Saturday, June 30, 2007

This is dedicated to the Dominican Sisters (click here) of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist...

...for setting a virtuous example for the rest of us, vis-à-vis their relationship to the Ave Maria Foundation. The sisters will help to staff the new Ave Maria Grammar and Preparatory School in Ave Maria, Florida.

Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive (click to listen)

Artist: Johnny Mercer. Billboard #1 in 1945 (also covered by Bing Crosby, the Andrews Sisters, Artie Shaw and Kay Kyser). Words and Music by Harold Arlen & Johnny Mercer.

Gather 'round me, everybody
Gather 'round me while I'm preachin'
Feel a sermon comin' on me
The topic will be sin and that's what I'm ag'in'

If you wanna hear my story
Then settle back and just sit tight
While I start reviewin'
The attitude of doin' right

You've got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between

You've got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
Have faith or pandemonium's
Liable to walk upon the scene

To illustrate my last remark
Jonah in the whale, Noah in the ark
What did they do just when everything looked so dark?

Man, they said: "We'd better accentuate the positive"
"Eliminate the negative"
"And latch on to the affirmative"
"Don't mess with Mister In-Between" (No!)
"Don't mess with Mister In-Between"

Friday, June 29, 2007

Law School admissions are smoking hot, Dean Roboski is "en fuego"

The Ave Maria School of Law has reported some amazing news regarding the upcoming class of 2010. The news speaks for itself and is a tribute to the administration, the faculty, the staff, the alumni and the students. Thank you Dean Charles Roboski - well done! You continue the excellent tradition of Dean Mike Kenney. From the school's website (emphasis added):

The application cycle for the fall 2007 entering class (the Class of 2010) has been extremely fruitful for Ave Maria School of Law. As of June 22, 2007, the applicant pool is an incredible 63% larger than the pool for the fall 2006 entering class at the same point in time. The dramatic volume increase is especially noteworthy in light of a national applicant-pool decline of 4.2%. Indeed, Ave Maria is one of only three ABA-approved law schools to experience an increase of this magnitude. The Admissions Office would like to formally acknowledge and thank the many students, staff, faculty, alumni, and supporters who helped make this achievement possible.

In terms of the class entering in August 2007, based on what is known at the present time, we expect to enroll between 120 and 130 students. Deposited candidates are from all regions of the country, nearly 100 undergraduate colleges, and include both traditional and non-traditional students. We look forward to welcoming the Class of 2010 when Orientation gets underway on August 20, 2007.

Members of the Class of 2010 can click here for a heartfelt welcome message.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

How will the Chapels of Ave Maria Incorporate the Motu Proprio?

Here is latest from the Vatican Press Office on the much-discussed and highly-anticipated motu proprio regarding the 1962 Mass:

Si è svolta ieri pomeriggio in Vaticano una riunione, presieduta dal Cardinale Segretario di Stato, in cui è stato illustrato ai rappresentanti di diverse conferenze episcopali il contenuto e lo spirito dell’annunciato "Motu proprio" del Santo Padre sull’uso del Messale promulgato da Giovanni XXIII nel 1962. Il Santo Padre si è recato a salutare i presenti e si è intrattenuto con loro in un’approfondita conversazione per circa un’ora. La pubblicazione del documento – che sarà accompagnato da un’ampia lettera personale del Santo Padre ai singoli Vescovi - è prevista entro alcuni giorni, quando il documento stesso sarà stato inviato a tutti i Vescovi con la indicazione della sua successiva entrata in vigore.
One attempt (not mine) at a translation:

A meeting took place yesterday afternoon at the Vatican, presided by the Cardinal Secretary of State, in which the content and the spirit of the expected "Motu proprio" of the Holy Father on the use of the Missal promulgated by John XXIII in 1962 were explained to the representatives of several episcopal conferences. The Holy Father came to salute those who were present and maintained a deep discussion with them for about one hour. The publication of the document - which will be accompanied by a thorough personal letter of the Holy Father to the singular Bishops - is predicted for within a few days, when the document itself will be sent to all Bishops with the indication of its successive coming into effect.
The many chapels of Ave Maria will certainly be worth watching as they rise to the occasion.

UPDATE: The NYT has reported the following quote from AMU's Father Fessio:

The Rev. Joseph Fessio, an American Jesuit priest who has published the pope’s books, said: “Because he is such a deliberate person, it is hard for me to think that he will have done all these drafts and spent all this time and not publish it. If he really believes it would help the church and doesn’t do it because some bishops complain, then all he does is strengthen the position of those bishops who want to oppose him.”
UPDATE 2: A WaPo article on this new motu proprio quotes an Ave Maria Law alum, the erudite and charming Mary Anne Zivnuska. Both the WaPo and NYT quote people with Ave Maria bona fides in their reporting on the motu proprio; the nation's papers of record know where they can find no-nonsense Catholics, no?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Law School Success Confounds "Natural" Enemies

The Ave Maria School of Law was founded to save the natural law ("the only secure foundation for human freedom") from practical extinction by sending her graduates into the corridors of influence and power:

Formed by outstanding professional training and a distinctive educational
philosophy, Ave Maria’s graduates are equipped for leading positions in law
firms, corporate legal offices, the judiciary, and national, state, and local

The legal establishment's status-quo fan-club seems to be both mad and afraid that the law school is succeeding as planned. They have been complaining for months about the hiring of Ave Maria alumni by the Department of Justice, but the most recent expression of indignancy by the New York Times - for once - contains objective quantifiable data. This data is worth crowing about:

The Jurist is also upset by this laudable DOJ attempt to end the ideological monopoly among DOJ civil rights attorneys (such as that of the activist lesbian Elaine Kaplan). In its thoughtful summary of the situation, Christianity Today notes that racism is not the only source of civil rights violations.

