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 November 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 November.

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New Resources

A section on Children's Resources has been added to our About Mary page.  The latest addition was Children Learn to Pray the Hail Mary. Expect more sections to follow.

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

We have updated Marian Thoughts of Benedict XVI through October 23 as well our answer to a reader's question about Our Lady of Good Success.  We have also added A New Heresy and Our Lady of Smooth Delivery.

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  News from the Marian Library

Alumni Update

New Hampshire Public Radio recently aired a piece on mosaic iconographer Robert Andrews which featured comments by Dr. Virginia M. Kimball, current MSA President.  Voice of America plans to air the program overseas.  To hear the streaming audio click into

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Polish Madonna Prints Still Available!

While the note-cards are now out of stock, eleven different prints are still available from Wislawa Kwiatkowska's "Polish Madonnas in Art and Poetry" exhibit. There are nine 11" x 14" prints and two 8.5" x 11" prints.  All pictures are printed on 80# paper.

The 11" x 14" pictures available are:

Madonna of the Sowers

Madonna Covered with Cherry Blossoms

Mother of God of Lichen

Mournful Mother of Czestochowa

Madonna of the Mushrooms

Our Lady of the Birches

Golden-Green Mother of God

Madonna of the Mountains

Madonna Riding on a Deer

The two 8.5" x 11" prints available are:

So Human

Christmas Carol

The 11" x 14" prints are $5 each.  The 8.5" x 11" prints are $3 each or 2 for $5.00.  There is an additional charge of $5 for each quantity of 11 prints or less to cover postage and handling.  Here is an example of the postage and handling rates:

1-11 prints: $5 per ORDER (not per print)

12-22 prints: $10

23-33 prints: $15

Specify which prints and quantity you want and make a check or money order out to "The Marian Library." Mail it to:

The Marian Library
Attention: Prints
University of Dayton
Dayton, OH 45469-1390

We also have a "Polish Madonna" Windows PC screensaver that shows all twelve of the pictures that were in the St. Anthony Messenger article.  It sells for $5.00, which includes postage and handling.

If you have any questions, please call 937-229-4214.

Print Descriptions

Christmas Carol: Compassionate animals draw close to Baby Jesus in the manger and warm him with their breath.

Golden-Green Mother of God: Mary and Baby Jesus sit in a dill garden. Mary looks tenderly after her children with the same attentiveness that she looks upon the cherished golden-green dill of her garden.

Madonna Covered with Cherry Blossoms: Delicate cherry blossoms frame the faces of Mary and Baby Jesus while butterflies--symbols of the Resurrection--circle around them.

Madonna of the Mountains: This snowy scene shows Mary in solidarity with all creation; she knows what it is like to be cold and hungry, yet she is determined to overcome all the wintry trials of life. In her basket she carries two little bears that are eager to see Baby Jesus.

Madonna of the Mushrooms:  These mushrooms of autumn are attractive but deadly; Mary draws out the poison and warns against the allure and perniciousness of sin.

Madonna Riding on a Deer: Based upon a Polish legend, this picture shows Mary and Baby Jesus being whisked away from danger by a swift and noble deer.

Madonna of the Sowers: From the lilac heather, through the morning fog, the wind pulls threads from Mary's shawl and wraps them around the trees and branches, protecting the autumn seeds.

Mother of God of Lichen: Mary fingers her rosary and gazes prayerfully at the insignia of the Polish eagle on her chest, as the animals are drawn to her loving maternal presence.

Mournful Mother of Czestochowa: In this portrait of the famous icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Baby Jesus tries to comfort his mother as she mourns for the fate of the Polish people. Around Mary's shoulders is a blue and gold ribbon from which hangs the Virtuti Militari--the highest Polish military honor that is given in recognition of bravery. (The two slashes on the face of the original icon were inflicted by Hussite soldiers in the fifteenth century.)

Our Lady of the Birches: The white of the birches symbolizes the purity of Mary, while the storks gathered around  her represent prosperity and the hope for children.

So Human: In a conversation with the saints in heaven, St. Ann reminisces about her little Mary, who loved to gather flowers and frolic with the animals.

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 navbar with Mary Page articles. Please visit these site in return.  We expect continued collaboration with them in the future.

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Current Exhibit

"The Song of Songs Illustrated," Henry C. Setter's illustrations of this Biblical book now on display in The Marian Library Gallery through October 31, 2005.  The exhibit is free and open to the public on weekdays from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm.  For tours and information call 937-229-4214.  Click here for a virtual exhibit.

