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6/16/06

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 June with Mary:

Marian Commemoration Days

Mary Page offers a variety of resources inviting study, reflection and meditation.  We also list important Marian dates for each month of the year.  Please see Marian Commemoration Days for the month of June.

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New Resources

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

We have added material on the Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary/USA.  We also updated the following pages: Mary's Apostolic Mission and Our Participation in it; and The Marian Thoughts of Benedict XVI (through May 31).

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  News from the Marian Library

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

The web page is a wonderful site. Having visited the place you note captures the place and what Christianity is about. It also answered my question on what the difference is between Catholics as opposed to other Christians.

Meena

Thank you very much for your reflection on the Mother of Good Counsel.  It was beautifully done and so timely.  I appreciate the University of Dayton in their efforts to educate Catholics.  Praise be to God and thanksgiving to His Blessed Mother.

Ellie


Current Exhibit

"Madonnas of the Morning Calm," an exhibit of thirty sacred images by Korean artist, O-Sek Bang, will run from May 15 through September 15 at the Marian Library Gallery on the seventh floor of Roesch Library.  The exhibit is free and open to the public weekdays from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.  To view the display outside of normal operating hours, call 937-229-4254.  Click here for a virtual exhibit.

Creches are also on display in our museum.  Patrons with RealPlayer may also view a streaming video showing the sets which were on display during the 2005 Christmas season.

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Additional 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: lapagedemarie.org; lapaginademaria.org; marypage.org; themarypage.org; marypage.udayton.edu; and themarypage.net.  The original address on the University of Dayton site, www.udayton.edu/mary, 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.  CatholicWeb.com highlights 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 sites in return.  We expect continued collaboration with them in the future.

Also, the University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) has added the Gallery section of The Mary Page to the Exhibits section of their on-line museum, the Plethoreum.

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International Marian Research Institute Course Schedule

IMRI courses for the Summer 2006 semester will commence on June 19.  The course schedule for the Summer semester is now available.

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Feast and Symposium of the Two Hearts of Love 2006 in Rome
Wednesday, June 21 through Sunday, June 25

The Catholic Society of the Two Hearts of Love (SHL) invites all to come to the International Feast of the Two Hearts of Love and Theological Congress on the union of the Two Hearts of Jesus and Mary. 

Following a General Audience with the Benedict XVI on Wednesday, sessions will be held in Saint Ambrogio, Saint Maria dell'Anima, and Sagrestia del Borromini.  Among the presenters will be IMRI graduates, Dr. Virginia Kimball and Sister Mary Catherine Nolan.

For more information, click into http://www.preghiereagesuemaria.it/preghiere/preghiera%20dei%20due%20cuori%20d'amore.htm  [in Italian] or telephone 063096119 in Rome.

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

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Prayer Corner Requests

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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Papal Homily in Warsaw's Pilsudski Square
"Faith is a Gift, Also a Task"
Warsaw, Poland, May 26, 2006

Excerpts of the homily Benedict XVI delivered during a Mass today before 275,000 people in Pilsudski Square in Warsaw.

At the beginning of his pontificate, Pope John Paul II wrote to Cardinal Wyszynski: "This Polish Pope would not be on the Chair of Peter today, beginning a new pontificate, full of the fear of God, but also full of trust, had it not been for your faith, which did not bend in the face of imprisonment and suffering, your heroic hope, your trusting to the end in the Mother of the Church; had it not been for Jasna Gora and this whole period of the history of the Church in our homeland, linked to your service as bishop and primate" (Letter of Pope John Paul II to the Polish People, Oct. 23, 1978).

I ask you now, cultivate this rich heritage of faith transmitted to you by earlier generations, the heritage of the thought and the service of that great Pole who was Pope John Paul II. Stand firm in your faith, hand it down to your children, bear witness to the grace which you have experienced so abundantly through the Holy Spirit in the course of your history. May Mary, Queen of Poland, show you the way to her Son, and may she accompany you on your journey towards a happy, peace-filled future. May your hearts never be wanting in love for Christ and for his Church. Amen!

