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Ave Maria, Florida – the town with a Catholic heart.©™ Stories & information for residents & visitors.

Archive for Ave Maria News

Meet the Forero Family

Veronica and Luis (“Lucho”) were both born and raised in Colombia. Lucho Forero is an electrical engineer with an M.B.A. and a degree in Marketing. In 2000, he accepted a job in telecommunications. The firm was based in the D.C. area, but his job was in an office in Miami. Meanwhile, Veronica was in Colombia earning a degree in clinical psychology. On business trips to Colombia in 2003, through a common friend, Lucho and Veronica first met. Lucho began spending more and more time in Colombia, falling in love with this beautiful and strong woman who was also a woman of deep faith. cover-ave-maria-living-december-full-issue

It wasn’t long before the two were married, and in spite of the sorrow they felt in moving away from their families, they decided to settle in Miami where Lucho worked. They found a strong community of like-minded families in Key Biscayne. As the years passed by, their family began to grow. First Micaela arrived, followed by Candelaria, and then a year later, Lucia. Three beautiful little girls, with lush brown hair and bright brown eyes that shine with joy and innocence.

By 2011, the Foreros had made many friends in Key Biscayne, and their lives were filled with parties and playdates. But Micaela was now four, approaching five, and her parents began to think seriously about school options for her. Along the way, they had become interested in a parenting philosophy called “Attachment Parenting”—essentially, allowing the child to be as close to the parents as often as they wanted. It’s a “pure formula of finding the love,” Lucho explains, in any situation. Along those lines, Veronica were open to homeschooling Micaela, but they didn’t have a strong homeschooling community around them. They also felt drawn towards a school in the classical liberal arts tradition, but once again, nothing in their area fell into that category. So they did some research.

Read the rest of this entry »

Donahue Shamrock Football – 2016 Home Game Schedule

Let’s go Shamrocks! Click the image for a larger view:

sched

More information is available here.

HOA Contact Information and Costs Associated with Home Ownership in Ave Maria, Florida

What home owner associations do I belong to? What are the fees? What about the Ave Maria Stewardship Community District assessments? These two charts are the kind of thing that people in town may wish to save for future use. They contain the sort of information that most people will need from time to time (you likely don’t need it precisely now, but you will be very glad later on if you save it now).

Click here for the HOA Contact Sheet PDF, and below is a graphic of the chart:

HOAs in Ave Maria

Click here for the HOA Cost Sheet PDF, and below is a graphic of the chart:

HOAs

Robb Klucik has lived with his family in Ave Maria since it opened in 2007. In addition to running his law practice in Ave Maria, Robb edits this blog, administers a facebook forum for 1500 Ave Maria residents, was recently President of the West Point Society of Naples, and enjoys spending time with his family and friends.

Video: How Ave Maria Became the Town with a Catholic Heart – Architect Discusses Town’s Catholic-Inspired Design

She was there in the beginning, so her words are an important part of the historical chronicle of the town of Ave Maria. Architect Elisabeth Perreault, Vice President at Cannon Design, delivered a detailed presentation about Town Planning and the Oratory at Ave Maria, Florida, at Judson University’s James Didier Symposium on Christ & Architecture.

This video is a great piece of history, and is “must see TV” for anyone who has more than a passing interest in the town. Ms. Perrault, who was integral in the master plan of the town, recounts what her clients hired her firm to create.

In the video she reveals that in fact her job was to design a “Catholic town” – meaning the very design of the town was intended to evoke, represent and encourage the Catholic culture of the town. That is NOT to say that it was ever intended to be a town just for Catholics, of course. However, Ms. Perrault’s words underscore the faith-based historical inspiration and genesis of the town, which remain the key reason so many people choose to live in Ave Maria.

Some interesting highlights:

  1. Client Barron Collier Companies thought there was a market for a Catholic community;
  2. Her firm understood they were being asked to design an ideal Catholic community;
  3. There was a Catholic faith-based foundation for the community;
  4. To come up with the plan, she and her colleagues looked back to a time in Italy when church and state weren’t divorced;
  5. The Oratory church was intentionally designed as the center and cultural heart of the town;
  6. They were designing a town whose identity was to be Catholic;
  7. The Church was front and center as a landmark and symbolic heart of the community;
  8. The church was placed and designed so that it would literally shout to everyone, day and night: “this is what we are all about as a community”;
  9. The church was designed so a person approaching  the town sees the towering oratory from miles away and immediately discovers the faith based origin of the community.

After watching this video, we can be even more confident when we describe Ave Maria, Florida, as “the town with a Catholic heart.”™©. And the town where all persons of good will are welcome.

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Wow: this is what growth in SW Florida’s top community looks like

Ave Maria’s boom-town status is now undeniable, as it moves to the top of the list of single family communities in the red hot Naples-Fort Myers market (based on number of home sales).

So hot, in fact, that there’s a new fire station coming to Ave Maria.

