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In the News: March 6, 2017

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


We are very sad to inform you that Father Francois Rossier, S.M. has died. Below is the message sent by Father Jim Fitz.

Our Brother, Father Francois Rossier, has been called to an everlasting dwelling place with the saints. He died Thursday morning at Miami Valley Hospital around 6:00 a.m.  Let us thank God for the gift of his life. Together, let us pray that he may rest in the peace of Christ.  
Let us also pray for his beloved family members and all his Marianist brothers and sisters, especially the members of the Chambers Avenue Marianist community where he lived and whose members have walked with him so faithfully during these past days.
For more on Father Rossier's life, please click here.  Please join us in praying for Father Rossier and all those who grieve his loss--the Marianist and University libraries communities, his family, friends, and colleagues here and around the world.
Mary in Media: Books, Films, Music, etc.

New Rosary Film

A new film on the Rosary, Power in My Hands, is nearing completion and will be launched in 2017. Our Lady continues to bless and see this work come to fruition. We ask for your prayers as the Rosary Evangelization Apostolate completes the post production of the film and prepares it for launching.  Click here for more information.


From the Marian Treasure Chest

Brother John Samaha sent us the text below.

Blessed William Joseph Chaminade a biographical sketch by Marianist Affiliate Roger Bichelberger; Edited by Brother John Samaha, S.M.

At the age of sixteen he professed vows in the Congregation of Saint Charles. Feeling a call to the priesthood he studied in Paris and after ordination worked as treasurer with his brother at Saint Charles College in Mussidan.

Were it not for the French Revolution leading him to Bordeaux, he would have remained in charge at Mussidan as treasurer, teacher, and hospital chaplain. Because he refused to accept the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, he entered into a clandestine ministry in the disguise of a tinker. 

When forced into exile in 1797, he crossed into Spain as a farmer and arrived in Saragossa on October 11, the eve of the feast of Our Lady of the Pillar.

This exile lasted three years. It was an exile of poverty and renouncement, for the French priests were suspected of Jansenism and were not authorized to preach, to teach catechism, or hear confessions. This was an exile of prayer, reflection, and planning. William Joseph Chaminade was searching for the best way to re-evangelize France upon his return and he prayed about this at the feet of Our Lady of the Pillar. There he was inspired to re-Christianize France as a Missionary Apostolic by working with a new spiritual family under the aegis of Mary to form Christians within a framework which went beyond the usual parish boundaries. 

On his return to France in 1800 he worked diligently to fulfill this inspiration. That year he founded the Sodality. The Marianist Family was born. The first Sodalists were laymen whom Father Chaminade strove to form into missionaries in their own milieu of life. He offered them an intense formation and consecrated them to Mary. Within a year the groups numbered one hundred men, and soon grew to more than three hundred. 

The Founder was made Missionary Apostolic in 1801. Three years later he was offered the Chapel of the Madeleine in Bordeaux and this became the center of his apostolic action. The Sodality grew steadily until 1809, when it was forbidden by the new political power. At this time the idea of "vows in the world" was born along with the concept of the Alliance Mariale.

In 1816 with Adele de Trenquelleon he co-founded the Daughters of Mary Immaculate. A year later the Society of Mary was instituted for the men religious. The first religious came from the ranks of the Sodality. The Marianist Family was born. 

Among the various apostolic works performed, the Christian education of youth emerged as the chief service from 1819 forward. When the Society of Mary was established in Alsace and Franche-Comte, apostolic efforts were concentrated on directing normal schools for the formation of teachers throughout France. The Revolution of 1830 ended this effort and Chaminade was obliged to leave Bordeaux temporarily. 

Come 1834 he explained to his followers that the aim of the Society of Mary did not stop at teaching and concern for the middle classes, but was "a matter of adjusting to needs and circumstances to be able to evangelize young people and adults more effectively."

His letters to the retreat directors of 1839 are especially helpful in understanding the man and his work.  "… in our day the great prevailing heresy is religious indifference, which grows by numbing souls in the stupor of selfishness and the mire of passion. He summons us to make an alliance with Mary, "the promised Woman who is to crush the serpent's head." "To her, therefore, is reserved a mighty victory in our day. Hers will be the glory of saving the faith from the shipwreck with which it is threatened among us." We must hold ourselves ready to go quickly wherever she calls us to spread the reign of God in souls. The distinctive sign of her disciples, their family trait, is belonging to Mary. "We are in a special manner the auxiliaries and instruments of the Blessed Virgin in the great work of ... the spread of the faith." For this reason, persons commit themselves to making her known, loved, and served, knowing that they will not lead people back to Jesus except through his most Blessed Mother. So they take as their slogan the words of Mary to the servants at Cana, "Do whatever he tells you." "Ours is a great work, a magnificent work!" he exclaims. "Yes, all of us are missionaries; each one of us has received from the Blessed Virgin a commission to work at the salvation of our brothers and sisters in the world." 

