Polish Madonna Notecards Are
Due to popular demand, The Marian
Library at the University of Dayton is once again offering the Polish Madonna
notecards for a very limited time. There are seven cards and envelopes in
each pack, and each card features a different Madonna by Polish artist Wislawa
Kwiatkowska. The cards measure 4 1/2" x 6 1/4" and the packs are shrink-wrapped.
The back of each card gives the picture title and its description and the web
site of the online version of the Polish Madonna exhibit so the people you give
the cards to can go online and see all the beautiful Polish Madonnas for
themselves. The pictures included in the notecards are featured below.
cards are $5.00 per pack, and the shipping and handling charges per order are as
pack = $2 First Class Mail
2 packs = $3 First Class Mail
3 packs = $5 Priority Mail
4-6 packs = $6 Priority Mail
7-9 packs = $8 Priority Mail
10-12 packs = $9 Priority Mail
order the cards, specify in a letter the number of packs you want and enclose a
check or money order made out to "The Marian Library." Mail it to:
University of Dayton
Dayton, OH 45469-1390
We will NOT be accepting telephone orders, but if
you have any questions, call The Marian Library at 937-229-4214.
For information on Polish Madonna prints available click into
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: marypage.org; themarypage.org; and
themarypage.net. The original address on the University of Dayton site
remains active as well.
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Two important Catholic websites have added The Mary Page to their list of
items from The Mary Page in their section on Catholic News.
Catholic.net includes a Mary
Channel on their navbar with Mary Page articles. Please visit these site in
return. We expect continued collaboration with them in the future.
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The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute presents: The
Song of Songs by Henry Setter which will include 78 illustrations of the
Bible's Song of Songs. For tours and information call 937-229-4214.
Click here for a
September 15 - October 31, 2005
-Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Free Admission-Handicapped Accessible-Parking Available
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 Fall 2005 semester begin on October 10. The course
schedule through Fall 2005 is now available.
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Fall Meeting of the Ecumenical
Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary-USA
ESBVM-USA will hold its Fall meeting on Saturday, October 1 in Philadelphia, PA.
The meeting will be held a St. Mary's Church at the University of Pennsylvania,
Hamilton Village, 3916 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Information
about speakers and directions to the meeting may be found on the ESBVM website:
Click this link for a list of all of the current
Marian Events by
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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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Commentary on Psalm
On the Transfer of the Ark of the Covenant
Vatican City, September 21, 2005
Here are the concluding remarks of the address of Benedict XVI.
The spiritual center of this
hymn thus becomes a prelude to John's proclamation, "And the Word became flesh
and lived among us" (John 1:14). We conclude remembering that the beginning of
this second part of Psalm 131(132) has been habitually used by the Fathers of
the Church to describe the Incarnation of the Word in the womb of the Blessed
Virgin Mary. As early as St. Irenaeus, referring to Isaiah's prophecy concerning
the virgin giving birth, explained, "The words, 'Listen, therefore, O house of
David' (Isaiah 7:13) indicate that the eternal king that God had promised to
David to rise up from 'the fruit of his womb,' an expression that indicates a
pregnant virgin. Therefore Scripture ... proposes and affirms that the birth of
the proclaimed 'one who was to come' would come from the Virgin. Exactly as
Elizabeth, full of the Holy Spirit confirmed saying to Mary, 'Blessed are you
among all women and blessed is the fruit of your womb' (Luke 1:42). Thus the
Holy Spirit indicates to those who want to listen that in the birth of the
Virgin, in other words, of Mary, the promise made by God to David to bring forth
a king from the fruit of his womb, is fulfilled" ("Contro le eresie," 3,21,5:
Già e Non Ancora, CCCXX, Milan 1997, p. 285). In this way, we see God's
truthfulness and fidelity in the great span that goes from the ancient psalm to
the incarnation of the Lord. In this Psalm, the mystery of God who lives among
us appears and shines forth as he becomes one of us in the Incarnation. God's
fidelity and our trust in the turns of history become a source of joy for us.
