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 May 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 June.

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 A "Eucharistic" Life at the School of Mary.

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New Resources

A section on Marian Spiritualities has been added to our About Mary page.  The latest addition was The Blessed Virgin in the Ecclesial Movement "Communion and Liberation". Expect more articles to follow.

A section on international stamps with images of Mary has also been added to About Mary page.  The latest added was Uruguay.  Expect more countries to follow.

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

We have posted  Marian Shrines in Chile and also added new Marian poetry.

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  News from the Marian Library

Alumni Update

Fr. Matthew Mauriello, IMRI student and contributor to The Mary Page, was featured in the 6/3/2005 issue of The Catholic Telegraph.  The article focused on his large collection of Marian images, statues, icons, paintings, etc.  He is currently pastor of Holy Rosary Church in Bridgeport, Connecticut.  Fr. Matthew plans to complete his studies at the International Marian Research Institute in Dayton this Summer.

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New Web Addresses for The Mary Page

In order to make our web site more accessible, The Mary Page may now be reached at the following URLs:;; and  The original address on the University of Dayton site remains active as well.

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Web Collaborators

Two important Catholic websites have added The Mary Page to their list of Media Partners. highlights items from The Mary Page in their section on Catholic News. includes a Mary Channel on their navrbar with Mary Page articles. Please visit these site in return.  We expect continued collaboration with them in the future.

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Available at The Marian Library

The ML/IMRI recently produced, Symbols of Grace, a pamphlet showing many emblems  representing Mary's Immaculate Conception along with explanatory text for each.  The emblems featured in this booklet were reproduced and restored by The Society for the Preservation of the Roman Catholic Heritage.  Robin Smith designed the layout, while Fr. Johann Roten and Br. William Fackovec contributed the text.  These booklets are available for $1.00 per copy.

The Marian Library also offers Marian screensavers.  You may buy one (on CD for Windows PCs) for $3.00 or two for $5.00. 

The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute (ML/IMRI) has created three different Marian PC screensavers.  The first is called "Symbols of Grace" and is a series of 11 classical emblems symbolizing the Immaculate Conception.  The emblems evoke a sense of mystery, with scenes of people, angels, animals, and nature representing God's supreme gift of grace to Mary.  Each emblem is accompanied by the Bible verse which inspired it.

The second is entitled "Visions of Grace" and is a collection of 13 different art pieces, ranging from 17th century Mexican to modern Chinese to classical European.  Each piece is a unique artistic interpretation of The Immaculate Conception, and is accompanied by a Marian verse from the Bible.

The newest is Litany of Flowers: A Floral Tribute to our Lady, which includes twelve images by Wislawa Kwiatkowska from the book Madonny z Poezji Polskiej (Madonnas in Polish Poetry), published by the Diocesan Museum of Plock , Poland.

You may purchase these items at The Marian Library, which is located on the 7th floor of U.D.'s Roesch Library.  The Marian Library is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, closed on holidays.  For more information, call 937-229-4214.

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Current Exhibit

Polish Madonnas in Art and Poetry

An exhibit of Marian paintings by renowned Polish artist, Wislawa Kwiatkowska, will be on display in the Marian Library Gallery on the 7th floor of Roesch Library until September 8 from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm weekdays (except holidays).  A portion of the fifty paintings will also be display in the Gallery on the first floor of Roesch Library from 8am to 10 pm Monday-Thursday, 8am - 6 pm Friday, and 12-6 pm weekends (except holidays) through July 31.   For further information, or to arrange a special visit during other times, call 937-229-4214.  Click here for a virtual exhibit.

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

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International Marian Research Institute Course Schedule

IMRI courses for the Summer 2005 semester started on June 13!  The course schedule through Fall 2005 is now available.

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2005 Fatima Marian Conference and Retreat

The 101 Foundation is sponsoring a pilgrimage on the topic, Our Lady and the Reality of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory, from July 7 - July 14, 2005.  The itinerary includes visits in Portugal to Santarem, Fatima and Nazare, and special feast day ceremonies on July 13.  For more information call 908-689-8792.

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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From VIS

Welcome Jesus and Take Him to Others
Vatican City, June 1, 2005

At 8 p.m. yesterday, the traditional procession marking the end of the month of May took place from the Church of St. Stephen of the Abyssinians--located near the apse of the Vatican Basilica--to the Grotto of Lourdes in the Vatican Gardens. The ceremony was presided by Archbishop Angelo Comastri, vicar general of His Holiness for Vatican City State.

