Yesterday’s celebration of our University’s consecration to Jesus through Mary will be remembered by everyone who attended, especially our students who made or renewed their own personal profession of devotion to Our Lady.
Bishop Dewane celebrated Mass and his homily on the role of the Blessed Mother in our lives and world had the packed Oratory rapt with attention.
And seated in the front row was our founder (and birthday boy), Tom Monaghan. Tom read the first reading and Dr. Catherine Pakaluk, an esteemed member of the Ave faculty, the second.
Chairman of the Board Michael Timmis, his wife Laura, and two of their children brought the Offertory gifts to Bishop Dewane. Because the back and rear side walls of the Oratory were lined with worshippers, five priests and Bishop Dewane administered Holy Communion. When Mass concluded, the Bishop went to the podium on the plaza and, after seven months of preparation, the hundreds of students gathered and many more faculty, staff, and town residents, joined with the Bishop as he consecrated Ave Maria University to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
We will discover in the years ahead the importance of what we did as a University community yesterday. It was an annunciation of sorts.
The festival that followed was simply perfect: 1,500 steaks were served; student performers sang; Tom and our Bishop mingled with students; the sunset was glorious as it cast its ethereal glow on the Annunciation Sculpture masterpiece that the Windfeldt family made possible. Our Lady always takes care of the weather and once again it was Florida perfect.
The evening ended with a rosary walk with dozens of students walking across the campus, praying the mysteries of the rosary, and capping a spectacular day.
More about this day later. My thanks to Vice President Cosden and her staff, our Campus Ministry team, and all our faculty and students who made yesterday so special.