Ave Maria Living.com

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

Archive for Observations

Location of the new Ave Maria Center for Truth, Beauty and Goodness* and Mother Teresa Museum

For those who are curious, we have pieced together exactly where the Ave Maria Center fperfoming arts center and mother teresa museumor Truth, Beauty and Goodness* will be located. Today AMU issued a press release with this site plan:

According to the clues provided in the Ave Herald, we can overlay the site plan onto the official county map of Ave Maria to see exactly where AMU plans to build the performing arts center and Mother Teresa museum:

 perfoming arts center and mother teresa museum 2

[*not its real name]

Beautiful: The 7 minutes after “This Mass has ended. Go in peace.”

Artist Rylan Steele, whose work we have linked to for many months, gives us a creative and beautiful look at the 7 minutes following the dismissal of two Masses at the Ave Maria Oratory.

I spy FOCUS missionary Trey Johnson…

Big news: Ave Maria Center for Truth, Beauty & Goodness* launches this week

I hope its prettier

After a year of whispers, the news finally leaks out as Ave Maria University gets ready for its annual gala: a new $10 million performing arts center is planned. The Ave Herald has the best details (they usually do).

May this facility ever be to God’s greater glory and may God bless Myra Daniels.

[*not its real name]

Appreciating how good we have it


One joy and privilege of being in Ave Maria is the abundance of people we encounter each day who raise us up, show us mercy, remind us of our raison d’etre, and who witness and  inspire hope, gratitude and joy. And who make us think. Life is hard – but we can’t be reminded often enough that the good things in life require sacrifice.

Father Robert McTeigue, SJ, has been with Ave Maria University since the beginning, providing such encouragement, inspiration and reminders to AMU for a decade. And to the people in town for almost 7 years.

A few years ago a visitor noticed how good his homily was and wrote about it. I wonder if she knows his homilies are always that good. I wonder if we appreciate how good we have it.

Just to entice you to click the link, here is a sample from the homily:

Socrates was intolerant of the Sophists. Moses was intolerant of Pharaoh. Jesus was intolerant of the Pharisees. Frederick Douglass was intolerant of slavery. Blessed Rupert Mayer was intolerant of the Nazis. Blessed Mother Teresa was intolerant of abortion. Blessed Pope John Paul was intolerant of the culture of death. Intolerance can be a beautiful thing — you just need to know how to do it properly.

Jesuits can be awesome.

What you missed if you weren’t studying at AMU

These posters Professor Michael Pakaluk has designed speak volumes about Ave Maria University (don’t worry, someone already let him know about one world-renown Thomist who should be added). Is there anyone else he missed? He also has a question for you at the link. For those who don’t already know: most of these lectures were open to the public, too. Another reason to love living here in Ave Maria.

Full image at the link.

Full image at the link.

Ave Marians Who Blog

Please let me know of any other blogs related to Ave Maria.


Incense: Blogging about Ave Maria circa 2007

Seven years ago some of us were blogging about Ave Maria. An archive of hopes and expectations. incense

Did you hear the one about Harvard, St. Dominic, and Ave Maria?

But, it’s no joke. Some of you may recall reading about this impressive Latin scholar from Harvard a few years back. Well, a novitiate and some temporary vows later, and now she is a Dominican Sister studying theology here at Ave Maria University. Even though this story is no joke there is one thing that might make you smile: the irony of her very beautiful name, Sister Maria Veritas.


At Harvard?

Medallion  of the  DSMME

of the

Veritatis Splendor Splendor of Truth AMU's motto

Veritatis Splendor
Splendor of Truth
AMU’s motto

Approaching Ave Maria Today


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3 degrees of unity: Ave Maria pastor requests Synod input from the faithful

While sometimes we think Rome is so far away, in fact each Catholic parishioner is only three steps from the Pontiff: parishioner to pastor, pastor to bishop, bishop to pope. As requested by Pope Francis, our local shepherd, Bishop Frank Dewane, has asked our pastor Father Cory Mayer to gather from parishioners feedback for the upcoming extraordinary synod having the theme “Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization”. As is the custom with a synod, the pope has asked for input from all parts of the globe so as to assist the bishops as they prepare for and participate in the synod meeting. Francis-Synod

This exercise is a shining example of the real love and concern that is shared across these relationships we have with our pastors at every level – their pastoral love and concern for us and our love and concern for them as brothers in Christ and as the shepherds God has provided to lead us on life’s pilgrimage.  This is a unique opportunity to share our views and concerns with our spiritual leaders at every level.

