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 September 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 September.

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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 Saar.  Expect more countries to follow.

We are in the process of posting extensive new material on Teachings of the Popes and Councils on the Virgin Mary.  The latest addition was Symbols/Creeds.  Expect more sections to follow.  N.B. Javacript must be enabled in your browser!

We have appended material to our FAQ, What About Medjugorje?

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  News from the Marian Library

Alumni Update

Sister Danielle M. Peters successfully defended her S.T.L. thesis, Ecce Educatrix Tua: The Blessed Virgin Mary as Mother and Educator through the Schoenstatt Covenant of Love, at The Marian Library on August 26, 2006.

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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.

Three of these prints may be purchased for $5 each at The Marian Library: Christ the King of Korea; Holy Mother and the Child of Korea; and Mother of Virgins, Mother of Love.  Click here for a virtual exhibit of the entire display.

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:;;;;;; 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 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 concluded on July 21.  The course schedule for the Fall semester is now available.

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A Pilgrimage With Mary, the First Disciple

Presenter: Teresa Monaghen, M.A.

Date: Friday, November 17, 2006 - Sunday November 19, 2006

Time: Check-in Friday begins @ 6:30 p.m., first conference @ 7:45 p.m. Retreat concludes Sunday at 1 p.m.

Location: Spiritual Life Center in Bel Aire, Kansas

Cost: Earlybird discount rate, on or before Tuesday, October 3; $120 per person (double occupancy) or $145 per person (single occupancy). After October 3; $138 per person (double occupancy), or $165 per person (single occupancy). Includes $20 non-refundable deposit.

To receive further information click into or call 316-744-0167.

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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Statement of the British Orthodox Church on Vassula Ryden
Glastonbury, August, 2005

Statement from His Eminence Abba Seraphim, Metropolitan of Glastonbury, regarding Mrs. Vassula Ryden, August 2005: In a General Memorandum to the clergy of the British Orthodox Church, His Eminence Abba Seraphim offered the following guidance to the clergy and faithful:

1. In receiving the sacraments at altars other than those of the Orthodox Church [justifying this by quoting the Decree Orientarium Ecclesiarum of Vatican II], Mrs Ryden is disregarding Orthodox canonical discipline which forbids it.

2. Mrs Ryden should seek the canonical permission and blessing of the local Orthodox hierarch having jurisdiction in each place, prior to addressing public meetings, rather than act in the face of their sometimes expressed opposition and criticism.

3. Until such time as a canonical Orthodox hierarchy is able to make a detailed and full examination of the messages received by Mrs. Ryden, they should be regarded with grave caution and their authority attributed solely to the views and aspirations of Mrs Ryden herself, rather than any angelic, saintly or divine source.

His Eminence Abba Seraphim also points out that Mrs Ryden has found enthusiastic supporters among numbers of the Anglican, Catholic and Orthodox clergy and has often utilised the opportunities offered by 'Inter religious Pilgrimages' she organizes (such as her ones to the Holy Land in March 2000 and to Egypt in October 2002) to cultivate members of the local hierarchy, who are not always fully aware of all her activities.

This memorandum was published in the website in February 2006, with an extra note indicating that "the statement in the True Life in God UK Newsletter No. 6 (November 2005) that His Eminence Abba Seraphim along with H.M. Queen Elisabeth II and the Archbishop of Canterbury, 'sent us their good wishes for the meeting' is untrue. An invitation was sent to Abba Seraphim and a reply sent on his behalf stating that he had another engagement and would be unable to attend, but asking to be kept on the TLIG mailing list and for copies of the documentation supplied to be sent to other Orthodox hierarchs in the United Kingdom." (Read the entire article in towards the end of the page).

On the Assumption
"Mary Follows Our Steps With Gentle Trepidation"
Castel Gandolfo, Italy, August 16, 2006

Benedict XVI's address at the general audience, held at the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo. The Pope dedicated his address to Tuesday's solemnity of the Assumption.

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

Our usual weekly Wednesday meeting is taking place today in the climate of the solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. I would like to invite you therefore to turn your gaze once again to our heavenly mother, whom the liturgy presented to us as victorious with Christ in heaven.

This feast has always been greatly cherished by the Christian people since the first centuries of Christianity. As is already known, it celebrates the glorification, including corporal, of that creature whom God chose as his mother, and that Jesus on the cross gave as mother to the whole of humanity.

