Monday, March 31, 2008

Jesus is in the house: Town Overjoyed as Bishop Places Eucharistic Lord in Tabernacle of Ave Maria Oratory

Under sunny blue skies, the residents and students of Ave Maria, joined by hundreds of others, celebrated the day that the Incarnation was made known by the message of an angel as they delighted in the long-anticipated dedication ceremony of the absolute center of town: the Ave Maria Oratory.

As the sounds of the university schola cantorum filled the oratory with rich angelic songs of praise, the worshippers praised God for all He has done and prayed that their own efforts might give some small glory to God, each one contemplating how it is that they came to be part of this great apostolate - and this new parish.

For some it has been a journey of over 10 years and thousands of miles. For others it was an unexpected and more recent journey across town. But for all, it was a journey TO the heart of the Church: the altar and tabernacle of the Lord.

Bishop Frank Dewane was jubilant throughout the Mass and most gracious at the press conference held immediately afterwards, during which he repeated his delight in Ave Maria University and Town and his expectations and hopes that both will rapidly grow. His public and enthusiastic embrace of Ave Maria was not what the assembled press corps expected -- and they tried in vain to provoke some sign of anything but warmth and joy in his excellency.

It was a day to savor the sweet splendor of Truth.

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Naples News Photos, top to bottom: Bishop Dewane before liturgy begins. Bishop Dewane delivers homily. Newly announced parish administrator, Father Robert Tatman, greets residents. Bishop Dewane annoints walls with oil. Priests process into the oratory.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Fresh Air: Reporter Covering Church Affairs Actually Does Some Homework!

Kudos to Naples News reporter Liam Dillon, who has recently written several articles (here, here, and here) that indicate he actually did some research about the religious topic he was covering.

Pointing this out is no slap at Mr. Dillon, but at his profession, wherein his colleagues across the USA normally cover religion as cliche and simply refuse do the hard work of chewing on foreign concepts and different paradigms, understanding them, and then actually informing their audiences. Maybe it's laziness, maybe it's their own belief that religion is cliche.

But it appears as if Liam Dillon is really interested in getting it right, and in doing the hard work associated with that. Perhaps it is because through his interactions with the people he meets as he covers Ave Maria University and Ave Maria, Florida, he has come to realize that their story and what makes them tick are much more important than a cliche.

While no doubt he will continue to get a few things wrong (almost every article in every newspaper in the country has a few errors), he is to be commended for the effort he is putting into covering Ave Maria. Lets hope that continues.

(Now, if we can only do something about the misleading and/or sensational headlines his editors attach to his work.)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Gaudeamus Hodie: The Parish of the Ave Maria Oratory to be Dedicated

So much to celebrate! It's Easter - He is risen, alleluia! And we have even more reason to rejoice:

Bishop of the Diocese of Venice to Dedicate the Quasi-Parish of the Ave Maria Oratory

The Dedication of the Church and Holy Mass to be Celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Dewane on March 31, 2008

WHAT: His Excellency Bishop Frank J. Dewane of the Diocese of Venice in Florida will dedicate the "Quasi-Parish of the Ave Maria Oratory" and celebrate its inaugural Mass on Monday, March 31, 2008. The Quasi-Parish,* equivalent to a parish, will be erected to provide pastoral care for the students, faculty and staff of Ave Maria University and the residents of Ave Maria Town.

The dedication of the new Church begins with a sprinkling rite of the new structure and the faithful gathered therein, followed by the Liturgy of the Word. Then the Litany of Saints, and a special prayer of dedication is recited. After the prayer both the altar and the Church building are anointed with sacred Chrism oil, a long-standing tradition since the days of early Christianity. The anointing of the altar makes it a symbol of Christ, the "anointed One". The anointing of the walls in four distinct places sets the building aside as a house of worship. The Holy Eucharist will then be celebrated on the newly-anointed altar of the dedicated Church.

The 104-foot Oratory is at the center of La Piazza in Ave Maria, Fla., and has a seating capacity of 1,100.

WHO: Most Reverend Frank J. Dewane, Bishop of the Diocese of Venice will be main celebrant of the Dedication of the new Church and the Holy Mass. Priests in the area are invited to concelebrate.

WHEN: 2 p.m. Monday, March 31, 2008

There will be a press conference immediately after mass (approximately 3:45 p.m.):

-- Most Reverend Frank J. Dewane, Bishop of the Diocese of Venice in Florida

-- Adela Gonzales White, Spokesperson for the Diocese of Venice in Florida

-- Thomas S. Monaghan, Ave Maria University Chancellor

-- Nicholas J. Healy, Ave Maria University President

WHERE: The Parish of the Ave Maria Oratory, Ave Maria, FL 34142

NOTE: Reserved seating and camera areas at the dedication and Mass will be available to the media. Please confirm attendance with Branden Blackmur at 239.774.9797 x 22 or to ensure adequate space will be available.
* Editorial Note: Canon 516-1 provides that "a quasi-parish is equivalent to a parish; a quasi-parish is a definite community of the Christian faithful within a particular church which has been entrusted to a priest as its proper pastor but due to particular circumstances has not yet been erected as a parish."

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Ave Maria University offers wholesome "Guys & Dolls" conversion story; NDU offers Holy Week "Vagina Monologues"

This week, the students of AMU presented a wonderful production of the Broadway musical Guys & Dolls, which is a humorous story about wayward craps shooters who find redemption in the women they marry. It was a nice evening of wholesome entertainment before the sober mood of Holy Week arrives tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the president of Notre Dame University, Father John Jenkins, spent this week defending his university's intellectually stimulating production of the filthy and pornographic Vagina Monologues - its annual Lenten orgy. Kudos to Bishop John D'Arcy of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, for taking Father Jenkins to task for sponsoring such harmful sewage at Notre Dame.

Congratulations to AMU President Healy and the entire campus for its wonderful Performing Arts program and its wholesome and vibrant atmosphere.

Round the Clock Emergency Services Now in Ave Maria, Florida

Ave Maria now has a medical clinic staffed during the week and emergency medical teams in town 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And residents know that you can't drive through town without seeing a sheriff driving by or the AMU security patrol making their rounds through the town. One more reason the people in Ave Maria find it such a great place to live. Here is an excerpt from the Naples News:
The first beneficiary of Collier County commissioners’ decision to bail out its Emergency Medical Services is Ave Maria. On Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. — the morning after the county ratified a budget amendment to stave off substantial cuts in emergency services — Collier EMS began staffing a transport unit with two medics 24 hours a day, seven days a week at the town’s new emergency services facility. EMS officials moved the unit from North Naples. The unit was waiting for a station to call its own and was previously working out of NCH’s North Naples Hospital, according to EMS Chief Jeff Page. Collier EMS will share the Ave Maria facility with firefighters from the Immokalee Fire District, which began a 12-hour daily shift in Ave Maria last month. The Collier County Sheriff’s Office provides police protection for the town, but does not have a staffed station on site.