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Thumbs Up, G.K.!

Timeless Truth

Wisdom of the Ages: that is what the people of Ave Maria, Florida, treasure. We don’t much care for the spirit of the age.

Several Ave Maria Homeowner Associations Modify HOA Documents

By Attorney Robb Klucik

Before reviewing the recent rule modifications, here is a brief sketch of rules governing homeownership in the town of Ave Maria. Like many other communities in Florida, homes in Ave Maria are subject to the provisions of private homeowners association (“HOA”) documents. These detailed and lengthy legal documents are recorded in the public records by the Collier County Clerk, and are disclosed to homebuyers before buying the home. Homeowners must abide by these documents, and so must renters and guests. In Ave Maria, there are several layers:

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2 publications feature our town of Ave Maria

It seems that people continue to be intrigued by the idea of our town. Last week the comprehensive blog “Catholic Stand” ran a story about Ave Maria. You can find Catholic Stand on Facebook. And now the quarterly international Regina Magazine has included a nice feature about Ave Maria town in its current issue (check out the full issue of the magazine, ambitiously titled “The Secret Catholic Insider’s Guide to America“). Regina Magazine is also on Facebook.


Plenty of Events for Townies, Students & Visitors in Ave Maria

If you are looking for something to do in Ave Maria, here are several links that highlight events planned in town and other activities that take place in town:

  1. Here is a list of AMU events planned in conjunction with the 10th Anniversary of Ave Maria University.
  2. Click here for the AMU calendar and here for the AMU facebook page.
  3. You can also check out the events sponsored by FOCUS and the FOCUS facebook page.
  4. Click here to follow the AMU Gyrenes.
  5. Click here to follow the Papists (Rugby).
  6. And don’t forget Shakespeare and Music at AMU.
  7. For events taking place in Ave Maria, you can check out this list of Ave Maria events.
  8. You can always check this Ave Maria town calendar and this other Ave Maria town calendar.
  9. Here is the Shamrock Football schedule for Donahue Catholic – these games in North Park are one of the very best places to meet the town residents – or townies.
  10. Click here and scroll down to the Ave Maria Entertainment & Recreation section.
  11. If you live in Del Webb here in Ave Maria, they have their own activities every week.
  12. There is often something happening at the Queen Mary Pub in the heart of town.
  13. There is also a new swim club in town, and don’t forget about the dance and drama studio or the chance to ride horses in Ave Maria. You can also try a round of golf at Panther Run.
  14. The Ave Maria Oratory parish also hosts Mass, Confession and other events (parish website is under construction), and you can usually find out about them at the Ave Herald website. If you really don’t know what to do, then try visiting the Adoration chapel any time. Here is a link to pro-life activities in town. Contact the Knights of Columbus here.
  15. Finally, for those who live in town, you can ask to join the facebook community for Ave Maria residents, which is very active and where you can always simply ask “what’s happening?”.

There are plenty of other things happening in town, but this is a great start. And the nice thing about this new town is that you can usually find someone to help you start something new.

Ave Maria Odyssey to the Dry Tortugas

What: 100-mile sailing voyage from NaplesDSC00769 Harbor to Dry Tortugas (and 100-mile return trip)
Vessel: 36 foot sailboat Jubilee, federally registered with home port of Ave Maria, Florida
When: May 10 – May 14, 2013
Skipper: Captain Bob Campbell, owner of the Jubilee
Crew: Drew Emmans, Jim Fox, John Fox (with 2 college friends Steve & Mark), Darryl Klein, Robb Klucik, John-Paul Klucik, Tim Moore, and Sam Moore

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Is this what’s in store for Hampton Village in Ave Maria, Florida?

