In the News: July 11, 2016

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


At the annual meeting of the Mariological Society of America held May 17-20, 2016 at the Franciscan Retreat House in Colorado Springs, CO, Dr. Gloria Dodd was re-elected to the administrative council.

Click here to  view a slideshow of attendees that includes: Sister Jean Frisk; Father Thomas Thompson; Father Sebastien Abalodo; and Cecilia Mushenheim.

Father Thompson gave a presentation on the International Marian Bibliography for 2015-2016.


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

A Rosary publication in SpanishPáginas (Rosario) Revista Digital de la Escuela de Historia, is now available online from Dialnet.


From the Marian Treasure Chest

Brother John M. Samaha, S.M., sent us the text below with the following comment: "This article appeared in Sophia, Summer 2016."

A New Testament Gallery of Marian Images by Brother John M. Samaha, S.M.

How does Holy Scripture portray the Virgin Mary? Most of the divinely inspired writers of the various New Testament books unveil verbal images of the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus, in varying stages of clarity and completeness.

Father Bertrand Buby, S.M., a biblical scholar at the International Marian Research Institute, University of Dayton, U.S.A., and a former president of the Mariological Society of America, has offered the perspective treated in this brief article. In considering "the world within the text," we examine the patterns of language in biblical literature. This examination of the Bible encompasses the reasoning behind the author's text (logos). The writer's rhetoric deals with his personal convictions and character (ethos). Then come into play the feelings and emotions of both writer and reader (pathos). These reveal the story of the biblical personality being studied, in this case Mary, Mother of the Redeemer. From these verbal portrayals we may project images of Mary in various media that flow from the sacred texts. Place yourself in the shoes of the New Testament authors, and then observe their point of view springing from faith and devotion to the Mother of Jesus. The framework of our outlook is the fact that Mary is a datum of revelation (a real person), and that the Scriptures are the soul of Marian theology.

With the stage set, and surveying in a chronological order the texts of the New Testament treating Mary, we discover that the image and person of Mary became clearer, more developed, and more important to the churches emerging from the seeds planted by the Apostles.

Paul Alludes: A Shadow (Galatians 4:4-5, Romans 1:1-4)

The image of Mary in Paul's letters emerges faintly as a shadow. Paul makes no direct mention of Mary. But his allusion to the divine plan in Galatians 4:4 is the earliest reference to Mary in the New Testament. She is intimately bound to the Son of God because she is His mother and forms him in Judaic practice.

Mark Mentions: A Silhouette (Mark 3:31-35, 6:1-6)

Mark is the first Jewish-Christian writer to record the name of Mary in a manuscript. In his two paragraphs referring to Mary, he identifies her as the mother of the Messiah. Mark gives us a silhouette of Mary.

Matthew Recalls: A Sketch (Matthew 1 and 2)

Matthew's infancy narrative presents a pencil sketch of Mary. He records that Mary is the real, physical mother of Jesus, and Joseph is his legal, though not real, father. In Matthew we find the beginnings of a sound Mariology.

Luke Presents: A Portrait (Luke 1 and 2, 8:19-21, 11:27-28, Acts 1:14)   

Luke goes beyond the shadow, silhouette and sketch of his predecessors and captures the full personality and character of Mary. This is especially evident in his infancy narrative. Luke is Mary's portrait painter. He spreads a verbal canvas of the first and faithful disciple of Jesus with a well-delineated portrait of Mary in sharp colors.

John Contemplates: A Sculpture (John 1:13-14, 2:1-12, 19:25-28)

The fourth evangelist had a longer time to reflect on Jesus as the way, the truth, and the life, and about Mary, His mother. He strikingly presents Mary as a model of faith and love, especially in the Cana and Calvary events. At those moments John clearly suggests that we approach the mother of Jesus when in need. She will remind us to do whatever Jesus tells us. John masterfully renders Mary as a skillfully sculptured statue, a compassionate countenance finely chiseled in the manner of Michelangelo's exquisite Pietà.

John of Patmos in Revelation Envisions: An Apparition (Revelation 12:1-6, 12:13-17)

In the tantalizing Book of Revelation, John of Patmos refers to Mary as woman, as did the fourth evangelist. In symbolic language he likens Mary to the woman clothed with the sun and a bride descending from heaven. He prefigures the Church in Mary. This John envisions Mary as a mystical apparition.


These are the images of Mary that one avid biblical student sees projected by the authors of the New Testament. What images of her do your eyes conjure when reading the New Testament?


