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June 2017
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Celebration of Lights Packs Piazza

With near-perfect weather, the 2nd annual Celebration of Lights drew a large crowd of people from throughout the area. Above, the marching band from Immokalee High School performs in front of the oratory.

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Mentoring Part of Community Outreach to Immokalee


Dick Hailer's life changed when he served three stints in the Peace Corps in the 1960s and 1970s. Now he and 12 other members of the Ave Maria community are changing other lives through a mentoring program at Immokalee High School. (Above, Mr. Hailer addresses a group of students at one of their regular meetings at Immokalee High.)

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Home on the Florida Range


Having grown up on a beef ranch in Ignacio, Colorado, Katie O'Hare found her adjustment to life on the Vineyards campus a hard one. She was homesick - and without a horse.  But all that has changed for her now that she's running a stable located between Middlebrooke Townhomes and Camp Keais Road. There she rides her horses - Rascal, Tari, Diamond and Hunter - gives lessons and boards Khalif, who belongs to her friend Claire Guerrero. (Above, Katie pauses during a lesson with Jailynn Howard, 6, of Immokalee. Jailynn, who attends the Grammar and Prep school, is aboard Hunter.)

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Father Fessio Spearheads Drive to Build Theater

"I may not be able to sing, dance or play an instrument myself," says Ave Maria University's Theologian in Residence, "but I can build a theater that will showcase the talents of all the students who can." So these days, in addition to his roles at AMU and Ignatius Press, Fr. Fessio can often be seen poring over architectural plans and planning a campaign to raise money for a theater on campus. (Above, an architectural drawing shows a view from the fountain.)

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A Christmas Tale of Two Colleges

AMU students making a film enact a Nativity scene outside the Oratory.
Meanwhile, Florida Gulf Coast University banned any public display of Christmas.
UPDATE: FGCU Reverses Decision, Allows Christmas back on Campus (Naples Daily News story)


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