The hothouse chapel reactions

The hothouse chapel reactions

Michael Rose has posted some reactions to his article about Ave Maria University’s proposed new glass church. Some of the letters agree with Rose’s criticisms, while others disagree and there are even some good rebuttals of his criticisms. Rose did make one mistake. He questioned the need for a church that seats 3,500 at a university with only 122 students. A letter writer notes that in addition to planning an enrollment of 5,000, the accompanying town of Ave Maria is expected to have 25,000 residents, most of whom will presumably be Mass-going Catholics. In fact, the church may only be barely large enough to accommodate them every Sunday. Interesting reading.

1 comment
  • Hello Mark,

    I preface my remarks by noting I have been accepted into Ave Maria’s graduate theology program for this fall.

    Reasons why I think Ave Maria will take off:

    1: There is a craving out there for traditional vigorous Catholic education not being met even with the emergence of fine schools like Christendom, Thomas Aquinas et al.  There are certainly no such schools in Florida.

    2. The faculty being brought in – like Fr. Fessio and Fr. Lamb – is top notch.

    3. Thanks to Monaghan’s endowments, Ave Maria is being generous with financial aid.

    4. The school is in Naples, Florida for pete’s sake.

    I don’t think they will have a problem getting 5,000 students once the main phase of the campus is complete.  A town of 25,000 will likely take longer.

    I also don’t care much for the new church – not my cup of tea.  Certainly not what I expect from a traditional-oriented school.  But I wasn’t surprised, knowing Monaghan’s love for Frank Lloyd Wright and Fay Jones.  Obviously it’s his money.  When I make a billion dollars I guess I can build a campus in Italian Renaissance style and everyone else will have to lump it.

    Tastes will differ, and obviously Rose’s does.  In that regard Monaghan need perhaps consider that even he cannot fully fund this school and that if enough of the community and donors are cool to the designs then it might be worth taking that into account.  Otherwise the real objectiosn remain practical ones: too much glass in a hot, humid climate; too much glass in a hurricane zone; poor acoustics risks ill-suited to their new sacred music program.  But perhaps they have found ways of addressing these concerns.

    Thanks again to Dom for staying up with all this.