Benedict XVI Reflects on Trip to Poland
"All Christians Must Feel Committed to Give Testimony"
Vatican City, May 31, 2006

Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave today at the general audience. The Pope used the talk to reflect on his recent trip to Poland.

I will not be able to forget the visit to the famous Marian shrine of Jasna Gora. On that Clear Mountain, heart of the Polish nation, as if it were a cenacle, very many faithful, especially men and women religious, seminarians and representatives of the ecclesial movements, gathered around the Successor of Peter to listen with me to Mary.

Inspired by the wonderful Marian meditation that John Paul II gave the Church in the encyclical "Redemptoris Mater," I wished to propose the faith again as a fundamental attitude of the spirit, which is not something merely intellectual or sentimental. Authentic faith involves the whole person: his thoughts, affections, intentions, relationships, corporeal nature, activity and daily work.

Later visiting the wonderful shrine of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, near Krakow, I prayed to Our Lady of Sorrows to support the faith of the ecclesial community in moments of difficulty and trial; ...

I wished to visit other symbolic "shrines": I am referring to Wadowice, the locality which has become famous because Karol Wojtyla was born and was baptized there. The visit gave me the opportunity to thank the Lord for the gift of this tireless servant of the Gospel. The roots of his strong faith, of his very sensitive and open humanity, of his love of beauty and truth, of his devotion to the Virgin, of his love of the Church and above all of his vocation to holiness are found in this small city in which he received his early education and formation. ...

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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.

A Lady Beloved to Many
[Source: Los Angeles Times, April 16, 2006]

At precisely 7 a.m. the baritone bells dong-dong-donged through downtown Los Angeles, just as a fountain jumped to life and a guard unlocked the Temple Street gate of the nation's largest Roman Catholic cathedral. Cecelia Karikitan stood there waiting.

"I come from Pasadena every Sunday," said the 62-year-old retired cosmetologist, her smile highlighted by red lipstick. "I am devoted to the Virgin Mary, and this is my solemn place."

Formally, it's the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, a $200-million, 12-story, freeway-adjacent, concrete-wall and alabaster-window monument to modern worship.

It was built during the clergy sexual abuse scandal and derided by critics as the "Taj Mahony" for Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, who commissioned it and opened its doors to worldwide architectural analysis on a scorching hot day, Sept. 2, 2002.

And not yet four years later, it is Karikitan's solemn place. It's also 27-year-old Christian Gonzalez's new parish, where he has chosen to be married next winter. It's where Robert Rogers, 75, feels as if he "is lifted off the ground" every time he walks through Cathedral Square, the plaza that reminds Carlos Lopez, 39, of "my hometown," Guadalajara, Mexico.

It's apparent that this place enriches the spiritual lives of thousands of Los Angeles Catholics. On this one day in the life of a cathedral built to last five centuries, about 12,000 people would attend four Palm Sunday Masses. Even more are expected to pack Easter services today.

Behind its imposing adobe-colored walls, the cathedral is all at once a tourist destination, a park packed with families, a busy cafeteria and a retail store that can't keep in stock enough bottles of Our Lady of the Angels Merlot.

But it is also a working church.

"I don't see this as a cathedral, I see it as my church," said Susan Sauvagea, 44, a Monrovia elementary school teacher who will soon receive the sacraments of First Communion and Confirmation. "As big as it is, it gets smaller when you know it. It's actually a very homey, down-to-earth place."

It's where at 7:30 a.m. Luciana Pineda, 75, sat in solitude in the sanctuary. Hunched against a chair, her mitten-covered fingers rolled through rosary beads as her lips moved in silent Hail Marys. She lives in a downtown apartment and worked as a maid all her life.

"As long as I can still walk," she said, "I will come here and pray."

Before each Mass, Lolly Aquino of Highland Park presides over a corps of 200 volunteer ushers and Eucharistic ministers who distribute Communion. All must sign in at a folding table set up in a vesting room, part of the cathedral's blessed back stage.

Three cathedral staffers--Gabriela Esparza Reitzell; her assistant, Jim Devlin; and Sister Maria Corazon--keep the Masses running: ensuring that the Book of Gospels is turned to the right reading for the priest, checking the wireless headset microphones for the priest and lectors, making sure the vestments are in perfect order. Most Sundays, about 8,000 people attend three Masses.

