Saturday, November 15, 2014

J.M.J. Gene Young, veteran journalist and managing editor of The Bishop's Bulletin, recently submitted some insightful questions to me.

Part One

1.) As director of the Marian Apostolate, how do you present and share the Blessed Mother with people of the diocese?

"I use various methods, especially Homilies during Masses and Holy Hours, the public recitation of the Most Holy Rosary, our diocesan Marian Conference, talks, days of recollection, classes, films, books, articles, arranging for guest speakers and the radio program, 'Morning Star' on the Lamb Catholic Radio Network along with its blog ("

2.) How do you perceive they receive and know the Blessed Mother?

"When our Bishop, the Most Reverend Paul J. Swain, D.D., established the Office of the Marian Apostolate on July 1, 2009, he decreed that its purpose is 'to increase awareness of and appreciation and love for the presence of Mary the Mother of God in the Diocese of Sioux Falls.' Our Lady is already present . . . she is known and loved. Now, we must do all that we can to increase our awareness of her presence and our understanding of her person and mission.

"I find much receptivity to Mary. Knowledge of her often depends on age and always on catechetical background.

"During the 1980s, the late John Cardinal O'Connor, the Archbishop of New York,  lamented that an entire generation had not been catechized sufficiently regarding Our Lady. Today, perhaps His Eminence would concede that we are now speaking about two generations."

3.) Are there specific events, liturgies, things that you do through the Marian Apostolate to help people of the diocese more fully experience and interact with the Blessed Mother?

"Yes. Please see 1.)."

4.) We have all seen and read about the Blessed Mother's interactions with different people in the course of history, do those experiences make a difference to the people you encounter through your ministry and the people of today's world? "Yes. There is much interest in the apparitions of Our Lady and even some purported apparitions that have not been approved by the Local Bishop or the Holy See. Those whom I encounter are fascinated by Our Lady's messages during the various apparitions, especially those that occurred in Guadalupe, Mexico (1531), Lourdes, Frances (1858) and Fatima, Portugal (1917). "Additionally, the first approved Marian apparition in the United States of America, namely near Champion, Wisconsin in 1859 and under the title, 'Our Lady of Good Help,' has garnered significant attention."

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