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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.


  News from the Marian Library


Mary in Books, Films and Music

The world premiere of the film "The Nativity Story" is scheduled to take place November 26 in the Vatican.  Among the 7,000 people who will attend the screening in Paul VI Hall are the director, Catherine Hardwicke, actors Shoreh Aghdashloo and Oscar Isaac, producers Mary Bowen and Wyck Godfrey; and screenwriter Mike Rich.

The screening of the film, produced by New Line Cinema, will be preceded by the reading of a Gospel passage and a prayer written by Archbishop Angelo Comastri, the Pope's vicar general for Vatican City State and archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica.  Archbishop John Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, will give the presentation address.

The event will serve to collect funds for the construction of a school in the town of Mughar in Israel, whose population comprises Christians, Muslims and Druze.  The town is 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Nazareth.

"The Nativity Story" presents the year in Mary's life that culminates with the birth of Jesus, the visit of the shepherds and Wise Men to the stable, Herod's brutal response with the massacre of the Innocents, and the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt.

According to Peter Malone, film critic at Signis, the World Catholic Association for Communication, the movie is interesting both for Christians as well as non-Christians.

"The screen play is well-grounded in the biblical texts, both the heritage of the Old Testament as well as the text and spirit of the Gospel infancy narratives, Malone stated.  "This gives the film an advantage over narratives which limit the perspective to a literal reading of texts and rely on piety traditions for visual presentation.

"It has also been noted that the screenplay offers substantial historical background to understand Palestine in these times and how the characters were influenced by their environment as well as by the harshness of authorities."

The film will be released in most countries on December 1.

Source: November 19, 2006

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Radio Maria From The Marian Library

Francesca Franchina, long time member of the Marianist Family, will be doing a series of Marian broadcasts through the local station for Radio Maria WHJM (FM 88.7) in Anna, Ohio.  Called "Francesca AND Friends: WHY MARY?" the program airs every Wednesday from 11:30 AM-12:30 PM EST focusing on: What in the world is going on about Mary; how to speak with others about Mary; and Mary in Scripture.

Her next talk, Food for the Race and the Journey in the New Millennium, will be aired this Wednesday (11/22/06) from The Marian Library with Father Joseph "Teddy" Tedesco, S.M., from the Psychology Department of the University of Dayton.  Discussion will focus on youth, sports, pressure, families, Sundays, and holiday traditions.

Tune in and call in questions and comments for Father and Francesca.  Toll Free: 1-866-333-MARY 1-866-333-6279.  The broadcast may also be heard on-line at [Click on the BVMary photo ... Scroll down to RADIO MARIA USA (English) ... Click on the windows icon or which ever media program you have on your PC.].  The web site also provides access to some previous broadcasts.  We'll keep you informed about future programs.  Encores of each show are broadcast Monday nights from 8:30-9:30 pm EST two weeks after the original.

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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.

Radio Maria broadcasts from Milan Italy, heard in 49 countries; WHJM broadcasts out of Louisiana across USA, including FF 88.7, an affiliate station in Anna, Ohio (north of Dayton) which airs regular Marian talks from UD's Marian Library every Wednesday at 11:30 am EST.

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International Marian Research Institute Course Schedule

IMRI courses for the Fall 2006 semester concluded on November 17.  The course schedule for the Spring 2007 semester is now available.

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

We have updated the list of dissertations completed at the International Marian Research Institute through November 9, 2006.

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Mary in the Catholic Press

From Zenit

Jubilee Year to Focus on Mary's Message in Rwanda
25th Anniversary of Apparitions to be Celebrated
Vatican City, November 13, 2006

The Diocese of Gikongoro has announced a Jubilee Year to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Blessed Virgin Mary's first apparition in Kibeho.  Kibeho, where the Marian apparitions began in 1981, is the goal of national and international pilgrimages.  According to the visionaries, the Blessed Virgin introduced herself in the local language as "Nyina wa Jambo"--Mother of the Word--inviting to conversion, prayer and fasting.  On one occasion, she showed stark images: a river of blood, people killing one another, and abandoned corpses with no one to bury them.

In the following years the vision was linked to the genocide that convulsed Rwanda in 1994-1995.  Kibeho was one of the bloodiest scenes of that tragedy.  In 2003, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, then prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, consecrated the Marian schrine dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows on the site of the apparitions in Kibeho.  He expressed the hope that Kibeho would become a place in which a Rwandan people would be renewed in faith and forgiveness.

The apparitions began on Nov. 28, 1981, and ended on Nov. 28, 1989. "These two dates are considered an important historical reference for all who are anxious to know more about the apparitions and message of Kibeho," said a diocesan communiqué, signed by Father Eugene Dushimurukundo, chancellor.

The Catholic Church recognized these apparitions officially on June 29, 2001, after years of study by two commissions, one medical and the other theological, which were established by the local bishop. Declared valid were the apparitions to three visionaries: Alphonsine Mumureke, Nathalie Mukamazimpaka and Marie Claire Mukangango.

