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We have received a number of emails from readers commending our institute and its website, The Mary Page. Thank you all for your encouragement and support. The following is a typical example.
Mary in Books, Films, and Music
Marian Film in Production
Judith Lungen, Executive Director of Piccolo Productions, sent us a update on the status of Mary, Mother of Christ. She tell us that, after many delays, the film appears to be in production now, with filming scheduled in Jordan, and release planned for March 2013. For more information, click here.
The Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky is decked-out for Christmas now, its gardens awash in more than sixty thousand lights. The museum's state-of-the-art planetarium will offer a special presentation, The Christmas Star, providing insight into the mysterious star that heralded Christ's birth when it appeared in the East and then guided the wise men to Bethlehem. Click here to view the promotional video for the museum's Christmas Town exhibit.
Radio Maria from The Marian Library
Prayer composed by the late Pope John Paul II for Radio Maria
Dear Mary, guide us in our major decisions and give us strength and courage to follow the secret inroads of the airways, keeping faith in God and mankind, so that we may bring the joyful message of Christ, the Savior, to the hearts and minds of all. Mary, guiding star of the new evangelization, be with us. Be with Radio Maria as its guide and protector.
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 12:00 - 1:00 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, December 21, 2011, Francesca Franchina dialogues with Jack Davis about Mary and the Incarnation, focusing on the Blessed Mother's personal preparation, what she did to prepare for the birth of the Messiah in her personal devotion and interaction with the Word in her womb, as written in The Mystical City of God, the autobiographical volumes dictated by the Blessed Mother to Sister Mary of Jesus of Agreda, Spain (Imprimatur 1902/1949). This is Part II of a three-part series on the Incarnation of our Messiah, Jesus Christ (Volume II Book 1 Chapters 22-28). Part III will air Wednesday, December 28. For your perusal: The three programs in this series (originally broadcast during Advent 2008) will cover Incarnation Volume II pp. 146-392 in The Mystical City of God.
Francesca and Friends with Francesca Franchina, National OSIA Trustee, is now being broadcast throughout the New York City metropolitan area at 11 pm on Friday nights on WSNR 620 AM, as well as on other local Radio Maria USA frequencies, and streaming on radiomaria.us. This is the replay of the program originating on the preceding Wednesday at noon EST. Give a listen every Friday at 11 PM; Mondays at 8:30 PM and LIVE on Wednesdays at noon EST.
The broadcast may also be heard on-line at radiomaria.us The website 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.
Fran's series, Through the Tummy to the Heart, (T5H) airs every 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 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.
This week's program and all Francesca's programs are archived on-line.
Living with Mary Today! Live: Thursdays and Fridays 2:30-3:00 PM EST: From the Pontifical International Marian Research Institute (IMRI) at the University of Dayton Marian Library, internationally-known Mariologists Fathers Bertrand Buby, François Rossier, Johann Roten, and Thomas Thompson of the Society of Mary (Marianists), and other IMRI faculty; Michael Duricy, Jean Frisk, and others will discuss Marian themes such as The Blessed Mother and Ecumenism; Mary and The Family; Mary and Suffering, Marian Teachings and Writings of Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI; Mary and Scripture from the Founder of the Marianists, Blessed William Joseph Chaminade; Mary and Vatican II, Marian Apparitions, and others. The Marian Library at the University of Dayton houses the largest collection of Marian books and artifacts in the world, and IMRI is one of the two sites of post-graduate studies in Mariology for the STL and STD. Find out more by visiting marypage.org. The University of Dayton; The Marian Library, and IMRI are collaborators with the International Satellite Radio Maria Network and Radio Maria Ohio. Click here for the schedule of future programs planned to date. Click here for the new audio archive!
This week's programs:
Michael Duricy, Thursday, December 22, 2:30 PM on Christmas and Film
Father John Fletcher, CC, Friday, December 23, 2:30 PM on Mary and the Significance of Christmas
From the Marian Treasure Chest
Do the Liturgical Year and the Eucharist Represent History or Mystery? by Brother John M. Samaha, S.M.
