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 bblackmur@robertfalls.com 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."