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Major Catholic university, college town set for Florida (Jeb Bush quoted as well)
Ave Maria U. ^ | 11/20/2002 | Ave Maria U.

Posted on 11/20/2002 9:45:39 AM PST by patent

Major Catholic university, college town set for Florida

NAPLES, FLA. (November 20, 2002) - Officials today announced a new Catholic university will be built east of Naples, Fla., with a new town to support it.  The new school, Ave Maria University, will be an academic center of international scope founded on Catholic religious beliefs and committed to developing a Division I-caliber athletics program.

It will be the first major new Catholic university to be founded in the United States in 40 years.  Officials at Ave Maria said they expect to draw outstanding students from all 50 states as well as from other countries.

The new town, also named Ave Maria, will have an integrated town-university center and will be developed in phases in conjunction with the school.  The campus will cover approximately 750 acres, including a world class golf course, in eastern Collier County. The new campus is targeted to open as soon as possible and not later than the fall of 2006.

Construction has already begun on a seven-acre interim campus in Naples, with classroom buildings, student and faculty residences, a campus chapel and an indoor-outdoor recreational facility, that will be ready for the fall of 2003.

The new university will be seeded with approximately $200 million from Thomas S. Monaghan, Domino's Pizza Founder and former owner of the Detroit Tigers, who is also chairman of the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Ave Maria Foundation.

The development of the town, including comprehensive residential areas, will be undertaken through a 50/50 joint venture between Ave Maria University and the Barron Collier Companies, a major southwest Florida real estate and agricultural company that currently owns the property. The partners plan to invest more than $100 million to create phase I of the town.  The land for the university campus will be donated by the Barron Collier Companies to serve as a catalyst for the compact rural development.

We wanted to build a major Catholic university in the southern part of the United States with the highest standards," Monaghan said.  "I can't think of a better place than one of the fastest-growing areas in the country, which is centered around Naples, Fla.This location will be very attractive to students who want the finest Catholic education.  It will offer the best of both worlds -- the great quality of life of Naples and a new dynamic Catholic and educational community.

”The donation of the land to build the university by the partners of the Barron Collier Companies should be publicly acknowledged and is greatly appreciated by everyone at Ave Maria," Monaghan added.

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush congratulated all those responsible for their dedication to making a new major Catholic university in Florida a reality. "As a Catholic, I am very proud that students will be able to obtain an education with the highest academic standards and with a firm grounding in religious and moral values," Gov. Bush said.

The university is targeting an initial enrollment of 650 students at the new campus and has plans to grow to approximately 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students.  The school will have a full curriculum of traditional liberal arts, sciences and engineering programs and a comprehensive graduate program offering master's and doctoral degrees.

Simultaneously with work on the campus, construction will commence on the town center and residential district of the new community planned to grow in support of the university. Barron Collier Companies President Paul J. Marinelli noted that plans for the town include single- and multi-family housing in a wide range of styles and prices, along with commercial and office facilities to accommodate businesses and organizations supporting this major academic institution.

"It's a truly unique approach to educational and land planning," Marinelli said.  "Developing both academic and community features at the same time allows us to create an environment where living and learning form an integrated whole. The campus will be an intrinsic part of the town, and participating in town life will be an enriching aspect of the university experience. Town residents will also benefit from the cultural and academic resources provided by the university."

Officials at Ave Maria had announced last spring that they were seeking a location and that the Naples area was of particular interest. Aware of that interest, Barron Collier Companies contacted Ave Maria to explore the possibility of locating the university on a site within its extensive land holdings in eastern Collier County, where new development guidelines were under consideration by state and county planning authorities.

We thought this was the ideal concept for the area's recently approved 'Rural Stewardship' program, which is designed to protect both the environment and agriculture while promoting economic prosperity," Marinelli said.

Marinelli noted that the partnership has worked very closely with environmental groups to ensure that the area will be developed responsibly, with a strong commitment to preserving the significant environmental resources and the area's rural and agriculture environment. "It's our hope that this project can become a model of environmentally sensitive development for the entire state," he continued.

His Excellency John J. Nevins, D.D., Bishop of the Diocese of Venice, which includes the Naples area, said the new university presents an opportunity for a fruitful lay-clergy partnership that can enhance the spiritual and cultural life while more fully meeting the educational needs of the entire state. "It is exciting to think that our diocese will include what may some day become the Notre Dame of the South," said Bishop Nevins, who is on the university's Board of Ecclesial Advisors along with Cardinals Christoph Schönborn and J. Francis Stafford.

