In the News: November 23, 2015

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


Danielle Peters sent us information about Christmas activities planned by the Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. Click here for more information about their Second Annual International Crèche Display and Pilgrimage, or here for a PDF booklet with images and the schedule, or here for a short video of last year's event.

The seasonal festivities opened on November 22, 2015 with a program called With Mary through Advent. Danielle Peters, resident Marian Scholar at Notre Dame's Institute for Church Life, will give an overview over Marian Devotions during Advent. In the center of her presentation will be the old tradition of the Advent calendar and how it can be an instrument for all Catholics to journey with Mary towards the birth of our Savior. A limited number of printed copies of their Advent Calendar are still available through Hammes Bookstore at the University of Notre Dame.

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

French film about Jesus now available online

Dr. Nastia Korbon, an expert of Jesus films, informed us that Jésus était son nom [Jesus was his name], a notable film directed by Robert Hossein in 1992 may now be viewed online for free. Though Hossein also made a companion film focused on Jesus' Mother, Mary [Marie était son nom/Mary was her name], she appears only briefly in this work [played by Catherine Quiniou].

Click here to watch the entire video [109 minutes, French dialog].


From the Marian Treasure Chest

Brother John M. Samaha, S.M., sent us the text below along with the following comments: "This article about our Thanksgiving Day was published in Serra News, October 2015, [on page 7] and also in Catholic San Francisco on November 19, 2015."

Origin of our Thanksgiving Day by Brother John M. Samaha, S.M.

St. Paul urged us to give thanks to God always. Our forebears and our founding fathers, active Christians, often followed this sage counsel. And eventually our national day of Thanksgiving evolved.

The very first Thanksgiving was celebrated on September 8, 1565, in what is now St. Augustine, Florida, by Spanish settlers and Timucua Indians. On that day the first Mass, an act of thanksgiving, was celebrated on American soil, and it was followed by a feast of bean soup.

 Another Thanksgiving was observed in El Paso, Texas, under the leadership of Spanish explorer Don Juan de Onate, who declared: "In the name of the Most Holy Trinity ... I take possession of this whole land this April 30, 1598, in honor of Our Lord Jesus Christ, on this day of the Ascension of Our Lord ...." Mass was celebrated and a feast of geese, cranes, and ducks was enjoyed by the colonists, followed by a play organized by the Franciscan missionaries honoring the Native American converts.

Another interesting note concerns Squanto, the Native American who helped the Puritan pilgrims and Native Americans arrange at Plymouth Rock in 1621 what is the historical forerunner of our Thanksgiving. Squanto had previously been captured and enslaved by the English, but was freed by the Spanish Franciscans, and was baptized a Catholic. Thus, a Catholic contributed to arranging our Thanksgiving Day. 

Thanksgiving is one of the most loved and honored American holidays. Some travel considerable distances to spend this day with family. Spending time with family is surely a special blessing. But it is important to remember that Thanksgiving is much more than turkey, stuffing, and football. Unlike other secular holidays like Labor Day and the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving is a national holiday that is clearly religious in nature. As a nation of faith with Christian foundation, we set aside this day to thank God for his many blessings.

During his first year in office, 1789, President George Washington called for a day of Thanksgiving because "It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor."

In 1815 President James Madison issued a proclamation for "a day of thanksgiving and of devout acknowledgements to Almighty God for his great goodness." But after Madison, Thanksgiving reverted to a regional celebration in the New England states for 48 years.

During the Civil War a concerned magazine editor, Sarah Josepha Hales, petitioned the Lincoln administration in 1863 that a day of Thanksgiving "now needs national recognition and official fixation to become permanently an American custom and institution." That year President Abraham Lincoln called on Americans to "fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union."

Thoughts to ponder this Thanksgiving. Thanks be to God!

Marian Events

National Geographic to publish Marian article in their magazine and to broadcast a companion piece in their Explorer series

When National Geographic decided to devote the December 2015 cover story to Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, they turned to the International Marian Research Institute/Marian Library for expertise.

Father Bert Buby, S.M., and Father Johann Roten, S.M., are quoted in the story, which hits newsstands November 24. A companion television program, The Cult of Mary will air Sunday, December 13, through the National Geographic Explorer series.

In the meantime, you can read the story and view a variety of multimedia on the National Geographic website "How the Virgin Mary Became the World's Most Powerful Woman."

Author, Maureen Orth, contacted him earlier this year, says Buby, because of the trilogy he wrote on Mary. Orth traveled to Dayton in March and spent a day with him in The Marian Library, learning from faculty and students there.

Orth and Buby even attended Mass together at the Chaminade Chapel.

He understands why interest in Mary and Marian apparitions continue to fascinate the world.

"Mary continues to exist in a real way," he said. "She's a universal type of woman."

Mary in the Catholic Press

A Rarity in a Cuban Suburb: a New Church Will Be Built from Zenit (Guiteras, Cuba) November 11, 2015

The skyline of the suburb of Guiteras, on the outskirts of the Cuban capital, is dominated by grey prefabricated buildings that are crumbling badly, weakened by the moist tropical temperatures. Some 32,000 people live in this place that looks like so many others on the island nation. But Guiteras is very different in one respect: a new Catholic church is being built there, which is a great rarity.

In a place where no old churches date back to the time before the revolution, Catholics generally have to meet in private homes. Up until now, building permits for new church buildings have been approved in only a few cases. Cuba's President, Raul Castro, made the Guiteras property available to the church after Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the island in 2012....

This pleases the older members of the parish. Amalia, for example, an elderly lady who is one of the founders of the parish in Guiteras, regularly joins other women in praying the rosary in a temporary chapel in the spot where the new church will be built. She said: "When the new church is finally standing, it will definitely draw more people. It is going to be wonderful. Twenty-one years ago we began meeting in private homes to read the Gospel and to pray. It wasn't always easy. People were even not allowed to hang up a cross or a picture of the Virgin in the flats provided by the state."

However, the woman is convinced that the faith can take advantage of fertile ground in Cuba. "There used to be only a few. Today, hundreds of people come to our services. All Cubans believe. Anyone who claims anything else is lying," she said.

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.

Christmas and Beyond (University of Dayton News) October 26, 2015

The University of Dayton will celebrate Christmas and Beyond with its annual exhibit of Nativities from around the world and the installation of a new model train display built to tell the story of Jesus' young life.

At the Manger: Christmas and Beyond runs from Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015, to Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, inside Roesch Library. It is free and open to the public. A grand opening celebration from 1 to 5 p.m. Nov. 28 will feature children's activities, light refreshment, entertainment by the Dayton Celebration Chorus and a college football viewing area.

"We want to make sure people understand that when we talk about the Nativity, it's not only a representation of the Holy Family surrounded by shepherds, kings and oxen. We want to put the Nativity as we traditionally know it into a broader context--historically speaking, but also from the point of view of meaning and significance," said the Rev. Johann Roten, S.M., Marian Library director of research and special projects....

Click here to read the entire article.


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Weekly Features: November 23, 2015

This week we extend Thanksgiving greetings as we look toward Advent.

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Weekly Features: November 23, 2015

This week we extend Thanksgiving greetings as we look toward Advent.

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