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Mary in the News: Nov. 12, 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

    • Tara Fritz published the testimonial below about the influence of a doctoral candidate at IMRI on her in the Alumni Update section of the Fall 2018 issue of Catholics on the Hill [see KUCATHOLIC.ORG].
    • My name is Sister Maria Mater Dei.  Translated, it means, Mary of the Mother of God.  I have a great love for Our Lady fostered by Mike Scherschligt.  When I was a freshman at KU, Mike helped a group of students, including me, make their Consecration to Jesus through Mary.  It was there my journey truly began.  Our Lady took that consecration seriously and has led me, step by step, into religious life and perpetual vows in the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity. 
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Mary in Media: Books, Films, Music, etc.

Have a Marian Advent

There's no one who can teach us to prepare for Christ's coming better than Mary, whose faithful anticipation of Christ's birth is the perfect model for how we should anticipate Christmas.  That's why streaming The Bible and the Virgin Mary has become a St. Paul Center tradition.  There's simply no better way to get to the Christ child than through His mother.

Join us as we again stream for free The Bible and the Virgin Mary.  And this year, be one of the first to see a new edition featuring Bible passages read by Scott Hahn.  Free streaming begins December 3, 2018.

From the Marian Treasure Chest

Brother John Samaha, S.M., sent us the text below with the following comments: "Remember to pray for the deceased.  The article below appeared in Catholic San Francisco, November 3, 2016.  R.I.P."

Remember in November by Brother John Samaha, S.M.

Annually, the month of November reminds us to pray for our beloved deceased.  At the time of death, we hope the deceased go directly to heaven, but more likely they are not ready to be in God's presence immediately.  The Church explains that they go to a place called purgatory to continue their purification and perfection.  Consider it like a place  where you wash before dinner.

On November 2, we celebrate All Souls Day and we mark the month of November as a time of special prayer for the deceased.

Some people have a childish notion of prayer.  They see God as a big vending machine in the sky.  Put your prayer in the slot at the top and what you want drops into the tray below.  Prayer is not simply a matter of asking God for the things we want and need.  At the heart of every prayer is "Thy will be done."  Prayer is powerful because we join our will with God's.  Through prayer, we bring God's blessings on those for whom we pray.  These prayers are a real help, both in this world and in the next. 

Because we Catholics are an "Easter people," and believe in Jesus Christ who is "the resurrection and the life" (Jn 11:25), we know that the persons for whom we pray are not really dead.  They are alive, but on the other side.  Jesus died and rose again.  Through our baptism we share in that eternal life.  Consequently, we help each other with our prayers in this life, here and now, as well as in the next.  Not only do these graces help the souls in purgatory, they also re-echo and bring blessings to the living.

Bountiful blessings flow from a Requiem Mass and our prayers for the dead.  The spiritual and psychological bonds among family members are strong.  When death interrupts our love, prayers for those who have gone before us assist in bringing closure, reconciliation, and peace to those of us who remain. 

Prayers for the dead seem morbid to some, and recall black garments, gloomy mortuaries, somber organ music,  and time spent at cemeteries.  Actually, they are very practical and should be part of our regular prayer life, not only in November.

In addition to offering Requiem Masses on anniversaries of death, remember to pray for the deceased at every Mass.  Physical signs and symbols are also important: maintaining gravesides; placing flowers at gravesides; lighting candles for the deceased.  These ordinary sacramentals focus on the simplicity and beauty of prayers for those who have preceded us in death. 

Moreover, prayers for the dead are a sound reminder of our own mortality.  In our fast-paced, materialistic world, we tend to pretend that we are immortal.  Death is something that happens to someone else, somewhere else.  When praying for our deceased family and friends we remember that we are passing through this temporary, earthly life, looking forward to the promised land of heaven.  While we enjoy God's gifts of this life, we need to remember that we too will pass.

The Good Shepherd walks with us through this life, and through His life we will, at the time of death, find Him and our loved ones waiting on the other side.

Marian Events

Event: Conference of the Centre For Marian Studies

Theme:  Miraculous Conceptions: The Origins of Mary and Jesus in Theology and Story-Telling

Location: Saint Mary's University, Twickenham, London, U.K.