[After the address, the Pope gave this summary in English:]
Dear Brothers and Sisters, … As St. Irenaeus said, "she completed the promise made by
God to David, bringing forth a king as the fruit of her womb." May we, like
Mary, always respond to God's covenant with joy and perseverance.
On Holiness and the Blessed
"Priests Who Are in Love With the Eucharist"
Castel Gandolfo, Italy, September 18, 2005
Here is the conclusion of the
address Benedict XVI gave today before he prayed the midday Angelus with the
crowds gathered at the papal summer residence.
We will direct ourselves now to
Mary, praying in a special way for all priests of the world so that they take
from this Year of the Eucharist the fruit of renewed love for the sacrament that
May they, through the
intercession of the Virgin Mother of God, be able to always live and give
testimony to the mystery that has been place in their hands for the salvation of
Benedict XVI's Homily on the
Feast of Mary's Assumption
"We Have a Mother in Heaven"
Vatican City, August 15, 2005
Here are excerpts of the homily
Benedict XVI gave Aug. 15 when celebrating Mass in the parish church of Castel
Gandolfo on the solemnity of the Assumption.
... It gives me great joy to
celebrate Mass in this beautiful parish church on the day of the Assumption ...
The feast of the Assumption is
a day of joy. God has won. Love has won. It has won life. Love has shown that it
is stronger than death, that God possesses the true strength and that his
strength is goodness and love.
Mary was taken up body and soul
into heaven: There is even room in God for the body. Heaven is no longer a very
remote sphere unknown to us.
We have a Mother in heaven. And
the Mother of God, the Mother of the Son of God, is our Mother. He himself has
said so. He made her our Mother when he said to the disciple and to all of us:
"Behold, your Mother!" We have a Mother in heaven. Heaven is open, heaven has a
In the Gospel we heard the Magnificat, that great poem inspired by the Holy Spirit that came from
Mary's lips, indeed, from Mary's heart. This marvelous canticle mirrors the
entire soul, the entire personality of Mary. We can say that this hymn of hers
is a portrait of Mary, a true icon in which we can see her exactly as she is. I
would like to highlight only two points in this great canticle.
It begins with the word "Magnificat":
my soul "magnifies" the Lord, that is, "proclaims the greatness" of the Lord.
Mary wanted God to be great in the world, great in her life and present among us
all. She was not afraid that God might be a "rival" in our life, that with his
greatness he might encroach on our freedom, our vital space. She knew that if
God is great, we too are great ...
Only if God is great is
humankind also great. With Mary, we must begin to understand that this is so ...
A second observation: Mary's
poem--the Magnificat--is quite original; yet at the same time, it is a
"fabric" woven throughout of "threads" from the Old Testament, of words of God.
Thus, we see that Mary was, so
to speak, "at home" with God's word, she lived on God's word, she was penetrated
by God's word. To the extent that she spoke with God's words, she thought with
God's words, her thoughts were God's thoughts, her words, God's words. She was
penetrated by divine light and this is why she was so resplendent, so good, so
radiant with love and goodness.
Mary lived on the Word of God,
she was imbued with the Word of God. And the fact that she was immersed in the
Word of God and was totally familiar with the Word also endowed her later with
the inner enlightenment of wisdom ...
Thus, Mary speaks with us,
speaks to us, invites us to know the Word of God, to love the Word of God, to
live with the Word of God, to think with the Word of God ...
Mary is taken up body and soul
into the glory of heaven, and with God and in God she is Queen of heaven and
earth. And is she really so remote from us?
The contrary is true. Precisely
because she is with God and in God, she is very close to each one of us. While
she lived on this earth she could only be close to a few people. Being in God,
who is close to us, actually, "within" all of us, Mary shares in this closeness
of God. Being in God and with God, she is close to each one of us, knows our
hearts, can hear our prayers, can help us with her motherly kindness and has
been given to us, as the Lord said, precisely as a "mother" to whom we can turn
at every moment.
She always listens to us, she
is always close to us, and being Mother of the Son, participates in the power of
the Son and in his goodness. We can always entrust the whole of our lives to
this Mother, who is not far from any one of us.
On this feast day, let us thank
the Lord for the gift of the Mother, and let us pray to Mary to help us find the
right path every day. Amen.