Benedict XVI arrived at the Grotto at 9 p.m., and before imparting his apostolic blessing delivered a brief address.

"In the special Year of the Eucharist through which we are currently living," the Pope said, "Mary helps us especially to discover this great Sacrament. In today's feast we recall the visit by the Virgin to her cousin St. Elizabeth, an elderly woman whom everyone considered sterile but who had, in fact, reached the sixth month of a pregnancy donated by God. Mary is carrying the recently-conceived Jesus in her womb, she is a young girl, but she is not afraid because God is with her, He is within her."

The Holy Father affirmed how, "in a certain way, we can say that her journey was--and we are pleased to highlight this in the Year of the Eucharist--the first 'Eucharistic procession' of history. Living tabernacle of God-made-flesh, Mary is the Ark of the Covenant in whom the Lord has visited and redeemed His people. Jesus' presence fills her with the Holy Spirit."

After emphasizing how the Virgin's meeting with Elizabeth "finds expression in the canticle of the Magnificat," Benedict XVI asked: "is not this too the joy of the Church, that incessantly welcomes Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and carries Him to the world with the testimony of assiduous charity permeated by faith and hope? Yes, to welcome Christ and to take Him to others is the true joy of Christians! Dear brothers and sisters, let us carry on and imitate Mary, a deeply Eucharistic soul, and all our lives will become a Magnificat. Let this be the grace that, together this evening, we ask of the Most Holy Virgin at the close of the month of May."


From Zenit

Pope Sends Greetings to 60,000 Pilgrims to Loreto
Vatican City, June 13, 2005

Benedict XVI sent a message of greeting to the 60,000 faithful who spent Saturday night on pilgrimage from the Italian town of Macerata to the Marian shrine of Loreto.

Especially remembered on this occasion were Pope John Paul II and Monsignor Luigi Giussani, founder of the ecclesial movement Communion and Liberation.

Monsignor Giussani's funeral last Feb. 24 was presided over in John Paul II's name by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

In a telegram sent by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, Benedict XVI expressed his satisfaction over this "important manifestation," hoping that it would inspire young people to "a fervent adherence to Christ," a "new impetus in evangelical testimony" and "generous commitment in ecclesial service."

The motto chosen for the meeting, organized for the past 27 years by Communion and Liberation, was "We Have Come to Worship Him. O Virgin, You Are the Certainty of Our Hope!"

The homily delivered on Saturday by Cardinal Angelo Scola, patriarch of Venice, in the Helvia Recina Stadium of Macerata, concluded with this prayer: "We are children of our time. We are assailed by a temptation: to live as comfortable vagabonds. To overcome it, tonight we are becoming humble pilgrims."

On Importance of Sunday Mass
"Not an Imposition, But a Joy"
Vatican City, June 12, 2005

Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI delivered today from the window of his study, before praying the midday Angelus with thousands gathered in St. Peter's Square.

* * *

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

The Year of the Eucharist continues, called by our beloved Pope John Paul II, to reawaken ever more, in the consciences of believers, wonder toward this great Sacrament. In this singular Eucharistic time, one of the recurring topics is Sunday, the Day of the Lord, a topic that was also at the center of the recent Italian Eucharistic Congress, held in Bari. During the conclusive celebration, I also underlined how participation at Sunday Mass must be seen by a Catholic not as an imposition or a weight, but as a need and joy. To meet with brothers, to listen to the Word of God and to be nourished of Christ, immolated for us, is an experience that gives meaning to life, which infuses peace in the heart. Without Sunday, we Catholics cannot live.

For this reason parents are called to make their children discover the value and importance of the response to Christ's invitation, who calls the whole Christian family to Sunday Mass. In this educational endeavor, a particularly significant stage is the first Communion, a real celebration for the parish community, which receives for the first time its smallest children at the Lord's Table.

To underline the importance of this event for the family and the parish, next October 15, God willing, I will have in the Vatican a special meeting of catechesis for children, in particular of Rome and Latium, who during this year have received their first Communion. This festive gathering will fall almost at the end of the Year of the Eucharist, while the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops is under way, centered on the Eucharistic mystery. It will be an opportune and beautiful circumstance to confirm the essential role that the sacrament of the Eucharist has in the formation and spiritual growth of children.

