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In the News: April 4, 2016

By Michael Duricy


Read recent items about Mary in both Catholic and secular news. Also see International Marian Research Institute news and updates.

ML/IMRI Features

Marian Events

Mary in the Catholic Press

Mary in the Secular Press

Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute Features


Dr. Annamaria Poma-Swank, who taught many courses on Mary and Art at IMRI, recently published a book about the sinful woman mentioned in Luke 7 called Maria detta "la maddalena" la donna senza nome [Mary called "the Magdalene"--the Unnamed Woman]. This new book is available in Italian from Edizioni Polistampa. Click here for details (in Italian). This text has been nominated by the Committee  of the Rome International award for the best 2015 book, so we offer our congratulations and good wishes to Dr. Swank. She is also preparing another book, The cult of Mary Magdalene in Florence: Loci memoriae (places and memory), for publication.  


Mary in Media: Books, Films, Music, etc.

Most famous mom (University of Dayton Magazine), p. 9, Spring 2016

Mary has gotten a technological makeover. The Mary Page--created at U.D. in 1995 to house, share and increase knowledge about the mother of Christ--has been redesigned into the All About Mary website. Centuries of references on everything from Marian symbols to music and miracles are now easy to navigate.

Want to know why a parrot often accompanies her portrait, or how to make your own Mary garden grow? Enter your search on the site, administered by The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute at the University of Dayton. Says web manager, Ann Zlotnik, "It's designed for everyone from expert theologians to those simply exploring."


From the Marian Treasure Chest

Brother John M. Samaha, S.M., sent us the article below with these comments: "Recently I uncovered this reflection by Brother Joe Jansen,  about appreciating Blessed William Joseph Chaminade. You too may find it an interesting tribute to our Founder."

Also, please come celebrate with the Marianist  Sisters the opening of their Bicentennial Year of Foundation with a Prayer Service in the Immaculate Conception Chapel at the University of Dayton at 4:30 p.m. on April 4, 2016, the Feast of the Annunciation. This service will be followed by a reception at the Torch Lounge in Kennedy Union. All are welcome!

Blessed William Joseph Chaminade: Do we know him sufficiently? Do we appreciate him enough? by Brother Joseph Jansen, S.M.

Shortly after the death of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, Cardinal Donnet of Bordeaux, France, wrote: "Father Chaminade was an eminent person, an excellent man. We did not know him sufficiently.  We did not appreciate him. We shall never know all that we owe to him. Trace to its origin any good work, any charitable institution in Bordeaux and at the head of every one of them we find the name of Father  Chaminade. Today the Cardinal's words are a clarion call to all Marianists urging us to learn more about our Father in faith, ever deepening our appreciation of his person and his work.

Hopefully these observations will whet your appetite for a deeper drink and a stronger taste of Blessed William Joseph, the faith-filled and Spirit-driven dynamo of Bordeaux. We will discover an aspect of his life not well known: the many "good works" that he animated directly or indirectly in the Archdiocese of Bordeaux. 

The Saragossa experience of several years of prayer and reflection at the foot of Our Lady of the Pillar provided him, the refugee, with seminal thoughts about new Church structures in post-revolutionary France. Upon his return to France, a mature and energetic Chaminade plunged into the multiplication of lay faith communities. This was his response to the needs of the times.  His primary work in the period 1800-1815 took place in and around the city of Bordeaux. Through the "sodalities" (lay communities of apostolic faith), he was able to initiate and multiply many good works and charitable institutions  throughout the Bordeaux area.

Blessed William Joseph knew the generative power of the "both-and" dialectic, that is, pursuing the holistic union of spirituality and justice. In his own person he fine-tuned this integration, demonstrating that the essential is the interior, and from that prayerful interior springs a host of good works; that from a serious reflection on God's Word flows a real and significant  outreach to others, especially the poor and the needy. Reflection, meditation, prayer--these are the wellspring of action on behalf of justice and charity. He taught the "both-and" dynamic by living its tensions. He instilled this same spirit  in his sodalists and their faith communities.

The result? An explosion of praying communities that were also, and simultaneously, social action communities. These communities found it natural to wed contemplation and action. These communities understood that being Christian meant daring to live the simple oneness of faith/action. In these communities pursuit of both spirituality and justice fed each other in a mutually enriching dialectic. 

