WINK News: Habitat for Humanity partners with local university to help hurricane victims

IMMOKALEE, Fla. Habitat for Humanity responds to people devastated by Hurricane Irma in Immokalee today, with the help of a group of students from Ave Maria University.

This neighborhood in Immokalee is completely made up of Habitat homes, which already house 90 families, including Maria Cardenas family.

Cardenas and her husband put in 500 hours of work to help build their Habitat home.

“It’s something to call yours, it’s your own place to raise a family,” Cardenas said.

Even Cardenas daughter is in love with her new home.

“She is so excited when people come over,” Cardenas said. “She’s like, ‘Come see my room, my room!”

When Hurricane Irma was headed directly for Immokalee, everything came into perspective for the first-time homeowner.

“My daughter has a ritual, she says bye to the house,” Cardenas said. “For us, it was hard to not shed a tear at that because we didn’t know what it was gonna be like when we got back.”

Cardenas home didn’t get damaged, but some surrounding houses did.

That’s why the Ave Maria University students with the Mother Teresa Project and Habitat for Humanity broke ground on two new sites today.

Andrew Nussbaum is a Mother Teresa Project scholar who helped build homes in this neighborhood.

“All it takes is a little bit of effort, that’ll go a long way,” Nussbaum.

The new construction will eventually become two homes for people who lost everything from Hurricane Irma.

“They handled it with so much grace, these are some of the happiest people in the world because they love each other,” Cradenas said.

Nussbaum said they are using that kind of spirit to guide them through this project, love and some dirt.

The volunteers and students will begin construction on Oct. 21.

Graduate Theology Alumna has Translation Published

Alumna and former faculty member, Sr. Albert Marie Surmanski, OP, has had her translation of Albert the Great’s On the Body of Our Lord recently published.

According to Sr. Albert Marie’s notes,

Albert the Great wrote On the Body of the Lord in the 1270s, making it his final work of sacramental theology. A companion volume to his commentary on the Mass, On the Body of the Lord is a comprehensive discussion of Eucharistic theology. The treatise is structured around six names for the Eucharist taken from the Mass: grace, gift, food, communion, sacrifice, and sacrament. It emerges from the liturgy and is intended to draw the reader back to worship.


Football Takes Down Edward Waters, 48-35

AVE MARIA, Fla. — The Ave Maria football team emerged victorious in their Mid-South Conference Sun Division opener on Saturday afternoon, defeating the visiting Edward Waters Tigers 48-35. The Gyrenes improve to 2-2 on the season and are 1-0 in MSC play. The game was the first on the new artificial turf field at Gyrene Field.

Ave Maria scored early and often in the blowout win and led 48-14 before three late fourth quarter touchdowns pulled EWC within 13.

Jordan Barrow had a school-record three interceptions on the day, the first of which he returned 19 yards for the game’s first score just 1:40 into the game. Mahlique Booth doubled the score with 6:55 to play in the opening quarter on a 14-yard TD run. After a Brandon Butry 33-yard field goal, Edward Waters scored on an 85-yard touchdown reception to make the score 17-7 after 15 minutes.

Brian Byrd was on the receiving end of Randy Schroeder’s first touchdown pass of the day, a 39-yard reception to make the score 24-7. The Gyrene advantage increased to 24 a few minutes later when Will Ulmer found pay-dirt on a 17-yard run.

AMU made it 21 unanswered point early in the third when Schroeder connected with Anthony Llosa for a 35-yard touchdown pass.

After a score by the Tigers, Butry connected on a 34-yard field goal and Will Tate ran in a 6-yard touchdown run to make the score 48-14 with 8:49 to play in the game.

Edward Water put together three straight one-play scoring drives in the final eight minutes, scoring on play of 64, 60, and 40 yards.

The Gyrene offense finished with 395 yards of total offense, narrowly edged by Edward Waters with 396 yards. Ave Maria used a balanced attack with 207 yards of offense through the air and 188 on the ground. The Blue and Green scored on all five appearances in the red zone.

Schroeder finished 10-of-15 for 151 yards and two touchdowns. Booth led the rushing attack with nine carries for 52 yards and a score. Ulmer and Tate also ran the ball nine times and finished with a touchdown. They had 43 yards and 37 yards rushing, respectively. Joshua Steward also got time in the backfield with eight carries for 49 yards.

Llosa caught two passes for 40 yards and a touchdown while Byrd had the one catch for 39 yards and a touchdown. Traylyn Jackson and Drew Bonner each tallied two receptions. They finished with 50 yards and 28 yards receiving, respectively.

Defensively, AMU was led by Jordan Barrow who finished with three interceptions and a touchdown. Shamori St. Kitts finished with a team-high five tackles. Shar’Quez Hamilton had three tackles, all of which were for a loss. He had one sack.

Butry was 6-for-6 on point after attempts and connected on both his field goal tries. He made field goals from distances of 33 and 34 yards.

Ave Maria returns to action next weekend when they travel to Faulkner (Ala.) University. The game which was rescheduled from Oct. 21 as part of AMU’s reshuffling to make up games cancelled by Hurricane Irma will kick off at 4 p.m. in Montgomery, Ala.

Summer Rome Program: 2017 Photos and 2018 Details

A personal encounter with the beauty of Rome in its classical and Christian monuments is of inestimable worth. The experience of walking deep inside the catacombs or of seeing famous pagan and Christian works of art in the Vatican Museums will not soon be forgotten. Through precious meetings in the Eternal City with scholars, clergy, Vatican officials, and AMU alumni, students will come to see first-hand the enduring importance of Latin not only as a means of accessing past monuments but even of engaging present circumstances.

