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Father John T. Myler "Behold Your Mother" research collection

Identifier: ML-038

Scope and Contents

Series 1 contains Monsignor Myler's research notes and photocopies of material unrelated to work of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, the national pastoral ad hoc committee, and the National Shrine implementation committee. It also contains an oral history with Father Eamon Carroll, O.Carm., conducted by Father Myler in 2003-2004. Series 2 contains papers related to the national pastoral ad hoc committee, including excerpts from the NCCB Administrative Committee minutes, correspondence regarding the pastoral letter, rough drafts and outlines of the pastoral letter, news releases, and agendas, minutes, and transcriptions of ad hoc committee meetings. Items in this series are arranged chronologically. These papers include original documents, original carbon copies, and photocopied reproductions. Series 3 contains documents related to the implementation of Behold Your Mother, primarily by the National Shrine Pastoral Implementation Committee. These papers include original documents, original carbon copies, and photocopied reproductions. Series 4 contains a draft copy of Father John T. Myler's 2005 doctoral dissertation for the International Marian Research Institute, Mary, the U.S. Bishops, and the Decade of Silence: the 1973 Pastoral Letter "Behold Your Mother Woman of Faith" (2 volumes), with comments from an IMRI faculty member. The second volume contains research notes and archival materials not found elsewhere in this collection, including an original copy of "Draft B" with Bishop Dougherty's handwritten comments.


  • Creation: 1968-2005 inclusive, 1970-1975 bulk
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1970 - 1975


Access to Materials

This collection is open and available to the public for research in the Marian Library reading room. The materials are non-circulating.

Copyright Notice

The materials in this collection may be protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). The materials are available for personal, educational, and scholarly use. It is the responsibility of the researcher to locate and obtain permission from the copyright owner or his or her heirs for any other use, such as reproduction and publication.

History of the "Behold Your Mother" Pastoral Letter

Many Catholics felt that the documents of Vatican II de-emphasized the importance of the Blessed Virgin Mary and devotion to her. The intent of Behold Your Mother: Woman of Faith, the pastoral letter on the Blessed Virgin Mary, is to explain chapter 8 of Lumen Gentium, which the pastoral letter reaffirms as a synthesis of Catholic teaching in terms of Mary's place "in the mystery of Christ and his Church." The introduction of Behold Your Mother: Woman of Faith speaks of Mary's "privileged position in the Church" and upheld the teachings of the popes and councils. Mary's "special the mystery of the salvation of the human race" is reaffirmed, and devotion to her is encouraged in a time when "the Church seeks to adapt herself to the widespread social and cultural changes of our time."

On behalf of the executive committee of the National Shrine of the Immacule Conception, John Cardinal Carberry presented the idea of a pastoral letter on the Blessed Virgin Mary at the November 1970 meeting of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops Administrative Committee. Through the spring of 1971, Cardinal Carberry and Monsignor William F. McDonough consulted with various theologians and bishops, and an outline of the proposed letter was written in the summer of 1971.

The Ad Hoc Committee for the Pastoral on Our Lady first met in November 1971 in Washington, D.C. The committee was composed of Mariologists and bishops. The first draft was written by Father Eamon Carroll, O.Carm., in March 1972. In July a second draft was sent to all American bishops soliciting their feedback; a third draft was sent out for feedback in January 1973. The fourth draft was voted on at the regional meetings of U.S. bishops in April and May 1973. The final manuscript was prepared that summer; a Spanish translation was also prepared, marking the first time a NCCB document was simultaneously published in Spanish.

Behold Your Mother: Woman of Faith was promulgated at mass in the National Shrine of the Immacule Conception in Washington, D.C. on November 21, 1973. In January of 1974 a group began meeting at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to discuss the implementation of the pastoral letter. In February of that year Pope Paul VI issued Marialis Cultus.


1.25 Linear Feet (3 document cases)

Language of Materials



This collection contains original and reproduced correspondence, drafts, minutes, and other papers related to the composition of the 1973 pastoral letter Behold Your Mother: Woman of Faith published by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. These papers were collected by Father John T. Myler during his dissertation research. The collection also includes an oral history with Father Eamon Carroll, O.Carm., conducted by Father Myler.


