Skip to comments.Man to build Catholics-only town
Posted on 02/27/2006 10:26:11 AM PST by annalex
Tom Monaghan, the founder of the Domino's Pizza chain, has stirred protests from civil rights activists by declaring that Ave Maria's pharmacies will not be allowed to sell condoms or birth control pills. The town's cable television network will carry no X-rated channels.
The town will be centred on a 30m tall oratory and the first Catholic university to be built in the US for 40 years.
The university's president, Nicholas J. Healy, has said future students should "help rebuild the city of God" in a country suffering from "catastrophic cultural collapse".
Monaghan, 68, sold his takeaway chain in 1998 for an estimated $1.5 billion.
A devout Catholic who has ploughed millions into religious projects - including radio stations, primary schools and a Catholic law faculty in Michigan - Monaghan has bought about 2000ha previously used by migrant farmers.
The land on the western edge of the Everglades swamp will eventually house up to 30,000 people, with 5000 students living on the university campus.
Florida officials have declared the project a development bonanza for a depressed area and Governor Jeb Bush attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the university earlier this month.
Civil rights activists and other watchdogs concerned about the separation of church and state are threatening lawsuits if Ave Maria attempts to enforce Catholic dogma - none of which has deterred Monaghan, who initially tried to build his new university in Michigan but could not get permission.
Asked recently about possible lawsuits in Florida, he replied: "That's great. That would be the best publicity we could get."
Monaghan was sent to a Catholic orphanage with his brother James after the death of their father on Christmas Eve 1941. After serving with the US Marines and later dropping out of university, he founded Domino's in 1960 with his brother, who sold back his share for a Volkswagen Beetle.
Monaghan then set about building what became America's second-largest pizza chain. He collected antique cars, bought a yacht and became the owner of the Detroit Tigers baseball team.
About 15 years ago he read Mere Christianity by CS Lewis. "That was a big turnaround," he said recently. "I decided to simplify my life. No more airplanes, no more yachts. It's been a big relief."
Sources close to the project said Monaghan was particularly disturbed by what he regards as the failure of Western civilisation to resist Islamic fundamentalism. In a speech to students last year Healy warned that Islam "no longer faces a religiously dynamic West".
From The Sunday Times
For your pinging pleasure.
I guess no New York Times writers will be retiring there.
But I'd like to check it out.
I hope it works out for him. What a great way to avoid the Noid...
I am excited about this. God bless him and Ave Maria University.
I'm not even Catholic but it sounds good to me.
I assumed you already knew about this. There is a lot more information here:
If it were in Texas, I'd seriously consider moving there. Such a community would be a dream come true for us.
I knew about Ave Maria University, but I did not realize it was planning to build an entire town around it!
(I wonder, will Orthodox Christians be welcome?)
This Baptist gal thought the same thing. The values Monaghan strives to encourage in this mini Utopia far outweigh religious differences. Somehow I think Protestants would be most welcome (although Islamofascists, not so much).
---"After serving with the US Marines and later dropping out of university, he founded Domino's in 1960 with his brother, who sold back his share for a Volkswagen Beetle."---
Hope he liked the ride! Whoa!
So, um, when we moving NYer?
I'm not sure how I feel about this. Jesus didn't call His diciples to retreat into seclusion. They had to go out into the world and make disciples of the pagans and the Jews. This sounds like a Catholic ghetto or isolated Amish-esque community.
I wish him luck, but I wouldn't live there.
Sort of my take also (I a Lutheran BTW). Probably a great place to raise kids, but we are called to be a light to the world.
But at the same time a movement like this COULD be a light. A view of a way of life that is unlike what you can see in most US towns.
These "utopia" towns never work.
I suppose a "Catholic-only" town means only the early town magisterium is capable of handing down the rules and you don't question it. This as opposed to a "Protestant-only" town where someone makes the rules and everyone questions it. :O)