The Assumption evokes a mystery that affects each one of us because, as the Second Vatican Council affirmed, Mary "precedes with her light the people of God as a sign of hope and consolation" ("Lumen Gentium," No. 68). We are so immersed in everyday struggles that at times we forget this consoling spiritual reality, which is an important truth of faith.

How is it possible to make this luminous sign of hope be increasingly perceived by present-day society? Today there are those who live as if they should never die, or as if all ends with death. Some behave as if man is the sole author of his destiny, as if God did not exist, at times even denying that there is a place for him in our world.

The great successes of technology and science, which have notably improved humanity's conditions of life, do not give solutions to the most profound questions of the human spirit. Only by openness to the mystery of God, who is love, can our hearts' thirst for truth and happiness be satisfied; only the perspective of eternity can give authentic value to historical events and above all to the mystery of human frailty, suffering and death.

On contemplating Mary in heavenly glory, we also understand that the earth is not our definitive homeland and that, if we live constantly oriented to eternal goods, one day we will share in her same glory. For this reason, despite the many daily difficulties, we must not lose serenity or peace.

The luminous sign of the Assumption to heaven shines even more when it seems that sad shadows of grief and violence loom over the horizon. We are sure that, from on high, Mary follows our steps with gentle trepidation, gives us serenity in the hour of darkness and storm, and gives us security with her maternal hand.

Supported by this conviction, we continue with confidence on our way of Christian commitment where providence leads us.

At the end of the audience, the Holy Father greeted pilgrims in several languages. In English, he said:

... Yesterday we contemplated the Virgin Mary's assumption into heaven. This mystery reminds us that our definitive homeland is not here on earth, and that our longing for fulfillment finds complete satisfaction only in eternal happiness. May our mother in heaven, who guides us on our way, inspire us with courage and hope through the struggles of our daily life! I wish you a pleasant stay, and may God bless you all!

On Solemnity of Assumption
"Paradise is the Authentic Goal of Our Earthly Pilgrimage"
Castel Gandolfo, Italy, August 17, 2006

Here is a translation of Benedict XVI's address on Tuesday, the solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, to the crowds gathered in the courtyard of the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo to pray the midday Angelus.

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

Christian tradition has placed in the heart of summer one of the most ancient and evocative Marian feasts, the solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Just as Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to the right hand of the Father, Mary, at the end of the course of her existence on earth, was assumed into heaven.

The liturgy reminds us today of this consoling truth of faith, while singing the praises of her who was crowned with incomparable glory. "And a great portent appeared in heaven," we read in the passage of Revelation proposed today for our meditation, "a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars" (12:1). In this woman, resplendent with light, the Fathers of the Church recognized Mary. In her victory, the Christian people, pilgrim in history, perceives the fulfillment of its expectations and the sure sign of its hope.

Mary is an example and support for all believers: She encourages us not to lose confidence in the face of the difficulties and inevitable problems of every day. She assures us of her help and reminds us that what is essential is to seek and aspire for "things that are above, not for things on earth" (cf. Colossians 3:2). Immersed in daily occupations, we run the risk of believing that in this world, in which we are only passing by, is the objective of human existence. However, Paradise is the authentic goal of our earthly pilgrimage. How different our days would be if they were animated by this perspective! It is what happened to saints. Their human existence witnesses that when one lives with one's heart constantly directed to heaven, earthly realities are lived in their just value, as they are illuminated by the eternal truth of divine love.

To the Queen of Peace, whom we contemplate in heavenly glory, I would like to entrust once again the concerns of humanity in every place of the world tormented by violence. We join our brothers and sisters, who in these hours are gathered in the Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon in Harissa, for a Eucharistic celebration presided over by Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, who has traveled to Lebanon as my special envoy, to take consolation and concrete solidarity to all the victims of the conflict and to pray for the great intention of peace.

We are also in communion with the pastors and faithful of the Church in the Holy Land, who are gathered in the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, around the papal representative in Israel and Palestine, Archbishop Antonio Franco, to pray for the same intentions.

My thoughts also go to the dear nation of Sri Lanka, threatened by the deterioration of the ethnic conflict; to Iraq, where the terrible and daily trail of blood removes the perspective of reconciliation and reconstruction. May Mary inspire in all sentiments of understanding, a will to understand and desires for concord!