In conjunction with the announcement, Monaghan formally announced the new school's leadership team, which includes Nicholas J. Healy as president; Michael J. Healy (no relation), provost; and Fr. Joseph D. Fessio, S.J., chancellor.

President Healy pointed out that there are relatively few Catholic institutions of higher learning in the southern United States.  Florida has only three, making the state an excellent source of potential local students.

“There's only one Catholic college for about every 800,000 Florida Catholics," Healy said.  "Across the nation, the average is closer to one for every 300,000 Catholics. Combining the under-served Catholic educational market with the attractiveness of going to school in southwest Florida allows Ave Maria tremendous growth potential.  And I think our being here will raise the visibility of Catholic higher education in ways that can benefit all Catholic colleges and universities in the South."

Fr. Fessio added that the school would have convenient access to Central America, where Ave Maria operates an international campus in Nicaragua. "In addition to our international outreach to Central America we look forward to drawing on the rich cultural heritage of the huge and rapidly growing Hispanic Catholic population in the United States. Ave Maria University will be positioned to help prepare these Catholics for future leadership roles," Fr. Fessio said.

The first phase of the permanent campus construction will include a university plaza, academic buildings and a library, along with student residences, dining and recreation facilities, offices, a campus chapel and housing for senior administrators and faculty members.

In discussing the corresponding development of the first phase of the town, Marinelli said the partnership would focus on infrastructure and utilities and would emphasize construction of the integrated campus-town center, on which the university will depend for supportive businesses such as restaurants, financial services, general retail and entertainment.  Close-in residential neighborhoods, including schools, will also be addressed early, to meet the immediate requirements of students, faculty and staff families.

"We see the university as the catalyst for the growth of the town," Marinelli said, "but we realize that a considerable portion of the town will have to be in place in order to attract students and faculty.  So this plan is being approached as an organic whole.  I'm not aware of any other community development effort that has attempted to meet both human and institutional needs in such a balanced, comprehensive manner."

Monaghan said the new university is committed to developing a great sports program.  "This means football, baseball, basketball, golf, tennis, equestrian sports, swimming and other team and individual sports," he said.  "We are committed to being competitive on a national level within the first 20 years of opening our doors."

"And who knows?  In a few years we could have another nationally ranked football team here in Florida," added Gov. Bush.

Editor's Note: Images of Ave Maria University, the town of Ave Maria and key personnel are available on CD or downloadable at www.avemaria.edu/University.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Florida; US: Michigan
KEYWORDS: avemaria; avemariau; catholic; catholiccollege; catholiclist; college; dominos; jebbush; monaghan; naples; thomasmonaghan; university
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1 posted on 11/20/2002 9:45:39 AM PST by patent
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To: ArrogantBustard; Ronaldus Magnus; onedoug; sitetest; sinkspur; Desdemona; american colleen; ...
Bumping. Let me know if you want on or off the list. Click my screen name for a description.

patent  +AMDG

2 posted on 11/20/2002 9:46:21 AM PST by patent
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To: summer
A bump for you as well!
3 posted on 11/20/2002 9:46:39 AM PST by patent
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To: patent
Glad to know all that Domino's Pizza money is going to good use.
4 posted on 11/20/2002 9:50:08 AM PST by Hermann the Cherusker
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To: patent
Wow... this is really something. The area where they want to build this is very poor, very depressed. It is an agricultural area populated by migrant workers who live in deplorable conditions. Hopefully this will help the area.
5 posted on 11/20/2002 9:52:58 AM PST by Jennifer in Florida
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To: patent
Every Catholic university should have a world class golf course!

I'm so relieved they finally found a site.

Thanks, patent
6 posted on 11/20/2002 9:53:15 AM PST by Desdemona
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To: patent
Thanks for the flag.

Hope in God, bump.

7 posted on 11/20/2002 9:57:02 AM PST by onedoug
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To: redlipstick
"And who knows? In a few years we could have another nationally ranked football team here in Florida," added Gov. Bush.

