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On 9/11 anniversary, sculptor Schmalz seeks to depict the love that can save even a terrorist

The sculptor whose work is seen throughout Ave Maria in the Oratory and on the Ave Maria University campus, Timothy Schmalz, noted on social media that on the anniversary of 9/11 he will be working on a sculpture that tries to express the mysterious and merciful love Christ has even for a terrorist.

Facebook message posted by Timothy Schmalz

Schmalz’s “Homless Jesus”, which depicts Christ as a hooded homeless man bearing the stigmata, has garnered media attention in recent years as copies have been installed in cities throughout the world. A majority of Schmalz’s work is religious.

Pope Francis blesses and admires Schmalz’s “Homeless Jesus”

Schmalz sculpted the large bronze Crucifix in the Oratory and a series of about ten bronze religious sculptures that are dispersed throughout the AMU campus.

This hooded beggar by Schmalz bears the stigmata and greets visitors to the Adoration chapel at Ave Maria University

Schmalz’s larger than life-size crucifix hangs above the Oratory altar

Legal Corner: Need a Will? Does Your Attorney Make House Calls?

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Many people know they need a will, but have a hard time getting it done. Who wants to guess what documents the attorney will need, spend an hour in the car, and wait at his office? And who wants to trust one of those online legal services where you don’t even get to meet an attorney face to face?

That is why some attorneys make preparing a will and other documents easy by offering to bring some or all of the process to you at the location of your choice. And some attorneys will work to minimize or even eliminate any extra costs associated with a house call.

The attorney can visit the client to conduct an interview, start drafting documents, contact relatives or others whose input is desired, and plan the rest of the process. Then on a return visit there is a signing ceremony during which final documents are executed in the presence of a mobile notary.

This service is ideal for seniors and people with limited mobility, but it is also ideal for those who work and have difficulty making daytime appointments, or for others who simply want to be served in the comfort of their home.

Sometimes life events force people to think about the urgency of having a will — those who have purchased a new home and realize their out-of-state will is not valid in Florida, or whose marital status has changed, or who want to provide for grandchildren or pets, or who face a medical event or other transition.

Planning your estate doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. It can be quick. It can be informal and relaxing. And it can give you peace of mind so that you never have to think about it again.

Attorney Robb Klucik has been practicing estate planning law in Ave Maria, Florida, since 2009. Originally published in the inaugural issue of the print magazine Ave Maria Living, Issue #1, September 2016.

Mary, the humble moon

Full moon rises over the Ave Maria Oratory on November 24, 2015. Photo by Michael Pakaluk.

Full moon rises over Ave Maria Oratory 11/24/2015 ~ Photo by Michael Pakaluk

Hanging where this once was placed
Image of the light of grace
Giving all and keeping naught
This for ages men have sought
Strong of arm did once approach
Upon a swift and fabled coach
But ashes, ashes, dust and dust
That’s all this is, admit we must
Reflecting is what this does best
Just as I ought to pass life’s test

 

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.

McTeigue: The Annunciation is our icon of what our lives should look like

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Annunciation by Ave Maria artist Cornelius Sullivan.

When was the Culture of Life first proclaimed against the culture of death? It could be said that the Culture of Life began with John Paul’s encyclical, “Evangelium Vitae,” promulgated in 1995. It could also be said that the Culture of Life began in 1973, in response to the Supreme Court ruling on Roe vs. Wade. It might even be said that the Culture of Life was inaugurated by Pope Paul VI in 1968, with his encyclical “Humanae Vitae.” You could make a good case for any one of those claims.

Here’s an easier question: When was Ave Maria University founded? Well, depending upon how one counts such things, we can say that Ave Maria University is looking forward to soon celebrating its twelfth anniversary. That is true, but it is not quite correct.

I think that Ave Maria University, and the Culture of Life which it serves, were both inaugurated at the Annunciation, the great solemnity we are celebrating today. At that moment, when the Providence of God met the humility of Mary, human life was given an identity, a dignity and a destiny that the pagans of the ancient world could not have imagined, and which the modern world cannot match or even comprehend. In that moment, in the “fiat,” in the “yes” with which Mary responded to the Archangel Gabriel, the horrifying power of sin and the culture of death it spawned, began to be broken.