Imbued with the spirit of the Fathers of the Church and the French School of Spirituality, he sought through prayer and deed a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Anticipating the message of Vatican II, he heard the call to sanctity for everyone, the understanding of the Church as a mystery of communion, the perfect adaptation of faith to life, and the presence of Mary in the life of the Christian.

Chaminade's last years were difficult ones fraught with misunderstandings. Financial problems arose, and dissensions among the members of the Society erupted. He was replaced as superior general in 1845. A stroke suffered on January 6, 1850, deprived him of his speech. He died on January 22 and was mourned widely in Bordeaux. 

The legacy he left was a "magnificent work," a unique spiritual family spread today across every continent and comprised of Marianist lay communities, the Daughters of Mary Immaculate, and the Society of Mary. This original family continues its charism in the Church--the work of education of the young and the poorest of the poor.


Marian Events

Event: Rosary Rally

Date: Sunday, March 12, 2017

Time: 2 p.m.

Place: Public sidewalk outside 1401 E. Stroop Road, Kettering, Ohio

Archbishop Dennis Schnurr of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati will lead this Rosary Rally as part of the 40 Days For Life peaceful vigil [from March 1 - April 9, 2017].


Mary in the Catholic Press

Angelus Address: Facing the Lenten Spiritual Combat with the Strength of the Word of God (Zenit) March 5, 2017

In this first Sunday of Lent, the Gospel introduces us on the path towards Easter, showing Jesus, who stays forty days in the desert, subjected to the devil's temptations (cf. Matthew4:1-11). This episode is placed in a specific moment of Jesus' life: immediately after His Baptism in the river Jordan and before His public ministry. He has just received His solemn investiture: the Spirit of God descended on Him, the Father of heaven declared Him: "This is my beloved Son" (Matthew 3:17). Jesus is now ready to begin His mission; and because it has a declared enemy, namely Satan, He confronts him immediately, body to body. In fact, the devil appeals to His title of "Son of God," to dissuade Jesus from carrying out His mission: "If you are the Son of God ...", he repeats to Him (vv. 3.6), and he suggests that He engage miraculous gestures--to be a "magician"--such as transforming the stones into bread to satiate His hunger, and throwing Himself from the wall of the Temple, having the Angels rescue Him. These two temptations are followed by a third: to adore him, the devil, to have dominion over the world (cf. v. 9)....

May the Virgin Mary, perfect icon of obedience to God and of unconditional trust in His will, sustain us on our Lenten journey, so that we place ourselves in docile listening to the Word of God, to undertake a true conversion of the heart.

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.

Beyonce Does it for Mothers (The Guardian) February 17, 2017

... Beyoncé has broken ranks and defied what was. According to various reports, the superstar has challenged religious, sexual, and cultural stereotypes. She portrayed the image of the Virgin Mary once again, this time doing so while revealing her pregnancy. The Conversation reports that Beyoncé goes beyond creating "a powerful and iconic image of black femininity in her pregnancy announcement images." Contrary to the Virgin Mary's attire, which "must suggest chastity, purity and (sexual and spiritual) virtue," Beyoncé purposely "subverts this ideal by posing in mismatched lingerie, cradling her pregnant belly, and in doing so fuses elements of the 'Jezebel', one of the most prominent stereotypes of black women, with Virgin Mary imagery." By doing so, Beyoncé "boldly challenges concepts of 'acceptable' female sexuality and radicalized stereotypes," while responding "to the association between whiteness and purity that remains alive and kicking in Western culture". But I couldn't help but wonder how did we get to where we are as a society. When did it become okay to flaunt your pregnant tummy? In my culture, a pregnant woman better not even share word of her pregnancy. This is not for any other purpose but to protect your unborn child and to respect the sacredness of pregnancy. To "hide" or "confine" your pregnancy is not about any kind of shame, and not even about maternity wear. We all have our different ways, but pregnancy is a valued time in any woman's life and supersedes anything else. This is the same as when a child is born--only the close family can see the child for the first ten days and other people only after a month. Times have changed and, although the social, religious, and racial stereotypes have to be challenged, a new uncanny trend will worm its way into the culture of many young women who are yet to become mothers.


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Weekly Features: March 3, 2017

Additional resources for the Lenten season, history of the Hail Mary, origins of Black Madonnas and more.
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In the News: March 10, 2017

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