Mary Page News

December 7, 1999

Mary Page News items give insight into our interest areas, our outreach, and the myriad ways people honor Our Lady. We welcome your input and your comments.


Mary in Advent

Includes New Feature – The Jesse Tree
Celebrate the Immaculate Conception
Includes New Feature – Immaculata Conception in Images
Celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe
A Gift of Love for the Marian Library
Millennium to be Dedicated to Mary
Professor of IMRI Writes New Book
Mary in the News
We Are/Were in the News
Cuban Christmas Cards
Mary Movie Had 16.7 Million TV Viewers
Theology Today Has Mary Issue
She is 33 feet tall!

Mary in Advent: Includes New Feature – The Jesse Tree

Celebrate the Immaculate Conception: Includes New Feature – Immaculata Conception in Images

Celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe

A Gift of Love for the Marian Library

The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute has slowly acquired a state of the art collection of fine nativity sets from around the world. The collection now numbers ca sets. Many of the nativities have been gifts presented to the library. It has become a recent tradition to exhibit the sets during the Christmas season. [See article: Crèches International]. For the Year 2000 crèches will be exhibited all year long at the library.

Fr. Roten, SM, who curates the exhibit and is director of The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute is pleased by the growing value of the collection. He received the following letter dated December 2, 1999, which we would like to share with you:
Rev. dear Fr. Roten,

I am happy to give you my Hummel Nativity set. This was a Christmas gift from my father in 1953 so you can see I have loved it for many, many years.

My father designed a stable for the figurines so that Christmas lights could be placed inside the stable and also on the outside. He put a switch in the corner so that you could easily turn the lights off or on, and also had room to plug in a Christmas tree.

He used a wooden board as a base and used plaster to simulate a rugged, hilly, background. He put a window in the back and made a rack for the fodder for the animals. Around the side of the stable he made a walkway and steps leading to the front.

As nearly as I can determine, the trademark date of the figurines is 1950.

I really do hate to give it up, but I am 80 years told with no close relatives, and I appreciate the love and care you give to your collection of nativity sets, and the joy you give to others by sharing them.

So I thank you, Fr. Roten for accepting this gift.

Marianne Otto

We at The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute are deeply touched by the tender love and generosity of Marianne Otto. May our good and loving God reward her kindly and all those who remember Our Lady and her work in this way!

Millennium to be Dedicated to Mary

For the millennium Holy Year, a great number of jubilee celebrations will take place. [see: Jubilee Celebrations] The bishops of the Church will celebrate their specific millennium jubilee in Rome on the occasion of the 10th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. At that time, the bishops will dedicate the new millennium to the protection of Mary. Check the Vatican website as the new year proceeds for updates: Holy Year Calendar from the Vatican

Jubilee of Bishops
Sunday, October 8, 2000 St Peter's Basilica
Holy Mass

Professor of the International Marian Research Institute Writes New Book

Who is the woman in the Book of Revelation? What is Revelation's real message? Father Bertrand Buby, S.M., who holds positions at the University of Dayton and at the International Marian Research Institute, looks at the Book of Revelation to discover how the woman of Revelations has been interpreted through the centuries. He also deals with the apocalyptic theme and contends that the Book of Revelation isn't as apocalyptic as it seems and that the passages are often taken out of context. The main message is, "Worship God." See Full Article, UD News Digest

Mary in the News

The following bits and pieces indicate notice of Mary in various news features assessable on the Interbet:

  • On May 13, 2000, Pope John Paul II will travel to Fatima to beatify Francisco and Jacinta Marto, two of the children who experienced the Fatima apparitions in 1917. Francisco died in 1919; Jacinta in 1920.

  • A play entitled, "The Miracle of Tepeyac" has experienced its fifth successful year as a production by El Centro Su Teatro at Auraria near Denver. The production combines a play about the appearance of the Virgin at Guadalupe, Mexico with one about a pastor not interested in dealing with his parishioners. The theater is supplemented by the Aztec dancers of Grupo Tlaloc. Lisa Bornstein, News Theatre Critic for the Denver Rocky Mountain News, writes: "The miracle of the production by El Centro Su Teatro is the way it has brought together a community dispersed by construction and then geography." For information about this production, telephone: 303-296-0219.

