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ave-maria-all-rights-reserved-by-marielena-montesino-de-stuart3The Roman Catholic World

A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.”

G.K. Chesterton

The Everlasting Man, 1925

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By Marielena Montesino de Stuart

March 26, 2009



The Quasi-Parish of Ave Maria Oratory celebrated  a Mass for the Feast of the Annunciation at 10:30am.  It was followed by a Procession of  The Most Blessed Sacrament around the Oratory.   The main celebrant was Father Robert Tatman, who has been the administrator assigned to the Ave Maria Oratory by Bishop Frank Dewane since March 31, 2008, after a lengthy struggle by some members of  the Ave Maria University (AMU) top administration,  in their bold attempt to have the Right of Presentation (appoint their own Pastor).  Another wild and amazing fact in the chronicles of Ave Maria!

At 2:00pm the AMU Annunciation Circle Award was presented inside the Oratory to William M. Cousins, Jr., by Tom Monaghan.  The blessing of the new virtual pipe organ was carried out by AMU’s Director of Campus Ministry, Fr. Robert Garrity.  A musical exhibition followed, which included works performed by AMU’s organist and university students.

At 7:45pm a Rosary and Adoration took place, followed by the lighting of the Oratory. The invocation was by Fr. Robert Garrity. The welcome address was by Nick J. Healy, Jr., and the remarks by Tom Monaghan.

On April 2, 2009 Mr. Monaghan will speak at a Founders Club Dinner.  The flyer announcing this dinner says that Mr. Monaghan’s presentation will include “the extraordinary progress” of Ave Maria University.    Hmm…  let us examine this intriguing progress.


What exactly is this “extraordinary progress” of Ave Maria University?  Is it true that one of AMU’s top professors, Dr. Matthew Levering, will be leaving?  Will AMU’s administration please confirm and explain such a loss?  Is this what Mr. Monaghan considers part of the “extraordinary progress”?

A detailed Memo questioning AMU’s financial status entered the public domain recently.  Part of this Memo reads as follows:

“Without this [proposed] audit and demonstration of liquid assets, I fear that all of us (to different degrees) are participating in something that we may later deeply regret, namely selling to young people and their families a 4-year educational product that we do not have sufficient reason to believe can be delivered.

We have reason to believe that the resources of the Foundation may not last much more than one or two years.”

Will AMU’s administration please explain this Memo?   Could it be possible that this Memo was written by Dr. Levering?

What has the AMU administration done to address the questions presented in the Open Letter to the Ave Maria University Board of Trustees, published on February 17 in the Naples Daily News? (follow this link:  Two days after the Open Letter was published, one of its Board members resigned, and publicly stated similar concerns to those posed in the Open Letter.   Is losing a highly respected member of the Board what Mr. Monaghan considers “extraordinary progress”?

Is the AMU administration doing anything to gain the Church’s official Catholic recognition, in support of its previous promotion of being “an orthodox Catholic university” under Ex Corde Ecclesiae?

What is the current status of the AMU Pre-Theologate Program? Is it true that it will now be called a Men’s Discernment Program?   If this is taking place, why hasn’t AMU announced the change from ’Pre-Theologate’ to ‘Men’s Discernment’ on their website to this date, and explain why?   Is this change to a Men’s Discernment Program being done so as to circumvent the Bishop’s Episcopal oversight?   If not, then why this change?

Why does AMU lack official Catholic recognition by the Church, after six years of existence?

We need factual and concrete answers to these, and other questions, including the viability of AMU as an institution.

Oh, one more thing…  given AMU’s current economic situation (see Memo in public domain mentioned above)– is this ‘lighting of the Oratory’  going to take place every night?   Isn’t AMU obligated to pay the electricity bills, pursuant to the Quasi-Parish agreement?

No quasi-answers allowed.


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Marielena Montesino de Stuart and do not disparage anyone’s motives at Ave Maria, Ave Maria University, including the administrators, Ave Maria entities, Ave Maria Town, and Barron Collier Co.  Nothing contained in The Chronicles of Ave Maria© or Divine Comedy©, or anywhere on this blog/website questions the commitment of all involved to what they genuinely see as the best interests of Ave Maria, Ave Maria University, Ave Maria entities, Ave Maria Town and Barron Collier Co.  Marielena Montesino de Stuart and concede this.