AMU to Livestream the 2014 Commencement Ceremony


A free livestream of the 2014 commencement ceremony will be available online. Click here to view the livestream. This year's commencement speaker is Librarian of Congress James Billington. Tune in at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 10 to view the ceremony! 

AMU students and alums create new literary magazine, "Contraries"


“Contraries” is a creative journal created by students from Ave Maria University. The idea is to publish students’ creative work – both literary and artistic. “Contraries” is a means to an end. We want artistic creativity to be our habit at Ave Maria University, writes Peter Atkinson, the chief editor of “Contraries.” Artistic creativity does two things: it allows us to understand our own personal experience more deeply and to read other’s experience more completely, he writes. 
Click here to visit the official “Contraries” website.

Canizaro Library Unveils New Catalog System


Ave Maria University’s Canizaro Library staff members have been busy over the course of a year transitioning to a new library management system (OCLC WorldShare). 
The new system is a Web-based environment that streamlines work for library staff and provides effective and more efficient library services for the campus community.  The University had outgrown its old catalog. The new system includes a single interface for patrons to use to search multiple disciplines, direct access to electronic content, improved circulation activities and resource sharing as well as better visibility to the library’s unique collections. 
Searching for items owned by the Canizaro Library, articles in the collection’s databases, and items owned by other libraries worldwide is now available in one easy-to-use location: http://avemariauniversity.worldcat.org.
Students, faculty, staff and members of the University community can use their cell phones or tablets to access these databases, another new part of the improved catalog.
The Canizaro Library, with its extensive philosophy and religion-based holdings, is one of the largest collections in the region.

Dr. Susan Waldstein's Personal Reflections on John Paul II


Personal Reflections on John Paul II: John Paul II, the Pope of the Family
Dr. Susan Waldstein, Adjunct Professor of Theology at Ave Maria University
John Paul II was elected pope in the same year that Michael and I were married. We watched a TV interview with an American Jesuit shortly after the election. The liberal Jesuit expressed his disappointment with the election of a Polish Cardinal who would not be able to understand American problems like sexuality! We had to laugh at such absurdity, but we little knew how very wrong this judgment would turn out to be or how much our lives would be intertwined with his work for the family.  John Paul II became the Pope for marriage, sexuality and the family. He gave his famous Wednesday addresses on Genesis for three years which were collected in the book, The Theology of the Body. Even as I write this article, Michael is downstairs working on a new English translation with commentary of the Theology of the Body. He also founded graduate schools for theological studies in marriage and the family all around the world.  Michael was invited to be founding president of the session in Austria, the International Theological Institute for Marriage in the Family.  After earning a Masters and Licentiate degree at the Institute (very slowly along side of home-schooling our eight children), I am now also teaching at the Institute. John Paul II wrote two marvelous documents on the family, Familiaris Consortio and Letter to the Family, which are included in our curriculum.
A sign of John Paul’s love for the family was his “preferential option” for babies and newlyweds at his general audiences. Michael and I had the privilege to “meet” John Paul II seven times at audiences.  Several times we were at general audiences with thousands of other pilgrims but we managed to make our way to a barrier and when our late Holy Father saw a baby in my arms, he made a bee-line for us and kissed and blessed our children. I was so overwhelmed the first time it happened with Maria-Theresia, a two-month old baby in my arms and Johannes not quite two, that I couldn’t even answer him when he spoke to me. “You are a very young mother,” he said. The next time, however, we were prepared. We had to bring our newborn Thomas to be blessed, impossible though it seemed, in St. Peter’s Square with ten thousand other pilgrims. We prayed for the miracle and were ready with our message.  We pleaded and pushed our way to a barrier, where the Holy Father did indeed stop and kiss and bless Thomas. We were able to blurt out, “We love you very much, Holy Father, and pray for you every day.”  We were able to attend a private Mass and audience with the first graduates of the ITI and there our next three children were blessed. When our seventh child , Andreas, was born, John Paul II made a trip to Austria and said an open-air Mass in St. Polten, on the hottest day of June. As president of the ITI, Michael got tickets in the front section for us and Tom and Terry Dillon, who were visiting. In his homily John Paul commended the institute and prayed for it to thrive. Although we were not among the faithful invited to go up to the Holy Father after Mass, we decided to try. Michael was on crutches because he had broken his leg into thirteen pieces in a skiing accident. I was dripping with sweat and carrying six-month-old Andreas in my arms, who was clad only in an undershirt. Six enormous bodyguards walked towards us in a very threatening way shaking their finger “No, go back.”  We started to turn around when the bishop signaled to us to come up. He explained who we were and the Holy Father greeted us very kindly and blessed Andreas. We were so happy that he had mentioned the Institute in his homily and blessed us and our work.
We are also members of the Pontifical Council for the Family, which meets once a year and always ends with an audience with the Holy Father. At the last meeting in the fall of 2004, he was pushed in and an assistant had to read his speech for him, he could only speak a few words and then blessed us. Then we could each go up and kiss his hand. We cheered and cheered him and almost the whole council was in tears as he was pushed out because he was so weak but still made the effort to see us and radiate his love to us. That was the last time we saw him alive, but Michael was determined to pay him homage at the funeral.  He called up many contacts in Rome for tickets to the funeral.  Finally an archbishop, who will remain unnamed, said he might be able to get them. Michael flew to Rome, but the archbishop said that he hadn’t been able to get any tickets. Michael pleaded and the archbishop said to call again.  Finally the archbishop said he had two tickets for Michel and a friend but that he had to use very tricky means to get them!  Michael picked up the two tickets and one of them was only printed on one side.  Were they from the trash? They got up early and took a taxi as far as it could go towards St. Peter’s and then got out and walked. They were stopped and displayed the tickets seven times to police, each time carefully showing the tickets together so that the unprinted side didn’t show.  When they got to the square, a huge policeman looked at the tickets carefully and saw the unprinted side. “They are fakes!’ he declared and would not give them back.  Were they fakes? We do not want to know. No amount of pleading would change the guard’s mind, so instead of sitting up above with the press in the logia by the statues they remained below.  But by means of the tickets they had made it into the square and were even fairly close to that plain wooden coffin.   Michael stood for seven hours without noticing any tiredness. The atmosphere of love and faith and the unity of the Church were so strong they were tangible. We were all so grateful that he could be our representative to bid farewell to John Paul the Great.