  • The Church of England will translate the Creed in its new prayer book as follows: "By the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary." The bishops of the Church of England favor a translation that states: "incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary." According the writer Ruth Gledhill of The Times (London), "This version is supported by many on the Church's Catholic wing, but disliked by evangelicals because it appears to give Mary an equal role in the conception." The dispute centers on whether the Greek preposition 'ek' should be translated as 'by', 'from' or 'of'."

  • The Australian National Gallery canceled the exhibit, "Sensation," which featured the "portrait of the Virgin Mary decorated with elephant dung."

We Are/Were In The News

  • The University of Dayton News Service reports: "Nativities on display -- 'Creches International,' an exhibit of 60 Nativity scenes from around the world, will be on display through Jan. 9..." See the full article at: UD News Digest"

  • The national PBS program "Religion and Ethics Newsweekly" rebroadcast its feature "Devotion to Mary". Father Thomas Thompson, S.M., and Father Johann Roten, S.M., provided the commentary on Mary. Statues and art from the Marian Library were featured in the piece.

  • Fr. Roten, director of ML/IMRI, was mentioned in the San Antonio Express-News on November 13, 1999, in an article on Medjugorje. Fr. Roten stated, "the Church has never made any absolute or final judgment on Medjugorje. It left the subject open to further study and evaluation..."

Cuban Christmas Cards

Are you looking for unique and finely crafted Christmas cards? See the work of the artists contributing to a special project of the diocese of Havana. You will find the examples at . 8 cards are being sold for $8; more than 10 packs, each pack for $7. You can obtain more information from Araceli M. Cantero, "La Voz Catolica", 9401 Biscayne Blvd, Miami Shores FL 33138. Telephone: 305-757-6241, ext 312, 128 or fax: 305-754-1797.

Mary Movie Had 16.7 Million TV Viewers

The movie, "Mary, Mother of Jesus," is still very much in the news. The director of ML/IMRI learned from Sargent Shriver in a letter of November 19, 1999, that approximately 16.7 million TV viewers watched the film. The ratings placed NBC as the first most watched network on Sunday evening, November 14th. NBC was flooded with phone calls that evening and the following day. 10,000 - 20,000 emails descended on NBC to congratulate them for the show. Mary Page has also learned that a video of the Mary movie will be released February 15, 2000. has the video available for $13.99.

Theology Today Has Mary Issue

The October 1999 issue of Theology Today" has the following six feature articles devoted to Mary. Marian poetry is also featured:

  • "Mary in the Gospels: A Question of Focus" by Pheme Perkins
  • "Mary in Catholic Doctrine and Practice" by Lawrence S. Cunningham
  • "Breaking Mary's Silence: A Feminist Reflection on Marian Piety" by Sally Cunneen
  • "Resurrection at Tepeyac: The Guadalupan Encounter" by Robert S. Goizueta
  • "Mary" A Reformed Theological Perspective" by Daniel L. Migliore
  • "Thoughts on the Economy of the Image of Mary" by Annemarie Weyl Carr

She is 33 feet tall!

A stainless steel statue of the Blessed Mother is touring in the Midwest! An article in the Northern Illinois Edition of Senior Connection by Bill Dal Cerro (September 1999) tells the story of Carl Demma who dreamt of dedicating a large statue of Mary ever since he was a child. It took 60 years for the idea to find fruition. Demma commissioned Charles Parkes to create a statue entitled Our Lady of the Millennium. The statue was to be totally unique, according to Demma, who wanted the statue to resemble no other statues or portraits of Mary. The completed statue is 33 feet tall and weighs 8.4 tons.

The statue was completed just in time to be blessed by Pope John Paul II during his visit to St. Louis. Afterward, the statue was taken via flatbed to eleven parishes in the Chicago area. Each "visit" of Our Lady to the parish brings many devoted onlookers who come to see, to be held in wonder and to pray. If you would like more information about Our Lady of the Millennium, call the Millennium office at 312-751-7999, Ext 1.

