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The 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

Michelangelo's Three Pietās by David Finn, published 1975 in New York by H. N. Abrams is excellent work composed of a detailed photographic study by Finn and text by Frederick Hartt.  The Marian Library has a copy.  With regard to the title, please note that there is some question as to whether Michelangelo actually created the Palestrina Pietā in Florence which has been ascribed to him.  The work in question is studied in this book though.

Radio Maria From The Marian Library

Francesca Franchina, MS. Ed., a 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 is going on in the world about Mary, how to speak with others about Mary, and Mary in Scripture.

On Wednesday, March 5, 2008, Francesca Franchina talks with Sister Patricia Muckanyonga of Rwanda, Tony Staub, George and Joan Riesse of Dayton, Ohio about life in Rwanda caring for three orphanages, ministering in clinics, schools and parish life in the mountains of Africa with the help of local Daytonians, parishes and organizations since 1996.

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 whichever 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.  An encore of each show is broadcast Monday night from 8:30-9:30 pm EST one week after the original.

Her series, Through the Tummy to the Heart, airs every Tuesday except the first Tuesday from 5:00-5:45 PM on RADIO MARIA WHJM and also online. The series encores Saturdays from 3:00-3:45 pm.  Tune in 88.7 FM (WHJM) in the northern Archdiocese of Cincinnati and on line at from anywhere in the world. Send email to Francesca with questions, comments, suggestions at Send email while the programs are going on if you cannot get through or if you are listening outside of the USA. CALL IN TOLL FREE; PARTICIPATE IN THE PROGRAM (during the live show); 1-866-333-6279.

Through the Tummy to the Heart will return on Tuesday, March 11, 2008.

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From the Marian Treasure Chest

Pietā (by Brother John Samaha, S.M.)

A pietā is a representation of Mary, the Sorrowful Mother. holding the dead body of her Son, similar to the depiction of the Thirteenth Station in the Way of the Cross.  The most famous of these is Michelangelo's statue in the Basilica of Saint Peter at Vatican City.  It is one of four such works of this theme done in marble by Buonarroti.  The others are in Florence, Milan and Paris.

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Alumni Update

Brother Raymond Boutin, S.M., is visiting Dayton from March 3 until March 15 to update and expand our material on Mary and stamps.

Also, Kelly Bodner, an intern who works on The Mary Page, is out with an injury.  Please join in in praying for her complete healing and swift return.

Finally, note that Father Paul Marshall, S.M., rector of the University of Dayton, has been selected by Parity Inc. as a Top Ten African-American Male for his leadership and contributions to the Dayton community. Click here for details.

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Current Exhibit

When Words Become Pictures: Our Lady Calligraphed

The Marian Library gallery is showing the works of Dayton Artist, Ann Bain, from January 15 to March 30, 2008. Click here for virtual exhibit.

Visit also our year-long Creche exhibit featuring paper nativities of Bill and Annie Baker and works of Malaika Favorite.

The Marian Library Gallery is located on the seventh floor of Roesch Library.  Free and open to the public, hours are Mon-Fri, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm or by appointment.  Call 937-229-4214 or 4254.

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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 articles from The Mary Page. Please visit these sites in return.  We expect continued collaboration with them in the future.

Radio Maria broadcasts from Milan Italy, heard in forty-nine countries; WHJM broadcasts out of Louisiana across USA, including FM 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 Summer 2008 semester are scheduled to commence on June 16, 2008.  The course schedule is available online.

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We have updated the following features: Marian Shrines in Canada; Raphael's Madonnas on Stamps; The Virgin of Lichen; and Korean-language news (through March 4, 2008).

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Irish Prelate: "House of Prayer" not OK'd by church
Achill Center Founded by Woman Who Claimed to Hear the Virgin Mary
Source: Zenit (Tuam, Ireland), March 3, 2008

The archbishop of Tuam clarified that the "House of Prayer," founded by a woman who claims to have been visited by the Virgin Mary, does not have Church approval.

Archbishop Michael Neary released a public statement last week clarifying the Church's stance on the Achill Island prayer house, founded by Christina Gallagher, with other sites in the United States and Mexico.

Archbishop Neary explained the situation of the House of Prayer, saying that since 1996, he had established a diocesan commission to "investigate certain claims regarding and emanating from this work."

Gallagher claims to receive regular messages from Our Lady and to have the stigmata.

In 1997, the archbishop noted, "acting on foot of a report from the commission, I issued a lengthy public statement to the effect, in essence, that no evidence of supernatural phenomena had been observed but that the persons involved gave every evidence of good faith. Arising from that, I proposed a basic canonical structure that would gradually integrate the work of the house into the life of Achill Parish and the archdiocese."

However, Archbishop Neary stated: "While this was then attempted by the archdiocese, I became increasingly perturbed by an apparent absence of enthusiasm on the parts of Mrs. Gallagher and her associates.

"The relationship deteriorated to the extent that Mrs. Gallagher, in July 1998, closed the House of Prayer at Achill, expressing to the media at the time a sense of having been harshly treated by the archdiocese. In order to clarify the issue for the faithful I issued another statement, regretting the development and expressing grave misgivings as to the wisdom with which Mrs. Gallagher had been advised and had acted in the matter."