Date: Saturday, December 8, 2018 - 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Speakers: Prof. Tom O'Loughlin, the Revd. Dr. Simon Gaine O.P., Dr. Catherine O’Brien, and Dr. Jacob Phillips

Including: A Marian-themed tour of St Marys University's historic campus and the opportunity to attend Mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

£30 including sandwich lunch.  Reductions available: please ask.  

For further information, please contact:

Dr Catherine O’Brien

Director of the Centre for Marian Studies

Information and Registration


Mary in the Catholic Press

Angelus Address: Solemnity of All Saints (Zenit) November 1, 2018

Here is a ZENIT translation of the address Pope Francis gave today before and after praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter's Square.

* * *

Before the Angelus:

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning and happy feast!

Today's First Reading, from the Book of Revelation, speaks to us of Heaven and puts before us "a great multitude," incalculable, "from every nation, tribe, people, and tongue" (Revelation 7:9).  They are the Saints.  What do they do "up there"?  They sing together; praise God with joy.  It would be lovely to hear their song ... but we can imagine it.  Do you know when?  During the Mass, when we sing "Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of the universe...”

 The Bible says it's a hymn that comes from Heaven, that is sung there (Cf. Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8), a hymn of praise. Then, singing "Holy," not only do we think of the Saints, but we do what they do.  In that moment of the Mass, we are united to them more than ever.  And we are united to all the Saints--not only to those most noted in the calendar, but also to those "from next door," to our relatives and acquaintances, who now form part of that great multitude....

May the Mother of God, Queen of Saints, help us to follow the way of holiness with determination; may She, who is the Gate of Heaven, introduce our dear deceased ones into the celestial family.

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.

2019 Annual Conference of the ESBVM-USA: Call for Papers (Press Release) September 9, 2018

The Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary, USA (ESBVM-USA) was formed by Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Orthodox, and Presbyterian Scholars and is open to all Christians.  The Society exists to advance the study of Mary, the Mother of Christ.  Our immediate goal is inter-ecclesial scholarship that focuses on Mary in light of Christian theological, biblical, and spiritual principles.  Furthermore, by means of shared study and prayer, we provide an opportunity for Christians of various denominational backgrounds to explore how Marian studies might contribute to the search for unity.

PROPOSAL DUE DATE: January 15, 2019

Conference Theme: Mary, Disciple of the Lord--Motherhood

Conference Dates: July 25-27, 2019

Conference Location: Misericordia University in Dallas, PA (just outside Wilkes-Barre)

Submission Guidelines and Requirements: The paper proposal should be in DOC or DOCX and must include:

  1. Presentation title; your name, professional affiliation (e.g., university or church name), and status (undergrad, grad. student, Ph.D. candidate, faculty, pastor, etc.); contact information (e-mail address and daytime telephone); abstract (350-500 words); and equipment needs.

The general theme for the 2019 ESBVM-USA Conference is: Mary, Disciple of the Lord: Motherhood.  This theme may be pondered using a variety of methods appropriate to your field of study, personal interests, and particular Christian tradition.  The following are some suggested topics to use for inspiration:

*  Explorations of Mary’s motherhood as gleaned from particular Scripture passages (Old Testament typologies and prophecies as well as New Testament texts);

*  A study of Mary’s motherhood as explored in the work of particular theologians and churchmen including the Early Church Fathers, Medieval Scholars, Protestant Reformers, and contemporary theologians;

*  Mary’s motherhood as it relates to and illuminates cultural and social justice issues; anthropological issues; sacramental theology; Christian anthropology; and/or soteriology;

*  Conclusions drawn from or about ecumenical dialogues on the subject of Mary’s motherhood;

*  Historical, systematic, scriptural, or ecumenical explorations of Mary’s motherhood as revealed by Marian titles such as Theotókos, Maria Lactans, or Mother of the Church and/or aspects of Mary’s motherhood enshrined in Marian dogmas;

*  Eastern and/or Western artistic depictions of Mary as mother of Christ, Christians, or the Church in the visual, literary and performing arts;

*  Liturgical texts, prayers and feast days in honor of Mary’s motherhood;

*  The role that Mary’s motherhood has played in Marian apparitions;

Please address your proposal for committee review to: Christopher M. Carr, Ph.D., ESBVM-USA, President at:          

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