Setter, a Cincinnati native and former U.D. Professor, has taught art for 42 years and still works as a professional artist.  He has received numerous art commissions in the United States and Europe, and his watercolors, mosaics and sculptures are displayed in both private and public collections.  His woodblock prints and sculptures have received awards in juried exhibitions throughout the United States.

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 swill conclude on November 11.  The course schedule through Fall 2005 is now available.

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Pilgrimage to Marian Shrines

St. Mary's University Travel Service is arranging pilgrimages to Notre Dame, Lourdes, Zaragoza, Fatima, etc. with Fr. Rudy Vela, S.M. from May 16-29, 2005.  For details click into George's International Tours.

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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Mary--Eucharistic Woman
Benedict VXI Publishes Synod's Recommendations
Vatican City, October 23, 2005

In an unprecedented move, Benedict XVI published the 50 propositions presented by the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist. The propositions, which will be the basis for the Pope's post-synodal apostolic exhortation, will only be presented in a non-official Italian translation of the Latin original, in order to preserve some confidentiality, reported the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops on Saturday.

Benedict XVI said today that the post-synodal exhortation will "portray the face of the 'Catholic' community," which finds its strength and unity in the Eucharist. The propositions include presenting Mary as "Eucharistic woman," and encourage the faithful to have "the same sentiments of Mary."

Mary--Eucharistic Woman
On Closing of Synod and Year of the Eucharist

Vatican City, October 23, 2005

Here is a translation of Benedict XVI's words before and after reciting the Angelus, at the end of the Mass that closed the Synod on the Eucharist and the Year of the Eucharist. He also canonized five saints at the Mass.

* * *

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

With today's Eucharistic celebration in St. Peter's Square, the assembly of the Synod of Bishops has closed and, at the same time, the Year of the Eucharist has ended, which our beloved Pope John Paul II opened in October 2004 ...

Moreover, today, as the images exposed on the facade of the Vatican basilica show, I have had the joy of proclaiming five new saints that, at the end of the Eucharistic year, I want to point out as exemplary fruits of communion of life with Christ. They are Jozef Bilczewski, bishop of Lviv of the Latins; Gaetano Catanoso, presbyter, founder of the Congregation of the Veronican Sisters of the Holy Face; Zygmunt Gorazdowski, Polish priest, founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph; Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga, Jesuit priest, Chilean; and the Capuchin religious Felice de Nicosia.

Each one of these disciples of Jesus was formed interiorly by his divine presence received, celebrated and adored in the Eucharist. Each one of them, moreover, lived with different hues a tender and filial devotion to Mary, mother of Christ. These new saints, whom we contemplate in heavenly glory, invite us to take recourse in every circumstance to the maternal protection of the virgin to make ever more progress on the path of evangelical perfection, supported by constant union with the Lord really present in the sacrament of the Eucharist ...

Whoever receives Christ in the reality of this Body and Blood cannot keep this gift to himself, but is impelled to share it in courageous witness of the Gospel, in service to brothers in difficulty, in forgiveness for offenses. For some, moreover, the Eucharist is seed of a specific call to leave everything to go and proclaim Christ to those who still do not know him. Let us commend to Mary Most Holy, Eucharistic woman, the spiritual fruits of the Synod and of the Year of the Eucharist. May she watch over the path of the Church and teach us to grow in communion with the Lord Jesus to be witnesses of his love, in which is the secret of joy.

Mary--Eucharistic Woman
ope's Homily at Close of Year of the Eucharist
Vatican City, October 23, 2005

Here is the conclusion of the homily Benedict XVI delivered in Italian, Polish, Ukrainian and Spanish during the Mass that closed the Synod on the Eucharist and the Year of the Eucharist, and in which he canonized five new saints.

Dear friends, we must start again from the Eucharist. May Mary help us, a Eucharistic woman, to be in love with it, help us to "remain" in the love of Christ, to be intimately renewed by him. Docile to the action of the Spirit and attentive to man's needs, the Church then will be a greater beacon of light, of true joy and hope, achieving fully her mission as the "sign and instrument of the unity of the whole human race" ("Lumen Gentium," No. 1).

Mary--Eucharistic Woman
Message of Synod on the Eucharist
Vatican City, October 23, 2005

Here is are excerpts of the final message of the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist, approved Friday at the concluding general assembly.

* * *

The Eucharist: Living Bread for the Peace of the World ...

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has again gathered us as in the Cenacle, with Mary the Mother of God and our Mother, to recall the gift par excellence of the Holy Eucharist ...