The trio scans the crowd and estimates how many Communion wafers and bottles of wine will be consecrated (eight bottles for a crowded Mass).

Aquino assigns every Eucharistic minister a number. Hand-printed stickers on the sanctuary's limestone floor mark their spots.

When distributing Holy Communion to about 3,000, traffic flow is important--it must be fast and orderly, but reverent. Ushers direct people to the ministers holding the fullest cups of wine and plates of wafers. The Communion procession at the 12:30 p.m. Palm Sunday Mass, the day's most crowded, clocked in at eight minutes.

Charles Lane, the cathedral cantor, has a unique perspective on a day's services. His job is to look directly into the eyes of the people and invite them to join him in song.

"I really see the face of L.A. I see every kind of people. I see very wealthy people, very poor people, I see all races," Lane said. "This place grows on you, and it's growing in meaning to Los Angeles."

Perhaps the cathedral's Spanish architect, Jose Rafael Moneo, didn't anticipate how hard it is to light charcoal briquettes to fuel a pot of incense. Just try it inside the cathedral and the fire alarm goes off.

On this day, an usher assigned to briquette duty stood outside with a box full of butane lighters, a metal spoon and the censer, the ornate metal container in which incense is burned. Like a backyard barbecue chef, he blew, and he poked the coals until they were burning hot.

Then there's the matter of the incense itself.

It's the cardinal's own special blend of up to seven fragrances that he mixes every month. Inside the cathedral, it's the smoke that matters, the symbol of prayers rising to heaven. To achieve a visibly thick and ascending plume, Mahony favors rock incense, which looks like aquarium pebbles, over powdery brands that burn too quickly.

Anticipating the Palm Sunday crowds, Isaura Villegas, 60, coaxed her 10-member family to leave their home in Corona at 6 a.m. to make it in time for the 8 a.m. Mass, their first visit to the cathedral.

"This is the most sacred place I've ever been in my entire life," Villegas said.

After Mass, the family gathered around the 6-ton, 10-foot-long marble altar and posed and smiled for snapshots.

That's the thing about the cathedral: People are not intimidated to walk into the sanctuary and gently touch the altar.

After one Mass, 15-year-old Elena Mercado walked around the giant cathedral, including the cardinal's ornate chair that symbolizes his pastoral leadership and teaching authority. The teenager couldn't resist. She sat down on it.

"It just got my curiosity. I wanted to try it," she said. Then she looked out into the nave. "You can see everything from this chair! It's got the best view of the building."

Some visitors found a way to make this holy place accommodate an unanticipated cathedral-going need: stroller parking. During the 12:30 Mass, nine strollers were crammed into one chapel decorated with a portrait of Pope John Paul II and the chair and kneeler he used during his 1987 Los Angeles visit.

The Saphire family, on vacation from New Jersey, took in a Mass on Sunday, and planned a tour of Warner Bros. for Monday. But Kathy Saphire, 47, guessed the cathedral would leave the lasting memory. "We've been to St. Peter's, we've been to St. Patrick's," she said, "and never have I had the feeling of warmth that I had in this church."

Msgr. Kevin Kostelnik, cathedral pastor, witnessed the birth of a tradition after the first public Mass on Sept. 3, 2002.

"This elderly woman, she had to be in her 80s, looked up at the cross and said, 'My Jesus!' " he recalled. She walked up to the life-size bronze crucifix behind the altar, kissed the feet of Jesus and "everyone flowed out of the pews and did the same."

Now, after every Mass, scores of people line up in the center aisle to venerate the 6-foot-6 form of the crucified Christ.

Grace Chan, 40, from Hong Kong, stood in line last Sunday weeping. When she reached the cross, she leaned her bowed head into Jesus' shins and sobbed.

Later, Chan explained what she had prayed for:

"I just asked Jesus to forgive me. ... I complain too much, I need patience.... I asked for more strength."

Sara Carrasco kissed the bronze feet nailed to the cross and looked up into Jesus' face. "That cross makes me feel so close to him. I feel his power, I feel my faith."

Some worshipers reach as high as they can and caress his knees. The human touch has already given a shiny patina to his legs and feet.

