Mary Page News

January 6, 1999

Mary Page is a link to a variety of information. The items give insight into our interest areas, our outreach, and the myriad ways people honor Our Lady. We welcome your input and your comments.

The Magi Came to Worship
Mary Page Frequently Asked Questions -- Basis for Evening with Youth
National Public Radio Feature "Looking for Mary"
Synod Results to be Proclaimed at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City

The Magi Came to Worship

On January 6th, the universal Church celebrates the feast of the Epiphany of the Lord. In Spanish speaking lands, this is the day of gift-giving, joyful song, and festive dance.

The image below (click for full size) was painted by Hans Franke and is located in the church, Our Lady of Feldburg in the Black Forest, Germany.

[Our Lady
of Feldberg] St. Matthew's Gospel (2:9-11) tells:

Lo, the star which the wise men had seen went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshipped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
In the votive masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Church prays:

Lord our God,
through the Blessed Virgin Mary you revealed your Son to the world as the glory of Israel and the light of all nations; grant that as we follow his teaching and example we may strengthen our faith in Christ and acknowledge him to be the one mediator and the Savior of the world, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


Mary Page Frequently Asked Questions -- Basis for Evening with Youth

Back in November, the director of Mary Page received a special request. Since the request might interest others who work with youth and RCIA programs to learn more about Mary, we received permission from the adult youth leader to publish the results of her request on Mary Page:

The Request

Hi! I am an adult youth leader at my Catholic church here in Denver, Colorado. On December 7, 1997 I am giving the night's discussion on Mary-A Catholic Perspective and have been trying to think of some ways to present the evening in a way that the kids (high school age) will both enjoy and learn more about Mary. I have been doing some research on the Internet and often I see the "Frequently Asked Questions" about Mary. I was thinking about starting off my evening by getting the kids into small groups and having each of them answer a few of those questions to see if they do know the answer. I thought I would write to you and see if you had any ideas that might help me make my night one the kids will remember and learn from.

signed Kerri Sutey

Fr. Roten's Reply

Very interesting approach to start with FAQ questions. You would have to choose the easier ones among them. Here is a suggestion to add a bit of incentive and sense of competition: You could send us the most interesting/meaningful answers and we would put them on our Website. Announcing this to your audience, you could trigger their interest.

Kerri Sutey's Response

Thank you for writing me back. I have decided to start my night out with "Mary Mania" a game show type scenario. I will have about 20 questions, most from the FAQ and some that I have made up. Then afterwards, we will discuss Mary more in depth and go over some of the answers. I will send you any questions that the kids come up with. They will have time in small groups to come up with questions for me too. I am looking forward to Sunday and I hope the kids enjoy learning more about Mary. Thank you for your help and I will email you the "results."

Kerri's Report

Wed, 10 Dec 1997

Father Roten,

Hi! Thanks for all your support. The evening was a big success in many ways. I had several different questions the youth had to answer. They did pretty well but made some of the common mistakes - - Immaculate Conception = virgin birth of Jesus, etc. It is funny how we grow up Catholic and sometimes the beliefs are just not understood correctly. I even asked them: Mary is considered the fourth part of the Holy Trinity and a few of the kids said True!!

One of the questions I asked was: Which two of the following places has the Church officially recognized that Mary appeared? (500 points)

No one got that answer correct. They asked me how the Church decides which "sitings" are real. I don't know how the Church decides that. Can you tell me?

Most all of the kids were able to answer that Mary is buried nowhere. A couple groups said she was buried in Jerusalem but the remaining six teams said nowhere. They knew she was taken into heaven body and soul but had forgotten the name of the word - Assumption.

I had a pamphlet that you were quoted in several times. It is not here at the office so I don't remember the name. But you mentioned about Mary's free will to choose. The kids had a good time with that. They liked the idea that Mary could have chosen to say No to Gabriel. But then we had a discussion on what would have happened.