Marian Events

The Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary USA August 2016 Conference on Mary in Scripture

Date: August 4-6, 2016

Location: Mount St. Mary College in Newburgh, NY

Come and join us for three full days of thought-provoking, scholarly presentations and lively dialogue!

This year's presenters include Dr. Mary Frances McKenna, Chair of the Dublin branch of the Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as well as scholars from Oxford, Cambridge, the International Marian Research Institute, St. Tikon's Orthodox Theological Seminary, and Mount St. Mary College. A special panel of local clergy from Reformation traditions and a performance by the choir of Christ Lutheran Church round out the program.

For more information and to register, email esbvmeditor@hotmail.com.

(Please write "2016 Conference" in the subject line.) Registration deadline is July 15, 2016.

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.

Keynote speaker, Dr. Adam DeVille, is associate professor and chairman of the Department of Theology at the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, IN. His long list of publications includes Orthodoxy and the Roman Papacy: Ut Unum Sint and the Prospects of East-West Unity. Dr. DeVille's keynote address will shed light on the ecumenically controversial topic, "East-West Agreement on the Ecclesiological and Ecumenical Impact of the Dogmatic Definition of the Immaculate Conception."

N.B. Father Sebastien Abalodo, S.M. and Michael Duricy will travel from the International Marian Research Institute in Dayton, Ohio to make presentations at this conference.


Mary in the Catholic Press

The Holy Spirit Knows No Delay from Zenit May 31, 2016

The feast of the Visitation of Mary and Elizabeth invites us into a deeply personal moment of the Scriptures (Luke 1:39-56). The Precursor and the Lord are both hidden from each other. Yet even before the two women embrace, John leaped for joy in his mother's womb, having recognized the presence of the Lord and Messiah in the womb of Mary. Both births are hailed by two beautiful canticles: the Benedictus sung by Zechariah, father of the Baptist at his son's birth (1:68-79) and the Nunc Dimittis prayed by Simeon, the "righteous and devout" man in the Jerusalem temple, as he takes the infant Jesus in his arms (2:22-35).

There are two aspects of the Visitation scene to consider. The first is that any element of personal agenda of Mary and Elizabeth is put aside. Both had good reason to be very preoccupied with their pregnancies and all that new life brings. Both women had a right to focus on themselves for a while as they made new and radical adjustments to their daily lives. Mary reaches out to her kinswoman to help her and also to be helped by her. These two great biblical women consoled each other, shared their stories, and gave each other the gift of themselves in the midst of the new life that they must have experienced: Elizabeth after her long years of barrenness and now sudden pregnancy, and Mary, after her meeting with the heavenly messenger, and her 'irregular' marriage situation and pregnancy.

The second point of this moving story is Mary's haste. Luke tells us that she undertook in haste the long and perilous trek from Nazareth to a village in the hill country of Judea. She knew clearly what she wanted and did not allow anyone or anything to stop her....

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.

Random thoughts on Marian Valley, Czestochowa, Krakow and World Youth Day (Streams of the River blog) July 7, 2016

When I arrived in Brisbane to be inducted Rector of All Saints' Wickham Terrace on May 31, 1995, the Churchwardens, Trustees and I had the sense that we were pretty well starting from scratch (again!). We certainly had our challenges, and it was hard work. But by the grace of God, over the next ten years we saw lots of lives touched by God--especially young people--many of whom have gone on to serve the Lord in a variety of Church communions.
Very soon after arriving in Brisbane I became aware of a fledgling Shrine of Our Lady, a short drive from the city into the bush--the hinterland above the Gold Coast. The Shrine was dedicated in that same year. It was set up by the Pauline Fathers, whose vision was more than matched by the generosity of benefactors. The Prior at the time was Father Michael Szymanski who worked so hard with his own hands. As well as praying the Divine Office and celebrating Mass he was building, cleaning, gardening, working on the tractor, chopping wood for the combustion stove, and doing all the cooking without electricity. As priest and Prior he lovingly ministered to pilgrims who made the journey to the Shrine. After a few visits to him, I realized that my task at All Saints' was fairly straightforward compared with what he had to do there in the bush. But it was so inspiring over those years to watch "Marian Valley" develop into the amazing Shrine it is today. That really encouraged my faith as we labored in the heart of the city! ...
Click here to read the complete article.

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Weekly Features: July 11, 2016

Scapulars, the Mircaculous Medal and various devotions are highlighted in this week's features.

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Presenting at the ESBVM USA Conference

Two representatives from IMRI will be presenting at the Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary USA conference in August.

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