At the center...

Ave Maria

With a couple of hours before I needed to keep an appointment in Immokalee, I left Susan's and drove a few miles south to Ave Maria, a new community in SW Florida, I'd longed to see.     

Open in 2007, Ave Maria has an intriguing history that began when Tom Monaghan, the founder of Domino's Pizza, envisioned creating the first major Catholic university in the United States in more than 40 years.

Much like towns in the middle ages, it was determined from the beginning of this university town's development that the Oratory of Ave Maria, soaring more than 100 feet and with a seating capacity of 1100, would be located in the center of the community. The church would be the town's focal point, obvious to visitors from the moment they turned off the highway toward town and the cross atop the church's arched roof stood before them.

As I drove slowly through this pristine, newly landscaped town with little traffic and where only a few people could be seen walking across campus or otherwise moving about, I felt as though I'd entered another world. Not a retreat center, but an entire town of stores, schools and neighborhoods, built around a church.

I'm not Catholic, but the picture of the church at the center of all activity is an awe-inspiring one. It's a visual reminder of the way I am to live with Christ at the center of every thought, decision, and deed. 

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen
Romans 11:36