First, top o’ the afternoon to ya! Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!
Our founder Tom Monaghan cherishes Ave Maria’s claim of Irish ancestry so today is a special day for all of us!
Today also begins the nine day countdown to the consecration of the University to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary!
Classes will end by 4:30pm on the 25th and offices, too, will shut down at that time.
I hope the Oratory is packed with Ave Maria University students, faculty, administrators and staff as we celebrate the feast of the Annunciation (and Tom’s birthday, too!).
After 5pm Mass, all attendees will gather outside (weather permitting) on the Oratory steps and face the glorious Annunciation Sculpture while Bishop Dewane invites all in attendance to renew or make their own personal vow of consecration. He then he will recite the formal prayer of consecration of the University.
Preceding the prayers will be a brief ceremony thanking Gene and Sheelah Windfeldt and their son, Michael, for making the magnificent Annunciation Sculpture possible. A one-hundred pound plaque along the steps of the Oratory will be officially installed with an inscription recounting the history of the sculpture and giving expression to our heartfelt gratitude.
I urge you to begin today a novena in advance of this historic moment in the life of Ave Maria University. Be creative and identify a novena that attracts your special devotion and places your mind, heart and soul in the proper disposition to receive the many graces Our Lady wants to confer upon you and the University on this great day. And on the 25th, bring a friend or two to the Oratory for the Mass and consecration.
If you only come for the festival cook-out on the green, you’ll simply be getting a steak dinner - and missing out on the choicest of celestial offerings!