From now on I entrust this meeting to the Virgin Mary that she may teach us to love Jesus ever more, in constant meditation of his Word and adoration of his Eucharistic presence, and help us to make young generations discover the "precious pearl" of the Eucharist, which gives true and full meaning to life.

Stella Maris Icon Unveiled
At Apostleship of the Sea Conference
London, June 10, 2005

Seafarers now have a new icon of their patroness, Stella Maris, unveiled at the annual conference of the Apostleship of the Sea.

Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao, president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers, blessed the icon of Our Lady Star of the Sea ("Stella Maris" in Latin), during Mass on Tuesday in London.

Cardinal Hamao, whose council coordinates the Apostleship of the Sea at an international level, said in his homily that there is a good reason for identifying seafarers with the Stella Maris.

"All those who know a little about the history of navigation know how important the star is for a navigator," he said.

"The star is the beacon that gives the right direction and allows the ship to continue on its route and reach port safely; and also in our lives Mary is the star that guides us, protects us and intervenes in our favor," the cardinal said.

Cardinal Hamao continued: "All over the world, seafarers and fishermen have a special devotion to Our Lady Star of the Sea as they daily confront the dangers of the sea and confide in her protection."

The new icon was painted in the neo-Coptic style by internationally renowned iconographer Stephane Ren‚ and was unveiled last Saturday at a special Mass in Glasgow.

In his address to the delegates, Cardinal Hamao also spoke about Pope Benedict XVI's concern for itinerant workers such as seafarers.

Remembering the day of the new Pope's election, Cardinal Hamao said that when he approached the Holy Father to pledge his obedience, Benedict XVI said: "We shall work together for the people on the move!"

The cardinal said: "To me it was a great joy as I felt it was a great encouragement for all those who have left their houses, family and country to know that they have a place in the heart and prayers of the Holy Father, and of the Church."


On the Sacred Heart
"We Adore God's Love of Humanity"
Vatican City, June 5, 2005

Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave today before praying the Angelus with the crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square.

* * *

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

Last Friday we celebrated the solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, devotion profoundly rooted in the Christian people. In biblical language, "heart" indicates a person's center, seat of his feelings and intentions. In the heart of the Redeemer we adore God's love of humanity, his will of universal salvation, his infinite mercy. Worship of the Sacred Heart of Christ means, therefore, worship of that heart which, after having loved us to the end, was pierced by the spear, and from the cross on high, shed blood and water, inexhaustible source of new life.

The feast of the Sacred Heart has also been the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests, propitious occasion to pray so that presbyters will prefer nothing to the love of Christ. Profoundly devoted to the Sacred Heart of Christ was Blessed Giovanni Battista Scalabrini, bishop and patron of immigrants, the centenary of whose death we observed on June 1. He founded the men and women Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo, known as the "Scalabrini," to proclaim the Gospel among Italian immigrants.

Recalling this great bishop, my thoughts go to those who are far from their homeland and often also from their families; I hope that they will always meet receptive friends and hearts on their path who are capable of supporting them in the difficulties of every day.

Undoubtedly, the heart that is most like Christ's is the heart of Mary, his Immaculate Mother, and precisely for this reason, the liturgy introduces her for our veneration. Responding to the invitation addressed by the Virgin of Fatima, let us commend to her Immaculate Heart, which we contemplated in a particular way yesterday, the whole world so that it will experience the merciful love of God and true peace.

Marian Movements Pray Together in Vatican
6,000 Pay Homage to Our Lady of Fatima
Vatican City, June 5, 2005

Thousands of members of 30 Italian Marian associations gathered together for the first time in St. Peter's Basilica for a prayer meeting.

On Saturday, 6,000 faithful venerated the pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima, and meditated on the message the Blessed Virgin gave the three Portuguese shepherds in 1917.

The meeting opened with an address by Father Gabriele Amorth, exorcist of the Diocese of Rome, who underlined with examples that consecration to Mary is a means to belong more profoundly to Christ.

After Eucharistic adoration and the rosary, led by Archbishop Angelo Comastri, the vicar general for Vatican City State, a solemn Mass took place, presided over by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the Pope's vicar for Rome. The Mass included the Act of Consecration to the Virgin.

"Devotion to the Virgin is expressed in faith, in Christian love, and in making our life a Eucharistic existence," said Cardinal Ruini, reported Vatican Radio.