The sixty-one-year-old prelate clarified that diocesan efforts to integrate the work ended in 1998, when Gallagher closed the house.

"Celebration of the sacraments and reservation of the Blessed Sacrament at the House of Prayer are not permitted," he continued. "Any work carried on since then has been entirely of a private nature and has no Church approval whatever. Neither, for reasons given above, does such work enjoy the confidence of the diocesan authorities. Nothing has been brought to my attention to indicate that I should change from this position in the future. Over the years since then, the Tuam Diocesan Office has clearly and consistently replied to enquiries in respect of this work, which Mrs. Gallagher recommenced."

"I respect the faith and devotion of many people who have been impressed by this work in the past, some of whom have expressed their sadness at my stance," the archbishop acknowledged. But, he concluded, "The House of Prayer has no Church approval and the work does not enjoy the confidence of the diocesan authorities."

Marian Masses in Lent and Advent and More on Purification of Sacred Vessels
Source: Zenit (Rome), February 26, 2008

Answered by Legionary of Christ Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university.

Q: The Masses for the weekdays (including Saturdays) of Lent and Advent are assigned Masses. Yet there are Masses in the Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the Lenten season and for the Advent season. When is it permitted to use the liturgies from this Collection of Masses during Lent and Advent?--J.M., Washington, D.C.

A: As No. 21 of the Introduction to the Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary indicates, the collection is destined above all for use in Marian shrines.

These shrines frequently have permission from the Holy See to celebrate Masses of Our Lady on days that would otherwise not be permitted according to the norms of the General Roman Calendar, such as during Advent and Lent.

This concession is usually granted for all days except those indicated in Nos. 1-6 of the table of liturgical days found in most editions of the Roman Missal.

This faculty is usually reserved to priests on pilgrimage or for celebrations for groups of pilgrims and with the requirement to generally use the seasonal readings and not those of the Marian Lectionary (Introduction, No. 31).

For this reason the Masses assigned to Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter are usually not permitted in settings such as parishes, which do not enjoy any exemption from the rules of the General Calendar. The calendar forbids most votive Masses during these seasons.

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal, No. 376, does say, however: "On obligatory memorials, on the weekdays of Advent up to and including December 16, of the Christmas Season from January 2, and of the Easter Season after the Octave of Easter, Masses for Various Needs, Masses for Various Circumstances, and Votive Masses are as such forbidden. If, however, required by some real need or pastoral advantage, according to the judgment of the rector of the church or the priest celebrant himself, a Mass corresponding to such a need or advantage may be used in a celebration with a congregation."

Thus, should such an authentic need for a Marian celebration arise during the above-mentioned times, the pastor could choose one of the corresponding Masses from either the Roman Missal or the collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

There are also exceptions which allow two of these formulas to be used outside of the assigned season during ordinary time. No. 28 of the Introduction says that the Christmas formula "Holy Mary of Nazareth (no 8)" may be used if a group of faithful desires to commemorate Mary's exemplary conduct at Nazareth. Likewise, the Lenten formula "Mary Virgin, Mother of Reconciliation (no 14)" may be used when Mass is celebrated in the context of seeking reconciliation and harmony.

"Recall the Design of God That Created the Human Being Male and Female"
Papal Address to Participants in Congress on Women
Source: Zenit (Vatican City), February 10, 2008

Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave Saturday upon receiving in audience participants from the international conference that marked the 20th anniversary of the publication of Pope John Paul II's apostolic letter Mulieris Dignitatem.

The conference, sponsored by the Pontifical Council for the Laity and titled "Woman and Man, the 'Humanum' in Its Entirety," ended Saturday.

* * *

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

With true pleasure I welcome all of you who are taking part in the international conference on the theme "Man and Woman: The 'Humanum' in Its Entirety," which has been organized on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the apostolic letter Mulieris Dignitatem. I greet Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and I am grateful to him for being the interpreter of shared sentiments. I greet the council's secretary, Bishop Josef Clemens, and the members and the collaborators of this dicastery. In particular I greet the women, who are the great majority of those present, and who have enriched the conference's proceedings with their experience and competence.

The question on which you are reflecting has great contemporary relevance: From the second half of the twentieth century until today, the movement for women's rights in the various settings of social life has generated countless reflections and debates, and it has seen the multiplication of many initiatives that the Catholic Church has followed and often accompanied with attentive interest. The male-female relationship, in its respective specificity, reciprocity and complementarity, without a doubt constitutes a central point of the "anthropological question" that is so decisive in contemporary culture. The papal interventions and documents that have touched on the emerging reality of the question of women are numerous.

