Liturgical Season 9/27/04 World News
New Resources  Marian Events  Mary in the Secular Press
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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 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 September.

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New Resources

A section on Marian Dogmas has been added to our Resources index.  The latest addition was The Assumption.  Expect more articles to follow.

A section on Marian Spiritualities has been added to our Resources index.  The latest addition was a paper by Fr. Eamon Carroll on The Marian Spirituality of Carmelites.  Expect more articles to follow.

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

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

We have also revised our answer to a reader's question: Could you provide information on coronations of the Virgin Mary?

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  News from the Marian Library

Collaboration with Catholic.net

An important Catholic web site, www.catholic.net, has added a section on the Virgin Mary to the top of their list of 'channels.'  They plan to highlight particular items from The Mary Page and to encourage their audience to visit our site.  Please visit their site in return.  We expect more collaboration with them in the future.

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Current Exhibit

Acts of Kindness: Posters by John Bach

A retrospective of 25 posters designed for The Marian Library Gallery Art Exhibitions over the past 15 years will be exhibited at the Marian Library through October 10, 2004.  All works are transparent watercolors.  For more information click into, Gallery.

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

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International Marian Research Institute Course Schedule

IMRI courses for the Fall 2004 semester will commence on October 18.  The course schedule through Fall 2005 is now available.

Also, Michael Duricy is scheduled to facilitate an on-line course on Mary geared to catechists which will be offered through U.D.'s Institute for Pastoral Initiatives.  The course will run from October 17 - November 20.  Registration for this course ends October 12.  For more information call 937-229-4654 or click into VLCFF.

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Marian Events

Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary - United States meeting

The ESBVM-USA will meet at Fordham University in New York City on October 2, 2004.  Fr. Myles Murphy and Dr. Virginia Kimball, both IMRI graduates, will be among the featured speakers.  For more information, click into http://msa62.tripod.com/esbvm or www.esbvm.org.  You may also contact their President, Bill Ryon, by phone at 703-451-7062 or email at wryonjr@verizon.net.

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

John Paul II’s Address to the Oblates of Mary Immaculate

Your Presence Must be a Sign and Seed of Hope

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 24, 2004 (Zenit.org)

Here is the address John Paul II delivered on Friday to the participants in the general chapter of the Missionaries Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

* * *


1. On the occasion of your Institute's General Chapter, I receive you with joy and assure you of my spiritual closeness in prayer. I greet in particular the General Superior and the members of the Congregation's new General Council, to which I wish good work in its difficult assignment.

I thank all of you for the affection you show the Successor of Peter, which I cordially return, and with greater reason because of the devotion I feel for your founder, St. Eugene de Mazenod, as well as for the esteem I feel for your Congregation, at once Marian and missionary.

2. "Witnesses of Hope" is the theme of this Chapter meeting, in continuity with the preceding. With the whole Church, you have entered the new millennium with the sign of hope, and from this perspective you want to continue your journey, trusting in Divine Providence. Your presence, animated by genuine religious and missionary fervor, must be a sign and seed of hope for those who are with you, whether in secularized environments or in contexts of the first proclamation.

3. I encourage you to persevere in the objectives you have set for yourselves, above all in a renewed fraternal union, in keeping with the will of your holy founder, who conceived the Institute as a family, whose members form only one heart and soul.

Today you are present with more than 1,000 communities in 67 countries worldwide, and this unity is a difficult challenge, but extremely important for humanity, called to journey on the path of solidarity in diversity.

In addition, I appreciate your reflection on the profound changes that are marking the congregation, whose center of gravity is moving toward the poorest areas of the world. This extremely significant fact leads you to update formation, distribution of personnel, forms of government and communion of goods."

Make clear choices in virtue of the priorities of your mission. Among the priority exigencies is certainly permanent attention to the spiritual life in order to live an ever renewed fidelity to the original charism. It is God, who with the action of his Holy Spirit, allows religious families to respond adequately to the new exigencies, by taking recourse to the specific gift that has been entrusted to them.

4. For all these objectives I invoke Heaven by the intercession of Mary Most Holy, for an abundance of light and strength. I ask her in a special way to watch over each one of you and your brothers with maternal solicitude, while I impart from my heart to all the Apostolic Blessing.

[Translation by ZENIT]

BBC Decides Not to Air Popetown

LONDON, SEPT. 24, 2004 (Zenit.org)

The BBC will be scrapping Popetown, an unfavorable cartoon caricature of the Pope about the inner workings of the Vatican.

The Catholic Communications Service reported the announcement of Stuart Murphy, Controller of BBC 3.

