Mary as Nurturer, A New Model for Contemporary Times

Mary as Nurturer, A New Model for Contemporary Times



Caitlin B. Cipolla-McCulloch


Presentation: 3:40-4:00, Kennedy Union 211



Mary’s role in salvation history, characterized by her birthing of Christ, remains the singular descriptive feature of how the Mother of God is viewed in the Church today. While this role, affirmed uniquely at the Council of Ephesus in 431--Mary as the Theotokos, that is “God-bearer” is important--her life and participation in the early Church are not able to be limited to just this feature. This paper will argue that Mary’s role in the life of Christ is a role of nurturing, not simply birthing. We will explore this thesis in four parts. We will first investigate the life of Middle Eastern women in antiquity to highlight an origin of the notion of nurturing. Secondly, a clear definition of nurturing as it applies to Mary will be presented. Utilizing this definition, we will then explore the evolution of this nurturing in the French school of spirituality particularly in the wake of the French Revolution. Finally, we will engage the writings of a mid-twentieth-century Marianist Mariologist who helps provide language that can be adapted to fit the needs of the Church today.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Neomi D. DeAnda

Primary Advisor's Department

International Marian Research Institute


Stander Symposium, College of Arts and Sciences

Institutional Learning Goals

Scholarship; Faith; Vocation

Mary as Nurturer, A New Model for Contemporary Times