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Mary in the News: Dec. 17, 2019

By Michael Duricy

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

Marian Library and International Marian Research Institute Features


2020 Annual Conference of the ESBVM USA Call for Papers

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 scholarly study of Mary, the Mother of Christ.  By drawing on insights and perspectives from all traditions within the Christian household, the Society promotes increasing one's understanding of Christianity, furthering the effectiveness of the Christian mission, fostering academic interchange, and participating in inter-ecclesial prayer.

PROPOSAL DUE DATE: March 1, 2020

Conference Theme:  "Mary, Mother of the Lord"

Conference Dates:  July 22-25, 2020

Conference Location:  Misericordia University, 301 Lake Street, Dallas, PA  18612 (just outside Wilkes-Barre)

Submission Guidelines and Requirements:

The paper proposal should be in DOC or DOCX and must include: 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 2020 ESBVM USA Conference is "Mary, Mother of the Lord."  This theme may be explored 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; and
  • The role that Mary's motherhood has played in Marian apparitions.

Please address your proposal for review to:                           

Christopher M. Carr, Ph.D.

ESBVM-USA, President

Misericordia University

301 Lake Street

Dallas, PA  18612

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

Marian Library volunteers highlight video

Starting last year, Ryan O'Grady and Kayla Harris have been working on an oral history project.  They started by interviewing some of the Marian Library's volunteers and full videos with transcripts may be found on eCommons at URL: 

They also put together a highlights video from the interviews that is now on the kiosk outside the gallery on the first floor of Roesch Library.  This video is about 25 minutes long and gives some background on the volunteers, what brought them to the Marian Library, and some of their typical tasks.  This abbreviated version may be found online at URL: 

Marian Events

Title: At the Manger: A Labor of Love

Dates: December 20, 2019 - January 12, 2020

Time: 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. weekdays, Dec. 2–Jan. 10
1–4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 7–8
1–4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 14–15
1–4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 21–22
1–4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 11–12
(Closed Dec. 6; 11:30-1 p.m. on Dec. 18; Dec. 24–Jan. 1; Jan. 4–5)

Location: University of Dayton, Roesch Library first-floor gallery and Marian Library, seventh floor

Free and open to the public

Since 1995, the University of Dayton’s Marian Library has presented a selection of its expansive collection of 3,600 Nativity scenes from more than 100 countries, celebrating how people around the world ponder and picture the birth of Christ through many different cultural lenses. 

Join us during the 2019 Advent and Christmas seasons as we showcase the dedicated and inspiring volunteers of the Marian Library's crèche workshop. Each year, At the Manger is the product of approximately 6,000 hours of faithful service by dozens of volunteer craftspersons, carpenters and docents. The 2019-20 exhibit gives tribute to these volunteers who, together, curated it from their favorite settings.

More Information

Mary in the Catholic Press

Pope Francis on the importance of Mariology (Vatican News), December 16, 2019

... The Pope's message was addressed to participants in the XXIV Public Session of the seven Pontifical Academies, whose Coordinating Council is presided over by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi.

This year's edition, on the theme "Mary, way to peace among cultures," was organized by the Pontifical International Marian Academy, which is marking the sixtieth anniversary of its establishment by Pope Saint John XXIII, on December 8, 1959.

Mary, a teacher of humanity

Pope Francis reflected on the Marian theme chosen for the edition and reflected briefly on how different popes expressed veneration for Our Lady.

He recalled the dramatic experience of the two world wars that led Pope Pius XII to uphold Mary as a beacon of peace for a frightened humanity.

The Second Vatican Council, he continued, pointed to her as a "teacher of humanity" and a model for the Church in its mission to serve the "deepest aspirations of the human heart." ...

N.B. There is also a Spanish-language version of the full text available on the Vatican website, but not yet an English version.

Original text in Italian

English-language highlights

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.

Mary and the Rosary mentioned in sports article about Buffalo Bills’ Offensive Lineman (National Catholic Register) December 14, 2019

It sometimes takes the worst of circumstances to bring out the best in people.  When Mitch Morse, now 27, was only 4, his younger brother, Robbie, only 4 months old at the time, suffered an injury that resulted in permanent brain damage and the need for continual special care.

As the older Morse grew up, he formed the habit of anticipating what his younger brother would need.  This selflessness transferred well to the football field, as the 6-foot, 6-inch Austin, Texas, native focused, not on individual achievements, but on being the best team-mate he could be.  This philosophy allowed him to enjoy the team sport and perform well at St. Michael's Catholic Academy and at the University of Missouri.

After his collegiate career ended, Morse was chosen in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs.  He was named to the Pro Football Writers Association's All-Rookie team, and, over the next three seasons in Kansas City, he cemented a reputation as a top offensive lineman.  The Buffalo Bills were so impressed that, earlier this year, they made him the highest-paid center in the league.

Mitch Morse recently spoke of life's ups and downs in the context of his Catholic faith, in anticipation of the Bills taking on Devlin Hodges' Pittsburgh Steelers this Sunday….

My wife, Caitlin, and I are happily making many sacrifices for the sake of our first child, due in February.  She's really doing all the heavy lifting, so to speak, but maybe my biggest sacrifice is letting go of my own ideas so she can be as prepared as possible for the birth.

We don't know if our baby is a boy or girl; and, at first, I wasn't sold on not finding out. Now I take it as an adventure and am anticipating the birth all the more.  In the meantime, the Hail Mary takes on new meaning because I can see more clearly how Mary was a living tabernacle, full of grace, the Mother who gave flesh to our Savior.

It reminds me of the rosary blessed by St. John Paul II that we have at home.  It was given to us by Father Rocha as a wedding present; and it is all the more meaningful now that we're approaching Christmas and then the birth of our own child.

Complete Article

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The Creations of Volunteer Harry Mushenheim

Retired University of Dayton math professor has crafted over 50 Nativity settings for the Marian Library.
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Weekly Marian Features: Dec. 23, 2019

We are now in the fourth week of Advent and excited to share various Christmas resources! We wish you a blessed and joyful Christmas!
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