News from the
Marian Library
Mary in the
Secular Press


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 March 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 March.

The Eucharist with Mary

Eucharist with Mary is an answer to John Paul II's proclamation of "a special Year of the Eucharist" (2004-2005).  This feature will explore facets of Mary's relationship with the Eucharist and will be updated frequently throughout this year.  Our latest addition is Indulgences.

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New Resources

A section on Mary in Doctrine has been added to our Resources index.  The latest addition was The Divine Maternity.

A section on Marian Spiritualities has been added to our Resources index.  The latest addition was The Marianist Corner.  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 Haiti.  Expect more countries to follow.

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

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  News from the Marian Library

We have received a number of emails from readers commending our Mary Page web site.  Thank you all for your encouragement and support.  The following comment is a typical example:

The Mary Page is a wonderfully organized site and features "The Most Frequently Asked Questions" about Mary.

Alumni Update

It is with great sadness that we inform you that Servite Father Ignacio Calabuig, a leading Mariologist, died in Rome due to illness.  He was remembered in a Mass on Wednesday (Mar. 6), a month after his death, at the pontifical faculty Marianum where he taught and lived.  The Mariological Society of America will hold a Marian Hour in his memory during their annual meeting in May.

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Current Exhibit

Blessed Art Thou: Mother; Lady; Mystic; Queen, a display by Michael O'Neill McGrath inspired by black pilgrimage Madonnas, will be exhibited at The Marian Library Gallery through April 20.  Copies of the beautifully illustrated book may be purchased for $30 ($10 off the retail price).  Packages of notecards are also available at $5 for a set of twenty (all of the same picture). 

The Marian Library At Gallery is located on the seventh floor of the Rosech Library, and is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.  For more information call 937-229-4214, or click into the virtual exhibit.

Creches and Straw Art are also on display in our museum.

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MSA Conference

The 56th Annual Meeting of The Mariological Society of America will be held at Marie Joseph Spiritual Center in Biddeford, Maine from May 18-21, 2005.  This year's theme is Mary, Eschatological Icon of the Church.  The program is as follows:

WEDNESDAY, May 18, 2005
3:33 p.m.--Meeting of the Administrative Council


5:30 p.m. Supper
7:30 p.m. Marian Evening Prayer--with the Cathedral Choir
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Portland. ME

THURSDAY, May 19, 2004


7:30 a.m. Morning Prayer
8:00 a.m. Eucharist (followed by Breakfast)
9:00 a.m. Registration
9:15 Welcome, Announcements

9:30 a.m. "Hope in a Hurting World: The Assumption/Dormition of Mary, Eschatalogical Icon of God's Promise"
Dott. Virginia M. Kimball, MSA President (Merrimack College)
Moderator: Fr. Sam Maranto, C.Ss.R.

10:45 a.m. "Francis of Assisi and Mary: Virgo Facta Ecclesia"
Fr. Michael W. Blastic, O.F.M.Conv. (St. Bonaventure, NY)
Moderator: Fr. Thomas Thompson, S.M.


12:00 p.m. Dinner

1:30 p.m. "The Assumption and Queenship in Complementarity"
Fr. George F. Kirwin, O.M.I. (Buffalo, NY)
Moderator: Fr. Bert Buby, S.M.

3:00 p.m. "Survey of Recent Mariology 2005"
Fr. Eamon R. Carroll, O.Carm. (Nokomis, FL)
Moderator: Fr. Thomas Thompson, S.M.

5:45 p.m. Supper

7:30 Open Forum (List of participants will be posted)

8:45 p.m. Marian Devotion/Evening Prayer

Friday, May 20, 2005


7:30 a.m. Morning Prayer
8:00 a.m. Eucharist (followed by breakfast)

9:30 a.m. "Making Mary's Fiat Our Own: A Theological Study of Personhood"
Ronald Novotny, Ph.D., S.T.L. (Clearwater, FL)
Moderator: Fr. Johann G. Roten, S.M.