Consider this lovely image from Saint Irenaeus. He wrote: “Eve, by her disobedience, tied the knot of disgrace for the human race; whereas Mary, by her obedience, undid it“. Our Blessed Mother, by her love, trust and obedience, cooperated with God so that within her very body, the seed of the Culture of Life took root.

We here at Ave Maria, love and serve the Culture of Life begun at the Annunciation; we here at Ave Maria, in opposition to the culture of death which is devouring both human bodies and human souls, wish to imitate the love, trust and obedience of Mary. In imitation of our Blessed Mother, we too wish to cooperate with the saving plan of God. We want to say “yes” to what God would do with us, body and soul. That is why this glorious Solemnity of the Annunciation, a cause of joy for all Catholics, is held especially dear to us here at Ave Maria. The Annunciation is for us here at Ave Maria our icon, our charter and our measure.

Márton Váró’s iconic Annunciation relief in Ave Maria, Florida.

The Annunciation is our icon, for it helps us to see what our lives should look like—a humble, grateful and fruitful trusting of God’s Power and Providence. The Annunciation is our charter, for Mary’s “fiat”, her “yes” to the work of God must be echoed and implemented by us here. And the Annunciation is our measure, for we can only judge our success or failure by our obedience to the call of God.

Today, on the Solemnity of the Annunciation, the patronal feast of Ave Maria University, let’s pray for three graces, three special blessings. Let’s pray to be alert—alert to the promptings of the divine messengers sent our way, as Mary was. Let’s pray to be obedient—obedient to the workings of Divine Providence, as Mary was. And let’s pray to be fruitful—fruitful stewards of the amazing grace entrusted to our care. If we do that, if we pray and live to be alert, obedient and fruitful, then we can both echo and imitate Mary at the inauguration of the Culture of Life and say, “May it be done to me according to your word.”

Ave Maria University’s Father Robert McTeigue, S.J., preached this homily during Mass for the Solemnity of the Feast of the Annunciation, which is the patronal feast of the town of Ave Maria, the parish of Ave Maria Oratory, and Ave Maria University. Father McTeigue is currently finishing a collection of homilies and essays on preaching entitled, I Have Someone to Tell You: A Jesuit Heralds the Gospel. He recently began writing a weekly column. Father McTeigue earnestly seeks your prayers that his life and work be to God’s greater glory.

The Annunciation – Cornelius Sullivan on Márton Váró’s magnum opus

The Annunciation, with Sculptor Márton Váró, Ave Maria, Florida

Ave Maria, FL, March 25, 2015 – The Blessed Virgin Mary strides forward breaking the confines of the sculptural relief format. That is only one original aspect of this Annunciation.

Márton Váró  is a figurative sculptor who understands beauty and he is experienced in showing the beauty of women.

The scene is a break from the traditional Virgin figures who are shown passively reading or praying. Often she would be shown surprised. Here, her pose indicates that this may be after her fiat, after her yes. Váró’s Virgin is a substantial figure who is strong and active. We may read her expression not as surprised but as inspired.

The Archangel Gabriel kneels respectfully before the Virgin Mary. We may imagine that as Gabriel left on his mission he may have asked, “Should I kneel?” Perhaps God responded, “Artists might show you kneeling, or on your toes, or in the air. Don’t worry you will know what to do.”

Sometimes Artists compress time to tell a complete narrative. Gabriel is speaking and Mary has already said yes. It is in the nature of relationships on earth, that there must be a back and forth, and therefore there is always waiting. We may guess that there was a moment when heaven and earth waited for her yes.

The two other innovative qualities of this sculpture are, first that the sculptor is a Direct Carver and every inch of the marble relief was touched by his hands.

Secondly, the work was completed on site and the whole community became a part of the creative process.

The normal procedure for a project of this magnitude would be for a small two foot model of the design be sent to Carrara or Pietrasanta, Italy where it would be enlarged and carved by artisans. With some luck you could have it resembling the model in a general way in a few years. There would be no guarantee that what looked good at two feet would work at thirty five feet. In Ave Maria the sculptor alone began and completed this sculpture and he also supervised the installation.

The church is in the center of the town of Ave Maria in Florida. It dominates the main piazza like a European Cathedral, a Duomo, and it faces Ave Maria University. The church, the town, and the university are all dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Annunciation takes up a very large proportion of the “cathedral”, the Oratory. The art is both traditional and innovative and it signifies that the building is a Roman Catholic Church.