The Church's liturgy demonstrates varied symbolism and a wide versatility in the presentation of content and meaning. Some texts reflect history, at times so vividly the events seem current. Sometimes the action reported pertains to the present as it petitions or proclaims grace. Or our gaze is lifted high to the Parousia, to judgment and heaven, oriented toward the future. The liturgical texts seemingly leap from one area of reference to another, sometimes within the same sentence. Frequently it is doubtful which area of concern is intended, or it may be left undecided. How are we to absorb and gainfully employ this lively variation in proper perspective? What does the liturgy expect of us? Is it inviting us to recall salvation history? Is it offering us the grace of the present? Or is it perhaps preparing us for the life to come?
When we celebrate liturgy, we are doing the work of the People of God. The Fathers of the Church, both East and West, taught us that liturgy is nothing less than the ongoing saving work of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, still present and operative among us through the Holy Spirit. The great Latin Father, Pope St. Leo the Great, in the fifth century explained it in this way: "What was visible in our Redeemer has passed over into the sacraments." In other words, what Jesus did historically during His earthly life, He continues to do sacramentally through the liturgical mysteries He celebrates in and with His Church. Remember that 'sacraments' in the language of the Fathers refers to the mysteries of the whole, visible ministry of the Church, not just the seven sacraments in the popular, technical sense of the term. This reminds us that Jesus is working in us and through us. In effect, each of us is a sacrament of Christ.
From the very beginning it is important that we have a clear understanding of the distinct planes, layers, or dimensions on which the liturgical drama is enacted: history, grace, and eschatology.
On the historical plane the liturgy re-presents events of the past so vividly as to make them appear as happening today--some from the Old Testament, but most from the life of Christ. As an example, consider the Christmas season. The liturgy dramatically re-enacts Christ's advent and birth. During four weeks it prepares us for the birth of our Savior. In a spirit of simple, childlike longing we approach the great feast. On Christmas day itself the liturgy leads us to the crib at Bethlehem and shows us the newborn Son of God, and speaks of a "new birth in the flesh." This historical application concerns not only the birth of Christ, but His whole life, the entire history of salvation, and the lives of the saints. Consequently history is an important constituent of liturgy.
Action on the plane of grace pertains directly to us and takes place in the present. The liturgy is operative here when it proclaims and produces God's life in our souls. The historical plane serves as a framework for the plane of grace. The plane of grace is the pledge of future glory and anticipates the dimension of eschatology.
On the plane of grace the Eucharistic Liturgy is paramount. Its prayers and those of the Liturgy of the Hours reveal fully the effects of the Paschal Mystery. While quite clear, much is left to our meditation. The liturgy intimates its wealth to us, clothed in the garments of the history of salvation.
Many liturgical texts treat of the end of time, of the Parousia, of the next life, of heaven and hell. It is the consummation of the other two planes or dimensions of liturgical action, the end for which they exist and were providentially planned.
Advent offers a striking example of the interplay of these three planes or dimensions. The texts of the liturgy express longing for the first coming of Christ in the flesh in terms of history. Always implied is Christ's coming in grace, a point frequently made explicit. In the mystery of the Mass the appearance of Christ upon the altar is awaited. The ultimate reference, however, is to His final coming at the end of time. We distinguish a threefold advent, although we do not always determine which one is intended in a particular liturgical reading. Sometimes all three may be possible. Stress may be placed now on one, now on the other, and often those at prayer choose the precise application. It is exactly this lively tension that makes the liturgy dramatic. To understand and differentiate these several areas of orientation is the first requirement for understanding the sacred texts. The second task is to apply this understanding to daily life.
Entering the mystery of the liturgy
How do we accomplish so beneficial a task? From the outset we must be convinced that the liturgy is concerned primarily with the present. The past or future are only symbols or signposts of today's outpouring of grace. The chief function of the liturgy is to bring us divine life now. However, the present may be disguised in the raiment of the past or the future.