This collection primarily retains the arrangement of Monsignor Myler. Items in Series 2 are in chronological order.

Custodial History

Items in this collection were collected by Father John T. Myler in the course of his research while composing the dissertation for his Doctorate of Sacred Theology at the International Marian Research Institute in Dayton, Ohio. Some of the materials were originally collected by Father Eamon R. Carroll, O.Carm.


Donated to the Marian Library by Monsignor John T. Myler, S.T.D., V.F. circa 2006.

Location of Originals

Some materials in this collection are reproductions of original materials held in other archives, including the American Catholic History Research Center at the Catholic University of America and the Archives of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

List of Correspondents

Original and photocopied correspondence from the following individuals can be found in this collection:

  1. Alter, Karl J., Archbishop of Cincinnati
  2. Barosse, Thomas, Superior General, C.S.C.
  3. Baum, William Wakefield Cardinal
  4. Begin, Floyd Lawrence, Bishop of Oakland
  5. Bell, Alden J., Bishop of Sacramento
  6. Bernardin, Joseph Cardinal
  7. Bilski, Eugene G., Monsignor
  8. Boeddeker, Alfred, O.F.M.
  9. Boyle, John P., Reverend
  10. Breitenbeck, Joseph M., Bishop of Grand Rapids
  11. Brunini, Joseph B., Bishop of Jackson
  12. Brzana, Stanislaus J., Bishop of Ogdensburg
  13. Burghardt, Walter J., S.J.
  14. Byrne, James J., Archbishop of Dubuque
  15. Carberry, John Joseph Cardinal
  16. Carol, Juniper B., O.F.M.
  17. Carroll, Eamon R., O.Carm.
  18. Casey, James V., Archbishop of Denver
  19. Cermak, John
  20. Charest, Roger Mary, S.M.M.
  21. Cody, John Cardinal
  22. Cole, William J., S.M.
  23. Connolly, Thomas J., Bishop of Baker
  24. Cooke, Terence James Cardinal
  25. Cousins, William E., Archbishop of Milwaukee
  26. Craghan, John, C.SS.R.
  27. Cranny, Titus, S.A.
  28. Cronin, Daniel A., Archbishop of Hartford
  29. Cunningham, David Frederick, Bishop of Syracuse
  30. Dearden, John Cardinal
  31. DeLuca, William
  32. Dempsey, Michael R., Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago
  33. De Nittis, Francesco, Archbishop of Tunes
  34. Depeaux, Bernard
  35. Dolan, Timothy Cardinal
  36. Dougherty, John Joseph, Auxiliary Bishop of Newark
  37. Duff, Frank, Servant of God
  38. Durick, Joseph A., Bishop of Nashville
  39. Durst, Luanne, O.S.F.
  40. Eirich, Mary Helene, O.S.F.
  41. Elizondo, Virgilio
  42. Elwell, Clarence E., Bishop of Columbus
  43. Falls, Thomas B., Monsignor
  44. Flanagan, Bernard J., Bishop of Worcester
  45. Flanagan, Neal M., O.S.M.
  46. Fletcher, Albert L., Bishop of Little Rock
  47. Fletcher, Ralph J.
  48. Fox, Robert J., Father
  49. Freeman, James Cardinal
  50. Furey, Francis J., Archbishop of San Antonio
  51. Gallagher, Raymond J., Bishop of Lafayette in Indiana
  52. Green, Michael Joseph, Bishop of Reno
  53. Greteman, Frank Henry, Bishop of Sioux City
  54. Guilfoyle, Merlin J., Bishop of Stockton
  55. Hannan, Philip Matthew, Archbishop of New Orleans
  56. Hastrich, Jerome J., Bishop of Gallup