Before publicly praying the Angelus today with the crowds in St. Peter's Square, Benedict XVI said that "undoubtedly, the heart that is most like Christ's is the heart of Mary, his immaculate Mother, and precisely for this reason, the liturgy introduces her for our veneration."

He added: "Responding to the invitation addressed by the Virgin of Fatima, let us commend to her Immaculate Heart, which we contemplated in a particular way yesterday, the whole world so that it will experience the merciful love of God and true peace."


Marian Associations Unite to Celebrate Immaculate Heart
Will Gather in St. Peter's Basilica
Vatican City, June 3, 2005

Thousands of members of Marian movements and associations in Italy will join together to celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in St. Peter's Basilica.

The World Apostolate of Fatima celebrates the feast every year in the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome. "But this year it has a particular solemnity" due to the involvement of more Marian associations, said Bishop Diego Bona, president of the World Apostolate of Fatima in Italy.

The celebration on Saturday will begin with the arrival of the "the venerated image of the pilgrim Virgin of the Fatima shrine," the bishop told ZENIT. The image will be "received by faithful from many parts of Italy," and "in fervent communion of prayer and sincere, profound and filial devotion."

Archbishop Angelo Comastri will lead a meditated rosary, followed by Mass presided over by Cardinal Camillo Ruini. After Mass the faithful will recite the prayer to Mary, mother of the living, which concludes John Paul II's encyclical "Evangelium Vitae."

Heart of the feast

The feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary comes a day after the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and is "a widespread and cherished devotion of the Christian people," said Bishop Bona.

The faithful, he said, "see in the Virgin Mary's 'heart'--the heart is considered the center and source of the interior life, the will and affectivity--the highest model of docility and obedience to the will of God, and maternal concern for men who were entrusted to her by the Savior dying on the cross."

It is a feast with a long tradition which "was given strong impulse with the events of Fatima (1917), when during the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin the three little shepherds heard words that later went all over the world: "Jesus desires to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart" (June 13); "I shall come to ask for consecration to my Immaculate Heart," "At last my Immaculate Heart will triumph" (July 13)," he said.

A simple message

Bishop Bona emphasized the importance of the Fatima message: The Blessed Virgin, "who introduced herself as the Virgin of the Rosary, wished to communicate with the world, with believers and nonbelievers, to call them back to the path of goodness and free them from the ruins of this time and the dangers of always.

"She did so with simple words, addressed to three children who had not gone to school yet; but it is a message that has gone around the world and of which John Paul II said: 'If the Church received the message of Fatima it is because it contains a truth and a call that are at the very heart of the Gospel.'"

The bishop summarized the message of Fatima in three essential topics: "the necessity and importance of insistent and constant prayer; the call to conversion and the urgent appeal to be committed to prayer and to offer one's life with the sacrifices it entails for the conversion of sinners; trust, dedication and consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as the preferential path, possible path of Christian life."


Peter's Pence Has a Marian Theme
Washington, D.C., June 1, 2005

"Goodness Works Quietly" is the theme for this year's Peter's Pence collection in U.S. parishes.

The annual collection enables the Pope to respond with emergency financial aid to the needy throughout the world, including those who suffer from war and natural disasters.

Scheduled for the Sunday nearest the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, this year's collection will be held in most U.S. parishes on June 25-26.

In a letter to diocesan directors of communication, Archbishop John Vlazny, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Ad Hoc Committee on the Economic Concerns of the Holy See, explained the origin of the theme for this year's collection.

He recalled that last year, at a Mass on the solemnity of the Assumption, "Pope John Paul II urged us to follow Mary's example, calling us to serve with trust and joy." The new Pope Benedict XVI continues the work of his predecessors, the prelate noted.

"The power of love is expressed in the unassuming quietness of daily service," the archbishop said. "Through works of charity, Catholics provide a quiet but powerful witness of love and deeds to empower the weak, the defenseless, and the voiceless, and to sustain those who suffer."


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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.

Filipino-Americans celebrate traditions; Events commemorate Our Lady of Fatima
[Source: Times-Picayune (New Orleans), 5/22/2005]

Wearing a long white dress and a rhinestone crown, Rachelle Estaris walked toward the rose-decorated altar holding the image of Our Lady of Fatima. Then, Rachelle, 15, took a tiny wreath of colorful flowers and crowned the three-foot statue, before about 300 people at St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church’’s Gauthreaux Center in eastern New Orleans.