[Translation of Italian original issued by the Holy See]
At Lourdes, Gypsies Remember
Lourdes, France, August 25, 2005
The 49th pilgrimage of gypsy
communities to Lourdes remembered victims, especially their own, who died in the
Nazi-run Auschwitz-Birkenau camps.
During the pilgrimage to the
Lourdes Grotto, before the image of the Virgin Mary, the gypsies prayed for an
end to racial discrimination. Some 7,000 gypsies arrived in Lourdes in some
1,100 caravans. The pilgrimage ended Wednesday.
Castelgandolfo, Italy, September 11, 2005
Father concluded: "Mary, present before the Cross at Calvary, is likewise
present with the Church and as Mother of the Church in each of our Eucharistic
celebrations. For this reason, no one better than her can teach us to understand
and experience the Mass with faith and love, uniting ourselves to Christ's
redeeming sacrifice. When we receive Holy Communion, we too, like Mary and
united with her, embrace the wood that Jesus, with His love, transformed into an
instrument of salvation, and we pronounce our 'Amen,' our 'yes' to Love that was
crucified and rose again."
Benedict XVI: Eucharist,
vocation, mission are the tracks of the WYD
Vatican City, August 24, 2005
In his traditional Wednesday appointment for weekly
catechesis, the pontiff talked of his experience in Germany, going over the
various phases and significant points. In closing he said:
now so that the youth may go from Cologne with the light of Christ, who is truth
and love and that they may spread this everywhere. I entrust that with the help
of the Holy Spirit and the prayer of the Virgin Mary, we will be able to witness
a spring of hope in Germany, Europe and the whole world.
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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.
Catholic Landmark Closing Its
[Source: The Toronto Sun, August 28, 2005]
A financial crisis has forced the Roman Catholic order of the
Loretto Sisters to close their Loretto Christian Life Centre as of Sept. 1.
Shutting the landmark spiritual and educational facility "was a difficult
decision for us, and involved much consideration, reflection and consultation,"
Sister Carmen Diston, Canadian provincial leader of the Institute of the Blessed
Virgin Mary, the religious community that has used the centre since 1870, told
the Catholic Register newspaper.
But she said the decision does not mean the sisters are leaving Niagara Falls.
"This decision is part of a planning process that will see us refocus our
resources and allows us to continue to do good ministry in spirituality,
education and advocacy for justice," said Diston.
The cost of renovating the centre was a major factor in the decision to close
it, Diston said. "The building needs immediate and ongoing significant capital
investments. We have done our best over the past 20 years but we can no longer
sustain these costs," she said.
Sitting on six acres of land overlooking Niagara Falls, the oldest part of the
building dates back to 1870. Loretto Centre, on Stanley Ave., offered a place of
solitude and tranquility in the midst of today's hectic world.
Vatican Reasserts Itself With
Muslims on Terrorism
[Source: The Washington Post, August 27, 2005]
In his historic 2001 visit to Syria, John Paul II became the first pope to
visit a mosque, where he stressed the common heritage of Christianity and Islam
and highlighted the prominence of the Virgin Mary in the Koran. He also noted a
certain "misuse [of] religion itself to promote or justify hatred and violence"
but left it undefined.
But when John Paul's successor, Pope Benedict XVI, met with Muslim leaders in
Cologne, Germany, last Saturday, he stuck to one issue and gave it a
With a challenge to Muslim leaders to reject and condemn "any connection between
your faith and terrorism," Benedict has subtly redefined Vatican relations with
Islam, departing from the conciliatory overtures of his predecessor to forge an
approach that presses for reform.
The shift, observers say, reflects a growing desire among Vatican officials for
the Catholic Church to reassert itself after two decades of dovish dialogue
under John Paul II.
Support for inter-religious dialogue remains strong, but the growth of European
Islam and a declining Christian presence in predominantly Muslim
countries--coupled with the spread of Islamic terrorism--has prompted a new
Catholic consensus that conditions must be placed on future contact.
