Message from the President

Office of the President

25 March 2020

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,

Happy Feast of the Annunciation of Our Lord! The day Our Lord was immaculately conceived in the Blessed Mother’s womb.

Today, immediately following Fr. Rick’s 11AM Mass, please join my wife Mary and me as we pray the Marian Consecration prayer to renew the University’s consecration and, to consecrate my presidency to Jesus through his mother, Mary. You can join us via live stream through our facebook page.

As Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC, states in his book, 33 Days to Morning Glory, “The act of consecrating oneself (or our University), to Jesus through Mary marks the beginning of a gloriously new day, a new dawn, a brand new morning in one’s spiritual journey. It’s a fresh start, and it changes everything.” St. John Paul II described Marian consecration as the “turning point” in his life. In fact, his papal motto was “Totus Tuus” (“Totally Yours”) which are St. Louis de Montfort’s words for consecration to Jesus through Mary.

As we began this 33-Day Marian Consecration on February 21, I had no idea the challenges that would lie ahead of us. I don’t believe it was fortuitous, I believe is was inspired. The Ave Maria University community prayed this consecration asking for Our Lady’s intercession and protection and the Holy Spirit’s wisdom. I can assure you that these prayers from our faithful community have given us calm in the midst of the storm. Your prayers have helped guide us through the turmoil so far. 

Thank you for all of you who joined me each day in praying this Consecration. If you were not able to participate, it is not too late. You can still join us today and pray the consecration prayer with us. 

God bless you! Totus Tuus!

President Ice

23 March 2020

Dear Ave Maria University Community,

Thank you for joining with me in praying the 33-Days to Morning Glory consecration prayers. We had no idea on February 21st when we began this consecration that we would be faced with some of the most challenging decisions in Ave Maria University’s history. This pandemic will be forever etched in our memories, but through our perseverance with this consecration, I believe we will be stronger when the unrest subsides.

I am excited to celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord on March 25th by praying the Morning Glory Consecration Prayer with you. Due to restrictions placed on us due to the COVID-19 virus, we will not hold our planned gathering at sunrise on this day. Immediately after Fr. Rick’s 11:00AM Mass (around 11:30AM), I will join you with a special guest, to pray the final consecration prayer for Ave Maria University and the protection of all that work and study here. This coronavirus may take away our ability to congregate, but it will not take away our ability to pray as a community. This will be an opportunity for us to ask for the Blessed Virgin Mary’s special protection now and in the time to come.

God bless!

Christopher P. Ice

18 March 2020

Dear students, faculty & staff,

I just received the attached letter from the Bishop of Venice, FL, Frank Dewane. It is with heartfelt sadness that I have to inform you that all Masses are canceled for our diocese as of Friday, March 20, 2020, through Easter Sunday.

As your President, I want to encourage you to continue to double down on your prayers, fasting, and sacrifices. I know that the Blessed Virgin Mary is watching over this University. I firmly believe that we will endure this trial and you must not lose hope. We are living in extraordinary times and when things that we love are seemingly taken away, we must be steadfast in our faith and trust in the Lord. Our prayers and sacrifices and our yearning for our Eucharistic Lord will be heard into the highest heaven.

Please keep Bishop Dewane, Fr. Rick and all of our beloved priests in your prayers as we gather tomorrow on the Feast of St. Joseph to give God thanks for all the blessings bestowed on us.

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, pray for us.

Christopher P. Ice

16 March 2020

During this time of trial, suffering and a great fear of the unknown, I recall St. John Paul II in his welcome address as the new pontiff in 1978 where he said, “Do not be afraid.” Jesus himself said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and meek in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt 11:29-30) Numerous times in Jesus’ earthly life, we are quite confident that he turned to his mother, Mary, for comfort and peace. She was there for him even to the point of his death on the cross, at the foot of the cross. We need to learn from Jesus and tum to Mary in time of trial. 

Ave Maria University is dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God. On March 25th, I invite you to join me as we will consecrate the University to Jesus through Mary on the lawn near the Bob Thomas Student Union while watching the sunrise over the Ave Maria church. Mary will protect us from harm and we need to trust in her intercession, just as she consoled Jesus as a mother to her child before and after his public ministry. 

I want to strongly encourage all of you to take this time to commit more time in prayer to help us endure this trial. Fr. Rick Martignetti, O.F.M. will do everything in his power to make sure that the sacraments will remain available for all those on campus. We need to take advantage of daily Mass, take advantage of confession, spend time before the Blessed Sacrament and pray the rosary each day. The rosary is one of the greatest weapons in your possession to combat the great evil that is being unleashed on our world. If we go to daily Mass, attend frequent confession, pray the rosary each day, spend time in adoration, fast and offer up our sufferings, we will defeat the Coronavirus.

In February 1986, there was political unrest in the Philippines to the point where hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets to pray the rosary and confront the military who had brought in tanks and soldiers with guns to disperse the crowds. As the crowd prayed the rosary, blocking the tanks from advancing, the soldiers were ordered to begin firing their guns into the crowds. All of a sudden, the soldiers were awestruck as a “beautiful woman encased in an immense bright light” appeared before them standing in front of the people between the tanks and soldiers. According to these soldiers, this beautiful woman was dressed in blue with heavenly eyes, appeared in front of them and spoke in a voice audible to everyone, “Dear soldiers stop! Do not proceed. Do not harm my children. I am the queen of this land.” The soldiers immediately dropped their weapons and joined the people in prayer. The soldiers later claimed that the woman was the Blessed Virgin Mary. Disaster was avoided and the Marcos regime was overthrown without a single shot being fired. 

We have the same weapons on our campus, the weapons of the sacraments and the sacramentals (i.e. rosaries). I am inviting all of you to join me for a day of fasting and prayer on Wednesday, March 18 to preserve our campus from harm from the Coronavirus. 

I would ask that you pray the following prayer each day for the protection of our campus and community from the vicious attacks of this virus. 

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Father, send now your Spirit over the earth and Ave Maria. Let the Holy Spirit live in the hearts of all nations, that they may be preserved from degeneration, disasters, and war. May the Lady of all Nations, the Blessed Virgin Mary, be our Advocate.” Amen. 

God bless each of you! We will endure this battle. You are in my prayers. 

Christopher P. Ice