Ave Maria Living

Life in the town of Ave Maria, Florida. News & information for residents & visitors.

AMD plans to explain 2 of its county planning commission petitions

Residents in town recently received a notice from the Collier County Planning Commission. The notice is rather technical and even a thorough reading of it does not clarify exactly what proposals the commission is considering for implementation.

notice

According to Ave Maria Development executive Cee Cee Marinelli, AMD will host a community presentation on Thursday, August 21st at 5:00 PM in the Community Room on Annunciation Circle. Ms. Marinelli also explained that the “main elements to the DRI SRA amendment” will do the following:

  • Rescind the Ave Maria DRI since by Florida Statute, SRAs are not required to be DRIs.
  • Revise the Ave Maria SRA Master Plan to reflect the increase to the area of Town Center 2b along Oil Well Road by 155 acres.
  • Add 600,000 square feet of light industrial uses within the Ave Maria SRA.
  • Modify the Pedestrian Network Map to allow for sidewalks on one side of the street on future low volume roads.
  • Add single family detached “Z-lots” as an approved lot configuration (for Coquina).
  • Change Root Barrier requirements within the Ave Maria SRA.

 

Birdseye view of Ave Maria

aerial view of ave maria

This aerial image of Ave Maria was taken in late July by the friend of some town residents.

Towey no fan of Crist, but we can all be fans of Towey

Yesterday’s Tampa Bay Times highlighted some Florida history perhaps unknown to many Ave Maria residents. It involves AMU president Jim Towey and former GOP governor Charlie Crist.

Towey on crist

While infamous for his deep orange tan, Mr. Crist’s more substantive notoriety is as the sitting Republican governor who opted not to run for re-election in 2010 so that he could run for the U.S. senate, lost the GOP senate primary to Marco Rubio, and instantly morphed into a liberal independent to run against Rubio in the general election.

Rubio victory speech

Crist (who in prior campaigns advocated abolishing the IRS, bringing back chain gangs, and impeaching Bill Clinton – and who as governor actually appointed key Clinton impeachment leader Charles Canady to be a Florida Supreme Court Justice) ran an embarrassing campaign and was soundly defeated by Rubio.

crist flip flop

Soon afterward Crist joined one of Florida’s most well-known personal injury law firms, Morgan & Morgan, whose ubiquitous media ads include advocacy for legalizing medical marijuana. Crist himself became a TV pitchman for the firm.

Crist for the people

Then in 2012, Crist – still an independent – emerged to endorse Barack Obama during a televised speech at the Democratic National Convention, after which Crist joined the Democrat party.

Charlie Crist Republican Turncoat

Which brings us to yesterday’s lengthy article that tries to answer the question “Who is Charlie Crist?”, just as Crist signals the start of a campaign to do what “now should be impossible… to be governor as a Republican and then governor, again, just four years later, as a Democrat.” In trying to answer that question, the journalist highlighted a 1995 incident involving Crist and Jim Towey:

Today, Crist talks about civility and bipartisanship, but Florida’s last Democratic governor [Lawton Chiles] saw Crist as the main obstacle to that. For instance, Jim Towey, Chiles’ idealistic, outspoken head of social services and a former aide to Mother Teresa, lost his post because of Crist’s committee [Senate Committee on Executive Business, Ethics and Elections]. Towey is now the president of Ave Maria University near Naples. He shakes his head that Crist is campaigning as a friend of black voters when he played such a key role in putting so many of them behind bars and in chain gangs. “He can change his image, but he can’t change the facts,” Towey said. “What I see Charlie Crist doing today is the same thing I saw him doing 20 years ago. He’s a master at media manipulation.”

Back then, according to Towey, Crist was gracious to him in private even while ripping him in public. Years later, Crist ran into Towey at the White House, where Towey led President George W. Bush’s faith-based initiatives. Crist greeted him cheerfully, like they were longtime pals, “happily saying hi to my wife and me when he led my firing when we had two little kids under 3 years old,” Towey said. “To him, it was all forgotten. Didn’t mean a thing. That’s how the guy is wired.” Cordial or pathological? Decorous or two-faced? The velvet glove was open to interpretation.

towey last day

To be sure, prior to Towey’s initial appointment as Florida’s head of social services everyone knew the agency was in terrible shape and it would be an extremely difficult job. And shortly after the senate fired him the legislature split the huge behemoth agency into two agencies. To be sure, Charlie Crist’s career proves him to be the epitome of a political opportunist – which makes Towey’s remarks ring all the more true.

Some readers might remember a bit about this incident – it was mentioned in passing when Towey first came to Ave Maria. The fact that it was highlighted again this week can serve as a reminder of the weight of experience and the breadth of contacts (seems pretty obvious when a man has been advisor to a saint, a president, a governor, and a senator*) that Jim brings to his office each day as the president of AMU. We can all keep praying that he continues to use them for the success of the institution so dear to our town, and we can thank him for working in earnest to be a man of virtue who is not afraid to take on very difficult challenges.

*Blessed Mother Teresa, President George W. Bush, Governor Lawton Chiles, and Senator Mark Hatfield

Maple Ridge expands: 5 new Coquina models offered near Middlebrooke

AveMariaLiving.com:

UPDATE 8/20/2014: Check out the new site plan – very nice – perhaps the value of townhomes in Middlebrooke just went up in value!
coquina at maple ridge ave maria

Wow – 5 more models offered by Maple Ridge. A 5-bedroom, 1-car garage, 2250 square foot home starting at around $240k. Ave Maria resident realtors Bob and Erin Campbell have the story (below). And here is another link to 15 floor plans including the 5 brand new plans just released this week.

The Encinitas model is a 5-bedroom home starting at around $240k.