The sculpture saves the odd Post Modern building that kids call a space ship and that has been compared to an airplane hanger. Its silhouette, front and back, resembles a Bishop’s mitre. The architectural vocabulary of the Oratory, employing both masonry and steel, is a mixed metaphor, not having a particular style. The project did not have an architect, it was the vision of a businessman executed by engineers with no regard to the cannons of traditional Catholic Church architecture with its vocabulary of arches and domes and religious art designed for the inside of the church as well as the outside. It is recognizable now as a church because of The Annunciation sculpture.

A parishioner objected to my characterization of the Oratory as an odd Post Modern building. In teaching at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the School of Architecture, I was required to define terms and understand movements such as Post Modernism.  That does not mean that I don’t love the church. It is my church too. Sacraments are lived there.

In The Annunciation the beauty of the message and the beauty of the sculptural form are one and work together.

Lest anyone think that art like this is extravagant I remind them of a sentence by Pope Benedict that proclaims the truth that art is essential to the Church.

The only really effective apologia for Christianity comes down to two arguments, namely, the saints the Church has produced and the art which has grown in her womb. – Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, The Ratzinger Report, Messori, 1988.

On any given day you can see small groups of people in the remote location on the edge of the Florida Everglades taking pictures of The Annunciation of The Blessed Virgin Mary. Those photographs will subsequently go around the world.

Annunciation sculptor Marton Varo

Márton Váró  worked for long hours each day in public before the whole community. Covered with white marble dust, (and “looking like a baker” as Leonardo da Vinci said of Michelangelo) he would stop and answer questions for students and pilgrims. When asked at a discussion forum, when the work was nearing completion, if the Virgin Mary had communicated anything special to him, he responded, “Yes, she said keep working.”

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Click here to see an image of the unfinished side angels and to read more about the Ave Maria Oratory and The Annunciation.

Artist--1Cornelius Sullivan, MFA, is a prolific writer, painter, engraver, sculptor, art historian and lecturer whose work  – even his non-religious work – reflects his Catholic faith. He has taught at several universities including the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, and currently is an adjunct at Ave Maria University. For years Cornelius has been part of the fabric of life in Ave Maria. His art and writing can be discovered at www.SullivanArt.com

Ave Maria knows how to feast: Prayer, Procession, Food, Drink, Music & Dance

Beautiful gospel, beautiful families and – finally – a beautiful sunny sky. And lots of food, drink and music. What a feast day it was! Annunciation Day festivities in Ave Maria, Florida, March 25, 2014.Capture

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.

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

 

Years ago, a founding Ave Marian dressed as Saint Francis for All Hallows Eve – circa 1992, somewhere in Bavaria

Pics from Around Town

And what a beautiful town it is.

MapleRidgeHometown

Sorry we haven’t been able to post so much lately. We have been super busy showing homes and writing new contracts! Both new construction and some resales. It’s been beautiful weather(a little on the hot side) but I won’t complain too much. We have been having awesome sunsets! Hope you can come visit us! There is a home football game for both Donahue Catholic on Friday night and Ave Maria University on Saturday. Should be a great weekend of football!

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Roger Scruton at Ave Maria: Un Uomo Universale

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.

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.

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

 

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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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.

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.

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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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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.

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

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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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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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Donahue Catholic honors fallen Army pilot and military alums

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Margaret Padgett in front of the Major David Padgett Wall of Honor, newly installed at Donahue Catholic Academy in Ave Maria

This afternoon the Donahue Catholic Academy of Ave Maria dedicated a Wall of Honor to honor Army pilot Major David Padgett who was killed during the Vietnam War. The founder of the school, Marine Corps veteran Tom Monaghan, and the school’s benefactrix namesake, Mrs. Rhodora Donahue, were also on hand for the ceremony in the library where the Wall of Honor is installed.   Read the rest of this entry »

Fitness Center Buzz

Ave Maria Fitness Center

Computer model of Ave Maria’s new fitness center

We all know that the new fitness center is under construction be- cause we have read about it and we have seen it unfolding on Annunciation Circle. Unnamed sources indicate things are going according to plan and the opening will be in the first week of April, and that children age 14 and above will be able to use the new facility if they are with their parent or guardian. Currently the age is 16 – kudos to the Ave Maria Master Association for responding to the members’ request for this change.

