Ave Maria Living

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

Archive for Testimonial

Throwback Thursday: Joseph Pearce on Ave Maria


In 2011 writer Joseph Pearce wrote a wonderful reflection about being a resident of Ave Maria and a longtime member of the AMU faculty. He is now on the faculty at the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts.

Here is the link: World is eccentric; Ave Maria is different because it’s not

Ave Maria: home is where the orange blossoms grow

[Update: scroll to the end.]

This time of year, Ave Maria smells heavenly.

imageThick waves of perfume waft along sidewalks and onto front porches.


This beautiful breeze flows from the acres of orange groves in blossom – row upon row of snowy flowering trees that surround Ave Maria.

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Sunset – last night in Ave Maria

Who remembers the sky-blue pink crayon in the big green and yellow Crayola box (with the sharpener on the back)?

Ave Maria Sunset 2

Photo by Linda, an Ave Maria resident.


My neighbors and I are wonderfully created fallen people hoping in the promises of Christ our Redeemer, Who came to dwell in our midst after the angel said “Hail Mary, full of grace!”

Sometimes we look a lot like the cast of not-so-pleasant characters in this leaf from an ancient book of hours. Yet we carry on, trusting in God’s grace – the same grace that filled Mary and that she wants us to know.

That’s who lives here in Ave Maria – and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

 Ave Maria Florida

Just How Much We Love Ave

When I first saw the rendering  of Ave Maria town and the Oratory I thought that this is a place we would like to live.  The town to be was just in the talking stages along  with a new Catholic University.  With each meeting that was held and with every new rendering, for both the university and town, I just knew that we had to live there someday.  I was familiar with the farmlands east of Naples because  we’ve lived in Naples since 1979.  I  had always said “who would want to live so far from Naples?”  Back in 1979, certainly it wasn’t us.

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Top Twelve Reasons I Love Living in Ave Maria – One for Every Month of the Year.

1) Orange blossoms in April. The scent fills Ave Town with a heavenly perfume that makes me want to go outside and just breathe.

2) When I tell people my address on Annunciation Circle in Ave Maria they ask me how I managed to get such a Catholic address. I tell them it’s no coincidence.

3) Daily Mass in Ave Maria is said at four times per day during the school year (daily for the K-12 students and 3 times for the college students and residents) and as the college students make their way across campus to daily Mass I’m often asked by tourists if the students are required to attend daily Mass since so many of them are seen headed that way at Mass time, and of course the answer is, “No. They go because they want to.”

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Giving Our Children The Best That Life Can Offer

photo courtesy of http://www.AveHerald.com

What called us to Ave Maria may not be what keeps us here or it may be a combination thereof. We were attracted to the Catholic values and practices of the community. It is our desire as parents to give our children what we find to be the best that life can offer and that is the Truth of the Catholic Church. It is in our minds and hearts the surest way to live a loving and peaceful life for ourselves and for others. After living here two and a half years we realize of course that we did not move to Heaven, but we did become part of a community that strives to go in that direction, and it is a wonderful experience to do that together, that is as Church.

For an example, it is heartwarming to go to Mass on Sunday and see all the families and all the children in these families. It matters not who we are or what we do in the community. In the end, when day is done, what seems to matter most is that we love each other in our families first and then bring this love to the world outside of our families. It is living as a Domestic Church. It is living as the Jesus, Mary and Joseph lived in Nazareth and believe in the outcome that God our Father has planned for all of us.

Contributed by Richard & Suzanne Dionne

A genuinely Catholic university: faculty, students & curriculum

I can say with Adam, “I was there at the beginning”. Though it wasn’t the Garden of Eden, it was nevertheless full of glimpses of glory. I have wonderful memories from my seven years at Ave Maria.

Of course, the most essential thing is that it is a genuinely Catholic university… [break] …I can sing my Nunc Dimittis with confidence that the torch of vibrant faith is being passed on to the next generation.


Contributed by Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J.

World is eccentric; Ave Maria is different because it’s not

There’s something very special about Ave Maria and the people who live here. It’s a community centred on Christ. How many other towns or neighbourhoods in the United States or, for that matter, anywhere else in the modern world, could claim to have Christ as the central focus? Ave Maria is, therefore, very different as well as very special. For some people, no doubt, the difference is the problem. Such people, wishing to conform to what Evelyn Waugh described so aptly as “our deplorable epoch”, will not want to visit Ave Maria, let alone live here. So be it…


Contributed by Joseph Pearce

What Matters Most in the Human Adventure

We moved from a military post near Regensburg, Germany, to Ave Maria in 2007 confident that the environment would help us to be constantly mindful of what matters most in the human adventure…  [break] …This consciousness and unity became very tangible during a watershed event in August of 2010. The eldest of our seven children, Alex, died in a car accident in town at the age of 19, about three weeks before he would begin classes at AMU. In the midst of this otherwise senseless tragedy the community united to live and witness and taste “the appalling strangeness of the mercy of God.”…


Contributed by Robb & Laurie Klucik


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