10:45 a.m. "Queen Mother: A Biblical Theology of Mary's Queenship"
Ted Sri, S.T.D. (St. Benedict College/Atchison, KS)
Moderator: Sr. M. Catherine Nolan, O.P.


12:00 p.m. Dinner

1:3 p.m. "Eschatology and the Church in the Light of the Assumption"
Fr. Paul Duggan, S.T.D. (Boyes Hot Springs, CA)
Moderator: Fr. Francois Rossier, S.M.

3:00 p.m. "The Fourth Gospel's Icon of Mary"
Fr. Bert Buby, S.M. (Dayton, OH)
Moderator: Ron Novotny, Ph.D., S.T.L.

4:00 p.m. Business Meeting


5:15 p.m. Reception/Festive Dinner
Presentation of MSA Awards

8:30 p.m. Marian Hour in Memory of Fr. Ignacio Calabuig, O.S.M.

Saturday, May 21, 2005


7:30 a.m. Morning Prayer
8:00 a.m. Eucharist

9:00 a.m. Excursion [Maine Seacoast Sampler] to 2:00 p.m.

12:00 p.m. Dinner (for those not on the excursion)

General Information

Attendance open to all. You need not be a member to register.

For attendees residing at the Marie Joseph Spiritual Center:
MSA Registration Fee (3-day pkg.) $30.00

Room and Board Package:
Lodging and meals--Wed. evening (5:45 p.m.) to Sat. noon $155.00

For Commuters:
MSA Registration: $10.00 a day

Breakfast $5.00
Dinner $8.00
Supper $7.00

Meals must be "reserved" on the Registration Form.

Early arrivals? Late departures?--Contact the MSA Secretariat at 937-229-4294 for information about possibilities, rates.

Payment may be made now or at the time of the meeting. Make check payable to the Mariological Society of America. Note: No refunds possible after May 13, 2005

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International Marian Research Institute Course Schedule

IMRI courses for the Spring 2005 semester will conclude on March 18.  The course schedule through Fall 2005 is now available.

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Tota Pulchra: A Celebration of the Immaculate Conception

The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate invite you to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the dogma of Mary's Immaculate Conception.  The exhibit features various artistic images of Mary, portraying different times in her life and her role in the church.  The exhibit runs through April 24, 2005.  Admission is free.  Click here for more information.

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

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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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The Pope Wishes Young People a Safe Journey to Cologne
VATICAN CITY, March 5, 2005 (VIS)

This evening thousands of students from Roman universities participated in a Marian prayer vigil, concluding the Third European Day for Universities on the theme "Intellectual and Scientific Research, a Way to Meet Christ." The event was presided by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar general for the diocese of Rome.


European University Day
A Prelude to World Youth Day

VATICAN CITY, March 4, 2005 (VIS)

The Third European Day for Universities, in preparation for World Youth Day in August in Cologne, Germany, will be celebrated throughout Europe tomorrow on the theme "Intellectual and Scientific Research, a Way to Meet Christ." At 5:30 p.m. there will be a Marian prayer vigil in the Paul VI Hall in the Vatican during which Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar for Rome, will read a message through which the Holy Father will spiritually accompany this encounter. There will be a satellite linkup with simultaneous events in cathedrals and shrines in Europe. The national gatherings will be led by Cardinals Maximilian Sterzinsky in Berlin, Jose da Cruz Policarpo in Lisbon, Lubomyr Husar in Kiev, Antonio Maria Rouco Varela in Madrid, Josip Bozanic of Zagreb, and Tarcisio Bertone in Genoa, and by Archbishops Francesco Cacucci in Bari, Ioan Robu in Bucharest, Stanislav Szyrokoradiuk, auxiliary of Kiev, Wasyl Medwit, apostolic vicar of the apostolic exarchate of Kiev, Rrok Mirdita of Tirana and Bishop Alan Hopes of Westminster An estimated 10,000 young people are scheduled to be present in the Paul VI Hall where a number of them will give reflections on and witness to their faith and all will recite the rosary.


