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In the News: Dec. 7, 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


Author, Father Donald Calloway, MIC, will appear on the EWTN show Bookmark with Doug Keck to discuss Champions of the Rosary: The History and Heroes of a Spiritual Weapon. The show will air (all times ET): 

Sunday, Dec. 11
9:30 a.m.

Monday, Dec. 12
5 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 17
1:30 p.m.

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

Mary's Touch

Mary's Touch is an award-winning inspirational 30-minute radio program designed to bring people a greater understanding of Jesus' Mother, Mary.
Mary's Touch has been on the air continuously, week after week, for a full decade! Counting special programs and Christmas shows, that's nearly 550 half-hour programs shared with listeners of more than 200 radio stations across the country and all over the world via the Internet.
Last month, they accepted their second Gabriel Award, presented by the Catholic Academy of Communications Professionals. Two out of the past ten years, Mary's Touch has been named Best National Radio Program in the United States.
In 2013, Mary's Touch was recognized as one of the top five radio programs in the country; and in 2011, they were singled out with the Clarion Award for best use of new technology in media for their Frontline Faith Project outreach to serve the spiritual needs of U.S. Military and Veterans.
Click here to visit their website or here to listen to episodes online.


From the Marian Treasure Chest

Understanding Mary's Immaculate Conception by Brother John Samaha, S.M.

At the beginning of the liturgical year we honor the immaculately conceived Virgin Mary. The solemnity of Mary's Immaculate Conception is celebrated on December 8, and honors the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, St. Anne, without original sin.   

In 2008 we celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Blessed Virgin's apparitions at Lourdes, where she identified herself to St. Bernadette as the Immaculate Conception. In 2004 we observed the 150th anniversary of Blessed Pope Pius IX's solemn definition of this dogma on December 8, 1854. Blessed Pius IX explained that Mary was preserved from original sin by a "singular grace and privilege" given her by God "in view of the merits of Jesus Christ," Redeemer of the human race. Mary, like every other human being, needed the redemptive benefits of Christ. But in anticipation of what God did for all through Christ, she alone was preserved from original sin "from the first moment of her conception." As one writer asserted, hers was a "redemption by exemption." By her Immaculate Conception she was conceived in the fullness of grace, in the state of closest possible union with God in view of her future role as the Mother of the Redeemer.

 The feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary was celebrated already in the seventh century in Palestine as the Conception by St. Anne of the Theotokos (Mother of God) on December 9. The doctrine is understood differently by some Eastern Christian Churches because of a variance in their theological understanding of original sin. The observance spread west from Constantinople. Still called the Conception of St. Anne and observed on December 8, it was prominent in Naples in the ninth century; in English monasteries in the eleventh century, when it was called the feast of the conception of Our Lady; and in France in the twelfth century.

When the feast was introduced in France, St. Bernard of Clairvaux opposed it, igniting a controversy that endured for three centuries. Most Scholastic theologians, including St. Anselm of Canterbury, St. Albert the Great, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Bonaventure opposed the doctrine on the grounds that it detracted from the universality of the redemption by Christ. But it was defended and explained with theological clarity in the thirteenth century by Blessed John Duns Scotus, a Franciscan. In 1263 the Franciscans adopted the feast.

The opponents of this feast and doctrine had argued that Mary had to be touched by original sin for at least an instant, even though she was sanctified in her mother's womb. John Duns Scotus resolved these objections by explaining that Christ can save and redeem in two ways: he can rescue from sin those already fallen; or he can preserve one from being touched by sin even for an instant. Mary was granted "redemption by exemption."

At the First Council of Baltimore in 1846 the Catholic bishops of the United States of America chose Mary under the title of her Immaculate Conception as the patron saint of the nation. This deepened interest in the vast new country.

The apparition of Mary Immaculate to St. Catherine Laboure in 1830 at Paris had also advanced this devotion. At that time Mary asked the young nun to produce the Miraculous Medal, which honored the Immaculate Conception. And the solemn definition in 1854 was the culmination of this development. Like an additional seal of approval on the definition four years later, Mary appeared to the uneducated and sickly youngster, St. Bernadette Soubirous, at Lourdes. When Bernadette asked the Virgin Mary on March 25, 1858, to identify herself, Mary replied, "I am the Immaculate Conception."

In 1863 a new Mass and Office were composed for the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. This feast is also celebrated as the Conception of Mary by the Church of England. Among the Eastern Christian Churches the feast of the Conception by St. Anne of the Most Holy Theotokos continues to be observed on December 9. The date set for this feast is nine months before the Birth of Mary on September 8. 

To celebrate the centenary of the definition of Mary's Immaculate Conception, Pope Pius XII, a devout apostle of Mary, declared 1954 a Marian Year--the first.

Now, more than 150 years later, we are privileged to continue to honor that solemn definition  of Mary's "redemption by exemption" and its recognition by Mary Immaculate at Lourdes.   

"O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you."


Marian Events

Event: A Service of Lessons and Carols

Date: Sunday, December 11, 2016

Time: 2:00 p.m.

Place: Saint Joseph Catholic Church, 411 East Second Street, Dayton, Ohio 45402

Saint Joseph's Church will celebrate a service of Scripture and song that recounts the Fall, the promise of a Messiah, the Incarnation, and the Great Commission to preach the Good News. Each lesson is followed by a carol or song that reflects the lesson's message and a brief prayer. Come join this journey through salvation history using Scripture and song to help prepare for the Christmas season. For details call 937-228-9272.


Mary in the Catholic Press

In Baghdad's 'Camp Virgin Mary,' Displaced Iraqi Christians Get Their Own Chapel (Zenit) Dec 15, 2015

Father Luis Montes is glad and he has reason to be: "We have just consecrated a new chapel. It was high time that our refugees got their own small church. This gives them back a piece of the home they have lost. And the people can now go to Mass without risking their lives," the Argentine missionary said

For five years now, the missionary, a priest of the Institute of the Incarnate Word, has been living in Baghdad, one of the most dangerous places on earth. "There were 128 bomb attacks in Baghdad in October alone," he told international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, adding: "It's hardly surprising that the people are afraid of leaving their homes to go to Mass...."

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.

At the Manger exhibition features Latin flavor as U.D. opens display November 26 (Oakwood Register) November 23, 2016

The University of Dayton will showcase the Latin flavor of the Nativity as part of the annual exhibit At the Manger: World Nativity Traditions.

Free and open to the public, the display begins Saturday, November 26, 2016, with a family-friendly grand opening celebration from 1-5 p.m. in Roesch Library featuring children's activities, family photo opportunities, light refreshments, entertainment by the International Festival Singers, and a college football viewing area.

Nativities from Mexico, also known as Nacimientos, on display in the first-floor gallery will show the influence of indigenous peoples; traditional materials, such as straw or clay; the miniature Nativity tradition; and the contrast between contemporary and traditional pieces, Father Johann Roten said.

"We want to highlight in a special way a country that is close to us, not just for reasons of geography, but because they have a very rich Nativity culture, said the Rev. Johann Roten, Marian Library director of research and special projects...."


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