Skip to comments.Families move in to Catholic town created by former owner of Dominos Pizza
Posted on 07/16/2007 12:57:20 PM PDT by markomalley
Naples, Jul 16, 2007 / 11:10 am (CNA).- The town of Ave Maria, built around the Catholic Ave Maria University, welcomed its first residents in May, and more families are expected to move in throughout the summer and fall.
Mike and Cecilia O’Shea, along with their four daughters, Maureen, 3, Erin, 7, Caitlin, 7, and Maggie, 5, were the first of 11,000 potential households to move into the new 5,000-acre town on May 30.
The O’Sheas purchased a two-story home in Pulte Homes’ Hampton Village community. It has five bedrooms and four bathrooms, along with a spacious backyard and two living rooms. The 225 homes planned for Hampton Village range in price from the mid-$300,000s to high-$400,000s.
The 40-year-old father of four girls said the lifestyle offered in Ave Maria, close to Naples, is exactly what he and his wife were seeking for their family, reported the Naples Daily News.
They want to send their children to a Catholic school with the highest standards in academics and discipline, and “a more traditional approach, rather than the modern view many Catholic schools teach now,” Mike was quoted as saying.
Their daughters’ school will likely be taught by the sisters who live next door. The town’s oratory, or parish church, is within walking distance. La Piazza, the European-inspired Town Center, surrounds the Oratory.
The O’Sheas moved to Ave Maria from Tampa. They lived about 10 miles from the nearest parish and felt cut off from the parish community. “This will benefit us, because we’ll be closer to volunteer our time and efforts to the school and church,” Mike was quoted as saying.
Mike’s office is also within walking distance. He works for Legatus, an organization of Catholic chief executive officers, which will open an office in Ave Maria in November. Cecilia, 40, is a stay-at-home mom.
The O’Sheas enjoy living in a town with limited access to activities and lifestyles that go against a Catholic lifestyle.
“Sometimes people ask us, ‘Why do you want to shelter yourself from the real world?’ But I don’t think we’re sheltering,” Mike was quoted as saying. “Naples is as ‘real world’ as anywhere else, and it’s right down the street.
“It’s important that children are not exposed to things out there that can really harm them. When they get older and grow up, I think they’ll have the same positive experiences as any other child,” he said.
An Ave Maria Townfest, open to the public, is planned for July 21 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., for those interested in walking the plaza, viewing home models or university buildings.
The town and Ave Maria University were founded by former Domino’s Pizza owner, turned Catholic philanthropist, Tom Monaghan.
I don’t think the ACLU should do anything, but that said, I don’t think this is a good idea. I went to a very strict Southern Baptist College, and half the kids were even more wild off-campus then any other kids I met when I went to a community college. On-campus they were totally “perfect Baptists”. The other half were so innocent, they had a really hard time dealing with any kind of secular issues.
That said, if they are willing to try this, more power to them, I just don’t think it will work in practice, but it’s a good theory.
Ping to read later
All other towns are wounded.
I think this is a bad idea.
I don’t, and I’m a nonbeliever. Self segregation (as opposed to the odious legal segregation of the Old South) builds community.
Why I think it's a bad idea:
(1) How successful are the Amish in evangelizing their faith? Very few people actually volunteer to be Amish largely because their communities are so deeply insular.
(2) As our Baptist friend pointed out, deeply sheltered kids who have never been exposed to moral hazard have an alarming tendency to either succumb or freeze like a deer in the headlights, not provide an inspiring witness.
(3) Communities like this (for example, St. Mary's in KS) have a tendency to begin considering their own internal community customs as doctrinal rather than discretionary.
What happens if you order a pizza from a place that’s not Domino’s?
Based on observation, I would say few things like this last. But it can be wonderful while it lasts, although it usually ends with major disputes (I say this as a veteran of lay communities). Part of the problem is that there is no model for this and therefore nobody really knows how to go about it; they’re not a religious order, but what are they?
This is not the first community like this in Florida. Less than 100 miles north of Ave Maria is the town of San Antonio, founded in the 19th century as a Catholic community for families, with a monastery as its center and all the education handled by an order of sisters. The monastery, St. Leo’s (Benedictine), is still there; they are associated with St. Leo’s University, the on-line studies institution, although the monastery itself still continues to raise oranges and provide retreats. They have a lovely church that they are restoring.
THe lay community broke up before the middle of the 20th century and while the sisters stayed and continued to run a school, they got flaky after VatII and are now basically a retirement center for the few elderly sisters who managed to hang on. I believe there’s still a girl’s boarding school there, or perhaps a small college, but it’s no longer staffed by the nuns.
