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Mary in the News: June 28, 2018

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

  • ESBVM-USA Conference
  • Event: The Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary-USA 2018 Annual Conference

    Theme: Mary, Disciple of the Lord: Suffering

    Location: Misericordia University, 301 Lake Street, Dallas, PA 18612
  • Dates: July 26-28, 2018

    Please register by July 6, 2018.

    Whether you are Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Anglican, Reformed, Non-denominational, Catholic, Orthodox, or from any other Christian tradition, you are invited to join us for study, prayer and dialogue!

    Here's what you can expect:

                 Eight thought-provoking, scholarly presentations

                 Good-natured, lively dialogue with new friends

                 Prayer to strengthen our lives as Christian disciples

    For more information, contact the ESBVM-USA President, Dr. Christopher Carr by email at or by phone at 570-550-1619.
  • The Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary USA (ESBVM USA) exists to advance the study of Mary, the Mother of Christ, in Christian biblical and spiritual perspectives, and in the light of such study, to promote ecumenical interchange and prayer. Its aim is to show that in Mary, Christians of many traditions may find a focus in their search for unity.

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

New Edition of Marian Studies Now Available Online

From the Marian Treasure Chest

Brother John Samaha, S.M., sent us the text below with the following comments: "This is the biographical notice about William Joseph Chaminade included in the booklet for the beatification ceremony at which Pope St. John Paul II presided at Vatican City on September 3, 2000."

Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, Founder of the Marianist Family

William Joseph Chaminade was born in Perigueux, France, in 1761.  He was the fourteenth child of a profoundly Christian family.  Besides William Joseph, three of his brothers were priests.  In 1771 he entered the minor seminary of Mussidan, where, four years later, he made private vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.  He was ordained a priest in 1785.

In 1790, after the French Revolution had begun, he moved to Bordeaux where he spent most of his life.  In 1791 he refused to take the oath of the so-called Civil Constitution of the Clergy, and clandestinely exercised priestly ministry, putting his life in continual danger.  During this period he came to know Venerable Marie-Therese Charlotte de Lamourous (1754-1836), who was one of his closest collaborators and whom he later helped to found the work of the Misericorde in Bordeaux for the protection of young women.  In 1795, he was given the delicate task of receiving back into the diocese priests who, having taken the constitutional oath, wanted to make their peace with the Church. He exercised this ministry for two years, facilitating the reconciliation of some fifty priests. 

In 1797, during the Reign of the Directorate, he was forced to emigrate to Zaragoza, Spain, where he resided for three years.  There, close to the Shrine of Our Lady of the Pillar, he forged his Marian apostolic convictions and was inspired to found a family of lay and religious members dedicated to Mary.  In November of 1800, he returned to Bordeaux and refounded the old Marian Sodality on a new basis.  He made every effort to give his sodalists solid religious formation and directed them toward precise apostolic objectives, encouraging them to offer to an indifferent and dechristianized society "the spectacle of a people of saints," as did the Christians of the primitive Church.  This Sodality would be the base of his untiring evangelizing activity, aimed at the rechristianization of France.  Chaminade has rightly been considered the precursor of the active participation of the laity in the life of the Church in modern times.

During these years he was named Apostolic Administrator in order to reorganize the Diocese of Bazas.  In 1801 he received from the Holy See the title of Missionary Apostolic.  This title was the official confirmation of his intentions concerning the Church in this new era.

Father Chaminade viewed his own ministry and that of the Marian Sodalities as a permanent and stable mission, directed toward formation in the faith, using new methods and working in close alliance with Mary.  The Sodality of Bordeaux spread to other cities of the region and to the whole of France through groups that asked for affiliation because they desired to follow the inspiration and methods of Father Chaminade.  During these years Chaminade fostered some groups of young men and women who, desiring greater dedication, made private vows and dedicated themselves to the apostolate of the Sodality, without leaving their secular work. 

In 1816, together with Venerable Adele de Batz de Trenqueleon (1789-1828), he founded at Agen the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate, and the following year at Bordeaux, the Society of Mary.  His first members, who with time would be called Marianists, were members of the Marian Sodality, women and men who wished to respond to the Lord with a more radical commitment, an extension of their baptismal consecration and of their devotion to the Virgin Mary.  They were to be "the person who never dies," ensuring that the sodalities would continue and bear witness to the Gospel in all its consequences. 

The two religious institutes developed rapidly in France, and in 1839 received the decree of praise from Pope Gregory XVI.  Since teaching was a primary need at that time, both Marianist Institutes dedicated themselves to elementary and secondary schools and to trade schools, first in the southwest of France and then in Franche-Comte and Alsace.  They taught in order to educate and to form in the faith.  Chaminade also formed an ambitious project to establish a network of normal schools for the formation of Christian teachers.  Some of these schools were founded by men and women religious, but the revolution of 1830 made their continuation impossible.