Exhibits: Crèches International

The extraordinary beauty of nativity sets placed in special settings can be seen at two places in Dayton, Ohio. The Crèches International Exhibit at The Marian Library can be viewed online at: Crèches International

A new exhibit of 60 nativity representations in special settings can be viewed for the first time at St. John's Gallery, Bergamo in Dayton. This exhibit will shortly be featured online.

To celebrate the millennium, the institute is offering for the first time a selection of 7 Christmas note cards of nativities in settings from its Marian Library collection. The photographs were taken by Marian LibraryAssistant, Marjorie Yefchak. See the collection at:

Crèches International Christmas Note Cards

We Lend Exhibits

On occasion, The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute will lend exhibit materials and complete exhibits. If you are interested in Marian materials, contact The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute via email below or telephone 937-229-4254.

Night of Peace in Bethlehem

We received the following letter which we in turn make available to you:

Dear brothers and sisters in Jesus,

In order to mark the extraordinary anniversary of the 2000th Christmas, that most of the Churches will celebrate on 24th and 25th December 1999, the City of Bethlehem will welcome this year a great vigil of prayer and peace, in the great and magnificent place of the Shepherds' Field, at the very scene where the angels announced the coming of Christ.

Few days before the beginning of the year 2000, this "Night of Peace" will gather all Christians and all men of good will who would like to particularly pay homage to Christ and to renew their commitments of peace and fraternity before entering the III Millennium after Christ's birth.

We propose to all the Christian Churches to take an active part in this vigil of prayer and fraternity which would like to show to the world the universal and Christian dimension of this exceptional anniversary.

The civil authorities (Bethlehem 2000 project, the Town Council and the Governor of Bethlehem) told us their enthusiasm concerning this project which will witness delegations of all countries coming to bring before the crib, as the Magi did, the most beautiful presents and gifts produced in all the cultures and peoples in the world in order to celebrate the Holy Nativity of our Lord.

These offerings will then be placed in the Museum of Mary and in the Museum of the Nativity, that the towns of Nazareth and Bethlehem will create in their two cities, with the UNESCO, for the year 2000.

The "Night of Peace" will also be the occasion for the heads of state, the religious authorities and the civil personalities of all nations to address their wishes, on the spot or through the medium of TV, and to take commitments of peace for the III Millennium, which will alternate with songs, prayers and long moments of silence and adoration.

These testimonies, as well as the opening of the Holy Door by the Pope in Rome, the Midnight Mass in the Basilica of the Nativity and our entire vigil, will be shown on two giant screens in the Shepherds' field and should be broadcast worldwide on television in more than 40 countries.

In order to give a full meaning to this "Night of Peace", which will take place on the very scenes of Christ's birth, we wish representatives of all Christian Churches to be present. Because this very privileged moment and place are really the unique occasion to fraternally gather all the different Christian traditions in a common prayer.

There will be different parts in this vigil, so that the representatives of the Churches could address, one after the other, accompanied with faithful or choir, to all people gathered words of welcome and of peace, in order to pray and sing to the Lord according to the richness of their tradition, and to bring as offerings before the Crib, as the Magi did, documents or pieces of art which will represent the particular testimony of their church sensibility.

We are of course at your disposal to explain these projects further and to adjust all the details you will find necessary to guarantee the good progress of things, hoping to have the joy to see the involvement of your particular Church.

... We intensely pray to the Lord and his Mother so that they allow this fraternal meeting, "for the world to believe", and we assure you, dear brothers and sisters, of our very respectful sentiments and of our fervent prayers.

Signed: Edmond Fricoteaux and Olivier Notre-Dame de France

Call for Papers: Mary and Pilgrimage

The Mariological Society of America will hold its annual meeting in Belleville, IL, at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, May 24-26, 2000. The theme of the meeting will be related to Mary and pilgrimage. The Society is issuing a "call for papers" on topics related to the meeting's theme: Mary's pilgrimage of faith, the Christian's pilgrimage of faith relating to Mary, the role of Marian shrines, the Marian "geography of faith." Those wishing to present a paper at the meeting (for publication in Marian Studies), should submit a precis by January 15, 2000, to the MSA Secretariat (at the Marian Library).

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