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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.
Mary in Books, Films and Music
Marian Video Clip
As a Mother's Day tribute, Fran Franchina informed us of a three-minute video clip on YouTube which shows various Marian images as Billy Joel's "She's Got a Way About Her" plays in the background.
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, May 14, 2008, Francesca Franchina discusses Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit after the Ascension of Our Lord as dictated by the Blessed Virgin Mary and written by Mary of Agreda in City of God: The Divine History and Life of The Virgin Mother of God; translated from the original Spanish by Fiscar Marison (aka Rev. Geo J. Blatter). This is part of a continuing series on the four volumes of City of God.
The broadcast may also be heard on-line at radiomaria.us [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 www.radiomaria.us from anywhere in the world. Send email to Francesca with questions, comments, suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
On Tuesday, May 13, 2008, Francesca Franchina discusses "The Response of the Holy Spirit to Today's Challenge of Evangelization; Ecclesial Movements and New Communities" [the article written by Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity], the New Pentecost and the power of prayer as given by Our Lady at Fatima, and the Peace Plan from Heaven [beginning May 13, 1917]. Prayers for healing the world situation, families, schools, youth. How to save souls, and help yourself and family at the same time. Recipe today from Francesca's Italian Kitchen: Stromboli, A Stuffed Italian Bread.
This year marks Clare Jones' twenty-fifth anniversary of working at the Marian Library. Also, join with us in congratulating Clare for a new classification of her position to an Administrative level. The new title for her position is "Administrative Associate and Office Coordinator." Congratulations, Clare, on your promotion.
From the Marian Treasure Chest
A New Marian Reference (by Brother John Samaha, S.M.)
Encyclopedia of Mary by Monica and Bill Dodds is a handy one-volume reference. Simply and clearly written, it is a small treasury of brief entries of Marian information. Drawing on Scripture, theology, art, history, and literature, it covers doctrine, devotions, customs, liturgical celebrations and feast days, organizations and associations. Among subjects included are "Society of Mary," "Daughters of Mary Immaculate," "Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute." Published by Our Sunday Visitor Press, 2007, 334 pages, $24.95.
The Hidden Life of Our Lady, Mary in the Apocryphals
The Marian Library gallery will show the mixed media works of the Jim and Celeste Lauritsen from April until June 27, 2008. From their Tree of Life Studios, the couple works as artists, educators, and craft professionals, drawing upon their faith for inspiration. Jim works in stone and wood, while Celeste uses the softer medium of fabric to convey life's journey. Click here for virtual exhibit.
Visit also our year-long Crèche 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.
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; campus.udayton.edu/mary; and themarypage.net. The original address on the University of Dayton site, www.udayton.edu/mary, remains active as well.
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 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.
International Marian Research Institute Course ScheduleIMRI courses for the Summer 2008 semester are scheduled to commence on June 16, 2008. The course schedule is available online.
In relation to the season, we encourage you to review May, Mary's Month, Marian Coronation, Our Lady at Fatima, Does the Third Secret of Fatima Reveal Apocalyptic Events?, and No More Fatima Secrets. Also, we have updated The Marian Thoughts of Pope Benedict XVI (through 4/27/2008), and Korean-language News (through 5/13/2008).
Pope to Visit Shrines in Genoa, Savona
Benedict XVI will visit two Marian shrines during a weekend trip to Savona and Genoa, Italy.
The Vatican press office released today the schedule for the Pope's May 17-18 pastoral visit.
The Holy Father will depart from Ciampino Airport on Saturday, May 17, at 3:30 p.m. and will land an hour later at Christopher Columbus Airport of Genoa-Sestri. From there, he will be taken by helicopter to the shrine of Our Lady of Mercy in Savona. ... Around 8:15 p.m. the Pontiff will be taken by helicopter from the old dock of the port of Savona to Genoa where he will land ninety minutes later at the shrine of the Virgin of the Watch in Ceranesi.
