The oratory at Ave Maria University will be dedicated next week at a Mass celebrated by Bishop of Venice Frank Dewane, the Naples Daily News reports.
Ave Maria University President Nick Healy said in an e-mail to the university community that Bishop Dewane would dedicate the 100 foot-tall, $24 million structure at a Mass on the afternoon of March 31.
“We are very pleased to announce that Bishop Frank Dewane will dedicate the oratory at a special Mass and ceremony,” Healy wrote. “Thank you for your prayers.”
It is unclear whether the building will be dedicated as a church or an oratory. Oratories are places of prayer dedicated to a particular community, while churches are the spiritual centers of parishes. Baptisms, weddings, and funerals typically occur in churches, and not oratories.
The university had invited Bishop Dewane to dedicate the structure in January, but the January ceremony had to be canceled.
Due to concerns about church law, authority, pastoral care, and financial matters, it had previously been questioned whether the dedication of the oratory would even take place.
The building is the central structure in the 5,000-acre town and university being built by the Domino’s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan and the local developer Barron Collier Cos.
Bishop Dewane’s dedication of the building will allow Mass to be celebrated there.