Know Mary, Know Jesus

Book review of Under the Mantle: Marian Thoughts From a 21st-Century Priest.


Under the Mantle

Marian Thoughts From a 21st-Century Priest

By Father Donald Calloway, MIC

304 pages, $19.95

Marian Press, 2013

To order: or

(800) 462-7426


Anyone familiar with Father Donald Calloway’s book on his early life and conversion knows he’s a riveting writer. The same holds true for his coast-to-coast talks.

Put both together and you have an idea of what the latest book by this surfer-priest of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception — Under the Mantle — offers.

Father Calloway’s goal is to help modern people have a greater love for Jesus through Mary and rediscover "the awesome truths of the Catholic faith."

He shows readers that the tried-and-true method to get close to Jesus is through Mary. Father Calloway shows readers "… the only true and complete way to be pleasing to Jesus is to love, honor and become like his Mother."

"If you don’t know Mary, you won’t know the real Jesus" becomes the book’s refrain. Each chapter ends with "Marian Gems," quotations from various saints, blesseds and popes.

Chapter after chapter, the conversational language and colorful analogies make insights into the faith unforgettable. He talks of God as the heavenly gardener and offers a hospital-doctor-nurse analogy for the confessional, where the Catholic Church is God’s rehabilitation center, Jesus is the Divine Physician, and Mary is the heavenly nurse. It’s a comforting and uplifting way to explain confession.

Or take this snippet, where Father Calloway uses the game of chess to show Mary’s necessity for overcoming evil in God’s plan: "Playing the game taught me a lot about the necessity of serving the King through being a servant of the Queen."

"Thus, chess makes for a strong analogy in understanding the necessary role and place of Mary in the lives of Christians," he continues. "Christianity is all about Jesus Christ — the King. Yet the King himself has placed an indispensible piece at the center of his victorious campaign, the piece through which he conquers the enemy" — the Queen, our Mother Mary.

In another instance, when speaking about why we must get "under the mantle," he picks up from Pius IX, declaring that Mary, as the Immaculate Conception, is like the saving ark of Noah: "What this means is that if Mary is the new ark, we had better be inside that ark, that is, under the mantle. The new Noah (Jesus) lives in this saving ark, and so should we. If we are not there, we are going to spiritually drown. Mary can never be defeated and will never die or be overcome. She is our refuge in the storm."

Throughout, his one-liners stand out, such as: "Every Saturday is Mother’s Day in the Catholic Church." Or the Rosary is the weapon to "whip the daylights out of the forces of darkness."

The way that Father Calloway shines light on truth and exposes today’s political correctness and secular thinking comes with more vivid word choices, like "spiritual contraception."

Readers are also encouraged to revere true femininity after the perfect model: Mary.

Father Calloway proves an ideal guide on why Mary is a must for our salvation — and why we should stay Under the Mantle.

Joseph Pronechen is the

Register’s staff writer.