Hogan Named TSC Runner of the Week

AVE MARIA, Fla.- Ave Maria sophomore Gabriel Hogan was named men’s cross country Runner of the Week by The Sun Conference on Monday. It is the second time in his career that Hogan has been honored as the top runner in the conference. He was named Runner of the Week for the week of September 12 during his freshman season, when he paced the Gyrenes at the Florida Tech Invitational.

Hogan earned the honor for his performance at the Mountain Dew Invitational on the University of Florida campus. The sophomore finished 58th of 200 in Gainesville, and was the top runner from NAIA schools in the meet. Hogan finished the 8k course in a time of 27:20.2, and ran an average 5:30 mile. His time was the eighth fastest in school history, and gave him six of the eight best times in Ave Maria history.

Ave Maria finished in 21st place among the 24 teams competing, but posted the second-highest team score among non-NCAA teams.

The Gyrenes return to action on Friday night, when both the men’s and women’s teams compete in the Invitational at Holloway Park in Lakeland. The women will run first at 5:20 p.m., and the men will follow at 5:50.

Desme To Lead Baseball Program

AVE MARIA, Fla. — Grant Desme has been named the head coach of the baseball program at Ave Maria University, Athletic Director John Lamanna announced this week. Desme, a former prospect in the Oakland A’s organization, brings a high-quality baseball mind to the Gyrene program.

“We are thrilled to welcome Coach Grant Desme to Ave Maria Athletics,” said Lamanna. “Grant’s combination of baseball experience and his spirituality made him a perfect candidate to lead our baseball program.”

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to coach at Ave and work with the players,” said Desme. “Ave Maria is a special place that combines a challenging intellectual life with a serious athletic program imbued with faith, I look forward to sharing my gifts with the players and helping them to become good men who are ready to impact the world in a positive way.”

Desme was drafted in the second round of the 2007 MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics, and spent three seasons in the Oakland farm system. Desme, an outfielder, was drafted out of Cal Poly after winning the Player of the Year award in the Big West Conference. His junior season, where he won conference player of the year honors, saw him hit .405 with 15 home runs and 53 runs batted in.

In three seasons in professional baseball, Desme recorded a .286 batting average. His only full season came in 2009, when he hit 31 total home runs and stole 40 bases with the Stockton Ports and Kane County Cougars. After the regular season, he was named the Most Valuable Player in the Arizona Fall League in 2009, playing against many of the best young players in professional baseball.

Desme left professional baseball after the 2009 season, deciding to pursue the priesthood. He served as an assistant coach at St. Michael’s Preparatory School in California during his time in the seminary. During the 2016 season, St. Michael’s Prep posted a 12-0 record in Express League play, and put together a winning season.

The Ave Maria program has won at least 20 games in six of the eight seasons in school history. The 2018 edition of the Gyrene baseball team begins their season on January 26 with the first of three games against Taylor University in West Palm Beach.

CNN: President Towey and Michelle Zittel Discuss Visitors During Irma

Naples, Florida – 9/14/17 – 7:50AM – President Jim Towey and senior nursing student Michelle Zittel spoke with news anchor Chris Cuomo on CNN’s “New Day” morning program to discuss the elderly visitors from Immokalee that stayed on campus during Hurricane Irma. Watch the full segment here.

National Catholic Register: Irma Is Gone and Ave Maria Is Greater, Because It Got The Little Things Right

Little things mean a lot, especially when a crisis is imminent.

Late last week, with Hurricane Irma bearing down on southwest Florida, tension was running high for many residents in Ave Maria, Florida, where I live with my wife and five children. The latest prediction models painted a bullseye on the town, 30 miles east of Naples. Irma would make landfall 35 miles straight south of us at Everglades City.

All week we had watched the “spaghetti models” fluctuate between a direct hit on Miami to Naples and every place in between. We were in between. And that’s an uncomfortable place to be when the biggest recorded Atlantic storm in history is headed your way.

We spent Wednesday putting up our hurricane shutters — large sheets of corrugated metal that attach to pre-installed screws that come standard with most homes in South Florida. Many of my neighbors were doing the same, even though Irma was at least four days away.

Naples Daily News: Hurricane Irma: At Ave Maria University, classes are out, but education continues after the storm

Classes were canceled at Ave Maria University this week.

But the students who stayed behind to weather Hurricane Irma are getting the education of a lifetime.

“I told our students they’d be better men and women by Monday,” University President Jim Towey said Wednesday.

The students and staff of the university, which was largely spared from hurricane damage, have been volunteering in droves to lend a hand in Immokalee, the nearby farming community which was not so fortunate.

On Wednesday, students filled van after van with water, sandwiches, fruit and bread and drove into Immokalee.

Some went to the soup kitchen operated by Guadalupe Social Services, but others drove straight into neighborhoods where residents are just returning from shelters to find spoiled food, flooded streets and few stores open.

President Towey’s Bible Study Is Back

Students joined President Towey on Monday as he began a year-long study of the Gospel of Matthew. Held in the lobby of John Paul II Hall, students gathered to focus on the birth and baptism of Jesus and the role of John the Baptist. Over the course of the school year, President Towey will to host regular sessions to further explore the Gospel.