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Archive for Ave Maria Town

The Dix Family: Dixes Never Quit!

For those of us who are newer to Ave Maria, it is hard to imagine the town without Maple Ridge, Publix, or the Oratory, but the Dix family knows the town before those things quite well. When they moved to Ave in 2007, the Oratory was just a skeleton of what it is now and the vast majority of the current residential areas were inhabited by wildlife alone.

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The patriarch of the Dix family, Daniel, was present for the groundbreaking procession as a couple hundred folks walked in prayer through the tomato fields and Ave Maria became a town. Daniel and Monica were also the first to sign a commitment to open a business in Ave Maria — that business was The Bean of Ave Maria.

Standing outside of Sunday Mass, Monica Dix, wife and mother of five, shares that their offertory envelope is number 27 — those envelopes were handed out to residents star ting with number one — another fact proving their status as one of the original families in Ave.

When they moved to Ave, they were a family of five, with the youngest two girls not having been born yet. Now, they are a family of seven with one dog, Bob Lee Swagger . The Dix girls are: Isabella Ray, “Bella,” 13; Gianna Carolina, “Gigi,” 10; Josephina Maria, “Josie,” 9; Gabriella Lucia, “Gabby,” 5; and Rosa Emiliana, 2. Daniel and Monica had very specific plans for their girls’ names. Firstly, all of their names have Italian roots, and most also honor a family member or patron saint. But secondly, Monica said, “we wanted to be sure their names could work if they wanted to be diplomats or rock stars.”

While unsure if the future has either of those two careers in store for any of the girls, their current interests are certainly varied, including track and field, martial arts, reading, sailing, fencing, book-writing, video game playing, and coding, to name a few.

While their schedules haven’t always been full with the multitude of activities they are now, Daniel and Monica are no strangers to long days and packed schedules. The two met while Monica was studying ceramics and sculpture at Carnegie Mellon University and Daniel was finishing up his degree in art history while working as an art conservator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, PA. They fell in love and Daniel proposed while on a seven-week bike trip together in Europe.

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Monica, who was a cradle Catholic, although not practicing her faith at the time, wanted to get married in the Catholic Church. This was a bit of a problem for Daniel, who was a practicing Christian, but had no real allegiance to any particular denomination at the time. His problem came with the vow to raise his future children in the Catholic faith. Daniel took this vow very seriously. After discussing it with his own family and because it was something that Monica felt strongly about, the two were married in the Catholic Church.

Before they got married though,shortly after their engagement, Daniel left Pittsburgh to put his journalism degree to use by taking a job in management at a daily newspaper in his hometown of Wooster , OH. Monica wasn’t thrilled about the idea of moving to Wooster, so she stayed in Pennsylvania believing it might be easier to find work somewhere she was already comfortable.

It didn’t take her long to realize that she needed to be where Daniel was, “I was like, ‘what am I doing? I’m ruining this relationship I’m supposed to be in’ — Daniel proposed! This isn’t just dating anymore’ — I had made a commitment to Dan. And ultimately,

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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.

Ave Maria Stewardship Community District Golf Cart Policy and Map

Click this map to read a copy of the ordinance and resolution that govern golf cart use within Ave Maria, and the registration materials.

Golf Cart Restrictions Map

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

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

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

HOAs in Ave Maria

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

HOAs

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

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.”

* * *

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”.

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“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.

McTeigue: We are called to a conflict that is at once constant, universal, and inevitable

Do you want to hear a story? In the early 20th century, a group of Anglican missionaries decided that they would imitate Jonah, and call towns and villages to conversion. They decided to go to rural China to carry out their plan. They went from place to place, standing in the center of gatherings of people. They attracted a lot of attention, because, in rural China in the early twentieth century, these missionaries of the Church of England were clearly rare, foreign, and exotic. Then they would read John 3:16 out loud and ask if anyone wanted to be baptized. They never got any takers. The missionaries would leave, disheartened, wondering why Jonah was able to call the entire city of Nineveh to conversion, and they could not get one single convert.

These well-intentioned missionaries overlooked one factor. The Chinese people they met in China spoke Chinese; the missionaries were announcing the gospel in English. They were announcing something that no one but they themselves could understand, and act upon.