UPDATE 4/11/2014: While it is clear much of the work is complete, the opening has been delayed.

UPDATE 4/29/2014: Opening is slated for May 10 – click on the image to read more.

Ave Maria Fitness Center

Being named after Saint John Paul the Great (a town where it’s common, and 1 young John Paul who is attending the canonization)

On the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday when Pope John Paul II will officially enter the canon of saints of Christ’s Church, many families in the town of Ave Maria are also planning a feast day for their sons – or their Sister! It is fitting that a town where one of the streets is named “Pope John Paul II Boulevard” – a town whose founding was inspired by that pope’s “new evangelization” – has so many boys and young men named after that extraordinary man.

His papacy saw a rise in the popularity of the name “John Paul” for newborns in the USA as shown in this graphic, with spikes in popularity based on events in his life:

Pope John Paul Newborn Names Ave Maria

How many newborns were named “John Paul” in the USA each year?

Of course not everyone bearing the name received it as a newborn boy. Sister John Paul, OP, who teaches in Ave Maria at Donahue Catholic, received the name when she entered Religious life.

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“I received the name John Paul as my religious name the day I received the holy habit of St. Dominic, August 5, 2001. ‘John Paul II, we love you!'” – window at the Mother House of the Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist

Among the estimated dozen John Paul’s in Ave Maria, several have provided photographs, below.

John Paul R

John Paul Raiger

John Paul K

John Paul Klucik

John Paul T

John Paul Tamisiea

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John Paul Moore, who made his First Holy Communion today.

John Paul and Rhodora M

John Paul Moore – born second – was blessed while in the womb with his twin sister Rhodora by John Paul II. And while the parents had no idea they were having twins, the Pope knew because he gave them two extra rosaries (instead of one extra) for the baby!

One lucky Ave Maria boy bearing the name is having the trip of a lifetime with his mother – they traveled to Rome to attend tomorrow’s canonization ceremony! John Paul Allan’s friends and neighbors have been able to follow his special pilgrimage via Facebook. Mrs. Allan owns a Catholic gift and book store and home school supply store called By Way of the Family that she named after a phrase from Saint Pope John Paul”s apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio: “The future of humanity passes by way of the family.”

John Paul Allan and his mother on their canonization pilgrimage in Rome.

John Paul Allan and his mother Chelsea with the Vatican in background on their canonization pilgrimage in Rome.

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Pope John Paul II canonization banner over the entrance to St. Peter’s Basilica with John Paul Allan standing under it at St. Peter’s Basilica.

John Paul Allan praying at the tomb of Pope John Paul II the day before his canonization.

John Paul Allan praying at the tomb of Pope John Paul II the day before his canonization.

John Paul Allan praying at the tomb of Pope John XXIII the day before his canonization.

John Paul Allan praying at the tomb of Pope John XXIII the day before his canonization.

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John Paul Allan and his mom Chelsea sent this image showing where they are standing in line at 3:00 AM on the eve of John Paul II’s canonization.

 

“Balloons Over Paradise” means lots of balloons over Ave Maria

This weekend the Balloons Over Paradise event near Ave Maria actually featured a flight of at least a dozen hot air balloons that flew over Ave Maria on Saturday morning. Several of the balloons landed in Ave Maria. These photos all appeared on social media sites even as the balloons were in the air:

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Balloon’s-eye view? Not really. This is what the Oratory might look like from a balloon, but this was taken by Ave Maria resident Scott Shneider as he inspected the roof earlier in April.

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Balloon lands in Bellera neighborhood in Ave Maria.

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Balloons fly over Ave Maria, Florida.

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Balloons photographed from a balcony at the center of Ave Maria, Florida.

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Balloons fly bast the Ave Maria Oratory.

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Balloons drifting over Ave Maria, Florida.

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Balloon making a landing in Ave Maria.

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Balloon lands in Emerson Park in Ave Maria.

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Giant bear looms over Ave Maria.