  57. Helmsing, Charles H., Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph
  58. Hennessey, R.J., O.P.
  59. Hickey, Daniel, C.SS.R.
  60. Hunthausen, Raymond G., Archbishop of Seattle
  61. Hurley, Francis T., Archbishop of Anchorage
  62. Jadot, Jean, Titular Archbishop of Zuri
  63. Jelly, Frederick M., O.P.
  64. Jost, James H.
  65. Kelly, Thomas C., O.P., Archbishop of Louisville
  66. Kirwin, George, O.M.I.
  67. Krol, John Joseph Cardinal
  68. Kugelman, Richard, C.P.
  69. Laurentin, René, Abbé
  70. Leech, George Leo, Bishop of Harrisburg
  71. Leven, Stephen A., Bishop of San Angelo
  72. López Trujillo, Alfonso Cardinal
  73. Lynch, George E., Auxiliary Bishop of Raleigh
  74. Maloney, David M., Bishop of Wichita
  75. Manning, Timothy Cardinal
  76. Marshall, John A., Bishop of Springfield in Massachusetts
  77. May, John L., Archbishop of St. Louis
  78. McBride, Alfred, O.Praem.
  79. McDonough, William F., Monsignor
  80. Medeiros, Humberto Sousa Cardinal
  81. Meger, Thomas, S.T.D.
  82. Morkovsky, John L., Bishop of Galveston-Houston
  83. Morry, Matthew F., O.P.
  84. Mueller, Joseph M., Bishop of Sioux City
  85. Mugavero, Francis John, Bishop of Brooklyn
  86. Murphy, John J., Monsignor
  87. Mussio, Anthony John King, Bishop of Steubenville
  88. Noreen, Joan, O.L.M.E.
  89. O'Connell, Hugh J., C.SS.R.
  90. O'Connor, Edward D., C.S.C.
  91. O'Donnell, Cletus F., Bishop of Madison
  92. O'Keefe, Gerald, Bishop of Davenport
  93. Oraze, Stephen
  94. Otazu, Pascual, O.S.B.
  95. Pelletier, Georges-Léon, Bishop of Trois-Rivières
  96. Perozzi, Joseph, S.D.B.
  97. Peyton, Patrick, C.S.C., Servant of God
  98. Pilson, Harriet A.
  99. Pulver, Charles R.
  100. Quinn, John R., Archbishop of San Francisco
  101. Raimondi, Luigi Cardinal
  102. Rareshide, Lanaux J., Monsignor
  103. Rausch, James S., Bishop of Phoenix
  104. Riley, Lawrence J., Auxiliary Bishop of Boston
  105. Rodriguez, Peter, C.M.F.
  106. Rotelle, John, O.S.A.
  107. Ryan, Mary Patrick, O.P.
  108. Schexnayder, Maurice, Bishop of Lafayette in Louisiana
  109. Schmitt, Justin, S.J.
  110. Shaw, Russell
  111. Shea, Francis R., Bishop of Evansville
  112. Sheen, Fulton J., Venerable
  113. Soete, Charles J.
  114. Speltz, George H., Bishop of St. Cloud
  115. Spence, John Selby, Auxiliary Bishop of Washington
  116. Stamschror, Bob, Father
  117. Stein, Rosemary, Sister
  118. Strecker, Ignatius J., Archbishop of Kansas City in Kansas
  119. Szoka, Edmund Cardinal
  120. Tappe, Walter J., vicar general
  121. Thomas, L.M.
  122. Tracy, Robert E., Bishop of Baton Rouge
  123. Treinen, Sylvester William, Bishop of Boise
  124. Tschoepe, Thomas, Bishop of Dallas
  125. Unterkoefler, Ernest L., Bishop of Charleston
  126. Villot, Jean-Marie Cardinal
  127. Waters, Vincent S., Bishop of Raleigh
  128. Whealon, John F., Archbishop of Hartford
  129. Wright, John H., S.J.
  130. Wycislo, Aloysius, Bishop of Green Bay
Guide to the Father John T. Myler "Behold Your Mother" research collection, 1968-2005
Colleen Hoelscher
October 2014
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Repository Details

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