These two aerial photos taken in 2014 and 2015 show the growth in just one of the booming areas of town where the Hampton Village and Maple Ridge neighborhoods are located.

Sales 2014

These are the sales in Ave Maria’s Maple Ridge & Hampton Village in 2014

Sales 2015

These are the sales in Ave Maria’s Maple Ridge & Hampton Village in 2015

Robb Klucik has lived with his family in Ave Maria since it opened in 2007. In addition to running his law practice in Ave Maria, Robb edits this blog, administers a Facebook forum for 1000 Ave Maria residents, serves as a director of the West Point Society of Naples, and enjoys spending time with his family and friends.

Ave Maria opens 2015 with one new home closing each day during the first 2 months

During the first 59 days of 2015, there were 54 new home closings in Ave Maria. That’s almost one home sold every day during January and February (to be precise it’s one closing every 1.09 days).

Maple Ridge continues to be popular with new home buyers, logging in 33 sales, despite repeated price increases totaling as much as 19 percent over what the first buyers paid when they closed in early 2014. There were 17 new home sales in Del Webb Naples in Ave Maria. There were 3 new homes sold in Hampton Village, where only 30 lots are unsold and only one lot along Ave Maria Boulevard is available. There was just 1 new home sold in Emerson Park, with people in town wondering why Pulte Homes doesn’t seem interested in selling homes there. These figures include only actual closings of new homes purchased directly from builders and recorded in January and February of 2015.

In other news, at the end of January a company called CC Ave Maria Estates LLC (the company was known as CC Maple Ridge Reserve, LLC, until its name was changed in January) purchased more than 128 acres in Ave Maria for more than $6 million in two transactions. The new owner has the same mailing address as CC Devco Homes, which is no surprise. This land is apparently slated for what has been called Maple Ridge Estates, a neighborhood immediately south of Ave Maria University (and on the west side of Ave Maria Boulevard) that has not yet been officially announced by the developers of Maple Ridge. 

Meanwhile (also in January) over by the far northeast edge of Hampton Village, three lots in what will be Phase 4 or 5 of Maple Ridge have been re-platted to accommodate “Maple Ridge Estates Model Lots”.

model lots

“Maple Ridge Estates Model Lots”

Robb Klucik has lived with his family in Ave Maria since it opened in 2007. In addition to running his law practice in Ave Maria, Robb edits this blog, administers a facebook forum for 1000 Ave Maria residents, serves as the President of the West Point Society of Naples, and enjoys spending time with his family and friends.

Patience and Feasting: Annunciation milestones in Ave Maria

It takes time. And God has all the time in the world. Just look at Barcelona’s Sagrada Família Basilica Church, which remains unfinished more than a century after construction commenced in March of 1882.

As Ave Maria prepares to celebrate the town’s patronal feast day, the Feast of the Annunciation, on March 25, it is fitting to recall the milestone events that have occurred on Annunciation days in the history of the still unfinished Ave Maria Oratory:

–  In 2006, the Oratory’s cornerstone was laid prior to the town’s construction.

– In 2008, the Oratory was dedicated by Bishop Dewane on the town’s first Annunciation day celebration.

– In 2011, Márton Váró’s magnum opus Annunciation sculpture was unveiled.

– In 2013, the annual Grand Annunciation Feast celebrations were inaugurated by Ave Maria University, during which the university and the townspeople celebrate with Mass, procession, wine, food, song and dancing, under the backdrop of the magnificent Annunciation.

One future milestone will be the installation of the two side sculptures planned to accompany Váró’s Annunciation. We don’t know when that might be – and in fact there is no plan for the completion of these sculptures. But that is how it is with churches – it takes time and patience. When these sculptures are completed, their blessing and unveiling will be another great way to mark the town’s feast day.

This year the Annunciation celebrations will fall on Wednesday, March 25.

Ave Maria Oratory with side angels by Marton Varo - Photo courtesy of Marton Varo

Rendering of the Ave Maria Oratory with side angels by Márton Váró – Photo courtesy of Márton Váró

Ave Maria Oratory left side maquette by Marton Varo - Photo courtesy of Marton Varo

Ave Maria Oratory left side maquette by Márton Váró – Photo courtesy of Márton Váró

Ave Maria Oratory right side maquette by Marton Varo - Photo courtesy of Marton Varo

Ave Maria Oratory right side maquette by Márton Váró – Photo courtesy of Márton Váró

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Scythian delights a dancing crowd at the Grand Annunciation Feast in 2013

Robb Klucik has lived with his family in Ave Maria since it opened in 2007. In addition to running his law practice in Ave Maria, Robb edits this blog, administers a facebook forum for 1000 Ave Maria residents, serves as the President of the West Point Society of Naples, and enjoys spending time with his family and friends.

No Surprise: Ave Maria is a rapidly growing traditional college town with a Catholic heart

 

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Those who haven’t been paying attention might not realize just how nice Ave Maria is and why it has attracted several hundreds of homebuyers in the past two years. The latest video about the town is very well done. It hits all the points. The tag line is: “Ave Maria. Life. Made Simple.”

