Liturgical Season 10/22/04 World News
New Resources  Marian Events  Mary in the Secular Press
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Marian Library
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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 October.

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New Resources

A section on Marian Dogmas has been added to our Resources index.  The latest addition was The Virginity of Mary.  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 Marian Profile of Ministry is Basis of Women's Ecclesial Role.  Expect more articles to follow.

We have also expanded our list of Marian Shrines in Japan.

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  News from the Marian Library

Happy Birthday Marian Library

The Marian Library celebrated its 61st birthday on October 20, 2004.  Thanks to Clare Jones for the reminder.

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Donation of Marian Photograph

We wish to thank Janet Cartmell, a Mary Page reader who recently donated to us a photograph taken of a Marian statue in New Zealand by Laurie R. Whilshire of Auckland, New Zealand [see right].  Copies of the image are available for purchase in 2 sizes: 8"x10" and 12"x16"; and in 3 colors: Blue, Yellow and Magenta.   For more information, email Janet Cartmell at jcartmell@xtra.co.nz.

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MSA Call for Papers

The next meeting of the Mariological Society of America will take place at the Marie Joseph Spiritual Center in Biddeford, Maine, May 18-22, 2005.  The theme will be "Mary, Eschatological Icon of the Church."

"Mary, Eschatological Icon of the Church" is the title of a section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (972) and also of an address of Pope John Paul II given on March 21, 2001.  This MSA program will develop the following: Mary as Type of the Church, as Image of Freedom, as Model for the Church's Identity and Mission; the Assumption as Human Destiny and Anticipation of the Resurrection; Mary's Queenship and Role as Intercessor.

Papers are welcome which explore these images in Scripture, the Christian spiritual tradition, art and iconography, classical and contemporary theology.  Submit a 500 word proposal which should include a tentative title and a description of the thesis.  If you are proposing a panel, please include a list of the participants (no more than 3) and a description of each person's role.  Proposals must be submitted to MSA Secretariat (Marian Library) by December 1, 2004.

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New Exhibit

Symbols of Grace: Emblems of the Immaculate Conception

Rare engravings reproduced by The Society for the Preservation of the Roman Catholic Heritage will be shown at The Marian Library Gallery through November 12, 2004, Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.  Free and open to the public!  For more information, call 937-229-4214.

Crèches and Stamps will also be on display in our museum.

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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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International Marian Research Institute Course Schedule

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

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Marian Events


The Third Annual Celebration of the Culture of Life and Civilization of Love, will host a banquet honoring Father Frank A. Pavone, Director of Priests for Life. They will gather at world-famous Salvatore's Italian Gardens in Buffalo's suburb of Depew, at 6:00 p.m., on SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 14. Call 1-866-205-6512 for information and reservations.

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



Speaking via a satellite link up from the Hall of the Consistory in the Vatican, the Pope addressed more than a thousand priests from eighty countries who are participating in the international congress organized by the Congregation for the Clergy in La Valletta, Malta. The theme of the meeting which started on October 18 and ends October 23, is "Priests, forgers of saints for the new millennium: Following the footsteps of the Apostle Paul."

Highlighting that they were meeting in Malta, "an island that preserves the vivid memory of the passage of St. Paul," the Holy Father told the priests that the Lord was inviting them "to be His apostles, especially with holiness of life. You must make the power of the word of truth of the Gospel resound, the word which can only profoundly change man's heart and give him peace. ... In this way, you will be credible teachers of the life of the Gospel and prophets of hope."

"In a troubled and divided world, marked by violence and conflicts, there are those who ask themselves if it is still possible to talk of hope. But precisely in this moment it is necessary to courageously present the true and complete hope of man which is Christ Our Lord."

John Paul II said that the model which should inspire priests is Our Lady who "showed her complete availability to do God's will" in responding with her "fiat" to the message of the Archangel Gabriel. In concluding, the Pope recalled that just before dying on the Cross, Jesus entrusted His mother to John: "From that day Mary became the mother of all creatures, especially your mother, to accompany you on your daily path. Go to her constantly in your ministry."


From Zenit

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.