Symbolizing a connection with spring, new life and the Virgin’s beauty, the May 7 coronation was one of three May traditions celebrated by Filipino-American families in the metropolitan area. "This is also a way to honor Virgin Mary for the guidance, love and grace with which she has showered the Filipino-American community here," said Nedy Camania, a member of Our Lady of Fatima Prayer Group, formed by Filipino-Americans and the celebration’s organizers.  "Some Filipinos come to America with nothing, and she helps us with our finances and everything."

According to believers, the gathering commemorates three apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima to Portuguese children in 1917. The children were asked to confess and receive Communion the first Saturday of each month; to mark the event, Filipino-Americans prayed the rosary, offered novena prayers and attended a Mass at the center, a practice that the group does every month. In addition, during the triple celebration, local children and teenagers venerated the Virgin by placing roses around her image.

Accompanied by their parents and friends, the young Filipino-Americans also participated in the Santacruzan, or Festival of the Holy Cross, a religious procession that re-enacts the search and discovery of Jesus’’ cross in Jerusalem in 325 A.D. by Queen Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, the first emperor of the Roman Empire to become Christian. Under an arch decorated with flowers and tulle, 6-year-old Carlo Cariñño, representing Constantine and holding a small cross, paraded with Rachelle Estaris, portraying Queen Helena, outside the center. "I am very excited to be doing this," said Rachelle, a ninth-grader at Grace King High School in Metairie.

Queen Helena believed the cross helped her get through her hardships, according to the Filipino city of Oroquieta’s Web site on cultural events. The Santacruzan tradition, Camania said, was brought to the Philippines by the Spanish, who colonized and Christianized the archipelago for 333 years, until 1898. Today, more than 80 percent of the Philippines is Roman Catholic. And the New Orleans’ Filipino immigrants vow to continue their religious customs and pass them on to future generations. "I want him to be a good Catholic. That’s why he is participating in these celebrations," said Carlo Cariñño of his son, who has played Constantine’s role for four consecutive years.

Besides young Carlo, 34 other children in angel outfits and 28 girls in formal dresses paraded. The girls wore sashes with the different titles conferred to the Virgin Mary. "I represent the Queen of All Hearts, and I am very glad to be learning more about my mom’s culture," said Tessie Aspuria, a fifth-grader at A. C. Alexander Elementary School in Kenner. She experienced the Santacruzan for the first time.

Elise Marie Crovetto, a third-year pharmacy student at Xavier University and second-time participant, marched as Queen of Angels. "This gives me an opportunity to express my religion and my background," said Crovetto, who attended the festivity with her mother. The prayer group encourages girls and young women to participate in the Santacruzan. It already has several girls lined up to represent Queen Helena in the next five years. "It is quite an honor back in the Philippines to be this queen because of the event’s religious significance," said Adlai DePano, a member of the prayer group.

Abigail Lucas, a seventh-grader at St. Francis Xavier in Metairie, will be the sovereign in 2006. "It’s important to me to expose her to these activities so she knows what we do in the Philippines," said her mother, Luz Lucas.

Roman Catholics and Anglicans agree on Mary; Divisions that sparked Reformation settled
[Source: Times-Picayune (New Orleans), 5/21/2005]

Roman Catholic and Anglican leaders this week announced newfound agreement on the Virgin Mary, putting to rest disagreements on her role in salvation that had simmered for almost 500 years. The 81-page booklet, released in Seattle by the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, said the churches now see eye-to-eye on divisions that helped spark the 16th-century Protestant Reformation.

However, the statement said the only two Catholic dogmas that carry the weight of papal infallibility--that Jesus' mother was born without "the stain of original sin" and was "assumed body and soul" into heaven at the end of her life--remain an obstacle for some Anglicans. Traditionally, Anglicans have rejected the pope's power to proclaim any doctrine as infallible and have been skittish about the Marian dogmas. "Anglicans generally are a bit wary about definitions of dogma," said Anglican Archbishop Peter Carnley, co-chairman of ARCIC.