And it’s all true. Ave Maria is a rapidly growing traditional college town with something for all ages and for everyone who loves family, friends, faith, sports, art, education and old fashioned hometown values. And one drive or stroll through town will help you see that Ave Maria is the town with a Catholic heart. And, as the video reminds us, Ave Maria has 100 miles of trails!

Ave Maria is the home of Ave Maria University, the Donohue Catholic prep school, the Ave Maria Montessori School and a homeschool co-op. The town is also home to Arthrex‘s large (and expanding) medical device factory, as well as many other businesses including a Publix grocery store.  Five health care providers offer services in town: the Braden Clinic offers primary care physician appointments onsite five days a week and can also make house calls, Ave Maria Chiropractic provides services in town, physical therapy is offered by ResultsCare, dental and orthodontic services are offered by Ave Maria Dentistry, and massage therapy is offered 5 days a week via house call or at the Oasis Club by Ave Maria Massage.

Recently Ave Maria was named one of the top 50 master planned communities in the country, and was also named one of the top 20 communities for those who are retiring.

Robb Klucik has lived with his family in Ave Maria since it opened in 2007. In addition to running his law practice in Ave Maria, Robb edits this blog, administers a facebook forum for 1000 Ave Maria residents, serves as the President of the West Point Society of Naples, and enjoys spending time with his family and friends.

Sizzling Boomtown: every 1.5 days a new home closes in Ave Maria, Florida

sky view of ave maria

Aerial view of the town of Ave Maria, Florida, taken in 2014

During the last 7 weeks of  2014, every 1.5 days a new home closed in Ave Maria, Florida. During the last three quarters of 2014, every 1.8 days a new home closed; that’s more than 16.25 closings every month. That figure doesn’t include the many re-sales of existing homes in Ave Maria.

The most recent addition to Ave Maria, Maple Ridge builder CC Ave Maria, closed on 92 homes in 2014; that is over 10 homes each month because they didn’t start holding closings until April.  The average closing price for those 92 sold homes has been slightly over $313,000. Maple Ridge has expanded its lineup and has started building many of its new smaller Coquina homes for buyers under contract; in 2015 the builder also has plans to offer larger homes on larger lots in Ave Maria.

During the period April 1 to December 31, 2014, there were 46 new home closings in Del Webb at Ave Maria, with an average price of almost $287,000. During the same period, there were 149 new home closings in all of Ave Maria, at an average sales price of just over $299,000. In Hampton Village about 75% of the homes have closed, and seven more are under construction. The developer has sold the last of the Residences at La Piazza condominiums at the center of town.

A recap of these sales numbers for the period April 1 through December 31, 2014:

  • 149 total new home closings in all of Ave Maria at an average sales price of $299,000;
  • 92 Maple Ridge new home closings at an average sales price of about $308,000;
  • 46 Del Webb Naples new home closings at an average sales price almost $287,000;
  • 2 Emerson Park new home closing at a sales price of $227,000;
  • 5 Hampton Village new home closings at a sales price of about $292,000;
  • 4 LaPiazza new condominium closings at an average sales price of $160,000.

These figures include only new home sales from the various builders to the public. April is used as a starting point because that is the first month that Maple Ridge began selling homes. Figures are based on a search of the official land records of the Collier County Clerk.

Robb Klucik has lived with his family in Ave Maria since it opened in 2007. In addition to running his law practice in Ave Maria, Robb edits this blog, administers a facebook forum for 1000 Ave Maria residents, serves as the President of the West Point Society of Naples, and enjoys spending time with his family and friends.

McTeigue: Goals, resources and allies in the battle to restore the male soul (all present in Ave Maria)

 

In his latest column, Father Robert McTeigue “identif[ies] assets both spiritual and natural that we can bring to bear in this great struggle for men.” Father sent AveMariaLiving.com a note requesting that we link readers to it because in it he favorably mentions the town of Ave Maria, Florida. This is the second of three columns in which McTeigue addresses the cultural and spiritual battle for the male soul. The first column described “some of the academic, legal, social, cultural and economic forces arrayed against men as men, and pointed to [the battle’s] spiritual root.” In the upcoming third column he will “describe a concrete plan of life for the cultivation of authentic masculinity, addressing a man’s role as pilgrim, warrior and king.” The fourth column will discuss distinctively Christian friendship among men.

UPDATE:
1st column in this series: Modern culture has declared war on masculinity.
2nd column in this series: Goals, resources and allies in the battle to restore the male soul.
3rd column in this series: Male role models from Scripture, not GQ.
4th column in this series: Distinctively Christian friendship among men.