Recent Herald stories: Ave Maria Water #1, Veterans home proposal, more

HeraldSince its founding in 2007, the town of Ave Maria has been able to consistently rely on one solid source for news: the Ave Maria Herald, a project of Pat Sette and David Shnaider, who moved their family to town in the beginning. We are fortunate to have them as part of our community. These are some of the stories in the Herald recently about Ave Maria:

Ave Maria Is a Potential Site for VA Nursing Home
Ave Maria Water Judged Florida’s Best for 2nd time
Travis Curtright Honored with 2nd Laub-Novak Award
Laura Mastandrea Named to All-Area HS Soccer Team
Donahue Football Players Receive State-wide Awards
Former AMU Student Remembered as “Everyday Hero”

Because I’m happy – it’s Easter

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Because I’m happy – Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy – Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy – Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy – Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

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To celebrate this incredibly joyous occasion of Easter, please enjoy “Happy” performed by the Ave Maria University’s Shakespeare in Performance troupe as a prelude to What You Will. Lyrics are from the hit song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.

Tickets to What You Will are free but you must reserve seats in advance at AveShakespeare@gmail.com. All shows are held in the Academic Building, room 1019 at Ave Maria University. Dates and start times are below:

Wed, 4/23:  7:30 PM.
Thurs, 4/24, 7:30 PM.
Fri, 4/25:  Sold Out!
Sat, 4/26, 2:00 PM & 7:30 PM
Sun, 4/27, 2:00 PM

All evening shows begin seating at 7:00 PM, pre-show starts at 7:15, doors close at 7:30. Afternoon shows begin seating at 1:30 PM, pre-show starts at 1:45, doors close at 2:00.

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in Ave Maria

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This recent blog piece gives high praise to the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Here is an excerpt:

[This] program for children has given the kids something I could never be sure I was conveying: a simple, synthesized, profound involvement with the Gospel and with the liturgical life of the Church.

Did you know this program is present here in Ave Maria at the Montessori school in town? On the website, one local family offers this testimonial:

…We are especially grateful that Ave Maria Montessori incorporates the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd so that our children can experience the truth and beauty of Sacred Scripture and the Liturgy in a way that is accessible to them…

Shakespeare’s eros: What You Ought

It was hard not to smile as the cast of What You Will skillfully serenaded the audience with the pop song “Happy” prior to the start of the play. That same joy continued as the play’s director, Professor Travis Curtright, was presented with the Laub-Novak Award for Excellence in Teaching.

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AMU’s Shakespeare In Performance troupe celebrates after opening night.

Playing to a packed small classroom, the opening night cast gave an extremely confident and uproariously funny performance of Shakespeare’s comic tale of a lord, a lady, courtiers, shipwrecked twins, concealed identity, confused and unrequited love – and a very witty and bawdy jester. Well-sung, well-chosen pop music punctuated the play as if the songs were selected by the Bard himself.*

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Angelic inspiration from Father Fessio’s anti-blog

Angel of SilesiaNot a few of us miss that great Jesuit and AMU co-founder, Father Joseph Fessio, the founder of publisher Ignatius Press. Back when he lived here in Ave Maria, he came to the house for dinner and gave us a book, The Grain of Wheat, a collection of aphorisms by the great theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar. The book’s short thoughtful sentences – each one a complete thought – made my prayer time extremely fruitful. They offer a sublime concision.

Now Father Fessio has a new project that he calls his anti-blog. These are the two reasons he calls it an anti-blog:

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Sunset carriage ride in Ave Maria

A friend whose home overlooks Annunciation Circle posted this amazing photo and its caption on social media. She gave me permission to share it here. Thanks, MR!

Update: You might be able to arrange a similar ride by contacting Ave Maria’s own equestrian center, The Stable Life.

A beautiful evening here in Ave. A family is taking a carriage ride through the town of Ave and enjoying the sunset.

A beautiful evening here in Ave. A family is taking a carriage ride through the town of Ave and enjoying the sunset.

 

Afternoon pilgrimage with Mother Teresa: “If there are poor on the moon we will go there”

Mother Teresa as a young woman

I had wanted to see the new Mother Teresa exhibit in Ave Maria since it opened on April 2. After some good news at work, I walked downstairs and headed down the block toward the exhibit to make an act of thanksgiving to God. And I am so glad I did. The exhibit was very moving. For anyone who felt Mother’s absence when she left this world it will be hard not to well up with emotion at every information panel in the exhibit.

