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
Nothing in the article says that the town will be "Catholics-only". That would be illegal anyway.
Remember that this is an educational operation. Those graduates WILL be going out into the world to impact and renew the culture.
Okay, I want to live there! Sounds like heaven to me!
They'll be going out into the world to be devoured if they don't understand the temptations and enemies they'll face.
It doesn't take a village... just responsible parenting.
I hear the mosquitos in FL are the size of bats and more ferocious :-)
No, those are the Palmetto Bugs.
I wonder why.
Another thought.... maybe this will inspire Mel to build one in Malibu!!! He's already built a church...
Look! There's even a moat surrounding it. From the link ..
The Ave Maria community totals about 5,000 acres, of which nearly 20% has been designated as the University campus. Connecting the University and the Town is a Town Core anchored by the landmark Oratory and incorporating retail and commercial space as well as residential condominiums.
Three additional commercial centers will provide essential goods and services, entertainment and dining, enabling residents and students alike to live, work and play within the community, often traveling by foot or bicycle.
When completed, the Town will contain some 11,000 residential dwellings in a wide variety of price ranges and neighborhoods. From rental apartments to condominiums, and from starter to estate homes, Ave Maria will offer something for nearly everyone.
Community resources will include an on-site fire/sheriff/EMS building, as well as medical facilities provided in partnership with the NCH Healthcare System; all will be operational when the community opens.
A significant network of parks and recreational areas has been included; in fact, about 45% of the total town area is devoted to lakes and open space. The Collier County Public Schools have been gifted land for both an elementary and a middle school, and the University plans a K-12 parochial school to be operational when the first phase of the community opens.
It is anticipated that the first phase of the University and Town, including representative housing and commercial areas, will be operational in mid 2007.
I don't know. This 'utopia' may start out just fine but how long before "Fr. Flapdoodle" manages to wend his way into town and train the "younguns'" in liturgical dance. The trad posse would then have to lynch him and the Ave Maria law students might have to defend them.
"I hope it works now, but if not, one day it will."
I wish the guy well, but I seriously doubt this will work.
It is defensive in nature, whereas my experience tells me the Holy Spirit works on the offensive.
I look to the underground Church in China as an example of how God works to influence a society - and there it seems He primarily works through people who as willing to do His will no matter what the cost - even including death.
I alluded to Waco for a reason. I think, the government will not allow it to exist, and it will stop at nothing to destroy it. Note that there are very serious legal issues Ave Maria will have to face regarding the federal abortion regime, to pick just one example. Ave Maria, -- if orthodox Catholic vision prevails in its construction, -- will be provoked into defiance of the law, and then it will be treated with force.
Would it work in absence of the hostile state? Europe consisted of religiously monolithic communities under Church law for about a thousand years and that state of affairs gave us the Western Civilization.
It is not a defensive enterprise. To build a society informed by the Church is the best offensive tool there is. The Church started by showing the pagans how to properly live. There is simply no alternative: Christian way of life is the core of Christian witness. I fear, however, that the cost might be more than a pizza empire, and paid in blood.
I have a backlog of posts to respond to, so please give me time to respond further about this.
Leading by example, a real start to traditonal values.
Os4 God Bless America!
For a typical layman, his greatest witness to the world is his manner of life.
If this were one isolated location, your objection might apply. If this were the beginning of a trend of going and founding new towns run on Christian principals, it would not.
The Amish seem to be doing fine. The important thing is a very high birthrate and retainment rate.
Wait until it's built before anyone moves.
Tom is a wonderful person and Dominos supports Pro-life causes (even without him there) BUT he is well know in MI for starting things and then pulling his $$$$$$$.
I heard that there is a group of nuns suing him because he started and elementary school then pulled the financing.
He is only going to put some restrictions on occupants. That is done by developers all the time.
Unrelated but one might recall Disney's "Celebration" experience-a model town which was suppose to reflect a great lifestyle. It didn't work and Disney sold "Celebration".
Just wait until a "gay" Catholic wants to buy a home in Ava Maria. Does anyone think someone will be able to stop them?
No, developers do not restrict occupants based on religion, race, or national origin. That has been illegal in the US at least since the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
The Ave Maria people certainly know this. These liberal critics are attempting to discredit Ave Maria before it even starts by portraying it as discriminatory.
However, he can prevent the establishment of such institiutions as "gentlemen's bars." or other places of low repute. The problem is that as time wears on, the original owners of homes are replaced by persons of a different stripe.