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
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A section on
has been added to our About Mary page. The latest addition was
Rosary Chapel at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Expect more sections to follow.
A section on
stamps with images of Mary has also been added to About Mary page. The
latest added was
Venezuela. Expect more countries to follow.
We have updated our
material on the dogma of Mary's
Conception, and a list of
Marian Thoughts from
We have also enhanced our search utility to allow
users to examine the holdings of The Marian Library. Please try out the
new feature at Search and
send us your feedback.
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Father John T. Myler successfully defended his S.T.D. dissertation, Mary,
The U.S. Bishops, and the Decade of Silence: The 1973 Pastoral Letter "Behold
Your Mother, Woman of Faith," at The Marian Library on November 18, 2005.
Father Eamon Carroll, a major contributor to the Pastoral Letter, was in Dayton
to attend the defense.
Richard May, an MSA member, will be on EWTN TV on their Living His Life
Abundantly program. The show will premier on Monday, Dec. 5 at 10 pm
and repeat on Tuesday at 3 am and 5 pm, and on Thursday at 10 am of that week.
All times are Eastern.
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Polish Madonna Prints Still
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:
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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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"Lost in the Beauty of Her God," the inspired works of Sister Marie Pierre
Semler, M.M. (1901-1993), will be displayed in The Marian Library Gallery through January 20, 2006. Visitors are welcome weekdays
from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm or by special arrangement. For details call
937-229-4214. Click here for a
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 Spring 2006 semester are scheduled to begin on February
20. The course
schedule for this semester is now available.
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Advent Morning Retreat
When: Friday, December 2, 2005 9 am - 1 pm
Where: The Transfiguration Center For Spiritual Renewal 3505 Calumet Road Ludlow
Cost: $25 per person (which includes a continental breakfast and lunch)
Come and enjoy the peaceful beauty of the Transfiguration Center, and share an
inspiring retreat with Father Robert Barron, STD, Professor of Systematic
Theology at Mundelein Seminary in Chicago. Please register early, as
seating is limited to 50 people. For more information call 937-698-7180.
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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Pilgrims and Shrines, Gifts of the God-Love in Asia Today
This is the theme of the second Asiatic congress on the pastoral care of pilgrimages and
shrines, which is being promoted by the Pontifical Care for the Pastoral Care of
Migrants and Itinerant Peoples and is due to be held in Seoul, Korea, on
November 21 to 23. The meeting will be attended by 90 pilgrimage directors and
rectors of shrines, who will have the opportunity to share their experiences in
order to identify shared pastoral criteria. The work of the congress will be
opened by Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao, president of the pontifical council, who
will speak on the subject of shrines as "privileged places where God welcomes
His people ... and where ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue is favored,"
especially in a continent such as Asia where shrines are frequented by pilgrims
from various Churches and ecclesial communities, as well as by believers from
other religious traditions.
67th Lourdes Miracle
Italian Woman Cured of Heart Trouble in 1952
Rome, November 15, 2005
An archbishop in Italy has officially proclaimed the
"miraculous cure" of a long-suffering woman who went to the shrine at Lourdes,
France, in 1952. Archbishop Gerardo Pierro of Salerno made the proclamation last
Friday. It is the 67th miracle tied to Lourdes and officially recognized by the
The patient, Anna Santaniello of Salerno, now 94,
suffered from childhood from a cardiac malformation, declared incurable by
doctors. At age 40, her health deteriorated severely and, despite the opinion of
her doctors and family, she decided to travel to Lourdes. Her malformation
hindered her ability to walk and speak clearly. It also caused cyanosis in her
face and edemas in her lower extremities.
Salerno's La Città newspaper explained that the
patient said she could "scarcely breathe anymore" and told her brother that "my
last desire is to go to Lourdes," where she arrived "alive but on a stretcher."
Nuns lowered her into the pool and "the water was
freezing," Santaniello recalled. "But I immediately felt something boiling in my
chest, as if my life had been restored to me," she said. "After a few seconds, I
got up on my own and began to walk, refusing the help of the stretcher-bearers,
who looked at me in disbelief."