Mother Teresa Exhibit 2.1 Mother Teresa Exhibit 7.2 Mother Teresa Exhibit 14.1

What a gift it is to have here in Ave Maria Mother’s Read the rest of this entry »

Youth 2000: Thank you!

Youth 2000: Thank you!

This team led about 100 students in the Youth 2000 retreat in Ave Maria, Florida, this past weekend, with the assistance of dozens more volunteers. Pictured are Joey Haas, Martin Doman, Sister John Paul O.P., and six members of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.

Wired Magazine does the Ave Maria a bit differently

You may recall the work in Ave Maria of photographer Rylan Steele from a prior piece (and his website is here). Today Wired magazine featured his photographs of Ave Maria along with his reflections about the town. Unlike most of the pieces about Ave Maria that simply restate all the tired caricatures of the town, this one actually highlights the photographer’s insistence that we are genuine  – a real community of people with admirable intentions.*

“I’ve started to identify with the people living there and why they might want to live in a place where they know their neighbor, can leave their bike in the front yard overnight, and probably the doors unlocked.”

He, a non-believer, defends us! It seems that Steele – having spent time with us – actually cares about us and doesn’t want people to accept the caricatures. Thanks Rylan. Please keep coming back. Rylan Steele - Ave Maria in Wired Magazine

* Yes, the headline stinks, and yes there is a bit of the typical Ave-bashing, but we can lay that at the feet of the Wired editor. And the photos are stale – from 2011.

Carved in stone: Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariæ

The Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary is normally celebrated on March 25 (tomorrow), which is nine months before the Feast of Christmas. It is also known as the Feast of the Incarnation and the Annunciation of the Lord. annunciations

The feast marks a gospel episode that has been portrayed in art countless times through the centuries, often with the angel Gabriel kneeling before a standing Mary.

Of course, the town of Ave Maria is named after this Incarnation episode. Ave Maria Annunciation Marton-and-AnnunciationFronting Ave Maria Boulevard (but with the altar facing east) and situated in the middle of Annunciation Circle, the Oratory at the very center of town features the massive Annunciation sculpture, carved here in town in glistening white Carrara marble by Márton Váró from 2009 to 2011. The sculpture is composed of huge carved blocks that are stacked on top of one another and set into the arched tympanum on the front of the Oratory. The carved block portraying Mary’s head and torso was lowered into place from a crane at 6:00 p.m. on January 7, 2011, at which point onlookers joyfully prayed the Angelus (led by Dan Guernsey).

This is how the Annunciation story is told in Luke 1:26-38:

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!”But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. 

And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

And Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no husband?” And the angel said to her,

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.

And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

All hail, Mary! Let the feasting begin!

On Tuesday March 25 Ave Maria University hosts students and townsfolk alike at its second annual grand Annunciation Feast. This is the seventh year the town and parish have celebrated the Annunciation; this day marks the sixth anniversary of the Oratory’s consecration on this feast day in 2008 by Bishop Frank Dewane.

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For all who carry the Ave Maria banner – town, parish and university – this is the feast day of

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Life Life Life – Movie Marathon tonight in Ave Maria!

Prolife movie marathon Ave Maria University

Just one more reason why…

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Throwback Thursday: Joseph Pearce on Ave Maria

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

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

Ave Herald continues to deliver the news about Ave Maria

Since its founding in 2007, the town of Ave Maria has been able to consistently rely on one solid source for news: the Ave Maria Herald, a project of Pat Sette and David Shnaider, who moved their family to town in the beginning. Herald We are fortunate to have them as part of our community. In the past week alone the Herald reported the following important news stories:

Seminole Tribe Reported Planning Hard Rock Hotel for Immokalee

Contributions of AMU Community Acknowledged at Former AMU Nicaragua Campus

Ave Maria Law School Names New President

Mother Teresa exhibit opens April 2, anniversary of John Paul II’s death

Ave Maria University’s new Mother Teresa Project Exhibition Hall will open to the public on Aprilmother teresa project 2, 2014. According to new information on its website, this date was selected “in honor of Mother Teresa’s friend, Pope John Paul II, on the ninth anniversary of his entrance into heaven.” The opening had been tentatively slated for the feast of St. Joseph, March  19.

According to its website, the Mother Teresa Project “educates students on the life and unique spirituality of Mother Teresa through a program of study that immerses them in her life and writings.”

mother teresa project information

Update: Link to the AMU press release.

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