High School Rugby in Ave Maria - Papists

altar boys

ave maria wrestling may 2014

Alex of Ave Maria - Alex Klucik

Saint Josephs Day Ave Maria

Dewane procession

Brewing IPA in Ave Maria

Shamrock football awards houde vega scanlon scheck

Mt Jefferson

Papist Rugby

Father Mayer with Bishop Dewane

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Capital campaign underway for Oratory parish center (link to give online)

Capital campaign brochure (1)_Page_2

Recently Father Cory Mayer, Parish Administrator of the Ave Maria Quasi-Parish, announced a new capital campaign to establish a parish center on Annunciation Circle next to the Oratory. The goal is to raise $250,000.00, and at this point the parish is about $62,000.00 short of that goal.  According to the campaign brochure:

By providing a place for fellowship, faith formation classes and presentations, parish group meetings and more, we can better fulfill our mission to build the kingdom of God in and through our Parish Community.

The projected Parish Center will have 1,716 square feet of space and include a main hall, accommodating 100, a reception area, lavatories and storage. It will have a serving section, tables and chairs, but no food preparation facilities.

The parish has established a link where donations to the capital campaign can be made online: https://avemariaoratory.weshareonline.org/

Capital campaign brochure (1)_Page_1

 

Everything old is new again: a simple gift for readers on this Gaudete Sunday

The Mass is the source and summit of Christian life. It is both worship and a re-presentation of His gift to us of salvation. As a thank you to the readers of this blog, we are passing along a free treat that would make a great stocking stuffer. The original source is here. While this obviously would be nice for children, it is also very informative for adults. Perfect for altar boys or catechumens or people who simply love to learn about our faith. We combined the images into one pdf booklet that you can download and print on sturdy paper. Gaudete!

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Vatican’s Humanum marriage colloquium: Pope Francis presides, AMU alum’s films featured, AMU faculty attend

pope complimentarity

This past week Pope Francis made headlines as he presided over the opening of a Vatican sponsored event called “Humanum” by unreservedly reaffirming that the complementarity of man and woman is at the very root of marriage and family and that each child has the right to be nurtured by both a mother and a father. The Humanum event is described as “An International Interreligious Colloquium on The Complementarity of Man and Woman”:

The Complementarity of Man and Woman: An International Colloquium is a gathering of leaders and scholars from many religions across the globe, to examine and propose anew the beauty of the relationship between the man and the woman, in order to support and reinvigorate marriage and family life for the flourishing of human society.

Each session of the colloquium began with the screening of one of a series of six short films that were created by Ave Maria University alumnus RG Delgado (AMU  ’06). One of the films features AMU professor Maria Fedoryka. Present at the colloquium as an invited participant was AMU professor Catherine Pakaluk.

AMU alumnus RD Delgado

Pope Francis names Theology of the Body expert Mary Healy, daughter of AMU’s founding president, to Pontifical Biblical Commission

Congratulations to Nick and Jane Healy upon today’s Vatican announcement that Pope Francis has named their daughter, theology professor Mary E. Healy, to the  Pontifical Biblical Commission. This is a most interesting appointment, given the ongoing Synods on Marriage and Mary Healy’s expertise in Pope Saint John Paul II’s papal teaching on Marriage and Human Sexuality that is known as the Theology of the Body. Nick Healy was the founding president of Ave Maria University and he and Jane spend part of the year at their home in Ave Maria.

Mary_Healy

Professor Mary E. Healy

Ave Maria Community Alliance Announces the Creation of the Ave Maria Business Council

Ave Maria Community Alliance, Inc.

The purpose of the Business Council is to identify and promote types of economic development in Ave Maria which are most consistent with its original plan and with its being a university town.  Over time the Business Council aims to work with Ave Maria Development and local government to put in place specific economic incentives for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and telecommuters to relocate to Ave Maria — on account of its community life, its beauty, its appeal for raising a family, and its suitability for doing business.

Dr. Pakaluk asks all interested residents to contact him at info@avemariacommunityalliance.org.  He particularly welcomes the participation of retired residents of Dell Webb and Bellera.  “There are lots of programs where retired businesspersons contribute their expertise to help the local community.   Retirees who serve on the Business Council can have confidence that their efforts will contribute to a successful and flourishing Ave Maria community for generations to come.”

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McTeigue reveals St. Ignatius’s cure for blindness

mcteigue

As promised, in the second installment of his new weekly column our very own Father Robert McTeigue, SJ, offers us a cure for blindness. Here is a snippet:

We open our eyes on Sunday morning and we think about getting ready to go to Mass and then we blink and it’s Saturday night and we have no idea about how we spent the intervening days of the week. We are too rushed, too busy, too unobservant—too spiritually blind—to take note of what’s happened to us, in us or through us. As a result, we overlook graces offered, and graces received; we overlook near and actual occasions of sin; patterns of sin and grace may be taking root in us and we don’t know how, where, or why. Who can live like that? We do. Who should live like that? No one. Is there an alternative? Yes—thanks to Saint Ignatius Loyola.

With that, I will ask: “Have you thanked God today for all the priests in Ave Maria?”