A MIRACULOUS SCAPULAR [Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer, 9/19/2004]

LATELY I have been wearing the scapular of Nuestra Seora de la Merced to bed after it helped me feel better one night. The scapular, according to Dr. Jose Alvin Balatbat, is miraculous. It helps heal the sick. When Dr. Balatbat was in New York in 2002, he found the scapular in the religious store of St. Patrick Cathedral. The scapular was a facsimile of what the Blessed Virgin Mary gave to Saints Peter Nolasco and Raymond Penafort in 1218. She told the saints to wear it when praying for the release of Christians imprisoned by the Moors.

Today, the people of Candaba, Pampanga, wear the scapular during the 8 a.m. Saturday Mass in the church in Barrio Bahay Pare. Devotees from other places who attend the Mass are given scapulars during the healing service afterwards. The parish priest, Fr. Resurreccion Diwa, and the day's guest priest lead the healing.

More people are expected during the Sept. 15-24 novena ushering in the Virgin's feast day. Pampanga Archbishop Panciano Aniceto will officiate in the Concelebrated Mass at 9:30 a.m., Sept. 24.

Since Aug. 2, the replica image has been in processions in different barrios. The Damas de Nuestra Seora de la Merced, a group of women 50 years old and above who pray for priests, were inducted on Sept. 16 after the 4:30 p.m. novena Mass.

Help needed: The altar of the Nuestra Seora de la Merced church will be reconstructed after the fiesta. Those who wish to help or want to have scapulars can text Dr. Alvin at 0916-4453842. Our Lady of Mercy The Holy Trinity Parish in San Nicolas, Bacoor, Cavite, where Our Lady of Mercy is enthroned, will mark the Virgin's feast day on Sept. 24, with a 9 a.m. concelebrated Mass officiated by Bishop Chito Tagle.

People have been going to the church asking for the Virgin's help or to thank her. ... Boy Ponce is lending his carroza for the afternoon procession on Sept. 24. He will also dress up the image with new vestments and a new crown. A "karakol" called "indak sayaw alay kay Nana Cedes" will be held 1 p.m., Sept. 19, from the church to the streets of Bacoor.

Mexican Catholics angry over statue's move in Saginaw church [Source: Associated Press, 9/19/2004]

Some Mexican-American Catholics are protesting the move of a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe from its place at the heart of their parish. The statue is an image of the Virgin Mary that is revered by many Catholics of Mexican descent.

Tradition says that in 1531, Mary appeared to a poor Indian named Juan Diego at Tepeyac, a hill northwest of Mexico City, saying she was the mother of God. An image of Mary appeared on his cloak, the tradition says, and became an object of widespread devotion over the years.

Members of St. Joseph Parish sold tamales and held other fund-raisers to buy a life-size statue of Our lady of Guadalupe in Mexico and move it to the church, where it was placed inside the main worship area in 1961. When a new church opened in 2003, the statue was no longer in the nave as the Rev. Dan Anholzer, then the parish priest, had promised it would be, parishioners say. The statue was moved to a hallway, then moved to the day chapel.

Parishioners have written protest letters, staged rallies and held prayer vigils. "Like so many issues in the Catholic faith, they think if they ignore this it will go away, but we are not going away," parishioner Larry Rodarte told The Detroit News for a story Sunday. Parish administrator, Brother Kent Bauer, said there now is a painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe inside the church's nave, and Vatican guidelines suggest that only one religious image of her be used inside the main worship area. "The administration has listened to these people for over a year," Bauer said. "They have been heard. They just don't want to accept the answer."

Outdoor shrine celebrates 50 years of inspiring worshippers [Source: Associated Press, 8/21/2004]

Kay Ward gazes fixedly at the towering bronze sculpture of Christ on the cross as gray clouds obscure the afternoon sun, draping the scene in shadow. Visibly moved, she struggles for words. "It's an incredibly powerful symbol," she says quietly.

This isn't the first time Ward has seen the Cross in the Woods, a Catholic shrine featuring a 55-foot-high crucifix and statues of other Christian figures such as the Virgin Mary and St. Francis of Assisi. But the experience never fails to stir her spirit. "The closer you get to the feet, the hands, the face ... you're just in awe," says Ward, 57, of Midland.