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That story got me to thinking about understanding and hearing. I’ve seen parents stand at the edge of a playground that’s occupied by dozens of screaming kids, and they can pick out the voice of their own child and filter out the words and yells of all the other kids. I don’t know how that works.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

High School Rugby in Ave Maria - Papists

altar boys

ave maria wrestling may 2014

Alex of Ave Maria - Alex Klucik

Saint Josephs Day Ave Maria

Dewane procession

Brewing IPA in Ave Maria

Shamrock football awards houde vega scanlon scheck

Mt Jefferson

Papist Rugby

Father Mayer with Bishop Dewane

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

Capital campaign brochure (1)_Page_2

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

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

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

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

Capital campaign brochure (1)_Page_1

 

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

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

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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: Neurononsense

Lectures, such as this one, are one of the many benefits of living in a university town.

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

Ave Maria Community Alliance, Inc.

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

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

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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).

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.

Joseph Pearce: not a nice guy

nice2

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.

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.

 

 

 

Hobby Lobby case of great interest to Ave Maria

hl

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

For Profit:

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

Non-profit:

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

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

Did somebody say Harvard and Ave Maria are equivalent?

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

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

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

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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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 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.

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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.

image

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

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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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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Sunrise in Ave Maria

sunrise at ave maria

Ave Maria’s lakes and trails are a great place for a morning walk or run.

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

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”

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in Ave Maria

good shepherd ave maria

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…

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.

 

Typical Saturday in Ave Maria: cappuccino, Mass, little league, rugby, confession, brewing beer, etc.

Many people arrive at this blog by googling terms such as “what is Ave Maria really like”. This post tries to give some insight by sharing what a typical Saturday looks like for an Ave Maria family. These are some of the things members of my family did yesterday: walked to adoration and morning Mass, made cappuccino for a neighbor, biked to the little league game, walked to church to make First Confession, biked to Brewing IPA in Ave Marialocal ice cream shop to celebrate, walked across the street to play/watch rugby matches, biked to neighbor’s porch to brew (and consume) India pale ale, visited grandmother down the street who just got home from hip replacement (and arranged to have pastor bring Holy Communion to her on Sunday), High School Rugby in Ave Maria - Papistswatched toddler of a young couple who had a date night, brought guitar to neighbor for restringing, walked over to a praise festival at the university, and walked to the Catholic school to play organized games at the gym. I’m sure I only left out a dozen other things.

What’s the population of Ave Maria?

At tonight’s annual AMU Founder’s Club Dinner in Naples, the chief operating officer of Barron Collier Companies, Brian Goguen, gave an Ave Maria town update to the nearly 300 attendees. No doubt, the Ave Herald has more details, but these are some highlights:

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A year in Ave Maria, Florida

Bob and Erin Campbell have lived in town since almost the beginning. Hailing from Iowa, Erin is an alum of Ave Maria College. Bob is from Bayonne, NJ, and his alma mater is Franciscan University of Steubenville. Both Bob and Erin are Marine Corps veterans. They and their three daughters just welcomed a new boy to the family. Bob helps coach the football team at Donahue Catholic and is active with the Knights of Columbus and the Naples St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee. They are both real estate agents at the John R. Wood Properties office located in Ave Maria.

They created this video to celebrate the past twelve months doing business in the town they call home, Ave Maria.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

Lent & Easter liturgies in Ave Maria

As Lent continues, several special liturgies are approaching: Palm Sunday, Holy Week, the Easter Triduum itself, and then Divine Mercy Sunday. The Ave Herald has the schedule, and these AMU flyers provide details for Lenten observances and worship at the Ave Maria Oratory.

image image image imageimage

Bishop Dewane in Ave Maria to support youth

On Saturday evening Bishop Frank Dewane celebrated the vigil Mass at the Ave Maria Oratory with parishioners. His visit was in support of the Youth2000 retreat being held in town this weekend.

Five Franciscan Friars giving the retreat and pastor Father Cory Mayer concelebrated the Mass. With nearly 100 local high school and college students participating,  the retreat was organized by Sister John Paul, O.P., a teacher at Donahue Catholic academy, and supported by dozens of volunteers.

Bishop Dewane expressed joy in his own vocation while encouraging the retreatants to seriously consider whether God might be calling the young men to be priests or Religious, and the young women to enter Religious life. While in town he also spent time with middle school students.

Venice Bishop Frank Dewane distributes Holy Communio at the Ave Maria Oratory assisted by altar boy Joseph Klucik

Venice Bishop Frank Dewane distributes Holy Communion at the Ave Maria Oratory assisted by altar boy Joseph Klucik

A shaft of bright sunlight focuses attention on Venice Bishop Frank Dewane and Father Cory Mayer during Mass in Ave Maria

 

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.

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