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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 Sacred Journey, Walk of Faith
[Source: The Houston Chronicle, July 22, 2006]

On a quiet morning this week, Elaine Pyle was a solitary figure walking the labyrinth at the University of St. Thomas.

Shoes off, she slowly worked her way around the pink-hued paths that ultimately lead to the center, where a rose pattern symbolizes the Virgin Mary. Sitting in a lotus-type position, she spent 10 minutes in prayer and meditation before beginning her outward journey.

Pyle, who is studying for her master's degree in theology, walks the labyrinth at the university four times a week before morning classes. She walks a fifth time on a labyrinth at Northwoods Presbyterian Church.

"It's a spiritual experience," Pyle said of the 20 to 30 minutes she spends on the labyrinth each day. "When I'm walking, I try to purge my mind of negative thoughts, and in the middle, I sit for a while and listen to the voice of God. On the way out, I try to assimilate what I have learned and apply it to my day. It definitely gives me a feeling of peace."

The St. Thomas labyrinth is the latest addition to Houston's many labyrinths--a growing trend both locally and nationally. Located next to the Chapel of St. Basil, it was completed in May.

Others can be found at churches, hospitals, retreat centers, parks, gardens and even private backyards. Some groups have portable canvas ones. Most of the permanent labyrinths, like the one at St. Thomas, follow the 11-circuit design of the famous 13th-century labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral in France.

The Rev. Lauren Artress, an Episcopal priest at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral, is credited with starting the American labyrinth movement in the early 1990s.

She has described the labyrinth as a "medieval tool in a post-modern age." But it has an ancient history, dating back at least 4,000 years. The ancient Greek myth of Theseus and the fierce Minotaur refers to a labyrinth on Crete.

Variations of the labyrinth appear in many cultures, including the medicine wheels of the Hopi, the mandalas of Tibetan Buddhism and the mystical Judaism of the cabala. Ancient turf labyrinths can still be found in England and Scandinavia.

In the Middle Ages, labyrinths were adapted by Christianity, said the Rev. Ted Baenziger, who watched from his second-floor office as workers built the St. Thomas labyrinth of Texas sandstone and slate.

When several people at St. Thomas suggested it was a "New Agey" idea, he soon set them straight.

"There was a huge movement for pilgrimage to the Holy Land" in the Middle Ages, Baenziger said.

But such a trip was difficult for most people, who instead would make pilgrimages to cathedrals such as Chartres that had labyrinths inlaid in their floors.

By walking a labyrinth, "you get the impression of going on a long voyage with lots of twists and turns, getting closer then farther away and finally reaching your destination," he said. "It's a spiritual exercise."

To Baenziger, a French professor who has walked with students on pilgrimages from Paris to Chartres, the labyrinth symbolizes the universe and the individual's attempt to get to the center of things.

But don't confuse a labyrinth with a maze, he said. A maze has tricks and turns and is designed to confuse. Labyrinths have one way in and one way out.
Jennifer Embry, a Houston psychotherapist, walked her first labyrinth when Artress visited Christ Church Cathedral in 1996.

"It opened up a place in me that I didn't know before," Embry said. "There is something in this ancient archetypal symbol, and it's incredibly inclusive; anyone can do it. There is a movement from right to left, you go far out and come back in. It's soothing and a stress reducer."

Last summer, she accompanied Artress to Chartres, where she trained to be a Veriditas labyrinth facilitator. Walking the Chartres labyrinth at night with candles was an experience Embry will never forget.

"As I walked in, Lauren Artress handed me a candle and said, `Let your light shine,' " Embry recalls. "It's just imprinted in me."

Since then, she has led labyrinth walks at the Women's Home in Houston, a place for women in crisis; for an eating-disorder group; and for several patients. Her dream is to have a private labyrinth where she can work individually with patients. She sees the labyrinth as a link between psychology and spirituality.

Embry enjoys using the labyrinth at Covenant Church, an American Baptist congregation in the Museum District. Built by church members six years ago, it's made of crushed granite and paver stones in the Chartres style. Scheduled walks, often with music, are held seven times a year.

"I like that it's outside and in the city," she said. "It's a sacred space, and I love walking there when the choir practices."