Patrick Cassidy, composer of “Calvary” soundtrack, visits Ave Maria

calvary-film

It is not very often that a film with an overtly Catholic theme portrays people of orthodox faith in a positive light, portrays them realistically and without saccharine, and offers the viewer an experience of truth, beauty, and goodness. Rarer still do both critics and audiences laud such a film (see National Catholic Register’s Steven Greydanus, First Things, Roger Ebert, New York TimesPatheos, The New Yorker, and Rotten Tomatoes).

That film, Calvary, is currently playing in theaters here in the Naples area and throughout the United States. You can view the trailer here. You can listen to the soundtrack here and here.

This week, the man who composed Calvary’s soundtrack and score, Patrick Cassidy, and the producer of the soundtrack, his brother Frank Cassidy, have been visiting Ave Maria, Florida. Patrick and Frank CassidyHailing from Ireland but now living in Los Angeles, Patrick’s artistic accomplishments speak for themselves. People in town might recall that Patrick wrote the “Ave Maria” that was played during the unveiling of Marton Varo’s magnum opus, the “Annunciation” sculpture that graces the façade of the Oratory (click video to listen).

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

Missionary Fundraising

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.

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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New home sales in Ave Maria: Hampton highest average price, Maple Ridge most sales

homes sold in Ave Maria

Map from county website showing Ave Maria home sales in 2014

In the four-month period April 1 through July 28, 2014, there were 51 new home sales in Ave Maria at an average price of  just over $277,000 (according to a database search of the official records of Collier County). Meanwhile new construction continues apace in Maple Ridge

While Hampton Village had the highest average new home price, Maple Ridge sold the most homes, followed closely by Del Webb. Also noteworthy is that Ave Maria Development has no more condominiums listed for sale at La Piazza in the heart of town. These figures include only new home sales from the various builders to the public:

  • 23 Maple Ridge new home closings at an average sales price of about $284,000;
  • 22 Del Webb Naples new home closings at an average sales price just under $276,000;
  • 3 Hampton Village new home closings at an average sales price of about $298,000;
  • 2 LaPiazza condo new home closings at an average sales price of $170,000; and
  • 1 Emerson Park new home closing at a sales price of $290,000.

 

 

 

Comments, Chronology & Video: Ave Maria University President Towey reacts to Hobby Lobby decision

Today’s Supreme Court news in the Hobby Lobby HHS contraception mandate case reverberated in Ave Maria rather loudly. While the impact the decision will have on lawsuits by non-profits such as AMU is not clear, AMU president Jim Towey (an attorney) sees today’s decision as a good development. AMU is represented by the Becket Fund, the same  law firm that prevailed in today’s Hobby Lobby case. The Ave Herald’s coverage is here.

AMU APPLAUDS US SUPREME COURT DECISION 6-30-2014 final AVE MARIA UNIVERSITY LAWSUITS Chronology

 

 

Hobby Lobby case of great interest to Ave Maria

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The Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby HHS mandate case was today’s big news. The court held that closely held corporations (ones without a lot of shareholders) have religious freedom to refuse to pay for abortion and birth control for their employees due to the religious beliefs of those who control the corporation. Many residents, students, faculty and others associated with the Ave Maria projects and Ave Maria, Florida, are closely following the outcome. These are some of the cases that will be impacted by today’s decision (although the impact on non-profit corporations is still not clear):

For Profit:

  • Legatus/Weingartz Supply Co. (E.D. Mich. Dec. 20, 2013) – Legatus was founded by Ave Maria founder Tom Monaghan and its headquarters is located in Ave Maria, Florida.
  • Domino’s Farms (E.D. Mich. Mar. 14, 2013) – Domino’s Farms was built and is owned by Ave Maria founder Tom Monaghan.
  • Mersino Management (E.D. Mich. July 11, 2013) – Attorney is Ave Maria School of Law alumna Erin Mersino, whose parents-in-law are the plaintiffs. Law firm is Thomas More Law Center, which was founded by Ave Maria founder Tom Monaghan.
  • Mersino Dewatering (E.D. Mich.filed Dec. 13, 2013) – Attorney is Ave Maria School of Law alumna Erin Mersino, whose parents-in-law are the plaintiffs. Law firm is Thomas More Law Center, which was founded by Ave Maria founder Tom Monaghan.

Non-profit:

  • Ave Maria University (M.D. Fla. filed Aug. 29, 2013)
  • Ave Maria School of Law (M.D. Fla. filed Nov. 12, 2013)
  • Ave Maria Foundation (E.D. Mich. Jan. 13, 2014)
  • FOCUS (D. Colo. Apr. 23, 2014) – Fellowship of Catholic University Students is a lay ministry movement that has recently been holding its annual summer training in Ave Maria and has a missionary team on campus (FOCUS is independent and is not otherwise associated with Ave Maria).  
  • Franciscan University (S.D. Ohio Mar. 22, 2013) – Many of the people who founded Ave Maria College and University had ties to FSU, including Tom Monaghan and Nick Healy. Many alumni and friends of FSU are also part of the Ave Maria projects.