From Zenit

Marian Expert Ignacio Calabuig Dies
Rome, March. 10, 2005

Servite Father Ignacio Calabuig, a leading Mariologist, died in Rome due to illness.

He was remembered in a Mass on Wednesday, a month after his Feb. 6 death, at the pontifical faculty Marianum where he taught and lived.

Father Calabuig was responsible, among others, for revising and transcribing the texts of the Stations of the Cross, which are prepared every year at this time, and recited by the faithful with the Pope at the Colosseum on Good Friday.

A consultor for the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, as well as a member of the academic council of the Pontifical Academy of the Immaculate Conception, Father Calabuig was, first of all, "a friar loyal to community prayer and a scholar," said Father Bernardo Antonini, Marianum vice rector, during the homily.

Ignacio Calabuig Adán was born in Spain in 1931. He was ordained in Rome in 1955. A consultor for the Office for Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, Father Calabuig was the coordinator of Mariology at the Marianum and director of the Marianum review.

The religious of the Order of Friar Servants of Mary participated in the writing of documents such as Pope Paul VI's apostolic exhortation "Marialis Cultus."


Musical Tour de Force
Choir of U.S. Basilica Tunes In to Rome for CD
Rome, March 10, 2005

The Choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., has been in Rome over the last week on a recording tour to honor John Paul II. The choir is working on a CD, due for release this autumn…

The choir aims to record a new CD each year (usually comprised of Marian hymns), but the Year of the Eucharist provided a good excuse for doing something different.

… Finding an exact location to record in Rome was tricky. The choir wanted to show the connection between this city, the United States and the universal Church.

The U.S. shrine's acting rector, Monsignor Walter Rossi, told me: "At first we had considered St. Peter's as the most likely option. But then we realized that as we are a Marian shrine in the U.S., it would be even more appropriate to have the recording take place inside the oldest church in honor of the Blessed Mother, St. Mary Major."

The monsignor said the choir directors saw this location as being equally and ideally reflective of the Pope's devotion to Our Lady. Yet, it is not just this Marian element that links the CD project to the Holy Father.

"When we were brainstorming ideas of how to really present the Pope's life in this CD, we opportunely ran into his biographer George Weigel," Latona said. "He helped me think through what to focus on and pointed me in the direction of the various encyclicals looking at areas of freedom, dignity of life, family, Mary, sainthood, the Eucharist, etc."

Thanks to Weigel's assistance, Latona and his team have extracted appropriate quotes of the Pope's to be read out prior to each sacred musical piece. Carl Anderson, benefactor of the CD and Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, will read the selected quotes.

"I'm hoping," said Latona, "that people will use this CD as an overview of the teachings of the Holy Father. The average person will not have read all his teachings and so this gives them a little taste."

The CD, "Pope John Paul II: A Celebration of Life and Faith," is expected to comprise 20 tracks and will begin its distribution through the bookstore of national shrine in Washington.

Youths Are "Hope of Church," Says Cardinal Meisner
Sees Parallels with Life of Mary
Rome, March 3, 2005

Just as youths were among the most important personalities in the Bible, so will young people play a key part in the future of the Church, says Cardinal Joachim Meisner. The archbishop of Cologne, whose archdiocese will host World Youth Day in August, expressed this conviction when concelebrating Mass on Wednesday in the Holy See's St. Lawrence International Youth Center. During the homily, the 71-year-old cardinal explained to students and pilgrims, who were listening to him, that in the history of salvation many figures were elderly, such as Abraham, but many others were young, such as Mary. He compared the two with the elderly John Paul II and young people. "Young people are the hope of the Church; like Mary before God, they can cry out, 'Let be it done unto me according to your Word,'" the prelate said.

John Paul II expressed the hope of participating in the forthcoming World Youth Day, said the cardinal.


