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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

Call For Films and Other Media

The International Catholic and Multimedia Festival in Niepokalanow in Poland is invites submissions of films and other multi-media projects through December 31, 2008.  For more information, click into or  In the past, our documentary video, All Generations Shall Call Her Blessed, as well as our website, The Mary Page, have received awards at this festival.

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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 stations for Radio Maria WHJM (FM 88.7) in Anna, Ohio and WULM (AM 1600) in Springfield, 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, November 26, 2008, Francesca Franchina talks with Sister Bernadette of the Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood (CPS) from the Christian Appalachian Project in Kentucky, (CAP) Father Father Ron Haft and Kay Dineen of St. Charles Borromeo Church, Kettering OH about their participation with CAP, founded by Father Ralph Beiting in 1964. CAP is the fifteenth largest human services charity in the USA; a Kentucky based interdenominational non- profit ministry committed to serving Appalachian people in need by providing physical, spiritual, and emotional support through summer camps, educational facilities, housing, child development centers, abuse shelters, respite services and G.E.D. classes while providing clothing, food, housing and spiritual endeavors with great success. They enlist support from various parishes and other community based organizations. Changing lives, teaching skills, improving the community, this is CAP Hands-On Change for Good. CALL IN TOLL FREE; PARTICIPATE IN THE PROGRAMa (during the live show); 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 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.

On Tuesday, November 25, 2008, Francesca Franchina discusses Thanksgiving and Advent: giving thanks, developing an attitude of gratitude, waiting and watching for the Lord. Francesca cooks up good things to think and pray about as well as good things to eat. This week she shares her holiday recipes for Italian Breaded Artichoke Hearts, and Italian Green Bean and Artichoke Hearts Salad and her family's traditional Holiday Heavenly Hash.

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From the Marian Treasure Chest

Preparing For Jesus' Birthday (by Brother John M. Samaha, S.M.)

What do you do--besides shopping--to prepare for Christmas?  Anything that is really connected with appreciating the real meaning of  Jesus’ birthday?  What does Advent mean for you?  How can we prepare well for the arrival of Jesus at Christmas?  Are you familiar with any practices or customs that help make Christmas truly Christ-centered?  Remember that Jesus is the season for the season.

Here are some ideas to consider personally, with your family, and with friends and colleagues.  Do something really connected with the meaning of Advent to make Christmas truly Christ-centered.  Set priorities.

Daily Reading and Reflection    

Set aside ten minutes or more daily to read and ponder the inspired Word of God in the daily Mass readings or in other Old Testament and the New Testament stories that  present  the faith of the great characters, men and women, waiting in expectation for the coming of the promised Redeemer.

Receive Jesus in the Sacraments

Consider participating in Holy Mass several times during the week, or daily if possible.   Take advantage of the wonderful opportunity to receive in Holy Communion the Jesus who became human like us to redeem us.

The penitential season of Advent is also a special time to receive God’s mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Participate in a parish communal penance celebration.

An Advent Wreath

Each evening before the family’s main meal light the appropriate candles on an Advent wreath and offer a brief Advent prayer.  This is a time-honored practice. 

The symbolism of the wreath and candles presents an occasion for learning the meaning of this season.  The color of the purple candles signifies the sorrow we feel for our sins, while the pink one indicates happiness for the imminent birth of Jesus.  The evergreens symbolize the unchanging nature of God, and the circle indicates that God is eternal, without beginning or end.  The light of the candles reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world.

Play Kris Kringle

The spirit of caring and giving for another member of a family or group is another revered Advent custom.  Each family member draws the name of another family member written on a slip of paper, for whom he or she will secretly play the role of Kris Kringle (Santa Claus) or Christkindl (the Christ Child).  The person whose name was drawn is now in the special care of the Kris Kringle or Christkindl, who will perform acts of kindness for the person and perhaps offer a special gift at Christmas.  On Christmas Eve each tries to guess who played Kris Kringle for them.

Other Advent Practices

Keep an Advent Calendar to count down the days until Christmas.  A door or window is opened every day of Advent to reveal some aspect of the season in an image or text.  Such a calendar can be purchased at a religious bookstore, or another option would be simply to mark each day on an ordinary calendar.

Make a Jesse Tree to trace the family tree of Jesus.  This is done by making ornaments to symbolize the ancestors of  Jesus, beginning with Jesse, the father of  King David. The tree can be made of an actual limb, felt or burlap, or construction paper.  Many can participate in such a project.

Putting  Straw in the Manger is another Advent practice in which the family and other groups can participate.  Each time a good deed or a work of mercy is performed a piece of straw is placed in the manger.  Opportunities abound for doing good deeds or works of mercy for the needy at home, at school, at work, in the neighborhood, in the parish. The straw symbolizing our charity will provide a warm and comfortable crib for the Baby Jesus on Christmas morning.