On her return home, Santaniello asked for an
appointment with a well-known cardiologist, who "told me I didn't have anything,
that I was very healthy and that he couldn't understand all the certificates and
examinations that had previously been made."
Santaniello has returned on subsequent occasions to the Marian shrine at Lourdes
to offer her service as a volunteer in assisting the sick. She and her family
and friends attended the ceremony to proclaim the miracle, held in the John Paul
II Metropolitan Seminary in Pontecagnano.
On Vocation of the Laity
"Apostolate Depends on the Laity's Living Union With Christ"
Vatican City, November 13, 2005
Here is the conclusion of the Angelus address Benedict
XVI gave today from the window of his study to the crowds gathered in St.
In conclusion, I would like to recall that last Sunday
in the Cathedral of Vicenza a mother of a family was beatified, Eurosia Fabris,
known as "Mamma Rosa," model of Christian life in the lay state. Let us commend
all the people of God to all those who are already in the heavenly homeland, to
all our saints and, first of all, to Mary Most Holy and her husband, Joseph, so
that in every baptized person the awareness will grow of being called to work
with commitment and fruitfulness in the vineyard of the Lord.
[After the Angelus, the Holy Father greeted the pilgrims. In French and English he said:]
I greet you, beloved
French-speaking pilgrims. Charles de Foucauld, who was just beatified, invites
us to spiritually follow the path of Nazareth and the silence he lived in the
desert. In fact, from there, with Mary, we can discover the mystery of Christ,
who became humble and poor to save us, to make us children of his own father and
brothers in humanity.
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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.
Ministry in Lorain County Has Its
[Source: Plain Dealer (Cleveland), September 24, 2005]
A dense fog and a nearly full moon create an eerie effect as hundreds of
pilgrims gather on a recent Wednesday night at the Holy Love Ministries in
The visitors have traveled from as far away as Arizona, New Jersey and Florida.
Security guards with bright orange flashlights wave them into roped-off parking
areas on the 80-plus-acre complex, located in what used to be soybean fields in
Neatly dressed senior citizens, Latino youth groups and families with wide-eyed
children file into the haven of the brightly lit mission center. They crowd into
the gift shop where items such as the ministry’s scapular, a monastic cloth
collar, are available. They cluster in the chapel, gathering literature and
praying before the many statues.
Perhaps a few are lured by the special favors promised, such as the extra angel
said to be conferred on each visitor. Some come as a last resort, their faces
dulled by pain or sorrow. Many are loyal repeat visitors. And a few arrive with
giddy anticipation, giggling and hushing each other like fans waiting for a
celebrity to appear.
Who are they expecting? The Virgin Mary.
These believers won’t actually see or hear Mary. That honor is claimed by the
ministry’s visionary, a woman named Maureen Sweeney-Kyle. The Cleveland-area
woman, in her 60s, says the Virgin Mary has appeared and given messages to her
almost daily for the past 20 years.
According to the ministry, Sweeney-Kyle also gets messages from Jesus. As well
as St. Michael, St. Raphael, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Francis and others.
Promise of message is ministry's draw
Each of these messages is faxed to Sweeney-Kyle’s spiritual adviser, the Rev.
Frank Kenney, a retired priest from Dayton, for approval before it is given to
Maureen Sweeney’s first apparition occurred during a prayer service in 1985.
She said Mary appeared at the front of the church holding a rosary. Its beads
were in the shape of America’s 50 states. No one else that day noticed anything
out of the ordinary.
She is shy and often in poor health, but as her visions continued, she developed
The ministry was formed around 1986, meeting in homes of followers or a few
welcoming churches. Then came a time of upheaval.
Sweeney insisted that the Virgin Mary’s messages demanded that she be given a
new title, one recognized by the Catholic Church, that of "Our Lady Protectress
of the Faith."
The Cleveland Catholic Diocese turned down this request. And soon the lengthy
messages that Sweeney dictated into a tape recorder began denouncing the
Catholic Church; others commented on political details of the day. Several
members of Sweeney’s small ministry became disillusioned and left.