Building a labyrinth can be costly. The Felicie Babin Gueymard Memorial Garden and labyrinth at St. Thomas cost an estimated $372,000. Funds were donated by Adolphe G. Gueymard in memory of his mother and by alumnae Ruth Westkaemper. The cost also covered a rose garden and landscaping, three fountains representing the Trinity and four benches--three to represent the Trinity and one for man.

Houston's Dominican Sisters already had an indoor canvas labyrinth at their Almeda Road convent when they decided to construct an outdoor version.

"We started to get a lot of people coming, and we thought: 'Why not?' " recalled Sister Heloise Cruzat. "We are at the Mother House and would like our grounds to be a place of prayer that is attractive to people."

That has turned out to be true. People often stop by to walk on their lunch hour or after work at the nearby Texas Medical Center, and groups of schoolchildren visit on field trips. The $70,000 terra-cotta and cream-colored labyrinth was dedicated in 2002.

Cruzat once wondered if labyrinths were just a passing phase.

"It very well may be, but if it is, it's not passing fast," she said. "This is a very fractured moment in our history, and I think people are looking for a sense of meaning and purpose."

Walking the labyrinth, she believes, puts people in harmony with themselves and their surroundings. On her walks, she uses guided prayer and Scripture, followed by silence.
Beverly Garcia, a native Houstonian who moved to Canyon Lake near New Braunfels, was in town for the National Day of Prayer with her portable labyrinth. Like Embry, she is a certified facilitator trained in Artress' Veriditas program.

"As a facilitator, I tell people about the history of the labyrinth and how it's used," Garcia said. "We talk about how to have the best experience, how to use it as a tool to either go into their spiritual life or to problem solve, how to let go or just de-stress. I like silence. We pray to God, but how often are we silent enough to hear the answers?"

In 2004, Garcia and her two stepdaughters built a labyrinth overlooking Canyon Lake. The Lone Eagle Labyrinth is built in a chalice style, a six-circuit design, with local gray granite stones, crushed granite paths and smooth, tumbled glass.

She enjoys using music or placing candles around the labyrinth. Embry has drummed on labyrinths, others have danced and even crawled.

"It's only limited by our imagination," Embry said. "I would say the labyrinth is my church. I truly like that there are no walls."


Tips from the Dominican Sisters of Houston for a personal pilgrimage:

Use the walk to pray for events or situations, a particular person or people, or for the planet itself.

There is only one path to the center, and the same path returns outward. You may pass people on the way.

Clear your mind and become aware of your breathing.

Some people stop at each turn and say a short mantra or prayer.

The center is a place of prayer and meditation.

Houston is home to a number of labyrinths, including:

St. Thomas University; next to St. Basil's Chapel on West Alabama; 7 a.m.-dusk.

Sylvan Rodriguez Park, 1201 Clear Lake Blvd. Designed by Houston artist Dixie Friend Gay and based on the Chartres labyrinth. Open 6 a.m.-8 p.m.

Covenant Church, 4949 Caroline. Outdoor Chartres-type labyrinth. Open 24/7. Full Moon walk, 9 p.m. Aug. 9.

Dominican Sisters, 6501 Almeda. Indoor labyrinth available by reservation. Individuals are welcome to the outdoor Chartres-style labyrinth during daylight hours. Groups or night visitors should call first; 713-747-3310.

St. Christopher's Episcopal Church, 1656 Blalock. Blue and white, Chartres-style canvas labyrinth; 7-9 p.m. first Tuesday of each month beginning Sept. 1, or by appointment; 713-465-6015.

St. Luke's United Methodist Church, 3471 Westheimer. Outdoor garden labyrinth at Edloe and Kipling near the church's Next Door Coffeehouse; daylight hours.

Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, 9600 S. Gessner. Eleven-circuit outdoor labyrinth. Dawn to dusk.

Cenacle Retreat House, 420 N. Kirkwood. Outdoor seven-circuit Cretan-style labyrinth; 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays.

Northwoods Presbyterian Church, 3320 FM 1960 West. Outdoor labyrinth; open dawn to dusk.

For more information, or to rent a labyrinth, click into the Houston Labyrinth Network.

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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 Monday, 08/28/2006 16:05:27 EDT by Michael P. Duricy . Please send any comments to

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