"There is a fine judgment line in comedy between scurrilously funny and the offensive. I knew when we developed the series that there was risk involved, but unfortunately, once we saw the finished series, it became clear that the program fell on the wrong side of that line," he said.

Bishop Crispian Hollis of Portsmouth and chairman of the Strategic Communications Committee of the bishops' conference of England & Wales, commented that he was "delighted that this has been withdrawn. It was obviously going to be a controversial program which would have caused offence, not least among the Catholic community who hold the person of the Holy Father in the highest regard and affection.

"Any attempt to belittle or diminish his status as the leader of the Catholic Church is totally unacceptable, and not only to Catholics," the bishop said.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, president of the episcopal conference of England & Wales, said that he had "raised this issue with the BBC. I am very happy they have heeded my wishes and the concerns of Roman Catholics."


Holy See Helping Salesians Build Shrine in Papua New Guinea

Center Aims to Form Youth

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea, SEPT. 23, 2004 (Zenit.org)

In this Pacific island capital, where violence and crime among youth is rampant, Salesian missionaries intend to build a Marian shrine as a haven of peace and education for solidarity.

The shrine will comprise a new youth center and a church dedicated to Our Lady Help of Christians.

"I rely on you lay men and women called in particular to contemplate the face of Christ, learning from Mary," said Auxiliary Bishop Cherubim Dambui of Port Moresby, as he addressed the crowds who gathered for the blessing of the land that will host Campus Don Bosco and the new shrine. The bishop was quoting from John Paul II's apostolic letter "Rosarium Virginis Mariae."

The Holy See is interested in the Port Moresby project and, through the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, has offered to provide support for building the facilities, the Fides missionary agency reported.

Among those present at the ceremony were Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana, papal nuncio in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, and Father Francis Gustilo, Salesian provincial in the northern Philippines.

Archbishop Yllana congratulated the Salesian family on the decision to build a shrine in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary: "Don Bosco's Salesians have always been involved in apostolate among young people with schools and other centers of formation. Now they are demonstrating another important aspect of the mission," the Nuncio said.

"This shrine in honor of Our Lady Help of Christians will lead to genuine renewal in Christ, the goal identified by the Church in Papua New Guinea" during a recent assembly, the nuncio added.

Mary Help of Christians is widely venerated in this part of the world, as John Paul II recalls in the postsynodal exhortation "Ecclesia in Oceania."

"In churches, chapels and homes," he wrote in No. 53 of the document, "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."

Father Valerian Barbero, Salesian delegate for Papua New Guinea, who will follow the construction work, expects the building to be completed within 12 months.

Deficit From Papal Visit Is Paid Off

PARIS, SEPT. 17, 2004 (Zenit.org)

Donations to the shrine at Lourdes have covered the $1.5 million deficit left after John Paul II's visit last month, Reuters reported.

Pilgrims at the Pope's outdoor Mass on Aug. 15 had left only 200,000 euros ($242,000) in contributions.

Bishop Jacques Perrier of Tarbes and Lourdes appealed to the faithful for funds and declared he had no doubt they would pay the bill.

"Today, the deficit is covered. What a relief," the shrine said in a statement, adding that thousands of people had sent in checks with an average contribution of 80 euros ($97).

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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.

Eccentric ally in Green Zone; Imam extols U.S., reveres Virgin Mary--despised by fellow clerics [Source: The San Francisco Chronicle, 7/31/2004]

Fuad Rashid may be the only Sunni Muslim cleric in Iraq who defends America from his pulpit. Right now, however, he is making Lt. Col. Robert Campbell squirm. Campbell, commander of a battalion in the Army's 1st Cavalry Division, visited Rashid's house to discuss neighborhood affairs--but is starting to look as if he wishes he hadn't. "You don't really believe that, do you?" Rashid cheerfully asked Campbell. "You don't really think you were sent here for democracy? That is so silly." "But sheikh," Campbell spluttered, as Rashid segued into an extended rant. President Bush is "too much," he continued, his eyes twinkling incongruously. The military's Iraqi translators are "all corrupt, bad men." Certain U.S. Army officers are "ugly." And American promises to repair the mosque's electricity generator? "I don't know, lies or what," he said scornfully.