"We have to be very blunt and not hide behind formulas," said the Rev. Justo
Lacuna Balda, president of the Pontifical Institute for Islamic and Arab
Studies, a Vatican think tank. Benedict "has indirectly said, 'You've got people
in your midst who are saying let's fight against the West and let's fight
against Christians and Jews. Well, wait a minute. Where do they get this from?
Who teaches them this?' "
Although Benedict stopped short of directly linking terrorism with Islam, the
pope for the first time called on Islamic leaders to reject interpretations of
Islam that inspire terrorism.
"Words are highly influential in the education of the mind. You therefore have a
great responsibility for the formation of the younger generation," the pope
said. "There is no room for apathy and disengagement, and even less for
partiality and sectarianism."
The address prompted Corriere della Sera, Italy's largest newspaper, to
proclaim in an editorial, "Finally there's a pope that condemns Islamic
terrorism in front of a Muslim delegation without if's, and's or but's."
Under John Paul, dialogue with Islam focused on the faiths' common historical
roots and mutual emphasis on sexual morality. Divisive topics such as terrorism
or discrimination against Christians were sidelined.
When condemning terrorism, the late pope usually minimized religious references
and always excluded any direct mention of Islam. Many say this policy was driven
by concerns that tough talk from the Vatican might signal a "clash of
"The objective was to ward off a greatly feared clash by coming together," said
Sandro Magister, a veteran Vatican analyst for Italy's L'espresso
magazine. Magister described John Paul's outreach as an indiscriminate "tendency
to hug" Muslim leadership.
As recently as 2004, high-level Vatican officials attended talks in Qatar that
included Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, founder of the European Council for Fatwa
and Research (ECFR), and other radical clerics. In recent years the ECFR, a
religious authority for European Muslims, has issued fatwas supporting suicide
attacks in Israel and corporal mutilation in Iraq.
"In Cologne, Benedict XVI demonstrated a different vision, discriminating
between positive dialogue and dialogue that is unacceptable," Magister said.
Balda said discussions with controversial leaders will have to be discreet. "The
high-level meetings behind closed doors will continue, but we cannot give a
platform to people who create animosity and division."
Muslims who met with the pope in Cologne were drawn from groups representing
moderate Islam. Some praised his focus on terrorism, while others called for the
dialogue to be extended to issues ranging from poverty and globalization to
whether Turkey should be admitted to the European Union.
As Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Benedict expressed opposition to Turkey's bid in a
2004 magazine interview on the grounds that the country's Islamic identity
clashed with Europe's Christian roots.
Many inside the Vatican see Turkey's push for EU membership as symptomatic of a
lack of "reciprocity" between Islam and Christianity. Turkey fails to guarantee
the rights of religious minorities, Balda said, limiting the possibility for
Christian minorities to flourish there. At the same time, Turkey's entrance into
the EU would establish a European beachhead for Islam, altering the EU's
"You cannot expect that on this side of the border you as a Muslim will have the
right to practice your religion and I as a Buddhist or as a Christian will not
have exactly the same welcoming on your side," Balda said. "This is a vital
question that needs to be brought to the forefront of inter-religious dialogue."
In Cologne, Benedict appeared to underline this disparity when he called for
more religious tolerance.
"We must seek paths of reconciliation and learn to live with respect for each
other's identity," he said. "The defense of religious freedom, in this sense, is
a permanent imperative and respect for minorities is a clear sign of true
As a cardinal, however, Ratzinger expressed doubts as to whether such
reconciliation is possible. "Islam has a total organization of life that is
completely different from ours," he said in a 1997 interview.
"There is a very marked subordination of woman to man; there is a very tightly
knit criminal law, indeed, a law regulating all areas of life, that is opposed
to our modern ideas about society."
One From the Heart: Gorecki in His
[Source: The Independent (London), August 23, 2005]
In the early 1990s, few would have predicted that a message scratched on a
Gestapo cell wall, a mother's lament for her dead son and a medieval prayer to
the Virgin Mary would inspire one of the most moving and memorable musical
experiences of the 20th century. Or that a symphony by a little- known Polish
avant-garde composer would entrance and enthral a generation of listeners. But,
in 1993, Nonesuch Records issued a stunning recording, by the American soprano
Dawn Upshaw with the London Sinfonietta, of Henryk Gorecki's Third Symphony,
Symfonia Piesni Zalosnych [the 'Symphony of Sorrowful Songs'] and, almost
overnight, Gorecki became a household name.