Whether devout or merely curious, hundreds of thousands from around the world flock each year to the Cross in the Woods in the village of Indian River, population 2,000. It is tucked into a state forest near the tip of Michigan's Lower Peninsula some 260 miles north of Detroit. The beloved shrine observes a milestone this month. Fifty years ago, in August 1954, the redwood cross was planted in a clearing near the southern shore of Burt Lake. The 7-ton image of Jesus, sculpted by artist Marshall M. Fredericks, was affixed five years later.

The idea was hatched by the Rev. Charles Brophy, the first priest at the Indian River parish, established in 1946. He figured it would draw tourists, many of whom would attend outdoor mass in summer. His vision would prove prophetic. It helped that over the next couple of decades a section of Interstate 75 went in nearby and the Mackinac Bridge was built about 20 miles north, linking Michigan's Upper and Lower peninsulas.

But the Cross in the Woods is more than a tourist attraction--or even a church. "Some people tell us they consider it holy ground," said Pat Singel. She and her husband, Garry, are among the volunteer parishoners who greet visitors and answer questions. They often lend a sympathetic ear to people struggling with serious illness, a relative's death or other problems.

Many pray inside a small gazebo housing a statue of St. Peregrine, patron of those with cancer and HIV-AIDS. Religious shrines around the world draw people hoping for deliverance from physical--or spiritual--distress. "There's almost a sense of being closer to God in these places," said Deana Weibel, an assistant professor of anthropology at Grand Valley State University.

No miraculous healing or other supernatural event is associated with the Cross in the Woods, unlike famed shrines such as Lourdes in France and El Santuario de Chimayo in New Mexico. "We urge people to think of it as a place of peace and pilgrimage," said Brother Thom Smith, one of a half-dozen Franciscan friars who administer the site. Visitors stroll along shady paths, pausing at prayer stations and statues--including a likeness of Kateri Tekakwitha, a 17th century Mohawk Indian who converted to Christianity, and was known for placing crosses in the woods of upstate New York. Brophy originally wanted to name the shrine for her, but couldn't because Kateri had not been declared a saint. Beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1980, she remains a candidate for canonization and is regarded by the Catholic Church as patroness of ecology and the environment.

The shrine also has an indoor chapel that seats 1,000. A large picture window behind the altar offers a sweeping view of the lawn, walkways and cross. Down the hall, a museum displays more than 500 dolls wearing garb of various Catholic religious orders. But the physical and spiritual centerpiece is the crucifix, which stands atop a small, grassy mound. Twenty-eight stairs lead to the base of the cross--the number that tradition says Jesus climbed to the throne of Pontius Pilate, who condemned him to death. Some people slowly ascend the steps on their knees. The muscular "corpus"--body--measures 28 feet from head to toe; the outstretched arms span 21 feet. But unlike most representations of Christ on the cross, there's no crown of thorns on his head or spear wound in his side. Fredericks deliberately omitted them. The renowned sculptor wanted to portray a serene Jesus at the moment of death, commending his spirit to God. "He died in peace and assurance that his work was done and the father was going to raise him to life in three days," said the Rev. Al Langheim, a retired priest and staff member.

The scene is a satisfying contrast for many visitors who have seen the Mel Gibson film "The Passion of the Christ," which depicts the scourging and crucifixion of Jesus in horrifying detail. "Watching the film, I experienced a lot of the pain and agony ... there were times I had to close my eyes," Ward said. "Here I feel the gift of love, the peace, the acceptance." Ward and her husband, Larry, are Baptists. They visited the shrine with longtime Catholic friends Tom and Mary Bigelow of Indianapolis. That's pleasing to the friars.

Although Cross in the Woods is a Catholic shrine, people of all denominations are welcome, Smith said. Protestant groups regularly visit, from Mennonites to Mormons. An American Indian ceremony featuring pipes, drums and dancers in full regalia is held once a year. This weekend's celebrations of the 50th anniversary include an ecumenical service Saturday and a Catholic mass Sunday. "The cross is a universal sign. It's open to all," said Garry Singels, the volunteer greeter. "We're here to share God's love."

On the Net: Shrine site: http://www.crossinthewoods.com

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