University of Dayton's International Marian Research Institute and Library Installs New Director

Jan 26, 2010, 05:00 ET from University of Dayton

DAYTON, Ohio, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A priest with a global perspective was installed Monday, Jan. 25 as the new executive director of the University of Dayton's Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, a world-renowned center of scholarship and learning about Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ.

The Rev. Francois Rossier, S.M., was installed in a formal ceremony in the Immaculate Conception Chapel at the University of Dayton, one of the top-10 Catholic universities in the U.S.

"There is a renewal of interest in Mary around the world," Rossier said. "She's the most written-about woman in the entire human history, and she's an emblem of Catholic tradition and identity."

"Mary has a very special place in the devotions of the Hispanic Catholics.  Thanks to the Library and the Mariana Institute, we can make sure information about Mary continues being available to every person of faith regardless of the part of the world in which they live," explained Rossier.

Rossier took his first vows in 1984 and was ordained in 1991. At home around the world, he speaks five languages and has taught on every inhabited continent.

With a master's degree in literature, he is an expert on how Mary is portrayed in popular culture and contemporary literature such as detective novels.  

The Institute has experienced expansive growth in the last 20 years. Graduate students in theology come from around the world to study at the institute, which grants pontifical degrees through its affiliation with Pontifical University Marianum in Rome.

The library is the world's largest and most comprehensive repository of printed materials on Mary, with 75,000 books and up to 150,000 articles and pamphlets. The art collection includes an estimated 3,600 Nativity scenes, one of the largest collections in the U.S.

The Mary Page was one of the first religious studies programs to venture onto the Web. Today, it attracts around 360,000 visitors a year from all over the world and offers information on Mary in English, French, Spanish, Korean and Chinese.

For more information, contact Cilla Shindell or

(Editors: Photos are available; contact

SOURCE University of Dayton