Here was something diametrically at odds with most people's idea of
'contemporary' music. It was a work that made its statement directly, with the
simplest of gestures, a piece whose outpouring of pain and grief seemed to speak
to a modern generation, a symphony imbued with an extraordinary spiritual
The disc enjoyed staggering success, selling more than 300,000 copies. Other
record companies, such as Naxos, followed, and today there are about a dozen
versions in the catalogue. Lionised by Classic FM, the anguished second movement
soon became one of the most popular pieces of classical music ever " even
breaking into the non-classical charts. Some dubbed it 'spiritual minimalism',
and likened the work to Sir John Tavener's "The Protecting Veil," or to the
beguilingly patterned music of Arvo Peert " although an even closer spiritual
parallel might be Steve Reich's Holocaust elegy, Different Trains.
In fact, Gorecki composed his Third Symphony in 1976, almost two decades before
he became known in the West. For him, it marked a turning-away from the
aggressive modernism of works such as Collisions and Genesis, which embraced
uncompromising dissonance almost for its own sake. Rather, it opened the door to
pieces such as Beatus Vir (1979) and Totus tuus (1989), sacred
choral works whose rich, warm sonorities have earned them a large and unexpected
One listener swept away by the 'Symphony of Sorrowful Songs' on a first hearing
was Nicholas Kenyon, controller of the BBC Proms, where it will be performed by
the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under David Atherton tomorrow. 'I really
felt from the start that this was a masterpiece,' Kenyon enthuses. 'It had
complete integrity and utter originality. It didn't sound in any way derivative;
it hit a vital nerve and seemed to make a completely personal statement. Gorecki
uses extremely small means to create a very big musical effect. The way he
deploys such simple material is very daring; yet the work's cumulative impact "
it runs for almost an hour " is shattering and overpowering.
'It will make an interesting comparison with another work we included in this
summer's Proms, Tippett's "The Vision of St Augustine," a work of amazing
complexity, almost from the opposite end of the musical spectrum, yet one that
touches on much the same issues of transcendence and eternity. I hope the
Gorecki will benefit from the intimate atmosphere of our late-night Proms. It
will be fascinating to see whether the work still retains its original power to
move an audience deeply.'
Yet why should a symphony with such patently simple chords and endless
repetitions " the arch-like first movement, launched by dark, mysterious double
basses, runs to more than 25 minutes " have such a searing effect? For many, the
hypnotic ebb and flow of the music alone explains its hushed, imprecatory
quality, which owes something to Gorecki's predecessor, Szymanowski. But for
others, the profoundly moving, lulling words intoned by the soprano are crucial
to the work's charged emotional intensity and universal appeal.
In the first movement, Christ's mother, Mary, addresses her dying son from the
foot of the Cross; in the third, based on a folksong from Poland's Opole
region, a mother weeps for her son whom she believes has perished in a conflict;
while the piercingly sad central movement is based on a prayer incised on her
prison cell wall in Zakopane in 1944 by 18-year-old Wanda Blazusiakowna,
invoking the Virgin Mary and asking her mother not to weep for her.
David Atherton conducted the symphony's first UK performance in 1987, several
years before it became fashionable. Atherton got to know the composer well, and
has tirelessly promoted the symphony all over the world. 'I first heard it in
the early 1980s, long before Gorecki was well known in the West. Previously I
had thought of him as the wild man of Polish music, writing incredibly dissonant
and radical music. But I was immediately struck by its sheer honesty. It
has a direct appeal and is written straight from the heart, with a means of
expression both simple and profound. It pre-empted minimalism and was years
ahead of its time.
'Sustaining an incredible intensity over such a long time-span is a phenomenal
test of stamina and commitment for all the performers " it's one of the most
individually grueling, yet satisfying, works in the contemporary repertoire.'
