Ave Maria Living.com

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

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).

Pam Stenzel talks about sex at Ave Maria University

Okay. I admit the headline is meant to arrest your attention. Word on the street is that sex is supposed to be amazing and powerful. But too often WHY and HOW it can be amazing and powerful are not addressed. And the dark side of that power is often considered a taboo for discussion.

But not with Pam Stenzel. She has spoken in Ave Maria before to rave reviews – one of her biggest fans is Father Robert McTeigue, SJ.

Pam will speak about sex at the AMU ballroom on Thursday,  September 11 at 8:00pm.

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When you buy that priest his beer on Monday…

Once again, it’s “international buy a priest a beer day” on Monday.  Perhaps you will both enjoy the beer more if you show this blessing to him so he can bless it’s sweetness and mirth before you both imbibe (and toast to Our Lady’s birthday).

Beer

beer priest

Mission accomplished! I love my priests. Thank you, Father McTeigue, for giving all you have to His people. Father enjoyed a Pilsner Urquell after blessing it and my Angry Orchard cider in latin.

In new weekly column, Father McTeigue educates Time about women Religious

Last week, Time magazine published an embarrassing and absurd screed about “nuns”.*  Today Ave Maria’s beloved Father Robert McTeigue launches his new weekly column in Aleteia.org by explaining why faithful women are choosing Religious life.

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* For the record, nuns are contemplatives who stay inside their typically cloistered convent walls, not the professors, social workers or activists the Time author discusses. Whereas Sisters often work outside of their convents.

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

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.

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

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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

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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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Philosophers on a Mountain Top

These two are among the men who call Ave Maria home. It will be interesting to hear more about their escapade over a bourbon or some wine. Let us pray they came back refreshed and ready to inspire their students and contribute to the Academy.

Ave Herald publishers say goodbye to town’s iconic cat, Monty

Please click to read about Monty, cat of Ave Maria.
monty

 

Updated Ave Maria HOA contact sheet – includes new Maple Ridge HOA contact info

HOAs in Ave Maria

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.

 

 

 

AMU Student: Blogging Through Pope John XXIII

AMU student Peter Atkinson shares his experience reading about Pope St. John XXIII.

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.

Ave Snapshots: Classics does Rome, and a somewhat Chaucerian pilgrimage in Padua

Summer can be a nice time for some armchair traveling. Vicarious journeys are a lot less stressful and expensive – and so easy to enjoy now that seemingly everyone lifeblogs in some way (even Classics people).

Someone with close ties to Ave Maria is having a nice time in Italy “on a somewhat Chaucerian pilgrimage” in Padua.

While elsewhere Classics students at Ave Maria University enjoy the privilege of a curated journey through Rome.

classics

 

 

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.

pakaluk

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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McTeigue: on lust, nursing babies, serving 2 masters, and St. Aloysius Gonzaga’s example of purity

Aloysius Gonzaga

St. Aloysius Gonzaga’s example of caring for plague victims resulted in his being adopted as the patron of those who have AIDS and their caregivers

Ave Maria’s Father Robert McTeigue, S.J., preached this homily on the feast of St. Aloysius Gonzaga. He is currently finishing a collection of homilies and essays on preaching entitled, I Have Someone to Tell You: A Jesuit Heralds the Gospel.

Why should we care about Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, who was a young Jesuit saint who died at the age of 22 in 1591?  Well, he’s long been known as a “patron of youth”, which is a fine thing, because your youth today need plenty of patrons, but I suspect some people may find Saint Aloysius difficult to market to today’s youth.  After all, he doesn’t have a cool street name like others admired by young folks today, such as “Jay Z” or “Righteous B.”  We don’t have photos of him looking like an Italian fashion model, as we do of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati.  And to make Saint Aloysius a reall hard sell in today’s world, he’s known as a patron of youthful purity.

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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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McTeigue: Jesus tells us, “Do not make an idol or an instrument of people made beautiful by God.”