Chaminade's work and spirit generated many communities of faith for young men, young women, married men, married women, and priests, as well as other pious associations such as the Association of Fathers of Families, which included every trade and profession, and the Association of Women, which planned and sponsored retreats. Additionally there was a wide range of apostolates in favor of the poor and the neglected of society. Some examples:

                - free services of doctors and lawyers for the poor

                - orphanages    

                - institutions for deaf-mutes

                - the House of Mercy for young women trying to redirect their lives

                - the Library Society that organized public libraries

                - study clubs

                - child labor groups, especially for chimney sweeps and abandoned youths

                - the Bakers' Guild and other associations for workers

                - employment offices for job seekers

                - vocational training programs

                - formation for juvenile prisoners

                - visitation of hospitalized patients

                - prayer groups

 How's that for effecting positive structural change? In the wake of the just-completed revolution these good works provided a much-needed boost for society in the civil and religious areas. Chaminade's "both-and" response, inspired by the Holy Spirit and mediated by Our Lady of the Pillar, was what was needed  by post-revolutionary France. To complete his vision of the Family of Mary he founded in 1816 the Daughters of Mary Immaculate and a year later the Society of Mary. This dynamism and energy of the Spirit acting in and through the prayerful Father Chaminade initiated a new springtime in the Church of France and beyond.

No wonder Cardinal Donnet spoke as he did. And he was not alone. Cardinal Andrieu called Father Chaminade "the St. Vincent de Paul of Bordeaux." Monsignor Beaupin dubbed him "the precursor of Ozanam. Some years later Father Boutin referred to him as "the forerunner of Catholic Action."

Today prayer groups that were once centered on prayer only are becoming more socially concerned and active. And social concern groups once centered on action only, now insist on prayer and reflection. Chaminade is justly considered a forerunner of both spirituality and justice, as well as a precursor of post-Vatican II lay communities of apostolic faith which are both prayerfully centered and faithfully acting for justice and charity.

Cardinal Donnet was certainly correct in his assessment. We need to know better Blessed William Joseph Chaminade and appreciate him more. Yet, even with more knowledge and greater appreciation of this outstanding apostle of Mary, we will never fathom our debt to him.

[The late Brother Joseph Jansen was a member of the New York Province and served on its Provincial Council as well as on the General Council of the Society of Mary. His intense devotion to the Marianist charism and to the work of social justice is reflected in this essay. Slightly edited and reprinted by Brother John Samaha, S.M., Marianist Center, Cupertino, CA, April 2016. ]


Marian Events

Holy Angels Parish and One More Soul invite you to a celebration of Jesus taking human nature in Mary's Womb. Mass for the Solemnity of the Annunciation will be held on Monday, April 4, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. with Father Greg Konerman serving as Celebrant and Homilist. There will be a special blessing for Mothers (and families) awaiting birth, and for families who have suffered the loss of a child. Following Mass there will be a presentation on Our Lady of America, the Immaculate Virgin. Light refreshments will be served. Attendees may park in the Holy Angels parking lot or the P Lot at the University of Dayton. The address of the parish is 1322 Brown Street, Dayton, Ohio 45409. For more information call 937-626-0027 or email


Mary in the Catholic Press

Forum: 'Saint Joseph, the Quiet Man of Faith' from Zenit March 21, 2016

Below is a reflection of Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, entitled Saint Joseph, the Quiet Man of Faith. Published March 19, 2016, it is from Cardinal Wuerl's blog:


As we enter into the final days of Lent we begin to prepare ourselves to celebrate the passion, death, and resurrection of our Lord. Easter is the greatest feast of the Church's year. It is the "Solemnity of solemnities," which celebrates the fulfillment of Jesus' redemptive mission on earth and, in His resurrection, the fulfillment of God's plan for salvation.

In the work of salvation, the almighty Lord has chosen to rely also on others. He asks the Church--you and me--to help take part in reconciling humanity to our heavenly Father. And, in a singular way, he looked to a young woman and man from Nazareth named Mary and Joseph to play essential roles. Without them, without the "yes" that each of them gave to God, the events of salvation that were to come would not have taken place....

Click here to read the complete article.


Mary in the Secular Press

The director and editors of All About Mary 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.

Wright Library will host U.D. Chapel talk, tour in April (Oakwood Register) March 30, 2016

Wright Memorial Public Library will host two events in April focusing on the University of Dayton's acclaimed renovation project of the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception on the U.D. campus....

At 2 p.m. on April 10, Wright Library and U.D. will offer community tours of the chapel.... Convenient parking is available in the University of Dayton's Lot B off of Stewart Street or Lot P off of Brown Street.

In August 2015, the newly renovated Chapel of the Immaculate Conception was rededicated with great acclaim.

Click here for more details.

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