Mary Page News

August, 11, 1998

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.

Summer at ML/IMRI Comes to A Close
Thea Kielt Jarvis in The Tidings
Jesus in the Womb
St Petersburg, Church of the Assumption
Woods Hole, Cape Cod Garden
Lexicon of Marian Art Music
Free Rosaries
5000 Catholic Links
Marian Shrines

Summer Season at ML/IMRI Comes to A Close

The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute looks back upon an eventful summer season which highlighted several new initiatives in the area of Marian research and study. Classes were held by internationally and nationally known scholars, with new professors, Carol Purtle, PhD, art historian from the University of Memphis and Deyanira Flores, STD, Catholic University Anselmo Llorent y Lafuente and the Theological Institute of Central America in Costa Rica. Fr. G. Tavard, Assumptionist, and Fr. L. Gambero, Marianist, renowned theologians and lecturers also returned to the staff this summer. The mainstay theologians of the Institute, Fr. Johann G. Roten, SM, Fr. Bertrand A. Buby, SM, and Fr. Thomas A. Thompson, SM, and Fr. Frederick Jelly, OP, continued in their respective areas of marian theology.

In the form of two open evening lectures, a new feature this summer offered marian studies to the entire University of Dayton community and beyond. Fr. Eamon R. Carroll, O.Carm. prepared these open session with two presentations, one entitled, "What do they say about Mary...Today?" and the second, "Mary in Poetry." Both evenings were well received.

The highlight of the summer was a symposium on Mary's Place in Redemption: Toward a New Marian Dogmas?. The symposium took place from July 18-19, 1998 at the University of Dayton. Fr. Roten, S.M., opened the symposium with a presentation which developed the theme, "Mary and Dogma." He showed the meaning of dogma and its purpose in church teaching. He weighed the perspectives of the theologians, Karl Rahner and Han Urs von Baltasaar, in the matter concerning how to view dogma, and dealt with the pro and cons of the process of dogmatization. He looked back to the previous dogmas and advised that the full meaning of those dogmas be developed, both in terms of further study and in research into pastoral application.

Fr. Frederick Jelly, O.P. followed with a paper on "Mary's Place in Redemption." He looked at the development of marian teaching in the early Fathers of the Church and gave examples of doctrines such as Mary, the New Eve. He emphasized that the question of the conference was not a question of degree of loving and honoring Mary, but of the opportuneness of using vocabulary to honor her, which so closely emulates the vocabulary used to teach about Our Lord Jesus Christ. Fr. Jelly does not believe it is advisable to proclaim a dogma to confirm the Catholic belief that Mary was with Christ and, as his mother, shared in his sufferings with the sorrow of her heart. He considers this a constant teaching of the church, which is included in Mary's tasks as Mother of God and spiritual mother to us.

The third speaker, Fr. Peter Fehlner, F.F.I., spoke in favor of proclaiming the teaching on Mary's share in Christ's sufferings and the redemption. He based his study on the long Franciscan tradition of the choice of God's will to create Mary fit to bear Christ and to assist him in the entire work of redemption, from the first moment of her existence, at the cross, to the end of her life and beyond.

Canon Rene Laurentin spoke of the 20th century development in Marian studies on Mary's Mediation. He pointed out the research that had been done up to the declaration of the Assumption and the lack of continuity in study after that point. He explained that Pope Pius XII originally had hoped to declare the teaching on Mary's mediation and co-redemption during his pontificate, but the studies of theological advisors convinced him that a declaration would be inopportune for theological ambiguities and ecumenical considerations. Fr. Laurentin experienced the proceedings of Vatican II, where the question of proclaiming a dogma on mediation was again a topic of debate. The council fathers did not pursue the matter, and at the end of the council there was unanimity and joy at Pope Paul VI's decision to honor Mary with the title, spiritual Mother of the Church. Laurentin asked the assembly to consider the teachings of Vatican II on Mary and to take those teachings as norm for the present.

The symposium concluded with a panel discussion of the speakers, moderated by Fr. George Kirwin, O.M.I. Fr. Kirwin had masterfully directed the symposium with the analogy of a baseball game with all players on base, one team searching for a solution to the question of diversity in opinion regarding how to express what each of the players believe is the faith of the Catholic Church.

Yet another scholar, Fr. Eamon R. Carroll, O.Carm., was the homilist, both at the Saturday evening vespers and at the Sunday morning liturgy. Fr. Carroll's gift of the poetic and the devotional sought to confirm us in the one faith in and love for Our Lord Jesus Christ, who draws Mary intimately into God's plan.

After the symposium, echoes were noted in several local and regional newspapers. Media coverage, in some unfortunate cases, entirely misunderstood the actual theological issue at hand. If you are interested in some of the aspects of that discussion, we invite you to read what the news service of the University of Dayton reported. You will find it at:

Campus News Digest

Discussion is currently underway to evaluate the possibilities for The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute to publish the papers of the conference. A second option is also currently being weighed: that is, to continue periodically sponsoring symposia of this nature.


Thea Kielt Jarvis in The Tidings, June 5, 1998

Guest columnist, Thea Kielt Jarvis, wrote an article describing her experience with her sisters. She writes: "I am lucky enough to have three sisters. Each one is as unique as the wildflowers sprouting in my backyard garden. Each has a special place in my heart that can't be filled by anyone else."

Jarvis then goes on to describe her own two grown daughters, her sisters- and daughters-in-law, and her close friends who are like family to her. Her then writes:

"Being surrounded and supported by such a sisterhood is like rediscovering my image in the hall mirror. Catching a glimpse of myself in the eyes of my sisters reminds me of who I am and who I want to be. Their comforting presence is a touchstone that carried with it the seeds of my growth and passage.