With the failure of their first mission, the group took on a different name,
Project Mercy, in 1990, and made anti-abortion issues its new focus. A
professional fund-raiser improved the group’s budget with mail solicitations and
a 900 number.
The ministry found a permanent base when a follower opened a home he owned in
Seven Hills to the group. It was there that Sweeney directed to have a well dug
in the yard where the water, to be known as Maranatha Spring, would have
miraculous healing properties. Anecdotes about the water spread. As the crowds
grew at the Seven Hills location, the ministry was charged with zoning
violations. Soon they were looking for a permanent site.
Sweeney’s organization purchased the Lorain County property in 1995. The name
was changed again, too, this time to Holy Love Ministries. A circle of carpeting
was brought along from the Seven Hills home and is now in a locked display case
as the chapel’s Blessing Point. A guidebook encourages visitors to leave prayer
petitions, have rosaries blessed and "venerate this special area of grace."
Another well was dug, again named Maranatha Spring. "Joyfully, I reveal to you
today that the waters of Maranatha are as the Lourdes of this continent,"
Sweeney said in a message ascribed to the Virgin Mary on May 31, 1995. "They are
comparable in healing grace, both in body and soul."
Changes affected more than the organization. The visionary was divorced from her
husband, Paul Sweeney. Two years later, she married Don Kyle, a former
Middleburg Heights police officer who became a key member of ministry.
A request to interview Sweeney-Kyle was denied. "The visionary does not give
interviews," an official with the Holy Love Ministry said.
The organization’s Web site, at www.holylove.org,
offers testimonials, an archive of Sweeney-Kyle’s messages and a history of the
organization that "documents the Ministry’s struggles and the unwarranted
attacks, untruths and calumnies by Diocesan officials of Cleveland."
It’s clear the organization remains at odds with the Catholic Church. The
ministry sought approval of Sweeney-Kyle’s messages through official channels
for several years, but the Catholic diocese issued a statement urging extreme
caution in 1999. Holy Love Ministries reacted by claiming to take an ecumenical
approach, but rails against the church in many of its printed materials.
The Rev. Ralph Wiatrowski, chancellor of the diocese, says his concerns have
only grown more serious.
"Private revelations, like Lourdes, underline what we know to be true--prayer
and penance. But these ‘messages’ are getting more complex, elaborate and
contrary to the teachings of the church. What’s disturbing is they are
self-authenticating. They are said to be true because ‘Mary told me.’ We don’t
want to discourage anyone from praying by any means, but we want them to stick
with what we know to be true: Scripture, the teaching of the church and the
celebration of the Mass."
A professor and biblical scholar at John Carroll University, Sheila McGinn, says
that the messages Sweeney-Kyle attributes to Jesus are not consistent with the
tone or content of his utterances in Scripture. For example, Sweeney-Kyle
released a Sept. 2 message said to be from Jesus, claiming that Hurricane
Katrina was a punitive act by God because of "those who condone homosexuality,
lewd conduct, destruction of the innocent and all who disregard the Ten
Commandments." Says McGinn, "When Jesus talks about two disasters that took place in his time,
he says those events were not due to the victims being any more guilty than the
rest of the population (Mark 13:1-4)."
Moment of message is anticlimactic
But on this September evening, the faithful are interested in the fruits of
their pilgrimage, not controversy surrounding Sweeney-Kyle’s messages. The
visionary has said that Mary will appear at midnight after a special rosary
service. At 10 p.m., the gift shop closes and the chapel door is chained shut.
People reluctantly set off from the bright mission center.
Pilgrims walk along the dark roadway on the property. They carry folding chairs,
umbrellas, water bottles, flashlights and high expectations. Chartered buses
file past on the narrow lane. Their headlights outline the figures trudging in
A woman pushing a stroller stops to rest. Behind her, a group familiar with the
long walk pause to talk about their experiences at Holy Love Ministries. "I was
here when it was a sea of mud and strong faith in Our Lady," says Bernadette
Zahumensky from Pittsburgh. "I’m blessed to be here every visit."