I limit myself to recall those of my beloved predecessor Pope John Paul II, who, in June 1995 wrote a "Letter to Women," and in Aug. 15, 1988, exactly twenty years ago, published the apostolic letter Mulieris Dignitatem. This text on the vocation and the dignity of women, of great theological, spiritual and cultural richness, in its turn inspired the "Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Collaboration of Men and Women in the Church and in the World" of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

In Mulieris Dignitatem, John Paul II wanted to delve into the fundamental anthropological truths of men and women, the equality in dignity and their unity, the rooted and profound difference between the masculine and the feminine and their vocation to reciprocity and complementarity, collaboration and communion (cf. Mulieris Dignitatem, No. 6). This dual-unity of man and woman is based on the foundation of the dignity of every person, created in the image and likeness of God, who "created them male and female" (Genesis 1:27), as much avoiding an indistinct uniformity and flattened-out and impoverished equality as an abysmal and conflictive difference (cf. "Letter to Women," No. 8). This dual-unity carries with it, inscribed in bodies and souls, the relation with the other, love for the other, interpersonal communion that shows that "the creation of man is also marked by a certain likeness to the divine communion" (Mulieris Dignitatem, No. 7). When, therefore, men or women pretend to be autonomous or totally self-sufficient, they risk being closed up in a self-realization that considers the overcoming of every natural, social or religious bond as a conquest of freedom, but which in fact reduces them to an oppressive solitude. To foster and support the true promotion of women and men, one cannot fail to take this reality into account.

Certainly a renewed anthropological research is necessary that, on the basis of the great Christian tradition, incorporates the new advances of science and the datum of contemporary cultural sensibilities, contributing in this way to the deepened understanding not only of feminine identity but also masculine identity, which is frequently the object of partial and ideological reflections.

In the face of cultural and political currents that attempt to eliminate, or at least to obfuscate and confuse, the sexual differences written into human nature, considering them to be cultural constructions, it is necessary to recall the design of God that created the human being male and female, with a unity and at the same time an original and complementary difference. Human nature and the cultural dimension are integrated in an ample and complex process that constitutes the formation of the identity of each, where both dimensions--the feminine and the masculine--correspond to and complete each other.

Opening the work of the Fifth General Conference of the Latin American and Caribbean Episcopate last May in Brazil, I recalled how there still persists a macho mentality that ignores the novelty of Christianity, which recognizes and proclaims the equal dignity and responsibility of women with respect to men. There are certain places and cultures where women are discriminated against and undervalued just for the fact that they are women, where recourse is even had to religious arguments and family, social and cultural pressures to support the disparity between the sexes, where there is consumption of acts of violence against women, making them into objects of abuse and exploitation in advertising and in the consumer and entertainment industries. In the face of such grave and persistent phenomena, the commitment of Christians appears all the more urgent, so that they become everywhere the promoters of a culture that recognizes the dignity that belongs to women in law and in reality.

God entrusts to women and to men, according to the characteristics that are proper to each, a specific vocation in the mission of the Church and in the world. I think here of the family, community of love, open to life, fundamental cell of society. In it, woman and man, thanks to the gift of maternity and paternity, together play an irreplaceable role in regard to life. From the moment of their conception, children have a right to count on a father and a mother who care for them and accompany them in their growth. The state, for its part, must sustain with adequate social policies all that which promotes the stability of matrimony, the dignity and the responsibility of the husband and wife, their rights and irreplaceable duty to educate their children. Moreover, it is necessary that it be made possible for the woman to cooperate in the building-up of society, appreciating her typical "feminine genius."

Dear brothers and sisters, I thank you once more for your visit and, while I wish you complete success in the work of the conference, I assure you of a remembrance in prayer, invoking the maternal intercession of Mary, that she help the women of our time to realize their vocation and their mission in the ecclesial and civil community. With such vows, I impart to you here present and to your loved ones a special apostolic blessing.

[Translation by Joseph G. Trabbic]

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The director and editors of The 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.

First Catholic Church in Arabic Country to be Dedicated to Mary
Source: CNA (, February 29, 2008

The first Catholic Church in an Arab Muslim emirate will be dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary during a ceremony that will be celebrated by Cardinal Ivan Dias, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

On March 14, Cardinal Dias will officiate at the ceremony in Doha, the capital of Qatar.  The Apostolic Vicar of Arabia, Archbishop Paul Hinder, will join the cardinal for the dedication of the new church.

The church was built on land donated by Emir Amir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who in recent years has become a supporter of inter-religious dialogue, despite keeping Islamic law in place which forbids Muslims to convert to other religions.

Qatar, which has 800,000 inhabitants, established diplomatic relations with the Holy See in 2003.  The pastor of the new parish will be a priest from the Philippines, Father Tomasito Veneracion.

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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

Marian Commemoration Days

To celebrate the month of March with Mary:

The 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 March.

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Marian Events

International Mariological Congress

Lourdes, September 4-8, 2008

The program is organized by the Pontifical International Marian Academy (PAMI) and can be found at

In addition to the plenary sessions (given on the PAMI website), there are three times for the presentations in the different language sections:

September 4 - 5:30 pm
September 5 - 3:30 pm
September 6 -  3:30 pm.

Those wishing to make a presentation at the English-language section should send the title plus a synopsis of the address to Father Thomas A. Thompson, S.M., ( by March 15, 2008.

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

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