Looking at the Advent liturgy again, we notice that the texts speak at length about the first coming of Christ, the Incarnation. This deserves our serious consideration and grateful remembrance as we mine the spiritual value. But to make Advent a sentimental preview of Christmas would be a mistake. And this is the misdirection of civic and commercial observances. There is much more to Advent and Christmas. We no longer yearn for Christ's first coming because it is past. But we can put such desire in the service of grace. Through grace Christ comes to us in a manner symbolized by His first coming. His earthly life and work foreshadowed His work in the Church and in our souls. Every year we should long for and prepare for His coming in grace, using the history and symbols of His first coming, His birth and infancy. Although grace is already within us, grace can come to us again and again in fuller measure.
In the Mass the liturgy attains its closest contact with the present. In the Mass not only are the Body and Blood of Christ present, but the Divine High Priest and Lamb of God appears on the altar, fulfilling the symbols of His earthly life. By the Eucharist, history becomes present and hope becomes reality. The past and future become actual before our eyes. What we read as past history and what we await as future hope merge into a holy now and a blessed today in the Mass. Essential to the celebration and application of the liturgy is knowing that in the mystery of the Mass we transpose to the present everything relating to past or future.
The people of the early Church lived with the expectation of the second coming of Christ constantly in mind. With the passing of centuries interest shifted to the present. Yet many eschatological texts are found in the liturgy. However the liturgy does not suggest we dream away the present and live only in the future. When presenting to us the final times, it is admonishing us to strip our hearts of fleeting earthly attachments and to anchor them where true joy is found. Thus the frequent repetition of the Lord's admonition to be watchful and ready always for His coming. His final coming is anticipated in the Eucharistic mystery enacted before us now.
The Mass-mystery Embodies All
Consequently the Eucharistic liturgy is the focal point to which all phases of the liturgy converge. Again recalling the Advent liturgy, we find in the Mass the symbol of Christ's first coming taking on reality, His second coming is anticipated, and He comes to us in grace. The human soul becomes the scene of that threefold advent. Jesus appears on the altar, visits us in Holy Communion, and enlightens our darkness through the glory and grace of His presence.
Liturgy is no ethereal intangible. It is as absolute as birth, and judgment, and death. Our desire for the coming of the Newborn into the crib of our hearts is not empty sentiment. Underlying it is the solid truth of the "new birth of the Only-begotten in the flesh" (Vigil of Christmas). The sacramental interpretation of the Eucharist presents a veritable treasury of grace embodying all that is proper to the work of redemption--commemorative, eschatological, or sacramental portent.
Through the liturgy we receive our true treasure, the pearl of divine life. Truly the Church year is a year of grace.
Is the liturgical year history or mystery? It's not a case of either-or, but one of both-and.
At the Manger: World Nativity Traditions
You are invited to the Roesch and Marian Libraries! Enjoy an all new selection of world Nativities in three featured exhibitions from November 26, 2011 - January 29, 2012. Click here for details including a video.
We are also currently exhibiting A Southern Charm: Santos, Bultos, and Nichos in The Marian Library Gallery on the seventh floor of Roesch Library.
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 Mariology section 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 originated east of Milan, Italy in 1983, and is now heard in fifty-four countries. The main USA station is in Alexandria, Louisiana with affiliate stations across the USA [including FM 88.7, WHJM, in Anna, Ohio (north of Dayton) and AM 1600, WULM, in Springfield/Dayton, Ohio. All USA Radio Maria stations regularly air live Marian talks from UD's Marian Library every Wednesday from 12:00-1:00 pm EST and on Thursday and Friday from 2:30-3:00 pm EST, as well as local programming originating from many other affiliated Radio Maria stations in the USA.
International Marian Research Institute Course Schedule
IMRI courses for the Fall 2011 semester concluded on October 28, 2011.
The Pontifical Academic Program leading to STL and STD in theology with a specialization in Marian Studies offers courses in three year-round sessions. See our course offerings through Summer 2012.
Material on international stamps with images of Mary exists on The Mary Page (also available in French). The latest updates were: Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Poland; and Portugal. Expect more countries to follow.
