Woman #1

Stained glass depicting the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus

When friends asked me about my next book, I told them it was about the most famous woman in the history of man; then I would add, “and she’s Jewish.”

 With my Jewish friends it was fun to watch puzzled frowns become smiles and hear them say, “Of course, it’s Mary. But I forget she’s Jewish.”

 When I converted to the Church over six decades ago at age twenty-seven, with joy I mary1embraced the whole concept of Catholicism. This included the Trinity, the Sacraments, the Pope, the saints and Mary. I accepted Mary’s prominence because Jesus was God, Mary was the mother of Jesus; therefore, Mary was the Mother of God.  Now at the final stage of life when daring to explore the essence of Being, I realize that, as a focused light, structured religion is a recent arrival in the existence of Man.  And throughout this period, Mary is the most renowned of all women.

         Mary’s fame is puzzlement.  In the New Testament she is mentioned only 19 times and has just four quotations. At the Annunciation, she said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it done to me according to thy word.” During her pregnancy when she visits her cousin Elizabeth, Mary recited the Song of Praise.  When she and Joseph find the teenage Jesus in the temple, she asked, “Why have you done this? Didn’t you know your father and I were searching for you?”  Then at the Feast at Cana, she let Jesus know they are out of wine and tells the wine steward “Do whatever he tells you to do.” Therefore, the high position of honor and reverence we give to Mary has come primarily through revelation and her interventions through the centuries.

          Over a five year period, I gathered important dates to write A Layman’s Jay'sNew BookMaryChronology of Mary, which I have recently published. With 474 dates, 72 apparitions and quotes from 178 saints and 36 popes, this book is a pebble on the mountain of writings about Mary. The Marian Library at the University of Dayton, Ohio, houses the world’s largest collection of printed material about Mary. The current count there is over sixty thousand books in fifty languages, more than fifty-five thousand clippings from newspaper and magazines and almost twenty thousand holy cards bearing her image.

     When I converted to the Catholic Church, my favorite Cousin Loraine, who was a staunch Baptist, would not have been more shocked had I decided to become a bank robber.  She told a friend, “I couldn’t believe what I heard. Why, I thought Armiger was more intelligent than that.”

         The following year, after a visit with relatives in Alabama, she couldn’t wait to return home and tell me a funny thing she had seen. “One afternoon,” she said, “we were driving through town and passed a Catholic Church.  And can you guess the name of the church?”  I shook my head and braced for what was to come.

  “It was called ‘Mother of God.’! Can you believe it?”

  After she wiped her tears from laughing, Cousin Loraine added, “How can you imagine God needing a mother?”

  Realizing I was bucking the Rock of Gibraltar, I forced a smile and a change of subject.

  MOGletters3In memory of this delightful relative and for others who share her ignorance of Mary, I hope my book which records important dates about Mary will be a spark of enlightenment. Many who do not believe in Mary would like to believe if they had evidence.

As Pope John Paul II said, “In the life of a human being there are many more truths which are simply believed than truths which are acquired by way of personal verification.”

Please send me your comments aljagoe@gmail.com

Current News

PopeFrancisonRollingStone

–        Did you ever think you would see the head of the Catholic Church on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine?  Check the current February 15 issue and see Pope Francis (bigger than life) waving at you on the cover.

–        The Muslims throughout the Middle East are attempting to make Christianity an endangered religion.  Yet in the Central African Republic a militant forcecommunion_africa1 revenging the massacres of Christians by a former government are now butchering Muslims. Reporter Peter Bouchaert wrote, “The Catholics’ humanity, courage and leadership stand out amid the slaughter. They are virtually alone in trying to protect the vulnerable.  The only force that seems able to protect vulnerable Muslims from the anti-balaka are the courageous Catholic priests and nuns of the Bossemptele mission. In Boali, the local Catholic priest sheltered 700 in his church.”

(Comment: you friggin Muslims in Egypt and throughout the Middle East who are burning our churches and treating us roughly – take notice)

                 

Roster of Joyful Catholic Priests

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  •  Fr. John Dowling, St. Francis of Assisi parish, Fairfield Glade, TN
  • Bishop James Vann Johnston, (Springfield/Cape Girardeau, MO)

  • Fr. Richard Lopez (Atlanta Archdiocese, GA) NEW!

  • Fr. Noel Sanvicente, (Diocese of San Jose, CA) NEW!

  • Fr. Alex Waraksa St. Patrick’s parish, (Morristown, TN) NEW

  • Fr. Robert Aufieri (New York, NY)

  • Fr. John M. Bauer (Minneapolis, MN)

  • Fr. Edmund Connors, Katonah, NY

  • Fr. Paul D.Counce (Baton Rouge, LA

  • Fr. Paul Duchschere (Fargo, ND)

  • Fr. Anthony O’Gorman (London, UK)

  • Fr. Edward Gorman, O.P. (Providence, RI)

  • Msgr. Edward Filardi (Bethesda, MD)

  • Fr. Charles E. Jacobs, Hartford CT

  • Fr. Raymond Kemp (Washington, DC)

  • Bishop Joseph N. Latino (Jackson, MS)

  • Archbishop Jerome Listecki (Milwaukee, MN)

  • Bishop Dennis Madden (Baltimore, MD)

  • Fr. Joseph Marini (San Mateo, CA)

  • Msgr. Joseph Mayo (Salt Lake City, UT)

  • Fr. John Mericantante (Pahokee, FL)

  • Msgr. Thomas Modugno (New York,NY)

  • Fr. Kevin Nelson, (Lantana, FL)

  • Fr. John O’Donoghue (San Antonio,TX)

  • Fr. Antony Pulikal (Lntana, FL)

  • Fr. James R. Purfield (Denver,CO)

  • Fr. Paul S. Quinter (Pittsburg, Pa)

  • Fr. Michael Radermache, (Vancouver, WA)

  • Msg. David Robichcaux, V.F. (New Orleans, LA)

  • Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi (Mobile, AL)

  • Fr. Alberto Rodriguez, (Miami)

  • Msg. Paul L. Rohling (Birmingham, AL)

  • Fr. David Ross (Lima. OH)

  • Fr. Matthew Ruhl, S.J. (Kansas City, KS)

  • Fr. Michael Scanlon (Steubenville, OH)

  • Fr. Walter J. Szezesny (Buffalo, NY)

  • Fr. Richard Trout (Sanford, FL)

  • Fr. Hayden Vaverek (New York, NY)

  • Fr. Malcolm Sylvester Willoughby, O.P. (Washington, DC)

  • Canon Stuart Wilson (London, UK)                             

 The media loves to publicize bad priests, and we should give recognition to our Joyful Catholic Priests. Send me your recommendation for ones you think merit membership in this splendid group. (aljagoe@gmail.com)

________________

poetry

Poem  (Amy C. Ellis)

 God’s love is like

a shining stream that overflows

with golden beams.

It enters in our hearts

with light and pours out blessings

day or night.

This living stream can cleanse from sin those hearts

that bid it enter in. Its flowing spirit endlessly

is bringing Christ

to you and me.

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