Pope Praises Rosary as Turning of Heart to Jesus
The rosary is not a "pious practice" to be relegated to the past, says Benedict XVI.
The Pope led the praying of the rosary Saturday at the Basilica of St. Mary Major. Afterward, he addressed a few words to the faithful gathered.
"In the experience of my generation, May evenings evoke pleasant memories of evening appointments to pay homage to the Virgin Mary," the Holy Father said. "Today we together confirm that the holy rosary is not some pious practice relegated to the past, a prayer of distant times to be thought of nostalgically. Indeed, the rosary is experiencing what is almost a new springtime."
The Pontiff affirmed that the rosary can help put Christ at the center of life.
"In the modern world that is so dispersive, this prayer helps us to place Christ at the center, as did the Virgin who meditated upon everything that was said about her Son and upon what he himself did and said," the Pope continued. "When we recite the rosary we relive important monuments of the history of salvation, we again go over the various stages of Christ's mission. With Mary we turn our hearts to the mystery of Jesus.
"May Mary help us to welcome within ourselves the grace that emanates from these mysteries, so that through us, this grace can 'irrigate' society, starting with our everyday relationships, purifying it from many negative forces and opening it to the novelty of God."
Benedict XVI said that the rosary, if prayed well, has many benefits.
"The rosary, when it is prayed in an authentic manner--not mechanically and superficially, but profoundly--brings peace and reconciliation," he said. "It contains the healing power of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, invoked with faith and love at the heart of each Hail Mary."
The Pope called on those present to ensure they remain united to Mary during these days leading up to Pentecost, "invoking a renewed effusion of the Holy Spirit for the Church."
Houston Catholics Get New Co-cathedral
The 1.3 million Catholics in the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese now have a new mother church to go along with their new cardinal.
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the archbishop, was on hand when the newly built co-cathedral of the Sacred Heart opened the first weekend in April in the heart of downtown Houston to continue serving its two-thousand families and reaching out to the community.
Retired Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza, 77, of Houston began this project under his episcopacy, and continued to shepherd it after then Coadjutor Archbishop DiNardo was appointed head of the archdiocese two years ago.
ZENIT spoke with Archbishop Fiorenza, former president of the U.S. bishops' conference, about the meaning of the new co-cathedral for the archdiocese and some its most notable features.
Q: What is the importance of a cathedral in the life of a local church? Why does Galveston-Houston have a "co-cathedral"?
Archbishop Fiorenza: In the life of every diocese the cathedral is the mother church, where the bishop has his "cathedra," his chair.
Symbolically speaking, from the "cathedra," he teaches, governs and sanctifies the Church for which he has been given responsibility. It is the most important church in the diocese; it is the liturgical center for the diocese. It has extreme importance in every diocese.
The original cathedral, St. Mary's, was built in Galveston when the diocese was established in 1847. At that time, it embraced the whole state of Texas, which now has fifteen dioceses.
When the diocese was re-designated as Galveston-Houston, the Holy See established a co-cathedral in Houston; so it's a co-cathedral because of the original still in Galveston.
Q: The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston is one of the fastest-growing and most diverse communities in the United States. How is the unique character of the diocese reflected in the new Co-cathedral of the Sacred Heart?
Archbishop Fiorenza: We were conscious of the fact that we are diverse. We are centered around the local bishop; he is the source of unity for the diversity.
In the co-cathedral we have two major shrines: one to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, who is patron of the co-cathedral; and one to Mary Immaculate, patroness of the archdiocese and the United States.
One of the minor shrines is dedicated to Juan Diego--with his tilma bearing the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe--because over half of the diocese is Hispanic.
We have another statue of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the foundress of the Catholic school system, surrounded by three children: one Anglo, one Asian and one African-American. We did that deliberately to show the diversity of our children.
There's also a shrine to St. Martin de Porres of Peru, whose father was Spanish and mother was African; he is the patron of charity and social justice.