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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.

Church can sell 17th-century painting too valuable to keep
[Source: The Times (London), 1/13/2005]

CONSISTORY COURT. Published January 13, 2005. In re Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Batcombe Before Mr Timothy Briden, Chancellor. Judgment January 4, 2005.

A painting which was too valuable to be hung in an open church, and which, if kept, would cause the church ongoing expenses and obligations in terms of conservation and insurance, should be sold, even though the church was not in such financial difficulty as to be in urgent need of the proceeds of sale. Mr. Timothy Briden, Chancellor, so held in the Consistory Court of Bath and Wells granting the petitioners, the Rev Michael Brown and the churchwardens of the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Batcombe, a faculty authorising the sale of a painting which had been donated to the church in 1922 by a Mrs. Ernst of Westcombe House, formerly an active member of the parochial church council.   Westcombe House had since been demolished and there was no remaining connection between the parish and the family that lived there. The petition was decided on written submissions.

THE CHANCELLOR said that the church was a thirteenth-century grade I listed building and until recently there hung on the south wall of the chancel a large painting, some six feet high and five feet in width, in what was commonly described as an unrestored condition. Questions were raised about the value and significance of the picture. The Archdeacon intervened and obtained an order under section 21 of the Care of Churches and Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure 1991 for its removal to a place of safety. Research revealed that the painting dated from the seventeenth century and might be attributable to the artist Giovanni Stefano Danedi. The subject matter, the Virgin and Child with other figures in a pastoral background, was consistent with the painting having originated as an altarpiece. Professional advice revealed that the picture was of significant monetary value. The parochial church council voted in favour of the sale of the painting by auction, which was also recommended by the diocesan advisory committee. No notice of objection had been lodged, and the petition was therefore technically unopposed. The advice of the Council for the Care of Churches was sought. Their advice, contained in a letter dated October 27, 2004 written by Mr. Jonathan Goodchild provided a helpful analysis which concluded that the case for sale had not been made out. The Rev Michael Brown provided a written response commenting upon Mr. Goodchild's letter.

The law concerning the disposal of valuable chattels under faculty had as its starting point the judgment of the Court of Arches of Canterbury in In re Saint Gregory's, Tredington ((1972) Fam 236). Although the Tredington guidelines were formulated in the context of a parish church in serious financial difficulties, subsequent cases had emphasised that financial emergency was but one among the good and sufficient grounds which might justify sale. In each case the court had to decide whether on the evidence as a whole the petitioners had discharged the burden of proof placed upon them.

The following matters were of particular significance: First, any strong historical, liturgical or architectural connection with the church was absent. Second, although considerable caution had to be exercised where the disposal of a gift might be seen to flout the donor's wishes and to act as a disincentive to other potential benefactors, that consideration did not arise here. There was nobody left at Batcombe who might take offence at the intended sale. Third, while the concept of redundancy could not realistically be applied to purely decorative objects such as pictures, this particular picture was unwanted by the parishioners. Its removal from the church to a place of safety had prompted no adverse comment. It was against that background that the petitioner's reasons for disposing of the picture had to be evaluated.

They drew attention to the picture's vulnerability to theft. If it was returned to the church, as a matter of elementary prudence, security would have to be enhanced and, in particular, the building would have to be locked when unattended. It was the commendable practice of the petitioners to keep the church open as often as possible. That practice was consistent with what was described in section 1 of the 1991 Measure as the role of the church as a local centre of worship and mission. It would be regrettable to see that role diminished by the constraints of security. The retention of the picture in the church would carry ongoing obligations in terms of conservation and insurance. All those considerations drew the Chancellor to the conclusion that the picture was too valuable to be returned to the church. Its size militated against storage elsewhere, neither was it obviously suitable for display in a museum. In the circumstances the sale by auction was authorised, subject to a reserve to be agreed with the auctioneers. The net proceeds should be applied in accordance with the court's directions including provision for investment of a capital sum which would remain available to meet the future needs of the parish.