As a side note, one of the foremost commentators on the HHS mandate and religious liberty issues is Matt Bowman, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund who is an alumnus of Ave Maria School of Law.

Did somebody say Harvard and Ave Maria are equivalent?

The thing about Ave Maria is that it is still new, and therefore it makes sense that people aren’t quite sure what to make of it (i.e. the community, which consists of both town and university). This blog is an exercise in trying to help people have information so they can know what to make of it. And so is this article by professor Michael Pakaluk, which explains how some of the best things that can happen are happening here:

… So, simply with respect to what was found to be best at Harvard, it seems we can conclude that Harvard and Ave Maria are equivalent (or better, if London Pride at the Queen Mary Pub is better than tea). … It would be absurd to claim that Ave Maria has everything that Harvard has.  For instance, we do not have the noise, pollution, and crime which are found in a city.  We do not have any dirty piles and pools of slush to trudge through in March. …

Of course Michael’s keen wit is worth reading. Go click –  it’s short and funny (and he makes some great points). And the quote from A Man for All Seasons is precious.

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Our neighbor Novak’s deft reply to New York Times’ attempt to pit Pope Francis against Pope Saint John Paul II

Queerly, the New York Times seems to be advocating that papal pronouncements ought to influence culture and public policy, and in that vein has posed this question and then published five responses:

Jesus drove money changers out of the Temple, calling them “a den of thieves.” Of the profit-centric world view, Pope Francis warned, “We can no longer trust in the unseen forces and the invisible hand of the market,” to provide economic justice. Others call Christianity and capitalism inextricable. Is contemporary capitalism compatible with Christian values?

Novak presents shirt reading “Centisimus Annus” to Pope Saint John Paul II – click to see it and other photos at Novak’s website

Interestingly, that setup by the Times ignores how Pope Saint John Paul II described capitalism in the magisterial encyclical Centisumus Annus:

… an economic system which recognizes the fundamental and positive role of business, the market, private property and the resulting responsibility for the means of production, as well as free human creativity in the economic sector … circumscribed within a strong juridical framework which places it at the service of human freedom in its totality.

But Michael Novak did not let the Times get away with that omission (or the Times’ lame attempt to pit Pope Francis against his canonized predecessor John Paul); Novak’s is one of the five published responses, and it begins with the saint’s definition and discusses why capitalism is the most moral of the economic systems. It is worth reading.

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Back from Calcutta, President Towey says heart of AMU education is “learning about your faith and putting your faith in action”

Mother Teresa continues to influence the Ave Maria University campus. In this video, AMU students discuss their experience travelling to Calcutta on a recent trip with with AMU president Jim Towey.

According to Towey, “at the heart of what Ave Maria’s education experience is all about is learning about your faith and putting your faith in action.”

Newspaper does good job covering call to priesthood – Ave Maria featured

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News-Press image – click for full version

While it can seem rare,* the press sometimes does a good job covering religion and the religious experience. The Fort Myers News-Press has published a nice multimedia piece (article, video, photos) that features Ave Maria pastor Father Cory Mayer (who is also the vocation director for the Diocese of Venice), Ave Maria University director of campus ministry Father Robert Garrity, and a recent graduate of AMU. The piece highlights two men discerning a call to ordination as priests, including a surprise ending. Hats off to reporter Dave Breitenstein who can be reached at dbreitenstein@news-press.com.

The piece is part of a three part series about Catholic priests in the Diocese of Venice. Excerpts from each one are below:

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The stickers are here: iLoveAveMaria.com

Long ago, those oval decals (that are still very utilitarian in Europe) became just bumpAve Stickers - ordered June 2014er stickers over on this side of the pond. People put them on their cars to indicate what is important to them – often places that are special to the owner in some way (the first local variant I recall seeing was “OBX” for the Outer Banks in North Carolina). If Ave Maria is special to you, now several merchant’s have stickers just for you. But hurry – the supply is limited. The new web address iLoveAveMaria.com is easy to remember and will always bring people here to AveMariaLiving.com.

FOCUS cherishes summer in Ave Maria

They call it a “Summer to Remember“.

One part grad school.

One part retreat.

This is FOCUS New Staff Training.

FOCUS missionaries pack the Ave Maria Oratory for Mass

Ave Maria wishes a Happy Father’s Day to all of our priests

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Ave Maria new home closings recorded April 1 through June 12, 2014

home prices in ave maria

A snapshot from Trulia. Figures below are from the Collier County Clerk’s online records.

There are reportedly over 100 homes currently under construction in Ave Maria. According to a database search of the official records of Collier County covering the 73-day period April 1 through June 12, in Ave Maria there were:

  • 31 new home closings in all of Ave Maria at an average sales price of about $278,000;
  • 10 Maple Ridge new home closings at an average sales price of about $271,000;
  • 18 Del Webb Naples new home closings at an average sales price just under $287,000;
  • 1 Emerson Park new home closing at a sales price of $290,000;
  • 1 Hampton Village new home closing at a sales price of about$284,000;
  • 1 LaPiazza condo new home closing at a sales price of $175,000.