Ave Maria’s Father Robert McTeigue, S.J., preached this homily today for the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua. The scripture readings are here. Please pray for Father as he works towards completing a collection of homilies and essays on preaching entitled, I Have Someone to Tell You: A Jesuit Heralds the Gospel. 

Adam and Eve before the Fall on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel

Michelangelo’s naked Adam and Eve just before the Fall, on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. According to Ave Maria University’s Dr. Michael Waldstein, a renowned scholar on Pope St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body: “Some [naked] images push us to concupiscence, others do not. . . . Going to the Sistine Chapel and looking at the naked women on the ceiling is for this reason a very different experience than watching a pornographic movie. It is not presumption, but the experience of many men, that one can look with purity at Michelangelo’s nudes and take delight in their beauty. Michelangelo himself must have looked at his naked models in a pure way in order to be able to paint nudes in that pure way. . . . Of course, if one does feel a slide into concupiscence when looking at Michelangelo’s nudes, it is a good idea to look away. That need to look away should also be a trumpet blast for recognizing . . . that one is in need of a serious transformation.”

Source: http://corproject.com/authentic-art-vs-pornography/

May I ask you a question?  What if someone came to you and said this:  “Oh! I just did a terrible thing!  I was in an art museum, and I noticed that the paintings were beautiful!”  You would think that a rather strange statement, would you not?  Suppose your troubled friend went on to say:  “And after I noticed that the paintings were beautiful, I praised the artists who painted them!”  You would know right away that your friend is obviously quite confused.  Going to an art museum, enjoying the beauty of the paintings, and then praising the painters—well, in terms of a purpose of a museum—it just doesn’t get any better than that.

But what if your friend says this:  “Oh! I went to the art museum, and I saw the beautiful paintings, and I stole them!”  Then you would know that your poor friend is more than just confused.  And what if your friend said:  “I went to the art museum, slashed the beautiful paintings, and used the shredded paintings to shine my shoes.”  Then you would know for sure that your confused friend is very sick.

Now, let me ask you another question.  What does this little parable of mine have to do with today’s gospel reading?

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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?

telemedicine jetsons

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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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2 new FOCUS missionaries assigned to AMU

Welcome to Ave Maria’s two newest residents. May their work bear much fruit.

Missionary Impossible

Drum roll please……………..looks like I’ll need to get used to this humidity and start buying bug spray in bulk because as the first week of New Staff Training came to a close, I found out that I will be serving as a FOCUS Missionary right here at Ave Maria University in South Florida!! I’ll talk more on placements later but first I wanna touch on everything that’s happened this past week. It’s only been 5 full days here at training and already I feel like we’ve done and covered so much information. It was a little overwhelming at first but we’re all having lots of fun and I’m really looking forward to the next 4 weeks.

5 of The 7 Of Us Here From Colorado State (From Left To Right: Me, Ashlynn, Sean, Brian and Matt) 5 of The 7 Of Us Here From Colorado State (From Left To Right: Me, Ashlyn, Sean, Brian and Matt)

First of all, I have to say again just how amazing it is to…

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POLL: In what Catholic groups or movements are you involved here in Ave Maria?

movementsPlease take the poll, which closes after one week. You can add groups if yours isn’t listed. If you would like a group or movement to start meeting in Ave Maria, please list that in the comments.

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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Fr. McTeigue: Invite God’s Providence & Accept His Paternal Authority

in-god-we-trustAve Maria’s Father Robert McTeigue, S.J., preached this homily for the 5th Sunday after Easter according to the calendar of the Traditional Latin Mass. The Epistle was James 1:22-27, and the Gospel was John 16:23-30. Please pray for Father as he works towards completing a collection of homilies and essays on preaching entitled, I Have Someone to Tell You: A Jesuit Heralds the Gospel.

Did you ever wonder—what would the world look like if there were no fathers?  Now, if you are biologically minded you might object and say, “‘No fathers’ = ‘no babies’” so a world without fathers would not last very long.  True enough.  But I am not talking about being a simple donor of genetic material; I am talking about being a true father. What would a world without true fathers look like?