By 4:10 p.m. the last person had left the sanctuary and the volunteers had checked out. Janitor Manuel Quintanilla dry-mopped the sanctuary floor.

Sister Maria Corazon put away the last of the cups. Head usher Ruben Garcia teased her, calling the petite nun in a black veil "Super Sacristan." She giggled and punched him in the arm. Devlin took one more peek into the nave. Three people sat alone in the pews, far from each other, where they could stay until sundown when security closes the cathedral.

Devlin punched in a code, locking the doors to the sacristy. And then he flicked off all but a few of the lights in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

Truth Brings All Honest People into an Alliance
[Source: The Daily Telegraph (London), April 14, 2006]

The National Gallery in London has put together a selection of Old Master paintings narrating the events leading up to the first Easter Day--the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, the sorrowing of the Virgin Mary over her dead son's body. To look at the series is to realize again the surprising power of art. How is it that a loathsome form of execution is turned by an artist into a transcendently beautiful image?

The gallery's narrative ends with the resurrected Christ (by Gaudenzio Ferrari) stepping out of his sarcophagus triumphantly alive, bearing a white banner with a red cross streaming out against the blue of the heavens above. But that is not the end of the story, for who had seen Jesus risen from the dead? Mary Magdalene, for one, and she reported her meeting with him to his friends, says St Mark in his Gospel, but "they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not''.

It must have been exasperating for Mary Magdalene to have told the truth about the best piece of news she had ever heard, and then not to be believed. After all, this same Jesus had said, "I am the way, the truth and the life.'' But then his life had been ended and his way led to the tomb. Who could believe any of his claims? Certainly not Thomas, one of his disciples. The other close disciples changed their minds about what Mary Magdalene had said when Jesus came to them himself in the room where they were gathered. But Thomas was not there. When they told him, "We have seen the Lord,'' he replied, "Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.'' A week later, Thomas got more than he bargained for, and it is this scene that Caravaggio depicts (left) in a picture he painted in 1602 called The Incredulity of St Thomas, which is now on display in Potsdam. The title is something of a misnomer, for Doubting Thomas is shown believing the evidence of his own senses. His curiosity has overcome his good manners, and the thrusting of his finger into Jesus' side is depicted with almost painful violence. The face of Jesus is in shadow, while the wound is in clear light as the centre of attention. The hand that Jesus rests on Thomas's wrist itself shows the print of a nail. Caravaggio follows the accounts in the Gospel by showing Jesus fully alive, yet mysteriously retaining wounds from his crucifixion.

St John the Gospel-writer chooses Thomas's conviction of the truth as one of the incidents to recount about the risen Jesus. Truth is a theme interwoven into St John's Gospel. He uses the word twice as many times as the other three Gospel-writers put together. Francis Bacon began his own essay on truth with the well known words, "What is truth? said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer.'' But St John, in his highly shaped Gospel, gives the answer, beginning with the Word that was made flesh.

Today, Good Friday, Christians remember the death of Jesus on the cross. It is to this bitter end that his declaration of the truth brought him. On Sunday, Christians will celebrate the Resurrection. That event is the guarantee not only of the claims that Jesus made, but also of his ability to accomplish his promises. It means that the truth is something to stick to even when it leads to the grave. Perhaps Easter can only be reached by way of the Cross, yet there is no other route than the way of truth.

The world does not believe, any more than Thomas did. Why should it? Belief is to accept the truth of another person's word, and the world has other business to attend to, just as Pilate had, without puzzling over what truth is and who has spoken it. And so the world staggers on, from war to war, from lie to lie, about who has what deadly armaments and how the other side will respond.

Just as peace is more than the absence of war, so the truth is more than the absence of lies. Yet those who search for truth should realize that they are all brought into an alliance. Doubting Thomas demonstrated that truth demands recognition when it is seen and felt. That is something that can unite all honest people, Christian or not, this Easter time.

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This page, maintained by The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, Dayton, Ohio 45469-1390, and created by Kris Sommers , was last modified Friday, 06/16/2006 16:16:56 EDT by Michael P. Duricy . Please send any comments to jroten1@udayton.edu.