At the late-night Proms performance, the soprano soloist will be Susan Bullock,
who makes her Royal Opera House debut in Wozzeck next season. The words of the
symphony, she suggests, are not just intensely dramatic, but have a clear
resonance for us today: 'The first song is full of dark resignation; the second
is strangely tranquil despite adversity; and the last feels almost
conversational: 'Why did you kill my son?' the mother asks; 'Why shall I never
see him again?' The mother's grief seems every bit as relevant now, in an age
when we are confronted with suicide bombings and the pointless murder of young
people in our inner cities, as at any time.
'There's an almost mesmeric quality to the music that really brings home the
tragedy of the words. Other composers might have set the same texts in a kind of
hysterical, emotional way; but these are so quietly effective, almost as if
uttered in shock " reflecting the terrible numbness that comes when you realise
someone you love has been taken from you for ever.'
Gorecki's Third Symphony is performed at the Royal Albert Hall, London SW7
tomorrow at 10pm (020-7589 8212;
Local Artist Sees Mary on
[Source: The Times-Picayune (New Orleans), August 22, 2005]
Most people glancing up at the billboard above the barrooms in the 5100 block
of Canal Boulevard see a colorful rendering of a New Orleans landmark: Jacob
Schoen & Son Funeral Home in the 3800 block of Canal Street. But local artist
and renovator Mark Kleindorf sees more. Much more. He sees the Virgin Mary,
aglow in a funeral home archway.
"It just kind of hit me--like what's this?" Kleindorf said, recalling the moment
he first spotted the Madonna image while slapping a fresh coat of green paint on
a nearby herb shop.
The billboard and the herb shop sit at the bustling intersection of Canal
Boulevard, Canal Street and City Park Avenue. The wall Kleindorf was painting
runs along the edge of Odd Fellows Rest Cemetery, one of several burial grounds
at the spot that once marked the city limits.
Kleindorf was peering over vaults of yellow fever victims when he noticed a
white blotch on the left side of the sign, part of the original funeral home
photograph that could be described as sunlight, appeared to him as the profile
of Mary, standing in the archway with her back to the ticking clock on the right
side of the sign.
Seen as the Blessed Mother, the solitary figure seems perfectly proportioned.
She is clothed in a white gown and veil and is facing west, toward the white
tombs of Greenwood Cemetery across Canal Boulevard.
Kleindorf, 40, said the veiled image "got more defined" as he drove his pickup
truck past the billboard on his way home.
The Bucktown resident doesn't compare his vision to the likes of Mary's reported
appearance in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, which has drawn tens of thousands
of New Orleanians there to pray since the 1980s. He said his discovery is a
source of comfort and hope, and he wants "to share the news" with his community.
"We're hearing about a lady seeing her (Mary) under a bridge where the water was
leaking through the cracks, and about Mary's face on a grilled cheese sandwich,
and here, right here, we have our own Lakeview/Mid-City Mary," Kleindorf said.
In recent months, believers have flocked to a stretch of the Kennedy Expressway
in Chicago to stare at an image of Mary--her hands in prayer--on an underpass
wall, stained with water and road salt.
Last year, a Florida woman made headlines when a casino paid her $28,000 for a
decade-old grilled cheese sandwich bearing Mary's face in the scorched bread.
'Simply a speculation'
Mary's image on a sandwich and sightings such as Kleindorf's should not be taken
seriously, said Archdiocese of New Orleans spokesman the Rev. William Maestri.
"This would not even remotely qualify as an apparition," Maestri said of the
image that reminds Kleindorf of Mary. "There is no appearance by the Blessed
Mother communicating a message, a teaching or a request to anyone. This is
simply a speculation based on an imaginative interpretation of what something
appears to be."
Kleindorf, who refers to himself as a "cajew" because he was raised by a Jewish
father and Catholic mother, said he is not the first member of his family to
have a vision of Mary. Years ago, his uncle, Broadway and local actor Jay
Kleindorf, shared with his nephew his story of a vision.