Dearly beloved brothers and sisters, we are called, in whatever form of life we find ourselves, to live our baptismal vocation, clothing ourselves with the sentiments of Christ Jesus (see Philippians 2:2), matching one another in humility, following the example of Christ Jesus. Your Eucharistic witness in the service of Christ is a cry of love in the darkness of the world, an echo of the ancient Marian hymns, the Stabat Mater and of the Magnificat. May the Woman of the Eucharist par excellence, crowned with stars, and rich in love, the Virgin of the Assumption and of the Immaculate Conception, watch over you in your service of God and the poor, in the joy of Easter, for the hope of the 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.

It Was Multicultural Before Multicultural Was Cool
[Source: New York Times, October 19, 2005]

I was flabbergasted when I saw ''African Zion: The Sacred Art of Ethiopia'' in New York City in 1994, the first big display of Ethiopian religious art to travel to North America. I had known this art only in intriguing bits and pieces. But the sight of a hundred blazingly colored icons and glinting metal crosses in one place was sensational. I remember its impact in aural as much as visual terms, as a kind of charged chanting, though no music was playing.

What was news to me was news to a lot of other people too, not to mention the city's art institutions. The show wasn't at the Metropolitan Museum or the Brooklyn Museum. It was at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. Famed for its library and archives, the Schomburg has an active gallery, though one unlikely to pull in the huge crowds that ''African Zion'' should have had. ''Lucky Harlem,'' I thought at the time.

And now, lucky Midtown. The first major gallery sale exhibition of Ethiopian art in the United States opened yesterday at PaceWildenstein on East 57th Street. Organized by the London dealer Sam Fogg, it's a fierce, gorgeous, category-scrambling encounter.

With 50 objects, the show covers centuries of Africa's oldest Christian culture. In antiquity, Ethiopia was a mix of African people and Semitic people who had crossed the Red Sea from Saudi Arabia. According to tradition, the first Ethiopian emperor, Menelik, son of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon, brought the Ark of the Covenant from Jerusalem to establish Ethiopia as the new Israel.

This Old Testament identity was, however, tailored to accommodate Christianity. And in the fifth century A.D., when Ethiopia was, with Rome and Persia, one of the superpowers of the ancient world, Ethiopian Orthodoxy became the state religion. Later Islam swept in, cutting the country off from the Byzantine world and adding its own cultural impulses. Influences from sub-Saharan Africa were subtle and constant.

These ingredients contributed to a church distinctive in its beliefs, worship and art. The most familiar and durable forms are openwork crosses of bronze or iron mounted on long staffs carried by priests.

Meant to be seen in pierced silhouette against the sky or candlelight, they became ever more elaborate and delicate hybrids of Byzantine and Islamic designs. The workmanship of the finest of them is beyond superb, rivaling pieces from the royal ateliers of the West Africa kingdom of Benin. And Mr. Fogg has fantastic examples dating from the 12th to the 19th century.

The real attraction, though, lies in icons and manuscripts, several dating from the late 15th and early 16th centuries, a high point in Ethiopian church art, which means in Christian art, period.

Icons, painted on wood panels or made of cloth glued to boards, come in many sizes. Small, closeable, pocket-size diptychs were made to be portable, maybe worn on the body. Others are larger and structurally more complex. Almost all have the image of the Virgin Mary, the central figure of Ethiopian Orthodoxy, as their focus.

In a grand 17th-century triptych, Mary shares the central panel with Jesus, who grasps her wrist, raising her hand as if declaring her a champion. In another, she takes the more characteristic form of the divine mother with the infant Jesus in her lap. She is attended by startlingly un-serene company: wide-eyed angels, jubilant warriors and the hermit-saint Gabra Manfas Qeddus who lived for more than 500 years, fed birds with his tears and, apparently, wore his floor-length hair cinched at the waist like a bathrobe.

This figure of Mary was based on a miraculous icon at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, which had been reproduced in prints that Jesuit missionaries took to Ethiopia. Even earlier, though, European art had arrived firsthand in the person of the Venetian painter Nicolo Brancaleon.

Brancaleon came to Ethiopia in 1480 on what he might have planned as a quick trip, but ended up staying as a captive court painter for 40 years. Two diptychs associated with him are in the show. In one, he is clearly an Italian painter working in the international Gothic style; in the other, most likely done years later, he has absorbed Ethiopian art and is a more stimulating artist.

Less easily traceable are the specific influences that fed into the show's most splendid Gospel, probably produced by a heretical and isolated monastic sect. Its monumental pages include rows of small, vertical portraits of prophets and apostles, dark skinned and light skinned, their shovel-shaped heads with squared-off mouths recalling sub-Saharan sculptural styles.

Cultural breadth is one of the most thrilling things about Ethiopian art. It is also one reason it remains little studied. It requires scholars equally conversant in European, Islamic and African art--a tall multicultural order. In addition, there is the spiritually interactive nature of the art. You look at it, and it also looks at you. It radiates blessings, a difficult concept to convey in a Western context.