These figures include only new home sales from the various builders to the public.

 

Yes, Neighborhood Doctor is Already bringing house calls to Ave Maria

In March the article below was posted here at AveMariaLiving.com. Here is an update.

ANNOUNCING: THE GREENWOOD CLINIC… A concierge medical practice run by Dr. Beau Braden and Charlene Doman, RN, BSN, successfully treating and serving many of our Ave Maria residents and students. We treat patients in the comfort of their own home, and accept all insurances. For more information, call (239) 503-0203 or e-mail us at charlene.doman@thegreenwoodclinic.com.

Greenwood Clinic Ave Maria 1

Greenwood Clinic Ave Maria 2

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Here is how we reported on this on March 18, 2014: Neighborhood Doctor bringing house calls to Ave Maria?

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Although the details are not yet released, people in town are starting to hear news that a new healthcare service will soon be available in Ave Maria. A physician who has family in town will be moving to Ave Maria this summer and will work for a hospital in Naples as an Emergency Room physician. He will be starting a special medical service for the people of Ave Maria.

With the cooperationradio medicine of a registered nurse who lives in town, patients will be examined with the nurse present and the doctor participating via streaming video conference. There will be special equipment that allows the doctor to see inside your ear or down your throat, etc., and special equipment that allows him to observe your vital signs. The registered nurse is present to assist him and relay other details to him.

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AMU Hoops Coach offers Youth Basketball Camps

Hoops camp 2

Gyrene head coach Ken Dagostino is leading basketball camp at AMU this summer for all grades. If you have questions you can contact Coach at ken.dagostino@avemaria.edu or (239) 280-1503. Registration is now through July 1. Camps are July 7-11 and July 14-18.

Ave Maria Basketball Camp

Ave Maria to host free annual Edgerrin James Youth Football Camp

Don’t forget to register online! There is no fee to attend this camp and meet local NFL veteran running back Edgerrin James.

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Craft brew: Two Ave Maria IPAs win accolades

beer-tasting-eventTwo of the men of Ave Maria – Hampton Village to be precise – entered their own home-brewed India Pale Ales (IPA) in a beer tasting contest held at Hurricane Grill & Wings in Estero, Florida. The contest included both professional and amateur brewers. Chris Buccheri’s IPA earned 3rd place overall and Darryl Klein’s brew came in 2nd place overall!

Micro-brewing in the United States has rapidly

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8 things to click: a click-worthy Ave Maria update

It’s May June. We’re all so busy. Here is a quick and dirty mash-up of things of note for Ave Marians (and those who love us):

Surmanski Flyer1. For the past few years, Sister Albert Marie, OP, DSMME, has been a graduate Theology student at AMU. On Friday she will present her doctoral thesis. All are invited. Click the flyer for details.

Shamrocks spring football 20142. On Friday the Donahue Catholic Shamrock 8-man football team played a spring game. This was the first game since losing in the Florida state title game, and the first game playing without 12 seniors who were on that team. The boys won 20 to 14.

3. Our former neighbor and friend, the always compelling Joseph Pearce, gave a lecture in the UK on the delicious things about which he always writes and talks. AMU Classics and Philosophy professor Joseph Yarbrough was kind enough to draw my attention to the podcast of it. Pearce talks about the Second Spring, a reference to the Traditional Latin Mass, which he explains through a chain of references to Coleridge, Newman, Hopkins, Wilde, Chesterton, Belloc, Greene, Waugh, Lewis and Tolkein (are you hungry yet?).

sisters4. The joy of having the Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist here in town is temporarily tempered by the farewells that inevitably come each June when the Sisters depart for summer assignments. For some, the departure also marks the end of their assignment in Ave Maria, as it does this year for Sister Teresa Benedicta and Sister Mary Martha, who have been teaching at Donahue Catholic. Sister Teresa Benedicta has been teaching high school theology for the past five years, and next year she will be at a high school in San Francisco. Sister Mary Martha has been teaching in the grammar school for just one year, and next year she will be teaching in Peoria. Make sure you say goodbye and wish them well in their new assignments.

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Adoramus te, Christe

Ave Maria is blessed to have adoration 24/7 during AMU’s acadmic year, and presently from Wednesdays at 1:00 PM until just before the noon Mass on Thursdays. We still need adorers and subs (contact the parish). Maybe this video will inspire you.

He is the best marriage counselor, greatest teacher, powerful healer, and wisest friend. Find the peace that only comes from God. Jesus is calling you home to His mercy, healing love, and Sacred Heart. Come adore Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

The Adoration chapel is always open and He is always present there in the Tabernacle.