Information and materials for Advent practices are generally obtainable at religious bookstores.

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New Exhibit!

Glory Offering: An Artist's Prayer

The Marian Library gallery will show works of Margaret Werlinger [photo at left] from November 18, 2008 through January 15, 2008. For more information, click into the article from UD's Campus Report.

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.

The Marian Library will also be displaying Nativity scenes in our Gallery, as well as off-campus around the state in Ludlow Falls and Akron.

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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) and AM 1600, an affiliate in Springfield, Ohio, which air regular Marian talks from UD's Marian Library every Wednesday at 11:30 am EST.]

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In keeping with the season, we recommend the following Advent Meditation, God Still Comes as well as Advent Poetry. We have also posted a Memorial to Father Eamon R. Carroll, O.Carm.

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The Mariology Gap (Part 2)
Interview with Mariologist, Mark Miravalle
Source: Zenit (Steubenville, OH), September 4, 2008

After the Second Vatican Council there was a gap in interest in Mariology, one that Mariologist Mark Miravalle has sought to fill with a comprehensive compilation of the Church's teaching on Mary.

Mark Miravalle, professor of theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, is the editor of Mariology: A Guide for Priests, Deacons, and Seminarians, and Consecrated Persons (Queenship Publishing).

He will also be a speaker at the Twenty-second International Mariological Marian Congress, to begin Thursday in Lourdes.

The congresses, held every four years, are sponsored by the Pontifical International Marian Academy. This year's theme is "The Apparitions of the Most Holy Virgin Mary: Between History, Faith and Theology."

In part two of this interview with ZENIT, Miravalle comments on how the gap in Mariology came about, and how Pope John Paul II was key to filling it.

Q: What is the purpose of the book?

Miravalle: The intention of this work is to compile a post-conciliar, single volume on Mariology that would be helpful for priests, deacons, religious, seminarians, and consecrated persons (as well as for educated laity).

Before the Second Vatican Council, the U.S. Mariologist, Father Juniper Carol, produced a three-volume work on Mariology in which he essentially assigned a chapter to a respected theologian in the systematic study of the theology of Mary. Unfortunately there has not been a similar work done in English since the Council.

Over the years, many priests and religious have mentioned that they felt a certain "gap" in their previous formation with regard to the theology of Marian dogma and devotion, either during their seminary instruction or their religious formation. Our first intention with this work was therefore to serve clergy and religious as well as consecrated persons in filling that gap with a rich and a contemporary Mariology within the obvious limits of a single volume work.

I therefore contacted Mariologists from a diversity of countries, including Italy, Spain, France, Switzerland, and the United States, and as well from different universities and Mariological societies, and asked each to contribute one chapter concerning a dogmatic, doctrinal, liturgical or devotional truth about the Mother of the Lord, which would be in complete conformity with the directions of the Second Vatican Council, as well as conveying the Church's sublime tradition on the Mother of Jesus.

The work reflects what Pope Benedict would call a "hermeneutics of continuity" with the rich Mariology before the Council, coupled with the inspired Mariological insights of the Council and postconciliar magisterium, especially the extraordinary contributions of John Paul II. Hence, the work seeks to present the best of Classical Mariology, but also provide a contemporary theology of Mary as a result of the Second Vatican Council.

Q. How do you account for the lack of Mariological studies since the Council?

Miravalle: It is interesting that theologians like Cardinal Ratzinger have made reference to the years following the Council as a "decade without Mary." This is certainly not due to the Council's authentic Mariological teachings, but to various erroneous interpretations of the council that the council fathers as a whole sought to de-emphasize the role of Mary in the Church. The generous and genial Mariology of the Totus Tuus Pontiff, Servant of God John Paul II, was the greatest single corrective in returning Mariological trends back to the best of both classical Mariology and conciliar Mariology.

Q. What gave you the inspiration for this book?

Miravalle: Apart from the aforesaid need to fill in gaps of authentic Mariological study for some members of today's clergy, religious, and consecrated persons, was the papacy and person of John Paul II. Once again, I believe John Paul II single-handedly directed a course of both Christo-typical (or Christ-centered) Mariology and ecclesio-typical (or Church-centered) Mariology at a time when it appeared theologians felt compelled to choose either one or the other.

John Paul's Mariology manifested the perfect harmony of appreciating how Our Lady uniquely participates as co-redemptrix in the redemption brought by Jesus Christ, and her subsequent role of maternal mediation and advocacy in service to humanity; and at the same time, how the Immaculate Mother of God is the perfect model for the people of God as co-redeemers and intercessors for each other and for all humanity. Hence, John Paul II's "both and" approach to understanding Mary's unique role with Jesus and being the perfect model in the life of the Church really points to the correct hermeneutic for understanding Mariology today.

