To the contemporary world the Feast of Our Lady's Assumption may seem strange. It is a feast that honours the whole human person, body and soul. Though our society is obsessed with material objects, we often fail to notice the God-given dignity of our material bodies. The Assumption is also an invitation to celebrate the goodness and the joy that God promises us at the end of time.
Our Year 12 ATAR Religion and Life students have been exploring how the Church develops and expresses its beliefs. The Assumption of Mary, body and soul, is a great example of how a belief becomes an official church teaching. For many centuries, the Feast of the Assumption was celebrated in the Catholic Church without any formal definition of the doctrine. In most places, it was the principal feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary and it is the patronal festival of many of Europe's great Marian cathedrals, such as Notre Dame de Paris. That Mary 'was assumed, body and soul, into heavenly glory', was made an official teaching of the Catholic Church in 1950, as Pope Pius XII promulgated in the Bull Munificentissimus Deus.