"When he was in World War II, he was driving in the back of a flatbed truck with
a bunch of his Army buddies, and he looked up in the trees and he saw the
Blessed Mother waving, pulling him towards her like, 'Come to me. Come to me,' "
Kleindorf said. "So, he shouted to his guys, 'Jump,' and when they jumped,
that's when the mortar hit the truck and blew up everybody else in it ... When
he got older, he told me the story the same way over and over, didn't miss a
'This is spooky'
Kleindorf said he was thinking about his now deceased uncle on the day he
spotted Mary on the billboard because his uncle's last theater performance was
in a play called "Odd Fellows Rest," which is where he was standing. He kept the
sighting to himself for a year because he thought people would think he was
"Then I showed my mother, and I showed a couple of friends that happened to be
in the neighborhood, and they were all like, 'Wow. This is spooky,' " Kleindorf
The image of Mary in the funeral home archway is there for anyone who chooses to
see it, Kleindorf said.
"At that particular moment when that picture was taken, the light was shining at
the right angle for something," he said. "You can use a little imagination, but
you don't need much. It's there if you want to believe, I guess."
When asked if the funeral home had received any calls about the billboard, which
has been up for several years, Garic Schoen, 84, answered abruptly before any
mention of Mary's image. "Who's it supposed to be, the Blessed Mother?" Schoen
said. "We never had any calls. If you hear any more about it, let us know."
Painting Assumes Its Original
[Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune, August 20, 2005]
A historic painting is back home at Mission San Luis Rey after a six-month,
$20,000 face-lift, the colors restored to the vibrancy with which the artist
applied them nearly 130 years ago.
"Overwhelming," is how Bradford Claybourn, curator of the mission museum,
described the work performed by conservators at the Balboa Art Conservation
Center in San Diego's Balboa Park.
Painted in 1876 by Leon Trousset, "Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary" was
removed from the church in January, along with another Trousset painting,
"Resurrection of Christ."
The Roman Catholic church at the mission, founded in 1798, is the 18th of
California's 21 mission churches and a state historic landmark.
The colors on both paintings had grown murky over the years as their varnish
overcoats deteriorated, and the "Assumption" suffered additionally as the canvas
sagged in places in its frame.
"Cosmetically it looked very bad," said Betsy Court, chief conservator of
paintings at the art conservation center.
She described the overlay as "dark orangey-brown," and the team of four
conservators used a number of organic solvents to remove it, one small patch at
a time. Then they "infilled" or carefully replaced areas of missing paint.
"Now the real colors show," Court said, and they are protected by a new layer of
stable varnish that will not discolor.
Before conservators could even begin restoring the painting they had to remove
it from its frame, peel away the original cloth backing, stretch the canvas,
straighten the edges and fix numerous small tears.
About $14,000 of the $20,380 cost of the restoration was raised by the El
Camino Real Chapter of Questers, and the rest came from a $10,000
conservation grant from the county Board of Supervisors, Claybourn said.
Questers is a national organization dedicated to preserving artifacts and places
of historical interest, according to Virginia Brophy of Oceanside, the local
Its members visited the art conservation center on March 24, when the
restoration was about half-done.
"They had cleaned a lot of the bad varnish and it was pretty amazing how much
more vibrant the colors were," Brophy said.
The Questers will get to see the finished result at a reception Tuesday, and
patrons at the Aug. 27 Heritage Ball, an annual fundraiser for the mission, will
also get a look. But the public won't see the painting until at least next
month, Claybourn said.
The "Assumption" is hanging temporarily in an off-exhibit area of the mission
museum complex, along with the "Resurrection," which is awaiting restoration.
"We just received a new estimate for the cost of restoring the second painting,
and our chapter will consider it at our next meeting in September," Brophy said
She said that to return the "Resurrection" to its original condition would cost
$9,000 to $10,000 for repairing and stretching the canvas, and $10,500 and
$12,300 for "the aesthetics."
There are no immediate plans to return either painting to the church. They once
hung facing each other on opposite walls halfway between the altar and the front
Not much is known about Trousset, who lived from about 1835 to about 1936,
according to Tracy Trousset of Hemet, the unofficial family historian. One of
the artist's works was purchased by a New Mexico museum for $35,000, she said.
Claybourn would not put a price on either of the mission's Trousset paintings.
"You assume it is hypothetically worth at least what it cost to conserve it, but
it isn't something you would put to the test," he said of the "Assumption."
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