Rashid is imam of the al-Qadisiya Mosque, the sole Muslim house of worship in the Green Zone, the 3-square-mile area in the heart of Baghdad that effectively remains under U.S. control. And despite the criticisms he had just leveled, he proudly calls himself the "only imam in Iraq who speaks in favor of the Americans." "I love America," Rashid said, with passion. "Americans are so beautiful." Resplendent in a cream-colored gown and a white gauze turban around his boyish face, the 40-year-old Rashid looks more like a Catholic nun than a Muslim cleric. The similarity is deliberate--he readily admits that he models himself after Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Although Islamic doctrine considers Mary the virgin mother of a prophet--a status almost as revered in Islam as it is in Christianity--it is unheard of for a Muslim cleric to adopt Christian-style garb, much less a woman's. Rashid says Mary appeared to him in three visions telling him to follow her. He adopted the style when he was a seminary student in Baghdad in the early 1990s, but it has become more pronounced since his mosque came under U.S. protection after the April 2003 fall of Saddam Hussein's regime.

Rashid's close-cropped beard is dyed blond, in keeping with his all-white image--a sign of purity, he says--and he wears patterned contact lenses. Despite his unorthodox appearance, he is a powerful, eloquent preacher who advocates conservative social values. On one recent Friday, the Muslim Sabbath, Rashid preached to a crowd of about 150 worshipers--mostly Iraqi government workers, along with several dozen foreign contractors, mainly Pakistanis and Egyptians. With an actor's poise and pitch-perfect cadence, Rashid extolled the benefits of "love and democracy" and condemned "people who want to destroy what others are building"--a clear reference to the insurgency. But he reserved his biggest lines for the evils of alcohol. "A man who drinks is the same as a man who worships another god," he warned. "His mind will be troubled, he will be an animal, like a pig." After the prayer service, worshipers seemed wowed by Rashid's showmanship. "He is very good," said one Pakistani truck driver. "He has a beautiful voice."

Other Sunni Muslim leaders mention him with scorn. "We don't know him well, but if he is praising the Americans, then he has sold himself to them," said Mohamed Bashar al-Faidhy, spokesman of the Islamic Clerics Association, the nation's main Sunni alliance, which has steadily criticized the U.S. presence and gives tacit support to the anti-American insurgents. Some Iraqis are harsher in their judgments. "If he were anywhere else in Iraq, he would be killed," said one Iraqi man who visited the mosque recently and asked to remain anonymous. "And I would do it myself," he added, saying Rashid "gives a bad example."

But Rashid is in the Green Zone, a well-guarded bubble of Americana in the heart of a hostile nation. Protected by U.S. tanks, 20-foot concrete walls and barbed wire, the zone holds thousands of U.S. troops and civilian workers, as well as the sprawling Republican Palace, where administrator Paul Bremer once ran the occupation and now U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte has his headquarters. Lawns are clipped and well-watered, women jog the streets in T-shirts and shorts, signs advertise hip-hop and salsa dance nights, and the only worries are the occasional incoming mortar round fired by insurgents outside the zone. The compound also includes the homes of top Iraqi officials and Iraqi government offices. U.S. officials say they have no immediate plans to return the zone to Iraqi control--a source of resentment for many Iraqis who see it as a symbol of continuing U.S. occupation despite the transfer of nominal sovereignty a month ago.

The al-Qadisiya Mosque is a striking ultra-modern building with sail-like wings, like the Sydney Opera House in Australia. It was built in the mid-1990s as the favored mosque of Hussein's presidential office, and its worshipers once included some of the regime's most powerful officials. Before the war, Rashid was the assistant to the mosque's pro-Hussein imam, his main task singing the five-times-per-day call to prayer. After the war, the chief imam fled, and the Americans promoted Rashid to the No. 1 spot. Rashid speaks near-fluent English, which he says he learned by watching videos of his three favorite movies, "Gone With the Wind," "Love Story" and "The Bodyguard." "I love what's her name--Whitney Houston? She is so beautiful, so pure. She is like (the Virgin) Mary, very clean."

Now, as Islamic conservatism gains strength throughout Iraq, Rashid revels in the fishbowl-like isolation of the Green Zone, and he avoids contact with other Muslim clerics. Whether he would be accepted at any other Iraqi mosque is an open question, he admits. "I'm more honest than the other imams," he said. "They like to lie, they are full of hate, they try to make trouble." Rashid lives next door to the mosque in a comfortable home surrounded by fruit trees. He has been married for five years to a woman 20 years his junior, although they have no children--a rarity in Iraq. During Campbell's visit, Rashid deflected Campbell's attempts to discuss a petition by local Iraqi residents for a loosening of the Green Zone's strict security policies. Instead, he unleashed a barrage of criticism at his countrymen. "Iraqis are all animals, 95 percent are looters," he said, referring to the wave of theft from government facilities after Hussein's regime fell last year that still continues on a diminished level. "The people is monkeys," he said, his grammar faltering as the words came out in a rush. Campbell, who considers Rashid a "good friend," could hardly get a word in edgewise. "I like American freedom," Rashid went on. "I would like to go there soon, you know?"

