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Feast of the Assumption

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of Mary Mother of God into heaven, body and soul. I grew up in the parish of what was known as Assumption Church in White Plains, NY. As a result, I did hear a bit about this important day when I was a kid. (My home parish is no longer extant, ahead of a sad trend, it closed years ago.)

Our parish was Italian-American, so that was our primary influence. In those days, the church was made up of so many ethnic enclaves. Today this is quite different, and we see so many of those early urban ethnic churches closing, or already closed, like my own.

Our ethnicity may inform our faith in one way, but ultimately we share one faith. That is why I chose this image of Mary, of Asian origin. She is the Mother of us all, and no one is exempt from her care. We may not choose to see, know or understand Mary as the Mother of God, but that is who she is – and we all must be who we are. Like any good mother, she is there for you whether or not you are ignoring her!

So many people, especially non-Catholics, but also a number of Catholics themselves, are challenged by Marian doctrine. Others are a bit over the top with it, making an idol of Mary. When I think of our Blessed Mother, I am reminded of the tension of holding the kind of ambiguity that appears on the surface. She is not just some little lady dressed in blue, nor is she ever to be thought of as God. Mary occupies a unique place in salvation history, as the one who said “yes” to God, and delivered God to us in human form through Jesus’ birth.

Many of you have probably already seen this particular Marian image, but I am posting it here. Ethiopian gold medalist, Meseret Defar, was running with Mary!

Blessings on this Feast of the Assumption! Holy Mother of God, pray for us!

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4 Responses

  1. Thank you Fran

  2. When you mentioned that you grew up in the parish known as Assumption Church, I suddenly remembered that when we lived in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, we also went to an Assumption Church, where our two daughters made their First Communion, more than 30 years ago. Thank you for the memory 🙂
    As to my relationship with Mary, it’s getting better all the time… Unable to connect with her when she seemed so perfect, young, immaculate, virginal, she came close to me as the mother in the Pieta when I had to live so very far from our daughters.
    Finally, the young Ethiopian woman is an inspiration to me.

    Thank you for all these gifts, Fran!

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