Ping

8 posted on 11/20/2002 9:57:59 AM PST by cyncooper
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To: patent
Thanks for the ping, patent! :)
9 posted on 11/20/2002 9:58:05 AM PST by summer
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To: patent
(BTW, don't add me to any ping lists, but, thanks for this bump re: Gov Bush!) It does not surprise me a Catholic university would want to come to FL when we have a gov like this one:

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush congratulated all those responsible for their dedication to making a new major Catholic university in Florida a reality. "As a Catholic, I am very proud that students will be able to obtain an education with the highest academic standards and with a firm grounding in religious and moral values," Gov. Bush said.

:)
10 posted on 11/20/2002 9:59:50 AM PST by summer
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
Glad to know all that Domino's Pizza money is going to good use.
Yep. Monaghan sold out a while back, though he stayed on to help for a time. I think he is entirely severed from Dominos at this point, and is focusing on charity full time.

patent

11 posted on 11/20/2002 10:02:29 AM PST by patent
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To: patent
Fr. Fessio S.J. as chancellor is a great start.
12 posted on 11/20/2002 10:03:17 AM PST by Tadhg
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To: patent
If this comes off on schedule, it will be the second university opening in Southwest Florida within 10 years. Florida Gulf Coast University opened in Fort Myers in 1997.

Even with FGCU, the area is underserved with regard to colleges and that should help Ave Maria. Excellent choice of location.
13 posted on 11/20/2002 10:06:53 AM PST by Celtjew Libertarian
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To: patent; *Catholic_list; .45MAN; AKA Elena; al_c; american colleen; Angelus Errare; Antoninus; ...
Where can I apply? I think I would at least be competent to teach undergrad bio/anatomy/physiology....maybe work as a podiatrist on the side...this sounds awesome!
14 posted on 11/20/2002 10:07:38 AM PST by Polycarp
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To: Polycarp
The website is listed in the article.

www.avemaria.edu/university

At least think about contributing as a founder.

No word on the music department, yet, though.
15 posted on 11/20/2002 10:09:38 AM PST by Desdemona
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To: Desdemona
We've already contributed, and are hoping to send one or more of the offspring there when the day for that arrives.
16 posted on 11/20/2002 10:11:39 AM PST by Campion
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To: patent
Thanks for the happy ping!

Hopefully it will be ready by the time my kids are ready for college. I'm a bit jealous... wish Ave was being built in Massachusetts were we have tons of CINO Colleges, but none are Catholic.

17 posted on 11/20/2002 10:13:35 AM PST by american colleen
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To: Jennifer in Florida
The area where they want to build this is very poor, very depressed. It is an agricultural area populated by migrant workers who live in deplorable conditions.

I read the article but didn't catch specifics. Is this going to be out near Imoklee?

18 posted on 11/20/2002 10:13:48 AM PST by FreeTally
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To: Campion
We've already contributed, and are hoping to send one or more of the offspring there when the day for that arrives.
Yeah, I would strongly consider sending my kids there. Of course, I have a few years (or decades) to think about it.

patent  +AMDG

19 posted on 11/20/2002 10:15:48 AM PST by patent
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To: Jennifer in Florida
I hope so. I'll bet it will to some extent.
20 posted on 11/20/2002 10:16:45 AM PST by patent
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To: Campion
I'm looking forward, actually, to a new univeristy - a new sense of purpose and spirit.

And yes, I'm installing my contribution, but still sending it in.
21 posted on 11/20/2002 10:17:05 AM PST by Desdemona
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To: patent
And who knows? In a few years we could have another nationally ranked football team here in Florida," added Gov. Bush.

I sincerely hope Jeb was joking, and not being ignorant. Both USF and UCF have larger student bodies than this will probably ever have, and their teams have never been nationally ranked n ot to mention it wouldn't even be Div. 1.

Don't be a goober, Jeb.

22 posted on 11/20/2002 10:17:39 AM PST by FreeTally
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To: FreeTally
Notre Dame has about 7500 undergrads, I believe, as well as a couple thousand graduate students.
23 posted on 11/20/2002 10:20:58 AM PST by patent
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To: patent
Notre Dame has about 7500 undergrads, I believe, as well as a couple thousand graduate students.

And Notre Dame is a popular university that has been around for what, 150-200 years? My point is that the school could not get enough recruits to be a Div 1-A team. I may be wrong about the size of enrollment playing a major part, but UCF, USF and even FIU have football teams and aren't nationally ranked(even though they have put players in the pros).