NB: the data format is misleading; 2003 (not 2000) is the first year Ave Maria Law grads were available for hire.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Scholarship Helps Immokalee Woman Pursue Impossible Dream

The generosity of the Ave Maria Univeristy has made it possible for a young Guatemalan woman to pursue her studies and her dream of becoming a teacher. Ofelia Perez, who has lived in nearby Immokalee since she was three, has recieved a full 4-year scholarship to study at Ave Maria. This article explains why this dream would have been almost impossible for Miss Perez to achieve without the school's generosity.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Putting Your Money Where Your Traditional Values Are

Kiplinger's observes what some of us already know: socially responsible investment (SRI) in mutual funds that shun the homosexual agenda, abortion and contraception is both virtuous and profitable.

One of the most famous SRI funds, Domini Social Equity, has lagged the market by a bit less than one percentage point per year since its 1991 inception. But some SRI funds do much better. Ave Maria Catholic Values Fund [AVEMX] has beaten the S&P 500 by an average of five percentage points a year over the past five years. The fund, run by George Schwartz, shuns firms connected with abortion (some hospitals and insurers) and contraception, as well as those that contribute to Planned Parenthood.
In case you were wondering: Domini funds, among other things, shun companies that produce safe, abundant, renewable nuclear energy. (NB: Ave Maria Mutual Funds are for-profit investment funds that are independent from the Ave Maria Foundation.)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Of Gratitude and Generosity

The Ave Maria Foundation may well be the single most generous contributor to Catholic causes at the close of the 20th and the opening of the 21st Century. According to IRS 990 form, from 1998-2005, the Foundation gave away close to ¼ of a billion dollars, most of it to Catholic education, which has been suffering since the decline of vocations in the wake of rising liberalism in the 60’s and 70’s. A close examination of the data demonstrates that salaries have been quite generous at these institutions. For example, a number of professors at Ave Maria School of Law have recieved annual compensation of over $130,000 since the law school opened in 2000. The whole church in the U.S. has been the beneficiary of this generosity, and, we suggest a spirit of gratitude should be our response. Thank you, Thomas Monaghan.

Over 85 organizations have recieved a portion of the $235,000,000.00 donated by the Ave Maria Foundation through 2005. A partial list is below:

Ave Maria University, Inc.$116,869,641
Ave Maria School of Law$45,314,959
Ave Maria College$22,590,368
Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist$14,140,552
Spiritus Sanctus Academy$6,742,053
Roman Catholic Diocese of Lansing Michigan$4,100,000
Thomas More Law Center$4,099,712
Ave Maria University$4,084,665

Virtual Visit to the New Campus

This Spring the roads in Ave Maria were not yet open to public traffic. There was so much interest in the new town and campus that the developers and the university arranged bus tours every weekend. The tours were packed - and they even expanded the offerings based on the crowds. Thanks to an anonymous citizen of the web, we can all take one of these guided tours.

Click on the links over on the right hand column of this blog's home page to view the tour.

Monday, June 4, 2007

The Very Heart of Ave Maria

What's at the core of the new university town of Ave Maria, Florida, is not simply fancy real estate or manicured streets, but a unique modern-gothic edifice that says it all. Many new housing developments strive to offer residents meaning, substance, and a nostalgic sense of community by building a faux "town square" - but something always seems to be missing. Happily, at the center of THIS new town is the very essence of meaning, substance and community: the altar and tabernacle of Christ the Lord. Nothing faux or incomplete about that.

Those who would delight in worshipping the Lord at Mass each day in such a special church are the sort who will want to populate this new town. Will you be there on Christmas Eve 2007 to celebrate the first Mass?

Until then, you can take a virtual tour of the new oratory by clicking on the link at the right hand column of this blog's home page.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

In Paradise Even the Bad News is Good!

What does a bursting real estate bubble mean in Southwest Florida? As property values across the country are stagnating or declining, with statistics that would be the envy of most of the country, a bursting real estate bubble in Southwest Florida means that real estate values only went up 7% over last year. To the extent that real estate values are an indication of economic strength and attractiveness of the area, Ave Maria U's and the Law School's move from the rust belt looks increasingly wise.

Here is the article from the Naples News:
Property value increase lowest in a decade

Preliminary 2007 taxable property values rose by only about 7 percent from the 2006 total; officials say news not a surprise

June 1, 2007

The bubble has officially burst on the Collier County real estate market. Preliminary 2007 taxable property values increased by only about 7 percent from the 2006 total.

P.S. Meanwhile, real estate values in Ann Arbor dropped by 6.5% over last year.