The developer in town has been hinting that another home builder is coming  to Ave Maria. Some of the home plans offered by this Florida developer seem well-suited to the many rear-entry-garage lots (with alleys, like the existing Alcott Lane that runs behind the homes fronting Ave Maria Boulevard) located throughout Hampton Village. We’ll see…

Is this home plan next for Hampton Village?

Rally with Bishop Dewane – June 8 at noon – at Pine Ridge & US 41

The local Catholic bishop has asked us to join him in standing up for religious freedom and against the unconstitutional and anti-Christian HHS mandate. As part of a nationwide rally for religious freedom, Bishop Frank Dewane will join the protest in Naples, Florida, at the corner of Pine Ridge Road and US 41 at noon on Friday, June 8.

These classic WWII posters:

inspired the editors here to create these posters that you can share, print and carry at the rally:

See you there – Viva Cristo Rey!

HHS Mandate: Freedom is in Peril, Defend it with All Your Might – TODAY!

While we can thank the National Catholic Register for pointing out that Public Comments Overwhelmingly Oppose the HHS Mandate, we can also spread the word that anyone can very easily submit and register public comments online at this link.

The StPetersList.com version of the “keep calm” British wartime poster inspired the editors here to create this new cheeky tweak of a different wartime poster from the same series:

Please spread the word!

Santorum at Ave Maria – a small voice resonates

It’s normal to wonder if anyone is paying attention. As humans, our lives don’t seem to have meaning absent our communications and  interactions with others. And as Christians, the influence our own lives have on others is of great import; our salvation in some way depends on whether we are channels for and bearers of His love.  This goal is summed up in the lyrics of the alma mater song for Ave Maria’s law school: the Ave Maria project (in its many forms) serves as a “beacon in darkness, voice for all to hear.”

Of course we typically toil away hoping that our small lives will somehow change the world for the better – will change the world for Christ. How wonderful that the nation is now hearing our small voice as amplified by the swirl of current events. May that small voice resonate far and wide in the words of candidate Rick Santorum while addressing Ave Maria University, and in the words of AMU President Jim Towey as he announced that AMU is suing the Obama administration for violating first amendment religious freedoms.

(* Interesting fact: Ave Maria heavily favored Santorum in the primary at a time when Santorum was low in all the polls.)

Ave Maria, FL lopsided for Santorum (then Gingrich) – orthodox Catholic bellwether?

Precinct 594 in Collier County, Florida, includes the largely Catholic and politically aware community of Ave Maria, Florida. The Catholic flavor in town is decidedly on the orthodox side of the spectrum (you know, the people who treat the non-negotiable issues – such as abortion and traditional marriage – as if they were non-negotiable, and who treat the prudential issues – such as how to care for the poor and whether a war is just – as if they were prudential issues upon which people of good will can disagree). The GOP primary results indicate that Ave Marians favored fellow Catholics Santorum and Gingrich. Santorum won this precinct by a huge margin, followed by Gingrich, and then Romney.

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January 28: perfect Ave Maria day – Steaks & Family Fun Fest

Ave Maria suffers no shortage of festivals and events. One of the best events of the year is the Sunshine State Steak Cook-Off & Family Fun Fest, being held on Saturday, January 28 (fresh fire-grilled steaks served between 5pm and 6pm). It’s an ideal day to come out and have a great time and get a taste of our community spirit. This is a real grass roots effort of the families in town – our friends and neighbors – and the proceeds fund scholarships to the school for those who otherwise could not afford the peerless private Catholic K-12 education provided by Dr. Dan Guernsey’s Rhodora J. Donahue Academy of Ave Maria, whose website provides the following details:

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Pub regulars named to Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas

Okay, so maybe its not that unusual for a “publick house” in a college town to regularly enjoy the “custom” of learned professors. But in our fair town there are three learned and generous professors who regularly enjoy the pleasures offered by our pub (friends, conversation, food, drink and sometimes even a good cigar) and who also happen to be recognized by a pontifical entity as having an important role in advancing Thomism. Ave Maria University theology professor Michael Waldstein and philosophy professor Michael Paklaluk hold a weekly “Communio Magistorum” gathering at the Queen Mary Pub, to which all are welcome.

