The Roman Catholic World

September 20, 2009

By Marielena Montesino de Stuart

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We fly to thy patronage, O holy Mother of God:

Despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us from all dangers,

O ever glorious and blessed Virgin!

May the divine assistance remain always with us!  Amen

                                                                     Sub tuum praesídium

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Ave Maria, Florida

Ave Maria, Florida

On Friday, September 18th, my children and I attended the Noon Mass, at the Ave Maria Oratory.  Father Robert Tatman and Father Robert McTeigue reverently celebrated Mass—along with  Deacon Forrest L. Wallace,  who is also identified as Director of Marketing at Ave Maria University, on the university’s website.   

 As always, after Mass, we knelt and prayed at the communion rail in front of the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  To our left, I could hear the clicking of a camera.  I tried to ignore it, and concentrated on my prayers.  The photographer had also been taking photos during the Mass– which we also ignored, out of respect for Christ’s presence. 

While still inside the church, I approached  the photographer and a woman who accompanied him as they were leaving (she was carrying documents on a writing board).   I asked if they worked for AMU.   She responded, by saying that she worked in the Ave Maria University Marketing Department, and that the photography that had just taken place was for the AMU Marketing Department. 

I asked the photographer if he had taken any photos of my children and I, while we prayed.  He said, yes.  I asked him to immediately delete the photos, since he had no authorization to use our images.   The woman that accompanied him became defensive and said that our images could not be used without my signature on a release form.  I asked why our photos would be taken to begin with– since I have never signed a release form for the AMU Marketing Department.    She did not give me an answer.

While this exchange took place,  the photographer began to click rapidly back through the photos in his camera view finder, and said  that– apparently, there were no photos of my children and I.   This was contrary to what he had said earlier.

Before leaving the church I asked for the woman’s name.  Instead, she wanted to know who I was.   I told her that who I am is not what is important—what is important is the privacy that my children and I are entitled to while praying.  She proceeded to write her name on a small piece of paper along with a phone number, which she identified as the number to call at  the Ave Maria University Marketing Department.  As she handed me the note, she abruptly said:  “You can call—or have your attorney call.”  

This took place in the presence of my children.

Parting Thoughts

It is worthy of note that, as described above,  the woman from the Ave Maria University Marketing Department did not know who I was; consequently, her demeanor towards me was not based on anything personal.   This, of course, does not offer much encouragement to others.  

So, when you find your spirit drawn to prayer in Ave Maria, do so—but you may be required to have an attorney standing by.

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READ “AVE MARIA: The Promise, The Reality” Part 1,  Part 2,  Part 3 and Part 4
NOTE:  ARREST of Dan Dentino, Dean of Students, VP for Student Affairs and Adjunct Professor of Theology at Ave Maria University.  CLICK HERE for Naples Daily News report and to search for updates in the Naples Daily News website. 
 You may also follow this case online at Collier County Clerk of Courts.
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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.