Ave Maria Oratory – Mass and Confession times June 2014

Our town is fortunate to have an abundance of opportunity for Confession and Mass, as well as an abundance of priests who live and work in town. Summer is when the schedule changes a bit because so many people (including priests) are away during the summer break. While 500+ additional Catholics are in Ave Maria for FOCUS new staff training, this is the June Mass schedule for the Oratory:

June 2014 mass timesIf that version seems fuzzy, you can find a PDF version here. Here are links for the summer schedule after FOCUS leaves – it might not be accurate, but it will likely look like this in July and August:

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Ave Maria new home closings recorded in April and May 2014

There are reportedly about 100 homes currently under construction in Ave Maria. According to a database search of the official records of Collier County for the period April 1 through May 24, in Ave Maria there were apparently:

  • 7 Maple Ridge new home closings at an average sales price of slightly above  $262,000;
  • 6 Del Webb Naples new home closings at an average sales price just under $260,000;
  • 1 Emerson Park new home closing (Lot 168) at a sales price of $290,000; and
  • No Hampton Village new home closings recorded during that period.

May 2014 home sales and prices in Ave Maria Florida

Grapplers’ hard work on display at first Ave Maria tournament

wrestling may 2014 ave maria

The Shamrock Wrestling Club held its first tournament on May 24. Pictured are the wrestlers and their coaches, Bob Klucik, Lon Juricic, and Joe Chmielowski.

On Saturday morning, parents and friends got to see the hard work of the Shamrock Wrestling Club pay off. The club has  been practicing twice each week for the past two months at Donahue Catholic. The program was led by Ave Maria town resident Bob Klucik, who has a wealth of experience coaching youth and high school wrestling.

According to Tim Donohue, the Shamrock father who spearheaded the idea, the club plans to run more clinic and competition programs in the near future.  The interest in wrestling was sparked when several families in town began participating in a different youth wrestling club that held practices all winter at Palmetto Ridge High School. The goal is to develop the boys’ skills so that eventually they can feed into a school team at Donahue Catholic.

More photos here => Read the rest of this entry »

11 facts about Florida’s new VA Nursing Home site selection: And then there was 1?

VeteransWhile the Veterans Administration scandal boils on the President’s desk, there is some pleasant VA news connected to Ave Maria. The VA is planning to build a VA nursing home in southern Florida and several counties have submitted site proposals to the state’s site selection committee.

We learned last month that Collier County was proposing 2 sites, both in Ave Maria. Today we learned a few more things. Here is a summary:

1. The nursing home cannot be in a hurricane evacuation zone.

2. Lee County did not have any project-ready land available that was not in a hurricane evacuation zone, so they didn’t submit a proposal.

3. Previously the state VA identified Collier and Lee counties as those most in need of a nursing home (that means we’re the only such county still in the running).

4. The site selection committee will visit Ave Maria on June 23.

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Ave Maria couple with three #1 CDs signs St. Paul’s Boys Choir for debut album

AimHigher DeMontfort

You likely saw Kevin and Monica Fitzgibbons’ faces around town over the last several years. While Kevin was a student at Ave Maria School of Law their family spent a good deal of time each week in Ave Maria town. They moved with their five children to the Midwest last year, but recently decided to return to this area because they really enjoy being part of the Ave Maria community.

Kevin and Monica Fitzgibbons

Kevin & Monica Fitzgibbons talk about their 3 #1 Classical CDs with Fr. Pacwa on EWTN

Prior to their law school adventure, they were both executives in the Hollywood recording industry. When they departed from those careers, they decided to found two new labels. This is  how their recent press release puts it:

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10 things changing this summer in Ave Maria, Florida

While Summer doesn’t begin until June 21, the town of Ave Maria goes into summer mode once AMU has it’s graduation. Here are a few things in store during this break from the university’s academic year and from the “season” when resident snowbirds, tourists and pilgrims are absent.


1. AMU Summer Academic Term: Ave Maria University holds summer classes.  Session I is from May 12 through June 21, 2014, and Session II is from June 23 through August 2, 2014.


2. Ave Maria Oratory Quasi-Parish schedule of Mass and Confession change (Ave Herald always has the updated Mass schedule).

Sunday Mass: 8 am Latin; 10 am English (also 4:15 vigil on Saturday when FOCUS is on campus May 27 to July 6).
Monday-Friday Mass: Noon (also 5:15 Mass when FOCUS is on campus May 27 to July 6)
Saturday Mass: 9 am Saturday Confession: 9:30 – 10:30 am
Wednesday Confession: 2:45 – 3:45 pm


3.  FOCUS New Staff Training: Once again the campus of Ave Maria University will be the site where over 500 employees and staff from the Fellowship of Catholic University Students will hold New Staff Training. According to AMU sources: the FOCUS people will begin to arrive on May 27 and May 28, with the majority of the group of 420 staying until July 6. There may be a group of about 50 that will stay until July 15, and there will be one week where there will be up to 520 in the group.

 

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Ave Maria University’s 10th Commencement

Some highlights from AMU’s 10th annual commencement exercises held today. The first two photos are from AMU student photographer Jeremiah Rappley’s excellent social media album that has a hundred more images of the weekend events.

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More images and video clips below.

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