Bishop Frank Dewane of the Venice Diocese announced today, October 7, 2011, that he grants to Ave Maria University in Florida official recognition as a Catholic university. The announcement came during the investiture ceremony of H. James Towey as president of Ave Maria.
Cardinal Newman Society president Patrick J. Reilly, who attended the investiture ceremony, said: “By bestowing upon Ave Maria the Church’s official sanction as Catholic, Bishop Dewane is giving a tremendous gift to the University and to all Catholic families searching for faithful Catholic teaching. The Cardinal Newman Society extends to Ave Maria University and President Towey heartfelt congratulations!”
Bishop Dewane read the decree of Ave Maria’s Catholic identity and offered his congratulations to President Towey. The Bishop said: “While the University continues to grow, it is the deepening of its roots that is of primary importance to me as the Bishop of this Diocese. The Catholic Church views Catholic Universities in very high regard, and with that the entire Ave Maria University community should be encouraged and inspired by its new designation.”
During the investiture ceremony, President Towey took the oath of fidelity before Archbishop Wenski of Miami. Towey said: “I am grateful to Bishop Dewane for his confidence in our future and thankful for Tom Monaghan and all those who built the foundation that made this announcement possible. This recognition means a lot to us as we continue on the path toward new excellence.”
In his address, Towey dedicated his presidency to the patronage of Blessed Mother Teresa, saying that he embraced her advice to be content in the “uncertainty of divine providence.” He said that the biggest challenge is to shift to self-sufficiency following the generous patronage of Thomas Monaghan, who founded the University. Towey also noted that Ave Maria will succeed by remaining humble and placing trust in God.
In his remarks, Towey also lamented the problems of hooking up, binge drinking, and the separation of faith and reason at many other colleges, including Catholic ones.
President Towey noted three hallmarks of Ave Maria University: 1) Academic excellence in the liberal arts tradition; 2) Being firmly rooted in the Catholic faith while fully open to the world; and 3) Unity with relationships rooted in love for Christ.
Ave Maria University is included by The Cardinal Newman Society in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College
for its strong Catholic identity. The University’s Guide
profile is available online here.
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