The evening went into greater discussion on a topic that was not totally Mary related. However, I have learned over the last three years to be flexible with kids. When they find a topic they want to discuss, go with it. I had a small group question that was: Imagine it is the year 2000, your good friend (possibly even from youth group) is getting married. Great girl, great guy. Then you find out she is pregnant and it is not his child. Basically the Mary story. They had a GREAT time discussing that. How they would have felt to be either the girl (Mary) or the fiance (Joseph).

Then we talked a great deal about Jesus' second coming and how would we know. Would it be that he would be re-born in a "Mary" or would it be some other way. We talked about Revelations. We talked about how Jesus could be here now and we not know it.

So, it was a great evening. I feel strongly that they learned more about Mary than they thought they would. I ended the evening with the one idea that has always hit home to me: God went through Mary to bring us His only son, He went through Mary to bring us salvation, Word became flesh through Mary. What better way to pray to God than through Mary - the same way He came to us.

We ended with a decade of the Rosary and the kids all came up to me afterwards to tell me they really enjoyed the night.

Thank you for your prayers and support. I know it helped make the night a success.

Kerri Sutey

Concluding Response

Kerri,

Congratulations! You seem to have done a very good job, and, yes, there are times when you have to go with the flow and improvise. Thanks for your enthusiasm.

As to the Church's evaluation of apparitions, have a look at our FAQ #9 and #10, as well as under Resources.

We will feature your evening in News .

Fr. Roten


National Public Radio Feature "Looking for Mary"

A professor of the International Marian Research Institute was featured on National Public Radio in December. In the National Public Radio Feature "Looking for Mary" Father Thomas Thompson offers a possible explanation for the increasing reports of apparitions of the Virgin Mary. For the Real Audio format, see http://www.npr.org/programs/wesat/971206.mary.html


Synod Results to be Proclaimed at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City

Pope John Paul II concluded the special synod on the Americas on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12, 1997. He devoted six paragraphs of his homily to Our Lady. The Holy Father pointed out that the synod had been specially placed under Mary's prayer protection. The pope reminded those present that Our Lady of Guadalupe was "the first witness to Christ's presence in America." He added, "Her shrine in the heart of the American continent represents an indelible reminder of the evangelization achieved in the past five centuries." The Holy Father affirmed that the synod participants experienced the special presence the Mother of God, and that "the future path of the Church on the great continent of America" will be entrusted to her.

The pope stated: "A few days ago, at the end of the Synod's work, you accepted the proposal of the three Presdients Delegate and expressed the desire that for the promulgation of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation I return as a pilgrim to her shrine in Mexico City. In this matter I entrust the entire project and desire to her." Although the Holy Father made no promises in this regard, he used the opportunity to recall his first visit to Guadalupe in 1979 when he placed the evangelization of America in her hands.

The pope then turned to Mary in prayer in the name of all the bishops and renewed the entrustment he made at that time. The following prayer has been quoted from the text in the December 17/24 issue of L'Osservatore Romano. Mary, virgin of Guadalupe, Mother of all America, help us to be faithful stewards of the great mysteries of God. Help us to teach the truth your Son proclaimed and to spread love, which is the first commandment and first fruit of the Holy Spirit. Help us to confirm our brothers and sisters in the faith. Help us to spread hope in ternal life. Help us to guard the great spiritual treasures of the members of God's people who are entrusted to us.

Queen of the Apostles! Accept our willingness to serve unreservedly the cause of your Son, the cause of the Gospel and of peace, based on justice and love among individuals and between peoples.

queen of peace! Save the nations and peoples of the whole continent whotrust in you; save them from war, hatred and subversion. May all, governors and the governed, learn to live in peace; may they be educated for peace, and undertake everything for peace, and undertake everything required by justice and respect for the rights of each person, so that peace may be strengthened.

Listen to us, "morenita" Virgin, Mother of Hope, Mother of Guadalupe!


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