Yet as elusive as it is, Ethiopian material is an increasingly hot property. Around the time of ''African Zion,'' the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore, which helped organize that exhibition, initiated an acquisition campaign. It now has the largest collection of Ethiopian material outside of Addis Ababa. In 1997, the Museum for African Art in New York presented ''Art That Heals: The Image as Medicine in Ethiopia,'' which incorporated non-Orthodox talismanic painting, a few samples of which are at PaceWildenstein.

Meanwhile, the Met bought--from Mr. Fogg--a fabulous 15th-century Gospel, now in the Michael C. Rockefeller wing. The museum also had Ethiopian material in ''Byzantium: Faith and Power (1261-1557)'' last year, and recently organized a symposium on early Christian art in Africa. Can we consider Mr. Fogg's 57th Street exhibition a herald of further museum interest in Ethiopian art? I don't know. But I do know that, with its exhortative rhythms, it's as entrancing a show as any in the city right now, and in less than two weeks it will be gone.

''Art of Ethiopia'' is at PaceWildenstein (Pace Primitive), 32 East 57th Street, seventh floor, Manhattan, (212)421-3688, through Oct. 29.

Little Pebble's Cult to Go On Without a Ripple
[Source: The Australian, October 17, 2005]

Followers of a doomsday cult based on the NSW south coast have vowed to "go forward" after their spiritual leader was jailed for sex offences.

Malcolm Broussard, now the most senior member of The Order of St Charbel, issued a statement yesterday urging followers to remain at peace and assuring them that "the forces of evil" had not won.

Mr Broussard, a Texan who uses the title bishop but was officially excommunicated from the Catholic Church in 2003, posted a message on the group's website saying "this community will continue to go forward".

William Kamm, known to followers as The Little Pebble, was jailed on Friday for up to five years for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl who lived in the sect's community in 1993.

He was found guilty in July of four counts of aggravated indecent assault and one of aggravated sexual intercourse.

Kamm's devotees believe he receives messages from the Virgin Mary and will be the last pope on earth. He molested the girl soon after he told her she had been chosen, at the direction of the Virgin Mary, to be his mystical wife.

Kamm and his followers believe he will have 12 queens and 72 princesses with whom he will father a divine tribe after the "end times."

Mr Broussard said: "It would seem, on the surface, that the dark forces of evil have won a victory, but it is not true."

The Catholic Church has outlawed the order. A school in the grounds of the community at Cambewarra, outside the south coast town of Nowra, is under investigation by the NSW Board of Studies.

Kamm's barrister Greg Stanton said his client would appeal against the conviction and the sentence.

Basilica's History Wins Out Over Purity of Design
[Source: The Baltimore Sun, October 16, 2005]

The idea was to peel away layers of history, to strip off non-original details and get back to the essence of the building envisioned by architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe.

Going back in time, architecturally, was the overriding concept behind the $32 million restoration and modernization of Baltimore's Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which was built starting in 1806 and dedicated in 1821. It was the reason the 1940s-era stained-glass windows were removed. It was the impetus for re-creating 24 skylights in the dome--to "restore the light" in the cathedral as Latrobe meant for it to be seen.

But what happens if restorers discover works of art or other artifacts that are so significant and so well-preserved that it would be a shame to peel them away?

Architect Stephen Reilly faced that situation last summer, when he unearthed four 140-year-old paintings hidden in recessed panels beneath the basilica's dome.

Reilly is an architect with John G. Waite Associates, the New York architectural firm that is guiding the restoration work for the Basilica of the Assumption Historic Trust. Work is scheduled for completion by November 2006.

The uncovered paintings are allegorical depictions of the Gospel evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Created with distemper water-based paint and measuring 15 feet by 8 feet, they depict Matthew as a human, Mark, a winged lion, Luke, a bull, and John, an eagle.

Reilly and other members of the restoration team have determined that the paintings date from 1865 and were covered over in the 1870s, as part of a later renovation.

That timeline poses something of a dilemma for 21st-century restoration experts aiming to take the interior back to its early 1800s appearance.

From the start of the restoration project, some observers have lamented that the architects would want to take the building back to the way it looked at a certain point in time, as if everything that happened later was less significant.

"Historic preservation respects the evolution of a building," says John Murphy, a Baltimore attorney who has questioned architect John Waite's approach.

But Waite and his colleagues argue that Latrobe, who also designed the U.S. Capitol, was America's first great architect and that the cathedral was his masterwork. They say that more people will visit the cathedral if it's restored to the way Latrobe envisioned it.