Originally posted on MapleRidgeHometown:

CC DEVCO will now be building two communities in Ave. Coquina at Maple Ridge will be built in the area of Middlebrooke in Ave Maria. All homes are two stories with features similar to the Maple Ridge homes. Starting just under 190K and 1,971+ sqft  for the smallest home of 3 beds up to the largest 4 bedroom home at 2,635+ sqft.

Interested in the new Coquina community? Did you know it does not cost you one single penny to have a Realtor watch out for your interests in a new build transaction? Why not protect your interests and negotiate the best deal possible! Whether you have interest in buying in this new community or any other new build community, be sure to contact a John R. Wood Agent to assist! (Like Bob or me)  239-281-6571 or email Ecampbell@johnrwood.com

 

 

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Synod on Family and Evangelization highlights what Ave Maria must guard against

synod-of-bishops

Does anyone remember this request for input? Those questions were geared toward the Church’s Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops that will discuss The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization, to be held in October.

In late June the Vatican published the working document (instrumentum laboris) for this synod. The entire document is worth reading. Among its 159 paragraphs are two that people in Ave Maria (her founders, leaders, residents and parishioners) might find interesting because they seem to re-state some of the criticisms that have been aimed at Ave Maria. These are the two paragraphs:

Support for a Familial Spirituality

58. Many bishops’ conferences recount how particular Churches render support to a familial spirituality in their pastoral activity. In our time, spiritual movements make a special contribution to promoting an authentic, effective pastoral programme for the family. Christian communities are characterized by a variety of ecclesial situations and approaches aimed at specific individuals. Clearly, local Churches should be able to find that this richness is a real resource for not only promoting various initiatives on behalf of couples intending marriage but devising ways to provide suitable pastoral care for families today. Some respondents recount that many dioceses foster specific endeavours and formation for couples who can then provide support to other couples and sustain a series of initiatives to promote a true familial spirituality. Some argue that sometimes local communities, movements, groups and religious associations can be exclusive and too restrictive in the life of a parish. This situation illustrates the importance of their being fully engaged with the whole Church in an authentic sense of mission so as to avoid the danger of excessively looking inward. Families belonging to these communities exercise a vibrant apostolate and, judging from the past, are instrumental in the evangelization of many families. Their members offer a credible witness with their lives of fidelity in marriage, mutual respect, unity and openness to life.

Counter-Witness in the Church

75. Responses from almost every part of the world frequently refer to the sexual scandals within the Church (pedophilia, in particular) and, in general, to a negative experience with the clergy and other persons. Sex scandals significantly weaken the Church’s moral credibility, above all in North America and northern Europe. In addition, a conspicuously lavish lifestyle by some of the clergy shows an inconsistency between their teaching and their conduct. Some lay faithful live and practice their faith in a “showy manner,” failing to display the truth and humility required by the Gospel spirit. The responses lament that persons who are separated, divorced or single parents sometimes feel unwelcome in some parish communities, that some clergy are uncompromising and insensitive in their behavior; and, generally speaking, that the Church, in many ways, is perceived as exclusive, and not sufficiently present and supportive. In this sense, an open and positive pastoral approach is needed, one which can restore confidence in the institution through a credible witness by all her members.

While perception is not always reality, it is true that perception can be an impediment to winning people over for Christ. If we are not careful, without us realizing it the project of Ave Maria might overshadow the reason for the project, that is Christ.* If we love this reason and wish to serve Him and lead others to know Him, it seems we will at least keep these things in mind, and perhaps take the occasion of this Synod to come up with ways our community can address these concerns.

Undated handout photo of Argentine Cardinal Bergoglio and family members

Before he was pope: Fr. Bergoglio with his family.

*See Msgr. Lorenzo Albecete, “A Presence, Not Utopia,” Traces, No. 11, December 1,  2007.

Joseph Pearce: not a nice guy

nice2

Our former neighbor, writer Joseph Pearce, is someone many of us in Ave Maria admire and miss seeing around town. But that doesn’t mean he is a nice guy.* What are we to make of a guy who claims that the Arabic writing is on the wall?

Joseph-Pearce

Nevertheless, according to the folks at Father Robert Barron’s Word on Fire blog, Pearce’s newest book is worth reading. Likewise, according to the Integrated Catholic Life blog:

…his brand new book, Beauteous Truth: Faith, Reason, Literature & Culture… explores the connection between the Good, the True and the Beautiful [and] makes the important connections between faith and reason and between theology, philosophy, history and literature…

If you enjoy Joseph’s work then you might want to visit the journal he edits, Saint Austin Review. In the meantime we will continue to miss him as we pray for the success of his newest endeavor as director of the Center for Faith & Culture at Aquinas College in Nashville, Tennessee.

beauty pearce

* Read the link before jumping to conclusions.

Missionary Fundraising

AveMariaLiving.com:

cropped-staffphoto

One of the FOCUS missionaries who will be newly serving here at Ave Maria University has 4 weeks left to raise at least another $763/month in order to cover his mission and living expenses, etc. Perhaps you will feel called to help him meet his goal.

TIP: Go to his blog to see an amazing photo taken in front of the Oratory.

Originally posted on Missionary Impossible:

To be honest  there isn’t a ton of big stuff to report on last week. It was pretty slow all around but the good stuff was really good and the okay stuff was just okay. Now I’m entering into the last 4 weeks I have before I need to head back to Ave Maria.

I definitely feel like I’ve hit a wall with fundraising. It is kind of scary but I’m trying not to panic. The week before last was a great week for MPD with my trip to Fort Collins being very successful. This past week…not so much. I felt a little burnt out. Looking at my list of contacts I thought I still had plenty of people I could ask to join my support team. However, going through them I’ve realized that I’ve pretty much reached out to the majority of people on that list in some one…

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