Recently in August, Pope Benedict offered profound comments regarding the sufferings of John Paul II in his later life, sufferings which our present Holy Father said released a "redeeming force" of love through the "passion" of his Totus Tuus predecessor. That's precisely being a co-redeemer in Christ after the model of Mary Co-redemptrix.

The co-redemptive sufferings of Mary with Jesus become a perfect model of Christian co-redemption for every member of the Church.

Looking first at Mary's uniqueness in relation to Jesus will never take away from her relevance to the Church. As we see that we, as the People of God, did not give birth to Jesus; are not immaculately conceived; that we will not be immediately assumed into heaven at the end of our earthly life, and that we do not mediate grace for humanity as she does, it should make clear to us the primacy of Mary as not simply the eldest daughter of the Church but as "Mother of the Church" and she holds perfections and subsequent roles beyond all others in the body of Christ.

At the same time, we are called to follow her example in the way we are called to suffer our daily crosses as members of the Church and unite them to the sufferings of Jesus and Mary for the redemption of others--as did our co-redemptrix--to be instruments of intercessory prayer for each other. As we battle on this earthly pilgrim journey for our own heavenly crowns, we can still revere her as the unique and unparalleled Queen of heaven and earth.

Q. Is there a particular emphasis in the book?

Miravalle: The challenge of the council fathers to theologians given in Lumen Gentium paragraph 54 was to continue the work regarding Mariological questions that still called for further study.

Foremost in this category would be how Mary shared in the saving mission of Jesus Christ, or the Mariological genus of what John Paul commonly termed, "maternal mediation." This is why there is a particular emphasis in these essays on Marian co-redemption and mediation.

Actually, several times already this year, Pope Benedict XVI has offered the same emphasis on Mary's role with Jesus in the historic redemption of humanity. For example, in his Feb. 11, 2008, letter on the World Day of the Sick--so closely associated with Lourdes--the Holy Father teaches Mary's unique sharing with Jesus in the redemptive passion at Calvary, and as well makes reference to Our Lady's sharing in the sufferings of her earthly children in the midst of their trials and crosses of today.

In his prayer composed for the people of China, the Pope addresses our Lady of Sheshan by recalling Mary's saving "Yes" at the annunciation in connection to her unique suffering of Calvary. The words of the prayer make explicit the connection between Mary's fiat and her cooperation in the work of redemption, ultimately allowing the sword of pain to pierce her own soul at Calvary.

So it appears that Pope Benedict is likewise contributing to "complete" the study and recognition of Our Lady's co-redemption and mediation for humanity.

Q: Does this volume seek to support the Church's efforts for a new evangelization?

Miravalle: As I mentioned previously, the book is intended to be a service to clergy, religious, and consecrated lay persons and all those who wish to gain a deeper understanding of what John Paul II used to call "the whole truth about Mary." But it's also a work for lay evangelists who find that preaching the truth about Mary is the best preparation for a full acceptance of Christ in the fullness of his Church.

The first great evangelization started with a "yes" from the Virgin of Nazareth. The second great evangelization at Guadalupe, which led to the largest Catholic continent in the world, began by sending the Mother to prepare the way for the Son.

For the present third great evangelization, we should follow the same format as God the Father used for the first two: Prepare the way through the Virgin Mother of God.

The whole truth about Mary is the best means to teach the whole truth about Jesus and the truth about his saving incarnation, redemption and his Church. Teaching about Mary leads to belief in the real Jesus, both God and man. The uncompromised teaching of the full truth about Mary will always safeguard the full truth about Jesus, and hence serve to be the most efficacious and effective guiding star and mediating force for the present new evangelization.

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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.

Thomas Cromwell and the Housing Estate That Became a Village
Source: Catholic Life (, October, 2008

What links Council Housing planners in a Welsh valley with Sir Thomas Cromwell? A patch of exposed mountainside called Penrhys that divides the Rhondda Valleys, the Fawr (Great) from the Fach (Little).

On September 14, 1538, on Cromwell's orders, the ancient and revered wooden statue of the Virgin and Child, which had reputedly arrived by divine agency in an oak tree, was removed stealthily from the Cistercian settlement at Penrhys. It was taken to London to be publicly burnt along with those of Walsingham, Doncaster, Ipswich, and others, probably including that of the other Welsh Marian shrine, Our Lady of the Taper, Cardigan. The well-spring continued to flow with the water that had drawn pilgrimages for centuries and, though these were suppressed, the evidence remains, in a handful of Welsh poems of the people's affection of people for "the tall maiden"; "our prayers in her hands, the prayers of the working-people, ever thronging at Penrhys."