If the restoration architects are right about the 1865 date of the paintings they uncovered, that means the images did not exist when the building was dedicated in 1821. It is doubtful that Latrobe had any knowledge of them, since he died in 1820.

So why should these paintings be saved when other elements, such as the stained-glass windows, have been taken out?

Reilly points out that the images were painted on recessed panels that were part of the original building, as shown in Latrobe's drawings. They may have been blank when the building was dedicated, or they may have had earlier surface paintings that were covered by the ones painted in 1865. Either way, Reilly said, Latrobe designed them to be settings for works of art.

Additional arguments for keeping the paintings are that they are in extremely good condition, and that their colors echo the coloring on rosettes and other building features that are even older.

Flexibility necessary

A final factor in the decision to keep the paintings in place is that Cardinal William Keeler, leader of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, wanted them to stay.

Baltimore's basilica has contained an interpretation of the four evangelists, in one form or another, for 140 years, starting with these paintings.

"The cardinal felt very strongly that the four evangelists should be represented in the restoration of the basilica," said Nolan McCoy, director of facilities for the Archdiocese of Baltimore. "When these paintings were discovered, he felt they were significant enough to satisfy this requirement."

The paintings won't be the only features in the building that don't go back to 1821, of course. The modernization work is adding new restrooms, mechanical equipment and an elevator that links all public levels.

The decision to keep the paintings points out the difficulty of adopting a hard and fast design approach that calls for taking the appearance of any building back to a given point in time, especially when that building is as steeped in history as Baltimore's basilica is.

From a preservation standpoint, it's reassuring to know the restoration process is flexible enough that discoveries such as the four paintings can be incorporated into the final design.

Because it is being restored in accordance with Latrobe's vision, Baltimore's basilica will be a powerful testament to the architect's genius. But it will offer an even richer experience for visitors, and perhaps be more accessible, because not all of the successive layers of history have been peeled away.

Exploring Beliefs
[Source: New York Times, October 16, 2005]

Faith, a hot-button issue in the political arena these days, is the subject of a messy, restless new exhibition at Real Art Ways in Hartford.

The exhibition, organized by James Hyde from New York, with assistance from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Andy Warhol Foundation and others, consists of artworks in all media by a dozen artists.

Some of the artists, like Matt Collishaw, Patty Chang and Josiah McElheny, are rising stars. This is a fashionable show.

To speak about faith in art, film and literature often furrows people's brows. But faith and art have, of course, long been intertwined. Until the 15th century, the colorful illustration of biblical scripture to dazzle and then indoctrinate the faithful was the sole justification for visual imagery, at least within the Western or European art tradition.

The church no longer commissions art, but faith still lingers as a subject of intense interest for artists. This is where the present exhibition positions itself, surveying the spectrum of work by artists dealing with questions of faith -- a subject broadly understood to mean having complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Thus some of the artwork here is about religion, and some of it is not.

Heading the bill is a series of five photographs from Rachel Harrison's ''Untitled (Perth Amboy Series)'' (2001). The grainy, un-artistic-looking photographs document the hands of anonymous worshipers on a window of a suburban New Jersey house upon which, in 2000, it was said that an apparition of the Virgin Mary appeared. The apparition drew thousands of miracle seekers and faithful eager to touch the windowpane.

While those drawn to the New Jersey windowpane may not have seen the apparition, they found something to believe in. They are not unlike the pilgrims that today seek out the sites of the multiple miracles attributed to Saint Anthony of Padua, including the one at the bell tower in Padua from which a glass jar apparently was dropped and not only survived the fall, but also broke the pavement below. This is the subject of a curious installation by Mr. McElheny, consisting of a black-and-white reproduction of a 16th-century fresco depicting the story of the ''miracle of the cup'' and next to it a recently crafted cup in the style of that time.

There is also some wacky stuff in the exhibition. As you wander about Nari Ward's ''Savior'' (1996), an assemblage of plastic garbage bags, bottles, an old ladder, a mirror and other junky objects stuffed into a rusted shopping cart, you haven't the slightest idea of what the message is supposed to be, even as you feel the effects of the work infiltrating your mind. This inclusion, I guess, speaks to the curator's wayward taste.

Other works are more tangential to the theme, with references to faith so obscure that they don't feel like references at all. The Pakistani painter Sabeen Raja's delicate miniatures, for example, are confessional in tone rather than faith-related. Or Ms. Chang's video performance, from 2001, in which she fills her blouse with live electric eels. I suspect this is more about endurance than faith.

''Faith'' is at Real Art Ways, 56 Arbor Street, Hartford, through Jan. 29. Information: (860)232 1006 or

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