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Archive for Bishop Frank Dewane

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.

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Synod on Family and Evangelization highlights what Ave Maria must guard against

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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.

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

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News-Press image – click for full version

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

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

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

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Throwback Saturday: Oratory dedication 2008

It was a great day! Click image below for full story (it’s short but worth a read). Can you find the two references to AMU’ s two mottos?

bishop dewane dedicates ave maria Oratory 2008

This was written when Bishop Dewane dedicated the Ave Maria Oratory in 2008

dewane oratory dewane annoints oratory

Click thumbnails to go to Naples Daily News coverage.

Click here for the video.

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

 

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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