dec. 3.

Many of the volunteers who built the statute are not interested in promoting it as a tourist attraction, and they chafe at the focus on the wastes left by mining, he said.

Rather than a tragedy, they see the mining wastes as signs of past economic vitality, he said.

Maintenance of the statue, as well as fund raising and souvenir sales, continues "to provide solace to the elder generation in Butte," he said.

Mihelich is not done with Butte. He's now studying the implosion of the Montana Power Co., for decades a major employer in the city.
The utility several years ago decided to sell its electrical assets and become a high-tech telecommunications business, renaming itself Touch America. But it did so at the high point of the tech boom. The collapse of that industry destroyed the company, costing hundreds of the best remaining jobs in Butte.

PROTEST AT VIRGIN STATUE [Source: Hull Daily Mail, 1/20/2004]

Retiring rector Canon Terence Grigg has fired a parting shot at parishioners who took him to court, claiming they have been "picked off one by one". In 1994, some 35 parishioners caused a media furore when they took the rector to court in protest at a statue of the Virgin Mary in the church.

They claimed his 3ft high red and blue icon was "poor art" and an unwelcome Catholic influence in the Church of England.

Today the rector says he has forgiven them--but added that many had sadly since died.

"I could not believe they had taken me to court over a statue of Our Lady," he said. "But I do not hold grudges."

"Many of them have died now."

"They were picked off one by one with different diseases."

"People said to me when they were ill that they could not believe the kindness I was showing to them."

"But I am not a man to repay their ill will with the same." The region's attention was drawn to the feud when the church was forced to call in the Chancellor of the York Diocese, Thomas Coningsby, to hold a rare consistory court.

He acted as judge as the two sides put forward their views.

The rector was upset over the protest--especially as his church, in Hallgate, was named St Mary the Virgin.

But the judge eventually ruled in favour of the breakaway group of parishioners, led by Hull University lecturers.

He said the congregation should have been consulted and it did not have "artistic value".

The rector appealed against the decision but the statue was eventually given to another Humberside church.

Ancient Rent Ceremony Date [Source: Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph, 1/9/2004]

The annual ritual involves the handing over of 12 shillings, on the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, by a descendant of the Watertons, David Waterton-Anderson of Carlton, near Snaith, to the vicar Rev David Schofield. The sum is presented annually on a shield bearing the Waterton Coat of Arms.

It commemorates the obligations of the lords of the Manor of Waterton to fulfil the requirements of the original deed of the Abbot of Selby, Gilbert de Vere (1165-1179).

The service includes a candle procession and blessing of the candles, and there is an open invitation to everybody, including children, to attend.

CAYABYAB'S 'MAGNIFICAT' STARTS PERFORMANCE TOUR IN PAMPANGA [Source: Asia Africa Intelligence Wire, 1/23/2004]

"MAGNIFICAT," Ryan Caybyab's acclaimed sung-through musical in Filipino on the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, launches its new national tour tomorrow, Jan. 24, with a fundraising performance at 5 p.m. at St. Agustine Academy in Floridablanca, Pampanga.

The popular production is being mounted this year to support the important artistic projects of the Philippines. The musical's cast is committed to this vital task, and has been rehearsing with great enthusiasm to further enhance their high level of performance.

The 2004 production of "Magnificat" fields seasoned cast members Pinky Marquez, Jingle Buena, Rito Asilo, Andy Bais, Joel Villaflor, Shiela Asuncion, Ana Feleo, Paul Marica, Rey Manalo and Aisha, along with some new cast members.

The original actor-singers have performed the musical many times in the past all over the country, but are eager to go on tour with it again because they have come to love its beautiful songs by Cayabyab, and its moving story about Mary's life in the context of the salvific mission of her son, Jesus Christ.

"I never get tired of playing Mary in 'Magnificat,'" Pinky shared during a recent pick-up rehearsal of the show. "It's taught me to give more of myself to the audience with my performance, and its story is so moving and inspiring that it's important to tell it again all over the country and even abroad."

Jingle Buena adds, "This time around, we're especially motivated to stage the musical again because of our new goal to support the CCP. We all have to do what we can to boost the arts in this country, and the CCP is a prime mover in this important cultural field."

The "Magnificat" veterans are also inspiring the cast members of Gines Tan's "Magsimula Ka," another popular original Filipino musical that's being mounted this year as a CCP fundraiser (its first performance will be at the University of the East on Jan. 27).

At a recent rehearsal of "Magnificat," the young talents of "Magsimula Ka" were invited to watch the other musical's seasoned talents polishing their performance.

After the rehearsal, the "Magsimula Ka's" new musical-theater talents said they learned a lot about professional attitude, total commitment, working together, beautiful singing and powerful emotions from the more experienced players of "Magnificat."

Thus, one cast has inspired the other, and that's all to the good in terms of long-range improvement in the world of musical theater.

If you want Cayabyab's "Magnificat" performed in your school, parish, office or locality, call Pachie Ignacio or Sonny Cristobal at CCP Outreach (833-0267 and 833-3674) or Andy Bais at 713-9323 and 0919-2065424.

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