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Have We Lost Mary, Mother of the Church?

By James Koelsch, Doctoral Candidate

The Virgin Mary in a Motherless Culture

The International Marian Research Institute (IMRI) has announced that it is studying how to rekindle Marian devotion in an increasingly motherless culture. Its next Marian Forum at the University of Dayton will therefore be organized around the theme of “Have We Lost Mary, Mother of the Church?” When the two-hour event takes place on Oct. 12, 2018, it will be the seventh in a continuing series of free academic gatherings that IMRI has been sponsoring over the Internet to promote the study of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

“We are producing our Marian Forums in order to present fresh research and to stimulate creative energies in the study of the mother of Jesus Christ,” explained Father Johann Roten, S.M., director of research and special projects at IMRI. “Our next forum will contribute to this goal by proposing ways to fill the void left by the motherless culture confronting the Church. We want to restore a wholesome balance by bringing Mary back into the pews—and homes—as a real mother, not some mythological figure.”

At the forum, two speakers will present some lessons garnered from their experience at reacquainting the Church with her mother and helping people in the pews to recover their Marian heritage. The first speaker will be Elizabeth M. Farley, adjunct professor of systematic theology at Mount Angel Seminary in Saint Benedict, Ore. As a theologian and a mother, she will offer her perspective on bringing Mary into the intellectual formation of children, priests, and lay adults. The second speaker will be Michael Scherschligt, president and founder of the Holy Family School of Faith Institute in Overland Park, Kan. He will offer the perspective of both a father and a specialist in forming teachers in Christian virtue and Catholic culture.

After their presentations, the speakers will field questions from the live, worldwide audience that will be participating both online and in-person. The event will begin at 2:30 p.m. Eastern (U.S.) time and end at 4:30 p.m. Admission is free, but IMRI requires participants to register online by Sept. 28.

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