Ave Maria University to build one of largest Catholic churches in U.S.
Ave Maria University to build one of largest Catholic churches in U.S.

.- Ave Maria University announced plans yesterday to build one of the largest Catholic churches in the United States – the Oratory of Ave Maria. The church will become the spiritual and physical centerpiece for the first new major Catholic university in the U.S. in 40 years. It will also serve as a church for the Town of Ave Maria.

The designs show that the glass, steel and aluminum structure will rise 150 feet above Ave Maria University campus.

Designed by Cannon Design, the 60,000-square-foot oratory uses 3,000 tons of structural steel to form delicate arches, similar to European Gothic cathedrals, that appear to spring from the building's stone foundation. Its aluminum and glass exterior will filter and suffuse natural daylight into the main sanctuary and nave.

The church, measuring 300 feet long and 150 feet wide, will seat more than 3,300 people, giving it the largest seating capacity of any Catholic church in the U.S. The exterior wall at the entrance will feature a 60-foot red-tinted glass cross, with a 40-foot corpus. Inside, the sanctuary features another large crucifix.

The lower level of the oratory will house the Perpetual Adoration Chapel, containing 14 confessionals, one for each station of the cross. Also located beneath the sanctuary will be burial crypts and columbaria, or small crypts, designed to hold ashes.

The university campus and oratory are to be completed in 2006 on a 1,000-acre site, located between Immokalee and Naples.

Plans for Ave Maria University were first announced in November 2002.

The university’s 122 students, who are in their second semester, are currently using a 12-acre interim campus near the Vineyards area of Naples.

Seed money for the university has been provided by Thomas S. Monaghan, Domino's Pizza Founder and former owner of the Detroit Tigers, who is also the university’s chairman.

"It is only fitting that at a Catholic institution, where Faith is at the core of all we do, the dominant building be a church," Monaghan said. "This Oratory will be a center for the campus and the town, a constant reminder of why we are there."

The church will also have an oval-shaped plaza on its grounds, which will connect the university campus to the Town of Ave Maria.

The detailed plans were unveiled yesterday as part of a two-day celebration for the Feast of the Annunciation, March 25, when the Angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she was to be the mother of the Incarnate God.

As part of the celebrations, Ave Maria University hosted the Vatican Choir of the Basilica of St. Peter in a special performance of sacred and classical choral music yesterday evening at the Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts.

An inaugural mass was held today at 10 a.m., on the grounds of the future permanent campus.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 19, 2014

Holy Saturday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:1-10


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Gen 1:1-2:2
Gospel:: Mt 28:1-10

Saint of the Day

Blessed James Oldo »


Homily of the Day

Mt 28:1-10


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: