Ave Maria, Florida is a lot of things.
To Ave Maria University, it is home to their new campus, the first major Catholic university constructed in the U.S. in 40 years.
To its founder Tom Monaghan, it will be a conservative Catholic city on a hill, where there’ll be no porn on the cable system, no condoms in the stores, and no contraceptives in the pharmacy.
To bitter faculty of Ave Maria Law School, it is the “edge of Corkscrew swamp” where Monghan and his supporters will forcibly relocate them from Ann Arbor.
To conservationists, it is the first implementation of an innovative “market based” rural land stewardship program.
Lastly, it’s an enormous construction site in southwest Florida where thousands of homes, millions of square feet of office space, and a 100-foot tall Cathedral are all under construction under legal arrangements similar to those used to develop Walt Disney World. To top it all off, it’s even been on the Pope’s mind: Newsweek magazine reported it was the first thing Pope Benedict XVI asked the Provost of Ave Maria University when the two met.