The booklet, "Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ," said both churches agree that the Immaculate Conception, proclaimed in 1854, and Mary's Assumption, proclaimed in 1950, are "consonant" with Scripture. Neither should be a cause for division between the two bodies, the statement said. "The question arises for Anglicans, however, as to whether these doctrines concerning Mary are revealed by God in a way which must be held by believers as a matter of faith," the document said. Carnley said both sides agree on "the meaning of" the two dogmas, but "the question of how the dogmas are defined still needs to be addressed."

Still, the document represents a landmark agreement for both sides, as well as a step forward for Anglican-Catholic talks that were temporarily derailed by some Anglican churches' embrace of homosexuality. The Anglican Communion, which traces its roots to the Church of England, has 77 million members in 38 national churches, including the Episcopal Church in the United States. In 2003, Episcopal Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold resigned as ARCIC's co-chairman after he presided at the consecration of an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire.

On Thursday, the Vatican said the statement on Mary represents "new hope" for ecumenical relations. The two churches have engaged in official dialogue since 1965, and the statement on Mary grew out of a 2000 request from leaders of both churches. It was released in Seattle because it was finished during a previous meeting there. The statement called Mary "a model of holiness, faith and obedience for all Christians" and looked to her as "Christ's foremost disciple." The statement also:--Endorsed the practice of asking Mary and other saints to pray to God on behalf of believers. "Asking the saints to pray for us is not to be excluded as unscriptural, though it is not directly taught by the Scriptures to be a required element of life in Christ."--Affirmed the special devotion given to Mary by many Catholics and growing numbers of Anglicans, as long as "the honor paid to Christ remains pre-eminent."--Downplayed any notion that Mary has the power to save sinners. The churches said she "has a special place in the economy of salvation" but said the power of redemption lies only with Jesus Christ.

Catholic Archbishop Alexander Brunett of Seattle, the Catholic co-chairman of ARCIC, said Mary remains especially important for Catholics, but "if you were talking about the hierarchy of dogma, (the Marian dogmas) would not be at the very top of the list." During the first 1,500 years of Christian history, Anglicans and Catholics shared a common faith. But in the political and theological tumult of the 16th century, the Church of England split from Rome. Anglicans kept the pomp and pageantry of Catholic worship, but also embraced the Protestant ethos of relying on the Bible as the sole guide for Christian belief. Excessive devotion to Mary and other saints was a major concern for Protestants. Indeed, the statement conceded there were "real and perceived abuses" that resulted in "excessive exaltation" of Mary's role. "Catholics were believed to have, as it were, invented a whole series of beliefs about Mary that didn't have a proper place in Christian faith," said the Rev. Gregory Cameron, deputy secretary general of the Anglican Communion, in an interview.

For their part, Catholics often accused Anglicans and other Protestants of overlooking Mary and grew defensive of their devotion to her. "What this document does is lay to rest both of those caricatures," Cameron said. On the Immaculate Conception, the two sides said, "We can affirm together that Christ's redeeming work reached 'back' in Mary to the depths of her being, and to her earliest beginnings." And though "there is no direct testimony" in the Bible about how Mary died, the two sides affirmed the scriptural roots for the Assumption, that "God has taken the Blessed Virgin Mary in the fullness of her person into his glory."

Both sides have asked how sensitive issues like the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption would be applied to Anglicans if the two churches were ever able to totally reconcile. "Roman Catholics find it hard to envisage a restoration of communion in which acceptance of certain doctrines would be requisite for some and not for others," the statement said. The document said both Anglican and Catholic understandings of Mary would be "authentic expressions of Christian belief." In a footnote, it suggested that Anglicans might not have to follow the "explicit acceptance of the precise wording" of the two dogmas since they were not in communion with Rome when the dogmas were proclaimed.

Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe
[Source: Times-Picayune (New Orleans), 5/15/2005]

General information: The missionary image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a digital replica of the original miraculous image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was hosted at St. Tammany Catholic churches throughout week. The image has traveled from St. Margaret Mary to St. John of the Cross in Lacombe, Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Luke the Evangelist and St. Genvevieve in Slidell and Our Lady of the Lake and Mary Queen of Peace in Mandeville.

The image was blessed by Monsignor Diego Monroy, rector of the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe near Mexico City, where the original image from 1531 exists on the cloak, or "tilma," of Saint Juan Diego.  For information, call 643-6124.

Details: The image is on view today from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Our Lady of the Lake in Mandeville. It will be brought back to the Slidell area for viewing from 3-5 p.m. at Azalea Estates on Robert Boulevard.

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