In a message last Sept. 8, Bishop Augustine Misago of Gikongoro announced that the celebrations for the 25th anniversary would begin on Nov. 28, feast of Our Lady of Kibeho. In his message, Bishop Misago says that "to celebrate worthily the Jubilee Year we must make concrete acts in the light of the message of Kibeho." Among them, he suggests: "praying during the year for all the intentions of the Pope; increasing participation at Mass and reception of Communion; receiving the sacrament of reconciliation." The bishop also urges "striving for reconciliation with enemies; asking forgiveness of people we have offended; respecting others; being tolerant in the family, with neighbors, at work, in meetings and other social events." To these gestures he adds "working with courage to promote truth and justice for all, particularly in present-day conditions of the Gacaca courts"--peoples tribunals charged with judging persons accused of involvement in the 1994 genocide--"which must be well managed to guarantee they do not become forums for injustice and revenge, covering the law."

A Plea to End World Hunger
"It is Necessary 'to Convert' the Model of Global Development"
Vatican City, November 13, 2006

Conclusion of the address Benedict XVI gave today before reciting the midday Angelus with several thousand people gathered in St. Peter's Square. In his address the Pope made an urgent plea to the FAO, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Dear Brothers and Sisters: Today, the Day of Thanksgiving invites us, on one hand, to thank God for the fruits of agricultural labor and, on the other, it encourages us to be committed concretely to eradicate the scourge of hunger. May the Virgin Mary help us to be grateful for the benefits of Providence and to promote justice and solidarity in all parts of the globe.

Itinerary of Benedict XVI's Trip to Turkey Published
First Stop: Mausoleum of Ataturk
Vatican City, November 12, 2006

The Vatican press office has published a general outline of the itinerary and agenda for Benedict XVI's upcoming apostolic trip to Turkey.

Among other places, Benedict XVI will travel to Smyrna on November 29, the country's third-largest city, known as "The Pearl of the Aegean," from where he will go to Ephesus, the city where the Apostle Paul lived and was captive, and where, according to tradition, the Blessed Virgin Mary and John the Evangelist also lived.

In Ephesus, Benedict XVI will celebrate Mass at the Meryem Ana Evi (House of Mary) Shrine and deliver a homily. It was in this city that a Council in the year 431 proclaimed the Virgin Mary "Theotokos," of Mother of God.

On Thursday morning, Nov. 30, Benedict XVI will take part in the Divine Liturgy in the Patriarchal Church of St. George in Istanbul. He will deliver an address and sign a joint declaration. The Pontiff will thus fulfill the original objective of his trip: to respond to the invitation of Patriarch Bartholomew I to take part on the feast of St. Andrew, patron of the patriarchate, observed on Nov. 30.

Previous visits of Roman Pontiffs to Turkey took place in 1967 (Paul VI) and 1979 (John Paul II). About 99% of Turkey's 70 million inhabitants are Muslim, the majority Sunni. Catholics represent 0.04% of the population.

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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.

Dick Schimmel, the Rosary Man
[Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (JSOnline), November 12, 2006]

Wauwatosa--The customized license plate on Dick Schimmel's station wagon says it all: "ROSARY I."

Not that Schimmel, 77, is too shy to speak for himself. The former Schlitz beer salesman and retired house painter obviously has taken no vow of silence when someone shows a glimmer of interest in what has become his avocation and higher calling - distributing free rosaries in the United States and around the world.

"I don't want a museum," Schimmel said last week as he stood near vacant bar stools in the basement rec room of his Wauwatosa home and surveyed boxes filled with perhaps 35,000 rosaries of many hues. "I want these to go out to people to pray. I want to get them out and into the hands of people, to the missions, the prisons, the nursing homes, the hospitals and the schools all over the world.

" 'Dick Schimmel, the Rosary Man,' that's my handle," he added.

His rosaries aren't like the Green Bay Packer-themed rosaries that skyrocketed in popularity at a south side market in 1997, the year the team won its first Super Bowl in 29 years. These are rank-and-file rosaries, serious strings of beads that don't blur the lines between sports and spirituality.

Yet Schimmel found a growing demand for these meditative tools when he started giving them away eight years ago. And he learned some modern-day realities, such as to send only rosaries with black beads to prison chaplains, because other colors can be used to designate gang affiliations.

Turning to a dog-eared notebook and a stack of meticulously written loose-leaf pages, he can point to his first donation--100 rosaries on Aug. 5, 1998--to the Rosebud Sioux tribe's reservation in South Dakota for Father Richard Jones, a priest now living in retirement at the St. Camillus Jesuit Community in Wauwatosa.

"Whenever I needed rosaries, I'd just write to him," said Jones, a former Marquette University High School president who served for more than 40 years on the reservation, where he left rosaries at the back of his church and handed them out at wakes.

Jones eventually got 7,500 rosaries. That's a small part of Schimmel's total, which on Thursday stood at 1,147,023 rosaries ... not to mention the 3,500 statues of the Blessed Virgin, 25,000 religious medals and 5,000 scapulars he has given away.

"I just don't know how it grew that fast," Schimmel said. "I had 200 missionaries at one time. It got so big I started downsizing eight months ago."