24 posted on 11/20/2002 10:24:39 AM PST by FreeTally
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To: FreeTally
>>>My point is that the school could not get enough recruits to be a Div 1-A team.

I agree with that, it will be some time before they can field a team, much less compete at Div. 1-A.

25 posted on 11/20/2002 10:27:48 AM PST by patent
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To: Desdemona; patent
At least think about contributing as a founder.

Yeah, I've been procrastinating. I received Fr. Fessio's letter, via Ignatius Press, a while back. I guess it's time to put my money where my mouth is.

patent, thanks for posting this. The concept seems quite appealing. I'm almost tempted to move to Florida. Almost.

26 posted on 11/20/2002 10:31:58 AM PST by ELS
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To: patent
This is phenomenal news.

God Bless Tom Monaghan, Barron Collier Companies, and Fr. Fessio!
27 posted on 11/20/2002 10:38:20 AM PST by ThomasMore
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To: FreeTally
I highlighted that quote to ping somebody. I'm female so not the football afficionado you might be. I thought it was cute and meant as supportive--not a prediction.

(Though isn't it true that hope always springs eternal for sports fans?)

28 posted on 11/20/2002 10:38:30 AM PST by cyncooper
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To: patent
But, Ave Maria will actually be Catholic, unlike Notre Dame, as long as Monaghan has anything to say about it and maybe much longer if he is careful in developing it.
29 posted on 11/20/2002 10:43:54 AM PST by BlackElk
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To: american colleen
Hi AC,

Let's see... we have in our Mass/RI area

PC = Providence College = Partly Catholic
BC = Boston College = Barely Catholic
HC = Holy Cross = Hardly Catholic
AC = Assumption College = Almost Catholic

are there any others? LOL!
30 posted on 11/20/2002 10:45:15 AM PST by ThomasMore
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To: patent
Thanks so much, patent. We had received a letter from Ft. Fessio about a month ago asking folks to become Founders of the new university (which we did). I didn't know where the school was going to be located, I was just intrigued by the concept of the 'University town', and even more excited about a TRULY Catholic university. I know the original Ave Maria College is in Michigan, and I was hoping they'd locate somewhere WARMER! This is exciting. It sounds as though they'll be open by the time our daughter is ready for college!
31 posted on 11/20/2002 10:46:47 AM PST by SuziQ
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Comment #32 Removed by Moderator

To: BlackElk
But, Ave Maria will actually be Catholic, unlike Notre Dame,
True, but so far as I know being Catholic doesn’t hurt your football skills. On the other hand the Bishop’s comment in the article gave me pause, being that it wasn’t limited to sports:
"It is exciting to think that our diocese will include what may some day become the Notre Dame of the South," said Bishop Nevins

patent  +AMDG

33 posted on 11/20/2002 10:52:26 AM PST by patent
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To: patent
Monoghan Bump.

A Catholic school that actually promotes Catholic morals and ideals?

It's a novel thought these days.

34 posted on 11/20/2002 10:54:34 AM PST by The Iguana
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To: FreeTally
Monaghan - former owner of the Tigers - ALWAYS mentions that someday the university will have a top notch Div I sports program. I am convinced it will happen.
35 posted on 11/20/2002 10:56:14 AM PST by Notwithstanding
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To: Notwithstanding
I think this is great news!

I am already familiar with the school of law, but this article doesn't mention it. Do you think the school of law will also move to FL? Any word on this?
36 posted on 11/20/2002 11:02:40 AM PST by bourbon
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To: Notwithstanding
When will you be graduating from Ave Maria School of Law?
37 posted on 11/20/2002 11:12:39 AM PST by ELS
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To: ELS
He will graduate in May, the same time I am.

My sister goes to Ave Maria College, and I know a number of the professors personally. Some of them have indicated that the future of this university is in doubt, due to a tyrannical administration. The president of the school lowered the academic standards and then replaced the dean with a VERY young (nice, but young) and impressionable dean.

My sister loves the school, and all schools have their problems, but lowering academic standards (and driving away your best professors) and placing such an emphasis on athletics is a recipe for failure.