We have revised and expanded our material in Chinese. This is a work in progress, so expect more content soon. Feel free to let us know what you think of this section.
We also posted the schedule for PAMI's International Mariological-Marian Congress, to be held in Rome next September.
Celebrating a First-Century Christmas
Title: Christmas Town
Date: December 9-10, 16-17, 26-27, and 30-31, 2011
Location: Creation Museum; 2800 Bullittsburg Church Rd., Petersburg, KY 41080 (seven miles west of the Cincinnati Airport)
Christmas Town is a special, free presentation by Answers in Genesis’ (AiG) Creation Museum. Last year, more than twenty-two thousand people from the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region visited Christmas Town in the eight days that it was open to the public.
Christmas Town will feature a replica Bethlehem village and a live nativity that will showcase the incredible drama of the Savior's birth. Other dramatic presentations will bring Gospel events to life from the perspective of John the Baptist's mother Elizabeth, the wise men, and a temple guard. There is even a first-century marketplace for purchasing last-minute Christmas gifts.
Father Cantalamessa's Third Advent Sermon
Here is a translation of the third Advent sermon by Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, the preacher of the pontifical household, which was delivered today.
Four days ago the American continent celebrated the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which in Mexico is also a holy day of obligation. This is a happy coincidence, when our subject in this meditation is the third great wave of evangelization that followed the discovery of the New World. Never more than in the history of this devotion did Mary deserve the title of Star of Evangelization....
Four days ago, as I recalled at the beginning, Latin America celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. There is much discussion about the historicity of the facts underlying the origins of this devotion. We need to understand what is meant by an historical fact. There are so many facts that are historical but not historic, because not everything that happened is 'historic' in the truest sense, but only that which, in addition to having happened, has had an impact on the life of a people, has created something new, has left its mark on history. And what a mark has left the devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe in the religious history of the Mexican and Latin American peoples!
It is of great symbolic significance that, at the dawn of the evangelization of the American continent, in 1531, on the hill of Tepeyac to the north of Mexico City, an image of the Virgin Mary was imprinted on the cloak, or tilma, of St. Juan Diego as La Morenita, in other words, with the features of a humble, half-caste girl. There could have been no more expressive way of saying that the Church, in Latin America, is called to become--and wishes to become--indigenous with the indigenous, Creole with the Creoles, all things to all peoples.
Click here to read the complete article.
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.
Gingrich Represents New Political Era for Catholics
Source: The New York Times (nytimes.com), December 17, 2011
Newt Gingrich sat beneath the soaring dome in the largest Roman Catholic church in North America, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, and listened as a choir that included his wife sang at an evening vespers service for Pope Benedict XVI and three hundred American bishops....
Mr. Gingrich's enchantment with John Paul led him and his wife to make a documentary film extolling the Polish pope's role in liberating Poland from Communism. (The film, Nine Days That Changed the World, is co-produced by Citizens United, the same organization involved in the landmark Supreme Court decision on campaign financing.)
George Weigel, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a conservative research group in Washington, and a papal biographer who appeared in Mr. Gingrich's movie, said, "Mr. Gingrich was impressed by John Paul II's courage and by the late Pope's conviction that aroused consciences can be a powerful force in reshaping history--which is what happened with the Solidarity Movement in Poland."
Mr. Gingrich has increasingly warned that the United States is threatened by the encroachment of both secularism and Islam, and those who know him say he sees the Catholic Church as a powerful and convincing bulwark against it. The theme of secularism as a threat to Europe is a frequent one for Pope Benedict, who spoke about it in his speech to the American bishops the day Mr. Gingrich was in the crowd at the basilica.
In the speech to the prayer breakfast, Mr. Gingrich cited Mr. Weigel's book, The Cube and the Cathedral. He said that it captured "the crisis of European civilization as militant, government-imposed secularism undermines and weakens Christianity."
Click here for the complete article.
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.
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 submit prayer requests directly or to volunteer as a prayer partner for these intentions!
The Mary Page website is updated frequently. Please stop in again and see what's in the news.
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