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
That's not the only lthing he has pulled financing for. There is a certain college known as Ave Maria College where he has pulled funding! He is starting an Ave Maria University in Florida.
Actually, from what I heard, that is the same University.
He wants everyone to move to FL and when I talked to one of the more $$$ employees, he said no way.
Everyone else seems to be giving the same answer. They are not moving families on an "if come".
Oooo, I should have read this post first. You know all about it...
It is sad, really.
It appears that Monaghan has a VERY big ego. It is his way or the highway.
There are So many stories from those who are there in the thick of things. AND there are a few lawsuits, from what I hear.
Ave Maria Law School is now having trouble. It is a great law school where Judge Bork taught (Still teaches ? maybe) but they are being forced to move to Florida as well. Monaghan got the Dean of Notre Dame Law School to come to AMLaw but then just fired him late last year because he didn't want to leave MI.
Actually, their numbers have increased very rapidly, and they now are approaching 200,000.
The policy is not to give the farm to the oldest son, but to buy farms for all the sons. Generally, the father is still working and quite young (mid-40's) when his first son is ready to strike out on his own and start his own family. It is only many years later that most of them retire and pass the farm on in their family or to another Amishman.
Since the Amish do not participate in modern consumerist culture, don't own cars, don't own mechanized farm equipment, don't buy insurance, don't use electricity, don't pay social security and medicare taxes, and buy their assets generally unencumbered by debts their farms (and other businesses) are very profitable, and they have a large cash accrual each year that permits them to save towards these major purchases.
What you are perhaps getting at has been two tendencies: the extremely high price of land in Lancaster, PA, forcing many Amish to migrate to cheaper parts of the country such as upstate New York, western Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Wisconsin, etc. to found new colonies; and also a new tendency to open up small manufacturies or construction trade businesses instead of farming.
I'm not aware of any Amish living in cities. Some do live in small towns.
The defection rate from every authority I've read remains about 1 or 2 in 10. Most who do go leave to become conservative Mennonites, who are nearly indistinguishable from the Amish except for slightly fancier dress, and permission to own cars and tractors. Anything more is too extreme a culture shock in most cases.
There are various ways of doing this however, while having a theoretically open process. For example, in the upper class neighborhood of Chestnut Hill, here in Philadelphia, about 1/3 of the housing is owned by a trust created by the developer of the neighborhood. These houses are rented out by an agency he founded that personally vets all of the prospective applicants, most of whom, of course, are referred to the agency by existing residents, former residents, members of the neighborhood country club, etc. as being the "right sort of people" to join the neighborhood. Sure, the riff-raff might try to apply for a unit, but I've never seen someone of that sort actually get one.
Here in Philadelphia, we have self-selecting Catholic communities. Start with terrible public schools, add in a law requiring city residence of city workers, put in a dash of a forceful tradition of Catholic schooling, and spice with intelligent home owners who understand the concept of vetting buyers before agreeing to bids and want to sell their homes to people like themselves to keep their neighborhood nice. End result? Most of the middle-class white neighborhoods in the city are 65-90% Catholic (the variable is generally the Jewish and German Lutheran element of the population - a rather constant 10-15% are other Protestants), even while the region as a whole is only 40% Catholic. This outcome is simple. Most non-Catholics don't want to send their kids to Catholic schools, and the only other viable option financially for most outside a few Lutheran and Jewish schools, are the public schools, which are just abysmal.
The same result is also present in some of the inner-ring suburbs where the public school system has deteriorated, resulting in a residual white middle-class population that is 65%+ Catholic. Generally, once a neighborhood reaches that sort of monolithic level, it drives out diversity as it gains a reputation as a place for the predominant group of people, and other people simply refuse to move to it.
And generally, it would present an irresitable challenge for liberals to take over this rogue college town...Easy to do if they can discretely slip into the system via the university. Might as well put a pink bulls eye on the map for this place. I hope and pray the developers and the university take all the precautions they can to prevent such a hostile take over.
l. Mr. Monaghan sees very clearly.
2. A Catholic-only town is an intriguing idea. Just imagine all those bingo games.:)
I'd live there. :)
I'm sure gay Catholics will be welcome. On the other hand, Catholic engaged in the sin of homosexuality might have a problem.
(Refuse to speak Leftist.)
Its not nice to spread rumors, mom.
1. The nuns are NOT suing him. I get their literature as I am a donor, and any controversy was settled amicably years ago. He remains on their board and helps them raise money.
2. He wanted to build the university in Michigan on land he owned, but the zoning was not approved despite court cases and ballot initiatives. So he land was offered to him in Collier County near Naples. Everyone had plenty of notice that this was going to happen. Some find it imprudent to move. But prudence is in the eye of the beholder. Everyone knows he is rich, catholic, and eccentric. When people benefit from those attributes, people love him. And he is villified when he continues ot be who he is.
3. The deal in Florida is as mich commercial as it is institutional, as huge land developers are invovled. There will be no backing out.
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Somebody has to mow the lawns :)
Ave Maria without the porn and bc devices/products is what America used to be like
This IS offense. he is building not destroying
Well, and I mean this with all due respect, we certainly have not done much lighting in this world have we? So, perhaps this is another way of showing Gods goodness?