The ‘Polish connection’ as an inspiration for the name and the character of the
Australian Marian Academy of the Immaculate Conception (AMAIC)
Manifesto for an Australian Marian University
1. What is the Australian Marian Academy of the Immaculate Conception (AMAIC)?
2. How did the AMAIC come about?
3. What are the Purpose and Function of the AMAIC?
4. What is Distinctive about the AMAIC?
5. What Subjects may be offered by the AMAIC?
6. What are the Resources and Tools of the AMAIC?
7. What are the Short-Term and Long-Term Goals of the AMAIC?
1.What is the Australian Marian Academy of the Immaculate Conception (AMAIC)? The Australian Marian Academy [AMA], as it was initially known, was formed in the early 1980s largely by a group of academics and teachers devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary, particularly under her title of Our Lady of the Rosary (at Fatima). In May of 1988 this was the description of the Australian Marian Academy written into our Constitution (p. 19):
As a recognized “aggregate of persons” [CJC Can. 115] the Academy “is a private association of Christ’s faithful striving with common effort to foster a more perfect life … and to promote Christian teaching” [Can. 298]. Its Constitution has been reviewed by the competent authority [Can. 299 §3]. It chooses to exercise its juridical personhood through an Executive of 7 members. [ Can. 115, §2]. On this solid footing we wish to affiliate with the mother Academy in Rome : the “Pontificia Accademia dell’Immacolata Concezione”, at the request of its present head, the Vice-President of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, Father Marino Maccarelli.
With reference to our Constitution, the Most Reverend John Jobst, Bishop of Broome ( Western Australia ), wrote:
“I welcome the establishment of the Australian Marian Academy which could be associated with the Marian Academy in Rome . One cannot but notice the role of the Mother of God in “crushing the serpent’s head” throughout the history of the Church …. [Pope John Paul II] has spoken out clearly and encouraged any efforts promoting the devotion to Mary the Mother of God. For these reasons the Marian Academy is very timely …. I can only say that the statements made in the Constitution are true and in keeping with the Church’s sound teaching …”.
And respected theologian and canon lawyer, Dr. Harry J. Jordan (MSC), of Sydney Australia, agreed with these “sentiments” expressed by Bishop Jobst:
“Yesterday’s postman brought me your ‘Reflections’ [first draft of the AMA Constitution] …. I do congratulate you and I concur with the sentiments of its worth from that valiant Bishop John Jobst”.
In 1990, in a meeting in the Vatican with Andrzej Maria Cardinal Deskur, a compatriot and very close friend of then Pope John Paul II – President of the Pontifical Academy of the Immaculate Conception (formerly President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications) – His Eminence insisted on our adding to the Academy’s title the phrase “of the Immaculate Conception”. Thus our Academy became: The Australian Marian Academy
of the Immaculate Conception
2. How did the AMAIC come about?
The seeds of the AMAIC were sown in the 1970s from the determination of a group of Australian Catholics to counteract widespread doctrinal and moral error and to uphold the light of truth. The notion of Academy was already in the minds of members due to their associations with schools, colleges, seminaries, and other academic institutions, also through philosophy (e.g. Plato’s Academy), and the Thomistic influence of the famous Aquinas Academy of Dr. Austin Woodbury (S.M.), in Sydney. The cherished phrase, Marian Academy , to which we added our national designation, Australian, was inspired by St. Maximilian Kolbe, who had said: “If the Immaculata wants it, we shall found a Marian Academy to study, teach and publish for the entire world what the Immaculata is – an Academy even with a doctorate in Mariology”. We owed this last piece of information to Kolbe Missionary and former Legionary of Mary, Josephine Mary Nethery, of Sydney Australia, who had provided us with E. Piacentini ’s “Panorama of the Marian Doctrine of Bl. [now Saint] Maximilian Kolbe”. Finally, as already noted, His Eminence Cardinal Deskur invested our Academy with the concluding phrase of our title, of the Immaculate Conception.