During these years Father Chaminade gave priority to drafting the constitutions (rule of life), and he wrote important circular letters about consecration, alliance with Mary, and Marianist religious life.  The communities and works of the Society of Mary continued to grow in France, and then in Switzerland (1839) and the United States of America (1849).  After 1836 the Daughters of Mary Immaculate implemented the will of their foundress, who had died in 1828, and created a number of rural schools in the southwest of France for the education of girls and the promotion of the condition of women.

The last ten years of his life were for William Joseph Chaminade a period of severe trial--problems of health, financial difficulties, the departure of some disciples, misunderstandings and mistrust on the part of others, obstacles to the exercise of his mission as founder.  Chaminade faced these difficulties with great confidence in Mary, faithful to his conscience and to the Church, filled with faith and charity.  He died in peace, surrounded by many of his religious sons, next to the Chapel of the Madeleine in Bordeaux, on January 22, 1850. 

A comment of his written in 1825 to a group of young sodalists, sums up his life: "By the great mercy of God toward me and toward others, for a long time I have lived and breathed only to spread devotion to the August Virgin and thus to contribute each day to the growth and multiplication of her Family."  This Marianist Family remains vital today in his two religious institutes, in associations of consecrated life in the world, in various lay communities, and in other groups or movements inspired by the doctrine and insights of their blessed founder.

N.B. The University of Dayton presented the world premiere of Spectacle, a new original musical about the founding of the Society of Mary, on April 20-22, 2018 in the Kennedy Union Boll Theatre on campus.

Set during and after the French Revolution, Spectacle tells the story of the three Marianist co-founders: Chaminade, who risked death by secretly continuing his priestly ministry under persecution from the French government; Marie-Thérèse de Lamourous, who fought to improve women's lives and support the Catholic Church in any way she could; and Mother Adèle de Batz de Trenquelléon, who struggled in choosing vowed religious life over marriage.

Mother Adele was beatified on June 10, 2018, in a ceremony at her family home in Agen, France.  The activities included a play about her life, Adèle, l'audace d'une missionnaire[Adele, the Boldness of a Missionary] on June 8 and 9.  Another performance was held at Saint Pierre de Montmartre parish on June 24.

Information from Radio Notre Dame about the Beatification and the play in French

We plan to inform you if recordings of these plays will be made available.


Marian Events

Event: Totus Tuus

Theme: Summer Program for Youth

Location: Holy Angels Catholic Parish, 1322 Brown St., Dayton, OH 45409

Date: July 15-20, 2018

Totus Tuus is a week-long summer youth program that combines Catholic religious instruction  and having fun.  A team of college-age students and seminarians will come to Holy Angels the week of July 15-20. 

For children going into grades one through six, the program will be held Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  Each day will include presentations on the Creed and Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary, songs and skits which teach the faith, encounters with the sacraments, especially Confession and Eucharist, and times for games and recess.

For teens, those entering grades seven through twelve, the program will be held from Sunday to Thursday at 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. with more in-depth discussions.

Cost per child is only $20 with a $50 maximum per family.  Registration forms are available on the parish website.  Contact Sharon Christy with questions by email at  These programs are also being held around the Cincinnati Archdiocese and throughout the United States and Canada.


Mary in the Catholic Press

'Mary, Our Refuge in Difficult Times,' Reminds Pope (Zenit) May 30, 2018

'The Virgin Mary is a refuge in difficult times.'  Pope Francis gave this reminder at his weekly General Audience on Wednesday morning, May 30, 2018, in St. Peter's Square, where he continued his catecheses on Confirmation.

As he does each week, the Pope addressed "a special thought" at the end of the meeting, to young people, the elderly, the sick and new spouses....

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.

Blooms for Our Blessed Mother (Liguorian) May-June, 2018

Flowers have long been a part of Marian traditions.  The practice of honoring Mary with flowers has its roots in the monsteries and convents of medieval Europe that cultivated and used the flowers to adorn altars at local churches....

Although well-established in most parts of Western Europe, Mary Gardens enjoyed their greatest popularity in England where both Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches encouraged their creation of parish grounds and in the homes of the members of their congregations.  The first Mary Garden open to the public in the United States was founded in 1932 at Saint Joseph's Church in Woods Hole, Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  The garden was created by Frances Crane Lillie, who based the symbolic flowers and herbs that comprised her garden upon her memories of the Mary Gardens she admired during her many trips to England.

Inspired by the Woods Hole garden, John S. Stokes, Jr., a retired engineer from Pennsylvania, founded Mary Gardens of Philadelphia in 1951.  Like Mrs. Lillie, Stokes wanted to research  flowers identified with Mary, but added the next step of making seeds and plant source information available to peopel interested in starting their own Mary Garden....  

The Marian Library at the University of Dayton in Ohio is the home of the John S. Stokes Collection and Mary Garden Project.  The collection contains the personal papers of John S. Stokes, Jr., and the records of his organization, Mary's Gardens.  The collection includes Stokes' manuscripts, correspondence, research materials, articles, photographs, audio recordings, and ephemera related to Mary, the Mother of God, gardening, names and symbolism of plants and flowers associated with the Blessed Mother, the Mary Garden movement, social justice, civil rights, ecumenism, and other related topics....

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