Finally the pilgrims reach the large field where the service is to be held. On a
hill stand statues of Mary and St. Joseph, decorated with flowers and bathed in
light front and back. Clusters of people climb up to the statues to kiss them
and have their pictures taken with them. A vehicle drives behind the hill,
perhaps carrying Sweeney-Kyle, who will remain sequestered.
There’s to be an hour-long service at 11 p.m., then the crowd will be asked to
kneel when Sweeney-Kyle receives a message from the apparition at midnight. An
aura is supposed to appear around the statues or lights dance in the sky when
this happens. Picture taking is encouraged.
Outside, a group of travelers from Michigan sits together, quietly biding
their time. "You come away from here with a true illumination of your own
conscience, " says Linda Norder of Grand Rapids, a regular visitor.
Robert Lewis of Warren, Mich., explains that his wife found comfort coming there
when she was given a diagnosis of cancer. He doesn’t mention how her health is,
but she is there next to him. Their lawn chairs touch.
At 11, music suddenly blares from the speakers. The hour opens with a brief talk
by a Nigerian priest. The rosary service begins after a solemn procession. The
repetition and flow of words in English and Spanish is mesmerizing. Fog swirls
in the beams of light around the statues. Cameras flash as if the event were a
Near the end of the sorrowful mysteries, the pilgrims are suddenly told to
kneel. This signifies the presence of the Virgin Mary to Sweeney-Kyle. People
who had been walking around and talking during the service stop. Heads are not
all bowed. Many people look up for the promised wonders. Cameras continue to
flash, creating a dizzying effect. The only aura seen around the statues is the
interplay of fog and temporary lights.
The moment is anticlimactic. After a few minutes of silence, it is announced a
blessing has been received from Mary. Everyone clambers up from their knees.
Final prayers are concluded.
Next are love donations. Ministry workers go through the crowd with golden bags,
lit from within. Still the divine message is not read to the crowd. Some,
perhaps knowing they will get the text via e-mailed newsletter, start the long
walk back to their cars.
Finally, 10 or more minutes after the closing prayer, the message Sweeney-Kyle
has dictated is read. It exhorts followers to pray, avoid sin and uphold Holy
Love since " God will not hold back his justice much longer."
Then, in single file, hundreds of cars line up. One by one the pilgrims drive
off tenuously. There are no streetlights on the rural roads beyond the ministry.
The fog is so thick that mailboxes alongside the street appear to hover like
Cathedral Damaged in Attack
[Source: Daily Telegraph (Sydney, Australia), September 20, 2005]
An elderly man went on a rampage, destroying several religious
statues at Sydney's St Mary's Cathedral yesterday.
One of the items destroyed was a 5ft statue of the Virgin Mary, dating back to
The man, believed to be homeless, also pushed over two antique angels after he
entered the city church just after 4.45pm.
It was reported he was muttering angrily as he vandalized the icons.
Police arrived soon after and arrested him. He was taken away and questioned.
A police spokesman said the man, who was charged with malicious damage, was
deemed mentally unfit and would later be scheduled.
There were several people in the church at the time but no one was hurt.
"The statues are quite old; they're antiques," a police spokesman said.
"It's hard to determine the value of the statues which were destroyed. These
were significant religious artifacts," he said.
The arrested man was aged in his 60s.
It comes just four months after another attack occurred at the Catholic
On May 4, Nepalese man Biswash Paudel, 34, set fire to the altar of the church,
causing about $50,000 damage.
Paudel, who was also mentally ill, was charged over the fire--and with torching
a travel agent's office the same day.
Let's See a Little Evidence
[Source: The Irish Times, September 20, 2005]
Skeptical Eye: About 20 years ago Ireland was in the grip of a veritable
epidemic of moving statues, the most famous of which performed in Ballinspittle,
People flocked to witness the event and reports of the statues' movements were
I remember Gay Byrne dispatching a self-professed skeptic from among his radio
show research staff who returned to Dublin converted. She had seen it with her
own eyes--what more could be said. It was true.