So in that sense we tried to be conscious of our diverse population. We've tried to appeal to our cultural diversity and the saints who have a large number of devotees locally.
Q: There are beautiful statues, Italian marble, and stained glass windows throughout the new co-cathedral. Can you describe some of your favorite features of this magnificent edifice?
Archbishop Fiorenza: A lot of people ask me, "What is your favorite part, or statue or window?" That's hard to decide.
The two large statues of Jesus and Mary are from marble, and are twelve feet high; the other statues of the saints are wood, but beautifully painted. There's a magnificent window over the entrance to the cathedral of the resurrection of Jesus, symbolically rising over the city of Houston.
The huge crucifix over the main apse is so striking in its depiction of the suffering of Jesus. They are all very attractive parts of the co-cathedral.
But I think that the most beautiful thing is the altar, a magnificent red piece of marble from Ethiopia. It sits on twelve columns, and is very strong, striking and powerful.
When you walk in, it draws your attention there, which it should; that's where the Eucharist is celebrated, where we renew the death and resurrection of Jesus at every Mass.
Q: How does the new co-cathedral highlight the Eucharist as the "source and summit" of the Church's life?
Archbishop Fiorenza: When you walk in, the whole line of sight leads you to the altar, where the Eucharist is celebrated. That's what we wanted. That's what the Catholic faith is all about--celebrating the Eucharist--and we didn't want to distract from that.
The side shrines are out of sight, so you are only drawn to the huge crucifix above, then the altar; that's clearly highlighting the Eucharist as the source of our worship and our abiding love of Jesus in the Eucharist.
The tabernacle is a replica of the exterior of the cathedral, and is placed at the side of the altar, clearly visible to everyone. Its chapel is lined with the same red marble that the altar is made of, and has engraved in its wall, "I am with you always until the end of time."
It leads you to be conscious of the presence of Jesus, the abiding presence of Jesus in the Eucharist....
May Crownings of Mary
Answered by Legionary of Christ Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum University.
Q: In the back of "The Rites of the Catholic Church" there is an Order of Crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary. My concern is regarding organizing a May crowning of the Blessed Mother. In the introduction to this rite (No. 8) it lists the bishop, or a priest entrusted by him, as the minister. Can this rite be used for crownings that are repeated yearly? Can this rite be used by a group of laypeople wishing to honor the Blessed Mother with a crown for May? Is there a separate rite (even a semiofficial one) for May crownings?--M.S., Cleveland Ohio
A: Actually, we are speaking of two different things. The order of crowning found in the rites is that of placing a precious bejeweled gold or silver crown upon a particularly venerated image of Our Lady. This is obviously done only once or at least rarely.
If the image is found in a diocesan sanctuary, then it is performed by the bishop or his delegate, either another bishop or a priest such as the rector of the Marian sanctuary.
Some images of national or international renown are occasionally crowned in the name of the pope as a sign of special veneration. In this case the Holy Father issues a special decree giving directives regarding the mode of crowning.
The May crowning is an act of popular devotion in honor of our Blessed Mother that is repeated every year. As the name indicates, it is usually done during the month of May, but in some countries, especially in the Southern Hemisphere, it is performed in other months especially in November.
The custom of the May crowning fell out of favor in many places during the 1970s and '80s. Recently it has made a comeback along with Eucharistic adoration, the rosary, and many other traditional Catholic practices that serve to nurture the faith and devotion of the faithful.
There is a lot of flexibility regarding the rite, and it can be adapted to many different circumstances and situations depending on whether the crowning is done in a parish, a school or classroom, or even in the family.
If the statue of Mary to be crowned is not already in a fixed place, an image may be set up on some suitable support.
The area may already be decorated with flowers, but those participating in the crowning may also process to the image carrying flowers and singing appropriate Marian hymns before placing their bouquets at Mary's feet.
The rite may consist of hymns, prayers, and maybe an act of consecration to Our Lady.