He's slowing down physically, he said. And he and his wife, Rosemary, might move into a retirement community in the next few years. So he no longer mails rosaries to India, where he found a large demand, or to any of more than 20 other countries. He can keep busy enough in the United States.

Catholics are taught to use the rosary of the Virgin Mary to meditate on the life of Christ. Beads or knots on a rosary guide people through introductory prayers to five decades--groups of 10 "Hail Marys"--interspersed with other prayers.

Each praying of a rosary focuses on one of four themes or mysteries: joyous mysteries related to Christ's birth, mysteries of light for key events in his public life, sorrowful mysteries surrounding his crucifixion, and the glorious mysteries of his resurrection. Each mystery has five associated events.

Although traditional devotional practices such as pilgrimages and rosary recitations at Marian shrines declined sharply in the late 1960s and 1970s, they have been growing in popularity in recent years, according to the Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute at the University of Dayton.

The late Pope John Paul II tried to push that along in 2002, when he added the "mysteries of light" to the rosary, declared a Year of the Rosary and issued an apostolic letter urging Catholics to rediscover the power and the beauty of the rosary.

Historian Garry Wills, author of the 2005 book "The Rosary," said in an interview last week that he's had a strong response to the book but has seen no hard evidence of a widespread resurgence in use of the rosary.

"I think it has the potential for a real comeback because people are very interested in meditation now," Wills said.

Peter Stemper of the T.H. Stemper Co. church supply store in Milwaukee said their rosary sales had increased anywhere from 10% to 20% over the past five years.

And Dick Boldin of Oak Creek, director of the Rosary Evangelization Apostolate, said he is getting an increasing number of calls from Catholic schools and parishes here to send rosaries and make presentations on the rosary.  Boldin and his wife, Terry, co-founded the apostolate in January of 2003 with the encouragement of Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, whose recorded reflections and praying of the rosary are broadcast daily at 8 p.m. by Relevant Radio. The Catholic network is heard in this area on Port Washington station WPJP-FM (100.1) and Lake Geneva station WZRK-AM (1550), and is streamed on the Internet at

Schimmel isn't sure why he started giving rosaries away. Raised a devout German-Irish Catholic, he graduated from Marquette University High School and Marquette University and has prayed the rosary ever since his youth. He was partly inspired by his late uncle Gilbert Schimmel, who sent rosaries to missionaries in the mid-1950s and formed the Milwaukee area's first lay apostolate for an international Catholic renewal organization known as the Schoenstatt Movement.

At first, Dick Schimmel bought hand-tied cord rosaries from China with his own money for 6 cents to 15 cents apiece. Then he took out an ad in the local Catholic Herald offering free rosaries. As word spread through stories in Catholic and secular publications, church groups and individuals around the country began sending him plastic-beaded rosaries they made and monetary donations.

Two diocesan priests, Father Jerome Hudziak and Father Russell Tikalsky, helped him by blessing the rosaries.

"I don't see visions or the sun spinning," Schimmel said. "But there are so many coincidences. When I needed some more money, it came. When I needed more rosaries, they came in.

"Here a little guy, a retired guy back here in Wauwatosa--no typewriter, no e-mail, none of this other stuff--got to be worldwide. I'm so thankful it happened. I just didn't expect it."

Minnesotan's JFK painting bound for Vatican
[Source: Minnesota Public Radio, November 15, 2006]

A controversial painting of John F. Kennedy's dying moments is on display at the Cathedral of Saint Paul.  The unveiling of the painting corresponds with a week-long symposium the church has convened on the Kennedy assassination.

Mark Balma's "Pieta" shows a grief-stricken Jacqueline Kennedy cradling the mortally wounded President's head in her lap, just after their limo has arrived at the Parkland Hospital in Dallas.  It's a moment that changed history, but a moment Balma could only envision because it wasn't photographed.


Susan Burns of Minneapolis read about "Pieta" in the newspaper and came over to Saint Paul to see it.  Pieta is also the name of the famous Michelangelo sculpture of Mother Mary holding the lifeless body of Jesus in her arms after he was taken down from the cross.  As she described her reaction to the image of the First Lady, in her familiar pink outfit, spending her final moments with her dying husband, its symbolism became clear, and Burns was overcome.

"I mean obviously, it's the Pieta and she reminds us of Our Lady, and just how mothers sacrifice a lot and wives, and that the Blessed Virgin is with all of us.

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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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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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Emmanuel, God With Us!: A Celebration of Music and The Word with choir, orchestra, and narrator

Date: Saturday, December 9, 2006 - Sunday November 19, 2006

Time: 4:00 PM (concert lasts 1 hour with reception afterwards in the vestibule)

Location: Queen of Apostles Chapel (Dayton, OH)

Cost: Minimum $10.00 donation per ticket, children under 12 free (All proceeds go to the QAC Community with 15% to Social Justice Ministry)

To receive further information, email Teesie Lupp at or call Deacon Greg Cecere at 937-429-0510.

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

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Our Mary Page web site is updated frequently. Please stop in again and see What's New.

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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, 11/20/2006 17:08:39 EST by Kelly Bodner . Please send any comments to

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