I’m expecting some “gay activists” to buy one of the homes and then start flinging lawsuits in the direction of every person and institution in the town that won’t recognize their perverted coupling as a “family.”
After dinner confessions?
Lol! Dang, that laugh caught me off guard, I think I scared our office assistant:)
It’s not that they’re not successful, the Amish don’t believe in evangelizing.
I wonder how long this ‘Catholic town’ can stay ‘pure’. Weren’t some current big cities and universities established with similar thoughts at the beginning?
What a dream place to live — other than the hurricanses. (But the would have had that in Tampa, too)
But they would have had that in Tampa, too.
Yes, but would they reject someone who wanted to become "plain"?
It's not because of their plain style of living - thousands join non-Christian cults every day and live with far fewer amenities than the Christian community of the Amish do.
It's because of the insularity of the Amish - it would take generations for a newcomer family to become truly one of them.
I think it is a wonderful idea; however, the ACLU and the gay thugs will do their best to bury it in lawsuits.
The reason the secular state allows the Amish to operate is because the Amish live in austerity and do not proselytize. The Catholics, on the other hand, attract hatred like a lightning rod because Catholicism is a viable, healthy alternative to modern ills.
It is not bad for the youngsters. The conditions they will grow under, if the state allows it at all, will be conditions of normalcy, not insularity.
I wish them the best.
Are they going to open a trailer park or an apartment complex for large, Catholic families who can’t afford $400,000 houses ... or is this just going to be a rich folks’ thing?
OH, now I get it! That was funny!
Even if the ACLU leaves it alone, it probably won’t last beyond a few generations. Even when they’re properly brought up, a percentage of children grow up to reject the beliefs & values of their parents.
This is a bit more organized and planned than usual, but I see it simply as an example and extension of what decent folks do: Create and maintain decent societies and institutions for their families and neighbors.
I would say they are kind of like a religious order. We can call them Domino-cans. They have a repeatable system, good service, quality product and they don't change the menu too much which will be good in this day in age.
In my neck of the woods, we call such people "Latinos."
I very much of “wait and see” approach to this, but I think it’s a worthwile experiment. Remember, only 500 years ago town, villege, and city in western Europe was Catholic. Too bad their church is kind of strange and homely though.
You’re obviously not from Oklahoma.
Or the suburbs of Charlotte, NC, where we bought a comfortable, new house for our family of ten for $160,000.
I think this sounds wonderful, and like you, I went to a Baptist Bible college so I know what you are talking about. But as an adult, to live in a community that was based on faith sounds great.
Your obviously not from Central New Jersey, where a 2-3 bedroom townhome starts at $400K.
No way on this earth, thank you very much! God made the Midwest and the Mid-South so that people with large families could live in civilized comfort.
To each his or her own. Would you folks in NC or OK mind taking some of our poor folk? Even the illegals don't want to live around here due to high rent/slumlords.
We lived in south-central Tennessee for a year, when my husband was in grad school, and we had to go to Nashville to make copies! That was flippin’ primitive! And the “Mexican” food? Egad! I’d have invited the landscape-farm workers over to cook, before I’d eat at a “Mexican” restaurant!
Poor people can live pretty well in Oklahoma and North Carolina, if they work. The illegal problem is everywhere, but it’s the fault of the state/county/city government, giving the illegals handouts. You can rent an adequate (older) house here for $500 a month, or buy a trailer and rent or buy a spot for it for even less.
We’re on the edge of the Charlotte metro sprawl (such as it is, Atlantans scoff). Fifty miles east, prices look like my grandparents’ generation.
“God made the Midwest and the Mid-South so that people with large families could live in civilized comfort.”
Isn’t that the truth? LOL! Our family of 6 is happily living in a $135,000 home with room to grow.
My husband is ready to pack up and move to this town, though. It is very appealing! I looked up their site and picked out a beautiful 5 bedroom home. Now to figure out how to pay for it. Ha!
Not real towns.
“What happens if you order a pizza from a place thats not Dominos?”
Naples is the most overpriced housing market in the US. Mobile home lot rents can run from about $400 for a small home to $900 for a double wide.
My oldest son has suggested selling several of his brothers :-).
In other words, it’s going to be a rich folks’ place.
Snobby Christian Community
I don’t know which is scarier, that or NY state taxes.
“Snob” implies an intention that I’m in no place to judge. However, it appears that people can’t afford to live there unless they’re very well off.
LOL. Bet they have some wicked bingo games in that town.
Yes...both give you a suffucating sensation in the neck.
I think the difference between the Baptists and the Catholics is that we Catholics are allowed to dance, and drink at the legal age while Baptists are not.