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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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Smalltown USA: Little League Champs, Knights of Columbus, Memorial Day Picnic at the Water Park

KofC memorial day

Knights of Columbus poster from WW I

UPDATE: Here are some photos and a report about the party.

While Ave Maria has an obvious Catholic flavor, it’s really a rebirth of small town USA. This post honors several American traditions.

Ave Maria’s first rate little league fields in North Park now have a first rate Little League championship team to match. The Minor B Ave Maria Twins capped an undefeated season with a sweep through their league’s championship tournament. The story is at the Ave Herald.

You can congratulate the boys and their dads when you see them at the town’s Memorial Day party at the Water Park sponsored by the always patriotic Knights of Columbus – free admission and hot dogs! As we enjoy the long weekend, we can take some time to remember those who have given their lives to defend our God-given freedoms.

 

 

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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Unashamed: May we always be a town that stands with Robbie George

Robbie GeorgeThis past week at the annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast legal and political philosopher Robert George gave an address that will likely be remembered for decades. Closer to home, it will likely remind many of us why we have chosen to be faithful, and in particular to be part of the Ave Maria Project.

The question each of us today must face is this: Am I ashamed of the Gospel? And that question opens others: Am I prepared to pay the price that will be demanded if I refuse to be ashamed, if, in other words, I am prepared to give public witness to the massively politically incorrect truths of the Gospel, truths that the mandarins of an elite culture shaped by the dogmas of expressive individualism and megeneration liberalism do not wish to hear spoken? Or, put more simply, am I willing, or am I, in the end, unwilling, to take up my cross and follow Christ?

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Thanks and Please

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This blog is a labor of love, done out of appreciation for and as a service to Ave Maria and the people of Ave Maria. There is no revenue (zero) – it actually costs a little cash to maintain the web address and domain hosting (maybe someday there will be ad revenue but not yet). Thanks to you, for the past four months this blog has been viewed an average of 7000 times per month.

If you like what’s here, please consider doing one or all of the following 10 things:

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1. Like us on facebook.

 

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Ave Maria’s Paul Adams: To aim at virtue and fall short does not a hypocrite make

Ave Maria is teeming with thoughtful writers, scholars and bloggers. Our neighbor and friend Paul Adams is an impressively-credentialed scholar (MA from Oxford, PhD from Berkeley) and convert whose writing is always edifying.

hypocrite

Today he has written about the absurd yet common phenomenon of Christians being called “hypocrite” in internet com boxes because they sin. Here is an excerpt:

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Ave Maria celebrates Holy Matrimony

Congratulations to the new Mr. & Mrs. Philip Barrows.

Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Philip Barrows.

Wedding season in Ave Maria is a great opportunity to reflect on marriage. As our pope, St. John Paul the Great shared these thoughts on matrimony in Familiaris Consortio:

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Ave Maria’s Pakaluk to Harvard’s Faust: Eucharistic worship is NOT “reasoned discourse and robust dissent”

harvard adoration

Eucharistic Adoration at Harvard Square: “Reasoned discourse and robust dissent”?

Michael Pakaluk is an Ave Marian with close and longstanding ties to Harvard. There he met his late wife Ruth while they were both undergraduates. He later earned his PhD in Philosophy there, and his wife Catherine recently earned her PhD from Harvard. He also has close ties to Ave Maria (owns a home here, is raising his family here, is a professor here, some of his children attend college here, his mother lives here, his father-in-law lives here, his married son lives here, his married daughter lives here, etc.).

We shared his initial reaction to Harvard’s black mass here at AveMariaLiving.com. Yesterday Michael wrote about the Faustian response he received from black mass Harvard’s president in reply to Pakaluk’s letter to her. President Faust sent a form letter to “Mr. Pakaluk” (just some guy who has two degrees from Harvard, married Harvard alums, has for decades been a prominent

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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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