This concrete statue defied the law of gravity in full view of many dependable
witnesses including a local Garda sergeant. All of the witnesses could not be
wrong. Or could they?
There are many ways in which our perceptions of the world may be distorted. In
the case of the Ballinspittle statue, staring at the lighted crown atop the head
of the Virgin Mary against a dark background resulted in the impression of
movement where there was none.
The effect was in all likelihood heightened by the expectation of the pilgrims
and the cries of those who "saw" the statue move. Stone statues do not levitate.
However, this fact of physics may be undone by a wish to believe in magic
combined with the right atmospheric conditions.
The legends of ghosts, fairies and banshees that inhabit our folklore may have
emanated from such real events as the wailing of cats in bushes on dark
windswept nights as revelers returned home on deserted country roads, or from
the sudden sighting of a barn owl moving silently across a dark laneway, its
white face and underside gliding in the manner of a phantom.
It is well known that our eyes and ears play tricks on us. We see and hear
things that have no apparent physical presence. In the phenomenon of back
masking, in which music is played backwards, demonic messages can indeed be
heard. Perhaps the most vivid example comes from Led Zeppelin's song Stairway to
Heaven. But the message has not been inserted by the band nor anyone else. We
construct it from the gibberish in our attempt to make sense of what we are
The persistence of beliefs in a paranormal basis for phenomena such as those
outlined above is facilitated by many anecdotes and testimonials as to their
"I saw it with my own eyes." "My brother, cousin uncle witnessed the event."
Testimonials can be very powerful from a psychological perspective in convincing
people of some very, very unlikely things. And the tendency to be fooled is not
necessarily correlated with intelligence or training.
The well-known Harvard psychiatrist John Mack, who sadly died in a car crash
last year, began working with people who claimed they had been abducted by
aliens. They were so convincing and emotionally intense in relating their
stories that he came to believe that they were telling the truth. He came to
this conclusion despite a lack of objective evidence.
Another psychiatrist, Brian Weiss, claims that many of our problems emanate from
events that occurred in previous lives. He now also claims that as well as
regressing patients into their past lives, he can progress them into the future.
He bases much of his therapy on these untenable notions. His praises are sung by
an Irish psychiatrist, Michael Corry, and his co-author, Aine Tubridy, in their
book, Going Mad? Highly trained professionals can produce and promote some very
I often attend alternative medicine fairs. At these events everybody is right
and there is no debate, just mutual encouragement of a plethora of practices no
matter how crazy they might seem. Critical thinking is not encouraged and you
are expected to leave all critical faculties at the door and revert to the
supposed sanctity of your childhood credulity as you enter.
Mainstream practitioners, such as doctors, scientists and so on hold conferences
at which data and ideas are presented and debate ensues as to how useful or not
the presented material is.
Skepticism and critical thinking are actively encouraged and it can be daunting
to present and have your research or theories challenged and criticized. This
activity, however, serves to aid progress and the development of new ideas and
is helpful in pointing out errors.
Alternative practices, on the other hand, lack this kind of discipline and
languish in a mire of stagnation. They lack the practical and theoretical tools
to progress, constantly insisting on the wisdom of the past and the power of the
esoteric knowledge of the ancients.
Science and modern medicine is where the future lies despite the difficulties
evident in both disciplines. Problems in these professions are faced and tackled
and things move on. Those who depend solely on the lore of the ancients for
their health may place themselves at serious risk.
At one alternative fair I met a man selling ESSIAC tea. This is claimed to cure
cancer. When I challenged this notion he became immediately defensive saying
that he was not claiming that ESSIAC cured cancer. He then handed me a large
sheaf of testimonials stating that it was the users who were making the claims.
In my view he was simply passing the buck and denying responsibility.
Any claim that is supported only by anecdotes and testimonials should be treated
with extreme caution. As a sole source of evidence, these criteria are
worthless. The claims of virtually every alternative practice that I know of
fall into this category. Caveat emptor.
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, was last modified
Wednesday, 11/23/2005 11:16:22 EST
Michael P. Duricy
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