"Others seem to have a sisterly sense of Mary as well." Jarvis continues by listing the interest of the media in Mary in several areas. She adds, "Not surprisingly, National Catholic Reporter editor Tom Fox cites the Mary Page as one of the most significant sites for Catholic Internet surfers in his book, Catholicism on the Web."

"Though some put dire warnings and heavy-handed words in Mary's mouth, her message has historically been one of consolation, love and encouragement, says Father Thomas Thompson of the University of Dayton's Marian Library, where the Mary Page originates.

Remembering Mary as a caring cousin visiting her pregnant relative, a young mother giving birth in an unfamiliar place, a new wife wondering where her husband is taking her, a distraught parent hunting her lost child, it's not hard to see why Mary's womanly wisdom and sisterly compassion are so widely sought.

Thea Kielt Jarvis concluded her article by sharing the following experience:

"At a May crowning after Sunday Mass this spring, I watched as a first communicant dressed in white lace climbed a shaky stepladder to place a wreath of flowers on Mary's sun-drenched head. The earnest smile that had been carved into Mary's stony face was reflected in the eyes of the faithful and in the statue of the playful child-God she eagerly leaned forward to present to us.

We all sang a Marian hymn as a warm breeze took the wreath and tilted it jauntily on Mary's head. No one moved to right it or to fix it perfectly atop the smiling statue.

The wreath sat askew, a sign of Mary's generous humanity, her oneness with us and her sisterhood with me."

Thea Kielt Jarvis writes from Stone Mountain, Georgia. We thank her for her lovely testimony to Mary our sister in faith.


Jesus in the Womb

In Der Spiegel (22/1998,208-211), the renowned German news journal, a remarkable discovery of art and artifacts has been made known to the public. The Cistercian convent, St. Marienstern, in Panschwitz-Kuckau -- a small village with a population of 2400 and located in the Sachsen part of the Lausitz area -- has opened its doors for the first time in it long history in terms of sharing its art treasures with the world.

The convent was founded in 1248 and has been in continued existence since that time, not destroyed or plundered by war. The convent is holding an exhibit from June 13 to October 18. The exhibit contains images, manuscripts and cultural memorabilia that is as yet unknown and undocumented in the art world.

When Medievalist, Markus Bauer visited the convent in 1996 in search of material for an historical exhibit, he came away marveling at the treasures kept there. He discovered, among other things, 120 splendidly ornamented hand painted manuscripts in a corner of the sisters' library.

The historian found three sculptures of the Blessed Virgin Mary, each with an opening in the stomach, where the viewer could see a miniature carving of the unborn Christ Child. Such sculptures were highly valued devotional objects in the 14th and 15th centuries. In the 19th century, this type of devotional image no longer spoke to the souls of the sisters in the same way, so they hung a cloth over the stomach opening, or they nailed the opening closed. Since the covering for one of these Marian figures was missing, it was put away in a remote cell, where it stayed to the present time.


St Petersburg, Church of the Assumption

In May, Pope John Paul II sent a message to Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, Apostolic Administrator of European Russia on the occasion of the blessing of the Church of the Assumption. The blessing took place on May 24, l998. The church is connected to a seminary. The pope prayed for priestly vocations and entrusted this intention to Mary, Our Lady of the Assumption:

..."This church, which was once the co-cathedral of the Archbishop of Moghilev and, at the same time, the seminary church, is one of the many testimonies to the Russian people's special devotion to Mary most holy. It is significant that it will be blessed during the month of May, which is traditionally dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, and, in particular, on the day when the liturgy venerates her with the title Help of Christians.

The idea that in its time this church served the seminary community suggests on this happy occasion that special prayers be said for priestly vocations, so that many young men in the territories of European Russia will respond generously to the Lord who calls them to dedicate their lives to the service of the Gospel. I entrust this intention to Our Lady of the Assumption, who watches with maternal care over the journey of the Christian people, and goes before them, as a sign of faith and hope, towards the dawn of the new millennium.

May a renewed devotion to the mystery of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary help all the baptized to advance in faith and fraternal love, always looking to the good things of eternity in order to give an effective witness to the kingdom of God in every aspect of social life."


Garden of Our Lady -- St. John's Church -- Woods Hole, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Take a virtual tour and a pause that refreshes by visiting the beautiful Mary Garden of Woods Hole at Cape Cod. Vincenzina Krymow, journalist and author, has prepared an article on Woods Hole for Mary Page. The article contains beautiful photographs of the Mary Garden.


You'll find the site at: Garden of Our Lady


Lexicon of Marian Art Music

New Resource! If you are looking for a detailed source of classical Marian music, be sure to visit our new feature on Marian music.

The site features:

Find the site at: Lexicon of Marian Art Music


Free Rosaries

The website, Immaculate Heart-Works, is offering a free rosary to anyone who visits their site and submits the form located there. The site is a private initiative of a couple who wishes to do good works. They have material on Fatima and Medjugorje as well.

Free Rosaries


5000 Catholic Links

We've found an incredible and good Catholic resource site:

Try it at: AlaPadre's Catholic Corner -- 5000 Catholic Links

To go directly to their Marian resources, try: Catholic Links -- The Virgin Mary


Marian Shrines

New Resource! Mary Page has begun a new feature on Marian Shrines. The names and addresses of Marian shrines throughout the world are listed by country.

If you know of shrines that are not on the Mary Page list, please E-mail us and let us know.

Completed to date:

Marian Shrines in Belgium - Canada - England - Ireland - U.S.A.


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