These men were recently given the high honor of being named as Ordinary Academicians of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas. Their colleague, AMU theology professor Steven Long, is also known to enjoy erudite discourse along with fine beverages and cigars at the QMP – and he was named as a Corresponding Academician of the same Pontifical Academy. Congratulations to all and to AMU.

(That’s my pub, and those are my peeps.)

AMU prez touts low costs, “Excellence, Affordability & Catholic Values”

Ave Maria University President Jim Towey – shown with his friend and former boss President Bush in November 2011 – is now friend and neighbor to all in town. In a recent editorial for the Naples daily News he highlighted just some of the reasons why AMU is both an excellent choice for students, and well-positioned to whether the ongoing cost-related educational storm. Those visiting the school’s website will notice the prominent tagline “Excellence, Affordability & Catholic Values”.  In an era when rising costs make a private college education seem out of reach for many, it makes sense to highlight that AMU is a great value – and that she offers something priceless.

America mag, Robert George & Ave Maria University

In a lengthy interview just published on the website of the liberal-leaning [1] Jesuit magazine America, conservative Catholic intellectual Robert George was asked about “the future of Catholic higher education.” George’s observation that “people do not know what it means to be a Catholic University” vindicates the very reason the AMU project was undertaken. AMU should also be heartened by George’s observations that the recovery of what it means to be a Catholic university is a large mission that “cannot be accomplished by any one administrator or any one university” and that the “laity are certainly up to the task.” It’s okay if AMU doesn’t immediately solve this problem all by herself; we should be pleased to know that AMU is one of the (sadly) few institutions playing a role in this important recovery and that she continues to move closer to the ideal described by George.

“[F]or every Catholic institution, this is a period of real challenge, and it is not because there are so few members of the orders now to staff these places. It is that people do not know what it means to be a Catholic University… [I]t is complicated and obscure, but somehow, from the enlightenment you get this idea that faith is one thing, learning is another thing, and there is this strong divide between faith and reason… People like me who so admire John Paul II’s encyclical on the subject, we have all to some extent absorbed that understanding of the relationship between faith and reason. And, it has plainly been absorbed quite uncritically in a lot of circles where people are running historically religious universities—and that means on the Catholic side… Well, what we have to recover is, I think, is an understanding—and it is really an understanding… [t]hat really does see faith and reason as the two wings on which human beings ascend to contemplation of truth, and integrates the life of faith of the members of the university with the intellectual project of the university… [that] the whole spirit of the place, including the sciences, is infused with an underlying view about the nature of reality and the world and of the moral life and of faith. That the world is there for us to understand, that our understanding of the world is possible because there is an ordered, intelligible reality. This is a big mission, and it cannot be accomplished by any one administrator or any one university to tell you the truth… I do think the laity are fully capable of playing leadership roles, not only on the faculty, but also in the administration in Catholic higher education. I do not see Catholic higher education as in jeopardy because we do not have enough clergy; the laity are certainly up to the task.”

Shane Wooten Band finds much to like in our “lost city”

Interesting first impressions excerpted from the journal of a country singer who recently played a gig in town:

“While touring through Florida last week, we performed at the 1st Annual Rocktober Roundup Festival located in the town of Ave Maria, FL. I did not know anything about Ave Maria… I was wondering if we would ever find this lost city of Ave Maria. However, just as we began to feel lost we saw a large structure appear from the landscape and it must have been what people felt like back in the day during explorations because to be surrounded by nothing but nature and to see the sign of humanity spring up from the landscape is magical… The people that we met there where all super nice and very accommodating as we began to explore around the city we quickly came to the conclusion that this city was entirely faith-based on the Catholic religion and its roots showed in the architecture with the center piece being the church… On one hand the outside of the church was one of the nicest I have ever laid eyes on. On the other hand the inside was equally as nice as something that one may see in Europe only contemporary and new with awesome stone work and statues… When we rolled out of the town and back into the Florida wilderness that surrounds Ave Maria, I felt like I could have stayed and became a settler of a new township!”

Governor Scott Visits Ave Maria

The local Ave Herald covered the recent visit of our governor, Rick Scott. He stopped by the Bean, toured Donahue Academy & AMU, and met some of the residents and students. Some nice photos at the link. Thanks to Chelsea Allan and Tarren Bragdon.

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