It was not until 1953 that a stone statue of Our Lady of Penrhys was erected on an empty plot that the archdiocese of Cardiff acquired on the slope above the well. This must be one of the least pretentious of Marian shrines. Apart from the estate's bus shelter nearby there are no facilities except a marvelous view and clean air.

The site is also geographically stable so when the local council was looking for a site to remedy overcrowding on the valley floor it chose Penrhys. On September 13, 1968 an ambitious development of one-thousand houses was opened, a stone’s throw from the holy well; but the technical problems of such a high, windswept site had not been overcome and soon other factors weighed on the project. The public transport system, essential to the feasibility of placing families on a mountain-top, ran into funding problems. There was no community centre, no church, no doctor's surgery and no jobs on the estate and some of those most in need of re-housing were also in need of much social support. The place developed a reputation for criminality and fecklessness. It became somewhere to be avoided--isolated in many senses. There was hostility or indifference from the residents towards the shrine with pilgrimages sometimes disrupted.

The tide turned in 1986 when URC minister, John Morgans committed himself and his family to living on the estate. The Penrhys Partnership was formed, an alliance of residents and agencies. There is now an Arts Centre, a community building and a church, Llanfair (Mary's Church) which is supported by eight denominations. The Catholic Church is not one of them.  Penrhys is a place working to discover what it can be. Deliberately the Partnership now refers to Penrhys Village rather than Estate and the shrine is explored as a resource rather than something alien.

This year, realizing that the estate's fortieth anniversary would occur on the same weekend as the 470th of the destruction of the shrine, the Partnership held a month-long Penrhys Pilgrims Festival. A remarkable rapprochement is occurring between the residents and the Catholics and other Christians who come on pilgrimage to Our Lady of Penrhys. On the Partnership's initiative the story of Mary of Penrhys and her son is being told through a DVD, a book of poems and drawings in Welsh and English by local children and via drama and music. The residents feel the shrine is part of their story and that they don't live in a nowhere place but in somewhere with a long history, somewhere that is very special, a place that people could want to come to.

For the first time, this year, Penrhys residents put up stalls on the pilgrimage site and sold home-made cakes and tea to pilgrims. A group of local women, calling themselves Crafty Pilgrims, have made souvenirs to sell, such as rosaries, and commissioned trinkets with the emblematic Penrhys oak-leaf.

On September 13, a community carnival was held in front of the statue of Our Lady of Penrhys. Nine banners, made by residents, were erected to recognize the medieval fame of the shrine (naw nef yn un ynys--"nine heavens in one meadow") and as a pledge to the future of the community. On a day of brilliant sunshine they glittered by the bouncy castle.

On September 14, the anniversary of the removal of the statue, a Mass was held in the church of Our Lady of Penrhys in Ferndale down in the valley, during which the Partnership presented the parish with a specially-commissioned painting of Our Lady of Penrhys. Later there was a service of commemoration and reconciliation at the mountain-top statue involving fifteen denominations and, significantly, representatives of the residents.  The prestigious Pendyrus Male Choir took part. The service was designed to mark a period of fracture in Christian history by a commitment to seeking the unity that Christ prayed for. All clergy spoke about Mary, from within their own tradition. The Orthodox Church participated, to mark its veneration for this shrine. The Penrhys residents' spokesman said that only gradually had he understood the significance of the shrine for “the Rhondda, south Wales, Europe and the world” in its capacity to bring Christians together. The Cistercians of Caldey Island, who gave Llanfair its bell when it was founded, sent a message of loving support to the people of Penrhys. There were also messages from Peter Smith, Catholic Archbishop of Cardiff and the Archbishop of Wales, Barry Morgan.

What does the future hold for the shrine? If the residents continue to see it as a resource, then the Catholic Church must meet that initiative in a spirit of dialogue because the Marian identity must not be compromised. The residents' involvement may encourage Catholics to look more deeply into what it means to have the care of a sacred site. They may find themselves having to explain how Catholics see the difference between magic and petition, between superstition and devotion. There are also opportunities for engagement with the many spiritually committed people who are attracted by the holy well and the ambience of the site but who are not Christian.

Every Marian shrine has the same message whether it is famous and thronged or humble and obscure. It speaks of the Word made Flesh--by the bus shelter on the mountain-top.

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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!

Please note that we recently celebrated a milestone, with over one-thousand individuals now signed up on our Prayer Circle!

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Liturgical Season

Marian Commemoration Days

To celebrate the month of December 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 December.

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Marian Events

Food for the Soul Marianist Style!

Title: Learning from Our Lady of Guadalupe

Date: Tuesday, December 9, 2008, Noon

Location: Kennedy Union Room 310 on the University of Dayton campus in Dayton, Ohio

Sponsored by the Office of the Rector, a light luncheon will be provided.  RSVP required, so call 937-229-2409.

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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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