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Serving the community of Ave Maria, Florida


Bishop Dewane Celebrates Feast of Annunciation at Ave Maria

By AnnaMarie Sanderson

Bells from a traveling carillon pealed out over the town of Ave Maria as more than a thousand worshipers filed into the oratory for mass on the Feast of the Annunciation.

Bishop Frank Dewane presided at the Mass, declaring, "This solemnity is special not only for the Church, but also for Ave Maria University."

The feast day marks the second anniversary of the dedication of the oratory and the creation of the Quasi-Parish of Ave Maria Oratory.

In his homily, Bishop Dewane spoke of how Mary might have initially felt fear at the angel Gabriel's announcement that she had been chosen as the mother of Jesus, yet she put her fear aside to do what she was called to do.

 "Each one of us, we are called to be more in our life -- to take ever so clearly the message of the Gospel. It isn't easy; there are conflicts," the bishop said.

processiona"Don't be afraid. Never be afraid. The Lord never asks us to do more than we can do."

Following the Mass,  Bishop Dewane led a Eucharistic procession around the oratory (right) - the first such procession he had led anywhere as either a priest or a bishop.

Following the procession, the university presented its second annual Annunciation Circle award to long-time supporters Lou and Mary DePrisco.

The Ave Maria University Annunciation Circle Award was established to recognize men and women who, by their service to the Church and commitment to AMU and its mission, exemplify the virtues of faith, courage and generosity of spirit. 

Mr. DePrisco has served as a member of AMU's Board of Regents since 2005.  He also helped found parish grade schools in Chattanooga, Tenn., Louisville, Ky., and Wilmington, Del., and was a founder of Royal Palm Academy located in Naples, Fla.  Both Mr. and Mrs. DePriscoe were instrumental in initiating the original Ave Maria University Founders Club in Naples.  

University Chancellor Tom Monaghan said,  "We celebrate with the whole Church the miracle of the Incarnation of Christ that took place at the moment of the Annunciation.  Yet, this is an even more special Marian feast day for us because our name - Ave Maria - is derived from this event in history.   It has become an occasion for us to celebrate the many blessings we have received and continue to receive as a university and a community."

(Photo by AnnaMarie Sanderson)


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