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