The climax of the celebration is the moment when the one of those present places a crown of flowers on Mary's head accompanied by a traditional hymn to the Blessed Mother.
After the crowning, the person leading the event concludes with a suitable prayer. If he is a priest or deacon, he may impart a blessing.
Regarding the harmony that should reign between the demands of the liturgy and the celebration of May, the Holy See's Directory of Popular Piety says the following in No. 191:
"In many cases, the solution for such problems would seem to lie in harmonizing the content of the 'Marian months' with the concomitant season of the Liturgical Year. For example, since the month of May largely corresponds with the fifty days of Easter, the pious exercises practiced at this time could emphasize Our Lady's participation in the Paschal mystery (cf. John 19, 25-27), and the Pentecost event (cf. Acts 1, 14) with which the Church begins: Our Lady journeys with the Church having shared in the novum of the Resurrection, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The fifty days are also a time for the celebration of the sacraments of Christian initiation and of the mystagogy. The pious exercises connected with the month of May could easily highlight the earthly role played by the glorified Queen of Heaven, here and now, in the celebration of the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist."
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.
Famous Author Slams "Adult" Catholics Who Say They
Don't Need Mary
Vitorrio Messori, the most popular Italian Catholic writer, has slammed so-called "adult" Catholics who want to minimize the role of the Virgin Mary, just days before the presentation of his new book Hypothesis About Mary in Spain.
The best-selling author of books such as Crossing the Threshold of Hope, addresses who Mary is for believers in his new work, the credibility of apparitions in Lourdes and Fatima and Mary’s role in Christian belief. The new book has yet to be translated into English.
Messori confesses that years ago he was asked to write a book about Mary, but the proposal "seemed extravagant." However, little by little, he realized that "the Mother is discovered afterwards, when one has entered into a relationship with the Son…Then we realize that the discreet presence of Mary is essential."
According to Messori, the fact that certain Catholics "are ashamed" of Mary is due "above all to a Protestant influence on Catholicism. Reformation theology has always been convinced that what is given to the Mother of God is taken away from the Son. In reality, the truth is the opposite: wherever Mary is eclipsed, Jesus disappears as well, either before or after. As almost five centuries of experience shows, the faith has been preserved much better between Catholics and Orthodox, who give Mary the role that is hers. The fact is that this Woman is the guarantor of the truth of the Incarnation: it is her flesh, it is her uterus that guarantees that God has truly been made man."
"Many theologians," he went on, "believe that Marian devotion isn't 'elegant,' and they think that it is a sentimental deviation unworthy of adults. And it is true that, often times, devotion to Mary has been mere sentimentalism; but what I have tried to show in my book, where there is no rhetoric, is that there can exist a 'manly' devotion, in the truest sense of the word, like the Medieval knights for example."
Starting with the Enlightenment, he said, "a culture understood only in an academic and scholastic sense has been exalted. In reality, while this culture can lead to pride, the humility of the ignorant according to the world makes him more willing to understand the Mystery of a God who wanted to become a child, who we know knew how to read but who we are not sure knew how to write."
Therefore, in Hypothesis About Mary, Messori explains that he seeks to convey that "without Mary Christianity is incomplete. What’s more, without Mary the faith itself is in danger, is unbalanced and without strong roots ... In fact, in the book I show how the Marian presence prevents the faith from falling into error. It is an essential element of equilibrium, it's not an optional choice," he said.
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!
Marian Commemoration Days
To celebrate the month of May 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 May.
MSA 2008--The Fifty-Ninth Annual Meeting of the Mariological Society of America.
Topic: Cooperation of the Virgin Mary in Redemption
Location: Stonehill College (Easton, Massachusetts)
Date: May 20-23, 2008
For further details, click into the conference brochure (which includes the full program), or visit the MSA website. The Registration Form is also available online (in PDF format, requiring Adobe Acrobat Reader as does the brochure).
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