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)
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.
Depends on state law, I guess. IIRC, only a small percentage of states treat sexual orientation as a protected category. There is no federal protection for sexual orientation that I am aware of.
The other things he proposes, such as banning the sale of contraceptives, can probably done so long as they are put in deed restrictions by the developer and not imposed by whatever city council will eventually run this place.
Not sure how he could keep pornography out. He cannot prevent people from getting satelite dishes, for example.
Additionally he founded and funded a nation wide anti-pornography entity.
He also appeared before the House committee on Savings and Loans where he pointed out the pitfalls of the government insuring home loans by less than financially secure lending institutions. In essence they told him to go fly a kite.
He donated large sums of money to pay for appearances by Pope John Paul II as well as Mother Theresa in Phoenix.
And then one fine day some reporters asked him if the reason he gave large contributions to the Senators from Arizona was to get access to them,he replied (this is paraphrasing) ":of course, I am the largest employer(?)in Arizona and there are times when I need to talk to the Senators about how laws and regulations will eventually effect their constituents,access is the driving force behind campaign contributions".
You would have thought that he had said he rectally examined his employees at the end of the day to be sure they weren't smuggling out secrets or supplies,the reporters were stunned it seems. Whatever,that was the signal to "get him" and get him they did. They went after him,his businesses and his family and some really unspeakable things happened that were terrible.
Please understand that I am sure that he did sequence some things predicated on the existing rules of the game that were less than above board but had the rules and practices used by most of the big "elite" power players been in effect for him,all of those greedy complainers they hauled up to testify would have been satisfied. Instead the beneficiaries were that select group of people that the RTC offered his property to for cents on the dollar,not to mention all of the big government,self righteous do-gooders and immoral purveyors of porn and sex that couldn't wait to get this pesky thorn out of their sides.
Because of seeing first hand how the sharks attack good men I worry about this plan of the pizza man. However,I will pray for him and ask everyone I know to pray for him and as we all know prayer is ever efficacious.
Is he any relation to Karl Keating of the Catholic Answers Live?
It's not illegal becasue he (they) will own the land.
It's not illegal for the Amish to live in their communities so why would it be illegal for Catholics to do the same?
Also what about the private condo and gated communities that have applications for prospective residents? They also specify behavior and other restrictions.
I think it's an intriguing idea, but the scale is too ambitious. Big enterprises make big targets in my view. The scale of this is going to attract problems in and of itself.
While I do hope this works out, I don't think I would want to live there.
Interestingly enough, Florida had a "Catholics only" town in the late 19th century. The town of San Antonio, near St. Leo's (home of the Benedictine abbey and university of that name), was founded by a wealthy individual as a place for Catholics to come and live, rear their kids in a Christian environment with a Catholic school in town, etc. The idea eventually faded away, and while the town with its central square remains, the only sign that it was once Catholic seems to be the large display of Nativity scenes the residents put up every year.
St. Leo's, of course, is still there and doing just fine. Both are in central Florida, probably an hour and a half or so from Ave Maria.
Yes, if you do a search on FR for Ave Maria -- there are many threads going back several years.
Don't have time to do it now since my car just died and I am debating myself about what to do.
Covenants against selling homes to people because of their race or religion have been illegal for almost 60 years. He could not force his buyers to refuse to sell to non-Catholics.