Such invective and filth is inexcusable' The Sunday Telegraph invited a panel of commentators to watch the BBC's screening of 'Jerry Springer--The Opera'
[Source: Sunday Telegraph (London), 1/29/2005]

It is 10 pm on BBC 2. A semi-naked "gay" Jesus is being fondled by a dishevelled Eve, as the Devil looks gleefully on with an inebriated Adam. As if that wasn't sufficiently profane, the Virgin Mary turns up to talk about her trials as the mother of a wayward saviour, amid a blitz of four-letter words. It sounds like an edition of the Jerry Springer show from Hell--and that is exactly what it is.

This is just one of a string of controversial scenes from Jerry Springer--The Opera, which the BBC broadcast last night despite the threat of legal action for blasphemy and a record 50,000 complaints before it was even aired. The BBC's decision to broadcast the programme, which included a special edition of the "trailer trash" show broadcast from Hell, and ends with Springer telling Jesus to "grow up for Christ's sake and put some f***ing clothes on," has turned a relatively obscure piece of theatre into the centrepiece of a battle between religious rights and free speech.

Last night, The Sunday Telegraph gathered together five commentators to watch the show. Amid angry exchanges and counter-accusations of blasphemy and bigotry, the only thing everyone could agree upon was how beautiful the singing was. Stephen Green, the director of Christian Voice, an evangelical group, which has threatened to sue the BBC for blasphemy, said that the show was "1,000 times worse than I had expected." He added: "The sheer level of filth and invective in part one of the show was utterly inexcusable. As for the second half with the scenes in hell, it was extremely blasphemous."

Mr. Green said that Christians were regarded as easy targets by the BBC and that Christians had to "carefully consider what the Sikhs had achieved with a few well-aimed stones." Last month, a production of Behzti, a play depicting rape, murder and corruption in a Sikh temple, was withdrawn from the Birmingham Repertory Theatre after violent demonstrations by Sikh activists. Mr. Green added that there was no excuse for violence but there was an urgent need to stand up for what Christians believed in.

Pippa Smith, from the viewers group MediaWatchUK, accepted that the programme was well produced and beautifully sung but said that there could be no doubt that some of the language and the images were extremely anti-Christian. She said that she was in no doubt that the BBC had breached its own guidelines on taste and decency and that it had ignored the requirement for protecting people from blasphemous material. "By the age of nine I had only heard the F-word once in my life. I am worried that a child with a TV in their bedroom, could tune into this and hear it about a dozen times in the space of one minute."

On the other side of the couch, Peter Tatchell, the gay activist, said that Christians had to be prepared to be criticised and ridiculed like anyone else in society. He said that the "right to cause offence was a tenet of liberal society" and he accused those Christians critical of the programme of being "po-faced humourless zealots." "If people did not want to watch the show last night they should not have switched on. I accept the programme may be offensive to some people but the freedom of expression includes the right to cause offence," he said.

Terry Sanderson of the National Secular Society said that the most controversial parts of the show featuring Jesus, Mary, Adam and Eve on the talk show sofa were deeply moral and very similar to an old-fashioned mystery play. He added that the liberal use of the F-word was just reflecting common parlance. "I've heard worse than that on the school bus when I was a child," he said.

Anne Atkins, the columnist and a regular contributor to Radio 4's Thought for the Day, declared that her overwhelming reaction was one of "incredible boredom." She believed that the show was musically repetitive and said that she thought less of the BBC afterwards. "My main criticism is that the show wasn't good enough to risk offending people. If it was a show poking fun at Islam, I would be upset about the idea of Muslims being offended by it."

The BBC's hopes that the storm would blow over quickly after the screening, seemed over-optimistic last night. The homes of a number of senior BBC executives had to be provided with around-the-clock security following a series of threats from a small group of Christian fundamentalists. One senior BBC manager was warned there would be "bloodshed" unless the show was stopped.

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