Mary Page News

November 3, 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.

Congratulations to the Diocese of Albany, New York!
The Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Young Adult Catholic Survey
Mary, The People Need Bread

Congratulations to the Diocese of Albany, New York!

The official newspaper of the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese, "The Evangelist," devoted nearly an entire issue in October to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Article after article presents significant material on the Mother of Jesus Christ. You will find such titles as:

This impressive list devoted to Mary doctrine and devotion provides a rich teaching for the diocese. Mary Page congratulates the editors for their fine presentation and hope that many more dioceses will be encouraged to periodically provide their faithful with this wealth of information on Mary.

The Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Mary Page wishes to recommend a Marian site for Marian studies:

The Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The site offers the following subtopics: General Information, How We Began, The Reason for the Society, Next Meeting, and Membership. The purpose of the Society is to advance theological and pastoral understanding of the place of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Church and to promote ecumenical devotion.

The Society usually meets on the first Saturday of May and October, typically in or near Washington, DC. Special meetings are also arranged for common worship and exploration of Mary's role.

Young Adult Catholic Survey

A web search resulted in the discovery of a review of an article in Society magazine titled, "Young Adult Catholic Survey," The article gives insights into a survey of the social life and customs of young adult Catholics in the United States conducted by William Dinges, Dean R. Hoge, Mary Johnson and Juan L. Gonzales Jr. Among several questions was one on devotion to Mary. The following is quoted directly from the site:

Devotion to Mary as the mother of Jesus is part of the Catholic tradition that has not waned significantly in the decades following Vatican II in spite of the council's implicit diminishment of Mary in the Catholic economy of salvation. The cult of the Virgin Mary continues to find enduring expressions and forms in various cultural settings. Mary is a central icon of the "Catholic Imagination," to use Greeley's phrase, who reveals the passionate love of God.

That Mary remains high on the list of essential and unifying symbols of Catholic identity may be attributed to several causes: the media visibility of John Paul II's unabashed Marian piety; the proliferation of Marian apparitions and devotionalism at the level of popular religious culture; and the Virgin's centrality in Catholic ethnic culture. Mary is also one of the most ubiquitous icons in Catholic material culture (churches, statues, rosaries). Her image also serves in contemporary culture as a mother symbol or symbol of the feminine dimension of God. She also remains a distinctive marker of Catholic identity given the decline in the knowledge of and perceived value of devotion to the saints.

More significant than these factors, Mary's role as a marker of Catholic identity contrasts sharply with the flattening of denominational distinctions and with the tendency on the part of young adult Catholics to deny substantive theological differences between Catholics and Protestants. Devotion to Mary, therefore, remains one of the few elements of a distinctive Catholic identity in the face of diminishing theological and liturgical distinctions between mainstream expressions of the Christian tradition.

To read more of the survey: Society.
Original source is: Society, Sep/Oct98, Vol. 35 Issue 6, p2, 3p.

Mary, The People Need Bread

If you read German, you may be interested in a fine Marian publication called, Maria, which is published in Switzerland. In this month of Thanksgiving, the following poem by Rev. Hermann Schalück, OFM, the president of Missio in Aachen, Germany, seems appropriate for Mary Page readers:

Mother of the Crucified, Walk with Us

Mother of our Brother and Lord Jesus Christ,
of the Poor and the Crucified,
Mother of our family, mother of the poor,
Hear the request
we trustfully commend to you today.
Many people in our world
do not have material and spiritual bread;
the bread of truth and love
is missing in many minds and hearts;
many people do not have
the bread of the Word and the bread of the Lord.
Take from the hearts of so many men and women
Egoism makes them poor.
See to it that all the peoples of the world
know how to accept the true Light
and walk on paths
of freedom and justice,
in mutual reverence and in solidarity,
which is rooted in the humanity of our God.
Our Lady of the Portiuncula,
make our hope bright and strong,
purify our eyes and hearts,
go with us on the paths of a new evangelization
toward a new, more just world,
where there is freedom for everyone.

The above is a translation of the original.

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