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placeholder Bay Area composer’s works among new Mass settings

Pope’s visit in Britain deemed historic success

Renewed interest in Mary sparks conference at Saint Mary’s College

Cathedral to host crèche festival in mid-December

USF showcases Spanish, Asian influences in Mission arts

Despite defeat, Catholic official sees progress on DREAM Act

Vatican bank named in money-laundering probe

Mexico’s Bishop Vera given international prize for human rights work

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Students invited to join YMI essay contest

• Sister M. Patrice Bradshaw, SHF
• Sister Mary Grace Feldhaus, PBVM
• Sister Mary Paul Gerard Gustafson, SNJM
• Sister M. Guadalupe Partida, SHF

placeholder October 4, 2010   •   VOL. 48, NO. 17   •   Oakland, CA
Renewed interest in Mary sparks
conference at Saint Mary’s College

Oct. 12 is the Feast of Our Lady of Apa-recida, patroness of Brazil.

A comprehensive look at “Mary in the Modern World” takes place at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, Oct. 12-14. Lectures by leading Marian scholars, a choral concert of Marian music and an exhibition of images of Mary will be featured, said Christian Brother Mark McVann, professor theology and religious studies and organizer of the Marian conference.

Brother McVann said the conference is, in part, a response to the growing revival of interest in Mary. “The new interest stems in part, I think, from a need for contemporary models for women in a revised and more reflective feminism. It stems also from a renewed interest in traditional Catholicism.”

Calling Mary “the most important woman in human history,” Brother McVann said “it is hard to overstate or overestimate the pervasiveness of Marian awareness in Western Christianity.”

The conference will focus on Marian influence in history, culture, literature, art and music.

Nancy Pineda-Madrid, professor in the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College, will open the academic program on Oct. 12 with a lecture on the continuing power of devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe in North America. Her 1 p.m. lecture will be held in Claeys Lounge in the campus’ Soda Center.

At 5 p.m. on Oct. 12, Mass in honor of Our Lady of Aparecida (whose feast is observed that day) will be celebrated in the college chapel. At 8 p.m., also in the chapel, Cantare con Vivo, an ensemble of area singers, will perform a concert of Marian music including “Ave Maria” and “Ave Maris Stella.”

Three lectures will take place on Oct. 13 in the Claeys Lounge.

At 10:20 a.m., Father William Graham, director of the Catholic Studies Program at the College of Saint Scholastica in Duluth, Minn., will speak on “Mary in the Church’s Prayer.”

At 12:40 p.m., Diane Schoemperlen, award-winning Canadian author, will talk about her experience writing the critically acclaimed novel, “Our Lady of the Lost and Found.”

At 7:30 p.m., Metropolitan Nikitos Lulias, director of the Patriarch Anthenagoras Orthodox Institute in Berkeley, will discuss the sacred tradition of Marian icons in Eastern Christianity.

On Oct. 14, Brother McVann will explore Marian devotion in South America. His lecture will be held in the Claeys Lounge at 11:10 a.m.

At 12:50 p.m. in the chapel, Pamela Thomas, a member of the college’s Mission and Ministry Office, will analyze images of Mary feeding the infant Jesus. The images emphasize the human and maternal dimensions of Mary of Nazareth.

The conference will close with a panel discussion on Marian apparitions. It will take place in Claeys Lounge at 7:30 p.m.

Throughout the three days, the campus library will display images of Mary brought by members of the college community. Brother McVann said he expects to exhibit keepsake rosaries, statues, and paintings of Mary in her many manifestations around the world. “I think people will be surprised and delighted to see how many of us have a real and abiding affection for Mary and images of her,” he said.

All the events are free and open to the public.

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