38 posted on 11/20/2002 11:42:02 AM PST by davidwendell
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To: patent
I can only think of a handful of Catholic universities that would be worth the tuition. Ave Maria would be one of them. The others: Steubenville, Aquinas, Christendom. Anyone know of any other good, orthodox, Catholic universities?
39 posted on 11/20/2002 11:50:48 AM PST by Aquinasfan
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To: patent; All
Hey, does anyone know why post #32 was removed?
40 posted on 11/20/2002 12:05:49 PM PST by ThomasMore
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To: Polycarp; patent
<> You'd be a great addition..I live about 4hrs away from Naples. Let me know when Y'all are headed there and we'll meet for Mass and Lunch....

Abandon the North..remember Isaias, the devil "took up sides in the North" when he was tossed out of Heaven :)<>

41 posted on 11/20/2002 12:08:22 PM PST by Catholicguy
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To: AKA Elena; american colleen; Antoninus; Aquinasfan; Aristophanes; ArrogantBustard; Askel5; ...
the Ave Maria Foundation:

http://www.avemariafoundation.org/
42 posted on 11/20/2002 12:23:32 PM PST by Notwithstanding
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To: patent
"And who knows? In a few years we could have another nationally ranked football team here in Florida," added Gov. Bush.

And they'll probably win their first game with a "Hail Mary" pass, which is pretty much what "Ave Maria" means, right?

43 posted on 11/20/2002 12:37:46 PM PST by southernnorthcarolina
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To: Aquinasfan
Catholics United for the Faith has their picks listed at: Catholic Colleges & Universities
- Assumption College
- Ave Maria College
- Christendom College
- The College of St. Thomas More
- Franciscan University of Steubenville
- Magdalen College
- Our Lady of Corpus Christi
- Thomas Aquinas College
- Thomas More College of Liberal Arts

I'm kind of surprised to see Assumption listed here...

44 posted on 11/20/2002 1:19:03 PM PST by american colleen
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To: southernnorthcarolina
Correct. I would think the defense would be on guard for that one.
45 posted on 11/20/2002 1:27:00 PM PST by patent
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To: american colleen
We have a daughter who attends Franciscan U. at Stuebenville, we are thrilled. They say "real" catholic colleges are on the move, praise God.
46 posted on 11/20/2002 1:43:34 PM PST by Cap'n Crunch
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To: american colleen
Assumption College = Almost Catholic

At one time it stood for Anti-Catholic. Some friends of ours sent their two daughters there back in the eigthies? and they came out athiest! They are still heartbroken. But I've heard that it has been converted from its former pagan ways and is trying to regain its former Catholic identity.
47 posted on 11/20/2002 1:56:29 PM PST by ThomasMore
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To: ThomasMore
Yes, I knew a few Assumption Grads and I think I knew more about Catholicism than they did. I was talking about Confession yesterday with a friend of mine who graduated from Stonehill College (Holy Cross Fathers) in the early 80's. She said that they did away with it and she knows this is true because at college, the priests would, at gatherings, give everyone present general absolution. She's a fairly regular churchgoer. I asked her what she thought about "whoever's sins you forgive are forgiven and whoever's sins you retain are retained" in the bible, and she said "you don't believe everything in the bible, do you?"
48 posted on 11/20/2002 2:05:45 PM PST by american colleen
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To: american colleen
"you don't believe everything in the bible, do you?"

This is precisely the problem infecting the Church today. Dissident theology has been left unchecked! That's why Ave Maria College will be a great addition to the rest of the good Catholic Colleges.

Fr. Fessio is a great priest, too!

49 posted on 11/20/2002 2:08:57 PM PST by ThomasMore
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To: ThomasMore
Yes. Most of us (me until recently) always figured that if a priest (particularly) or a nun said something or did something (like general absolution) then it must be OK, although in my case, it niggled at me and I never did accept general absolution. It saddens me that so many priests add to the confusion.

Praise God He is raising up some wonderful priests (and deacons!) to do His work... like Father Fessio and a host of others... before the advent of TV and the Internet, these priests could not reach so many. I'm thinking of Frs. Pakwa, Groeschel, Neuhaus, Straub, Chaput, Bruskewitz -- my gosh! when you think about it, there are so many good ones! And now a new "real" Catholic College. Heady times!

50 posted on 11/20/2002 3:27:58 PM PST by american colleen
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