A hoax, not a miracle [Source: The Advertiser, 7/20/2004]

THE hand of man rather than God made religious icons appear to weep blood at a Brisbane Roman Catholic Church, an investigation has found. Brisbane Catholic Archbishop John Bathersby said the substance that seeped from a statue of the Virgin Mary, pictures of Christ and crucifixes was not supernatural or a miracle, but synthetic. He called on the person or persons responsible to come forward. The hoax, which began at the Vietnamese Catholic Community Church in Inala, in Brisbane's west, on May 21 drew large crowds to see the so-called miracle.

True believers reject church findings on weeping statues [Source: Courier Mail  (Queensland, Australia), 7/30/2004]

THE Catholic Church has officially declared the oil-seeping and "bleeding" artifacts at the Inala Vietnamese Catholic Centre as fakes. Brisbane Archbishop John Bathersby yesterday apologised to all those deceived. He released an investigative report and issued instructions for the principal statue and other objects to be removed from public veneration. Archbishop Bathersby said he had asked for a full accounting of any money received "during the time of these pilgrimages."

News of the weeping, seeping artifacts swept around the world and thousands of devotees have visited the centre in Brisbane's southwest since May. The so-called phenomenon included a large plaster statue of the Virgin Mary, rosary beads, a picture of Jesus and a crucifix. Archbishop Bathersby said a commission of investigation, headed by Dr Adrian Farrelly, had found the rose scented oil on the artifacts was "very likely one that is commercially available and it is possible that the substance was applied to them by human hands."

"The principal statue was X-rayed and the oil samples subjected to analysis by gas chromatography and mass spectroscopy," he said. "The red substance found on some of the artifacts was shown not to be blood." The commission was "not satisfied the phenomenon was, within the proper meaning of the word, a miracle". "Given that there is the possibility that human agency could produce the phenomenon then . . . I must declare that what has happened at Inala cannot be said to be of supernatural origin." Archbishop Bathersby apologised to "the people who believed this to be so."

X-rays of the main statute revealed two fine holes through which liquid could have been injected. Archbishop Bathersby said that the centre's priest, Father Joseph Nguyen Thanh Liem, had believed the phenomenon to be a miracle but had accepted the Archbishop's "direction." Fr Joseph, who was unable to be contacted yesterday, had said he had no idea who had perpetrated the fraud. He had also denied knowing of a DVD on the artifacts being sold on the Internet. Archbishop Bathersby said Fr Joseph had revealed that extra money earned from increased sales of rosary beads and crucifixes had gone into a special account to ease poverty in African countries. He said those claims would be investigated and Fr Joseph had confirmed "substantial amounts had been raised."

At the centre yesterday, the statue of the Virgin Mary which had been "weeping," was locked in a cabinet in the hall. Previously, the statue had been placed in a glass cabinet on the chapel altar. Many parishioners said they still believed the weeping and bleeding were miracles. "I don't care (about the report)," one parishioner said. "With my eyes I saw that. I believe it in my heart." Truong Phan, 29, of Melbourne, came to see the statue and when told about the church's report also dismissed it. "I think it's genuine," he said. "We've seen a lot of this." At a service at the Inala church attended by about 200 people last night, Father Thu Nguyen told worshippers to respect the church's findings. But he said later that people would "believe what they believe." Father Thu said he had witnessed three separate weeping Mary statues at homes around Inala. Church member Trung Nguen said he still believed the weeping statues were "a sign from God". "I saw it, it's a miracle. No one knows what happened but it's a sign from God."

Girls Urged to Join Groups That Emphasize Morality [Source: Africa News, 8/17/2004]

Parents of young girls should allow them join groups and institutions that emphasize moral teaching, and prepare the girls to face the challenges of modern day life, a parish priest in the Archdiocese of Nairobi has said. Fr Martin Keane CSSp, the parish priest of St Austins Parish, was speaking on the Solemnity of the Assumption, on Sunday, August 15, 2004, during a ceremony to receive twenty girls who had joined the Legion of Mary in the parish. "Today's life is becoming harder, and girls must be encouraged to join groups that prepare them to grow up as responsible citizens," he said. The priest lamented the high level of moral decay in society, and warned that although there are many groups in society, yet only a few of them emphasize Christian teachings on morality. Assumption Sunday is celebrated on August 15, every year, the day, the Blessed Virgin Mary was assumed into heaven.

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