Mother Teresa Project Exhibition Hall at Ave Maria University will open to the public on April 2


AVE MARIA, FL (March 17, 2014) – The Mother Teresa Project Exhibition Hall at Ave Maria University will open to the public on Wednesday, April 2.
At that time, the exhibits for the museum will be finalized and ready for public viewing.
The April 2 date of the opening is significant because it marks the anniversary of the death of Mother Teresa’s dear friend, Blessed Pope John Paul II.
Hours for the Exhibition Hall, which is located at 5060 Annunciation Circle, #105, are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m., during the AMU academic year. For more information, please call 239.280.2576.
At the Exhibition Hall, the University offers students, tourists, pilgrims and area residents the opportunity to learn more about “the saint of the gutters” in a 3,000 square foot space showcasing displays of her life and memorabilia. More than 30 panels that tell the story (in English and Spanish) of Mother Teresa’s life are featured. These panels are identical to those used by the Missionaries of Charity in their exhibit in Calcutta.
Items for public viewing also include handwritten letters by Mother Teresa, a crucifix from her own rosary, a first-class relic, stunningly beautiful photographs, original publications from her State funeral in India and Beatification ceremony at the Vatican, and other items.
Myra Janco Daniels, nationally-renowned founder of the Naples Philharmonic Hall, and world- class architect Gene Aubry collaborated in the design of the Exhibition Hall to create a space that is simple – and simply beautiful. The state-of-the- art technology of the museum provides visitors the opportunity to view actual footage of Mother Teresa and hear stories about her from some of her closest friends. Oral histories like these make Mother Teresa present to Exhibition Hall guests in a very special way.
Visit the Mother Teresa Project at Ave Maria University's website here.

A Latin American Pope Goes to Rio


New York Post editorial-page editor and AMU Board of Trustees member William McGurn considers the enduring appeal of World Youth Day, celebrated most recently in Rio de Janeiro, when Pope Francis welcomed an enthusiastic crowd estimated at 3 million.

Gyrenes Represented in the NYCBL All Star Game


Two Ave Maria University baseball players, infielder Aaron Pigna (Jr., Miami, FL) and pitcher Austin Munn (So., Lafayette, IN), have been selected to participate in the NYCBL (New York Collegiate Baseball League) All-Star game, to be held in Geneva, NY on July 9th.

Jim Towey on the Supreme Court’s “Quiet Hit on Obamacare”


This week’s Supreme Court rulings on issues from same-sex marriage to racial quotas to the Voting Rights Act are dominating headlines. But its decision last Thursday limiting the conditions the government can attach to federal grants may be a sleeper in terms of its impact.