I have no direct experience of it, but I hear Ave Maria U. is pretty trad.
Maybe not so much
Liturgical Meltdown Ahead?
Mon, Dec10, 2007 - Category: University
Diocese of Venice, take note -
AveWatch readers will recall
that the first chairperson of Ave Maria University's Department of Sacred Music resigned last year due, in large part, to ongoing interference by lawyer-President Nick Healy in the department's liturgical music. Despite its short life and frequent claims to being "authentically" or "unabashedly" Catholic, AMU already has a history of intolerance for certain traditionalist forms and practices, and has acted in ways that appear to misappropriate liturgical decisions to be made by priests or the local bishop to, instead, lay university administrators (see series here
AveWatch recently received unconfirmed, but reliable, reports that the new head of AMU's music department is now "subject to being fired for insubordination for having ignored Nick Healy's directive that sacred music in Latin is only to be sung at the 8AM Sunday Mass, and is not to be sung at any other Sunday Masses. In other words, Healy has threatened the head of the Catholic university's sacred music department with termination for having Latin sacred music at too many Masses.
Undoubtedly, this would be quite a shock to AMU's prospective donors, all of whom are regularly treated to fundraising letters that tout how traditional, conservative, and "authentic" Ave Maria's Catholicism is.
Sources have explained the behavior of AMU's lawyer-President this way - "... it certainly fits in perfectly with Healy's ongoing and obsessive war against "traditional" Catholic music and liturgy, a war which seems to have three "generals", Healy, his wife Jane, and their imported "healing" priest Fr. McAlear".
Multiple sources at AMU report that there have been ongoing battles between students and staff over Communion rail kneelers in the temporary campus chapel - students bring them in, staff take them out. Finally, AW is told, the kneelers were moved by staff to an undisclosed location because "Healy is adamant that the kneeling tradition at AMU is to be broken
Last month, Roger McCaffery, a former AMU employee and founder of Roman Catholic Books
, granted a blog interview
. When asked about Ave Maria, McCaffery pulled no punches (excerpt) - "Its [AMU's] leaders began treating the campus Masses as a marketing device. Now they plan to “mainstream” the university. They’re banning the Old Latin Mass. Over a hundred students have asked for it. The chaplain and the president are said to be carefully examining and discussing the request, as if dealing with a radioactive moon rock. They regulate the “ordinary form” in Latin too. They cut that back, moved it from 10am to 8am on Sundays so most students don’t go. How can Catholics who talk about tradition all the time mistreat those who love their tradition? Simple: they have re-written what “tradition” means. You can then imagine how Pope Benedict’s emphatic restoration of the Old Mass in July was received."
The use of Mass as a marketing device is confirmed by AMU's recent heavy use of campus priests to author, send, and receive fundraising letters coupled with mass requests. Readers have complained to AveWatch that Ave Maria's flippant use of 11 sacred traditional direct references
to the Blessed Virgin Mary (i.e. "Our Lady of Good Counsel", "Our Lady of Perpetual Help") to name levels of cash gifts is both tacky and disrespectful.
McCaffery goes on to nail the lay administration of Nick Healy over matters liturgical and diocesan (excerpt): "Healy has even cut his [Fr. Fessio's] weekday Latin Masses in the “ordinary form” from three to two. In my opinion Fessio should ignore that dictate, say Mass exactly as is his priestly prerogative, challenge the chaplain [who is] from [the Diocese of] Rockford and the Pizza magnate---and take the case directly to the Vatican if necessary, sooner the better. There is a huge principle at stake. The University has no right whatsoever to restrict his public Latin Masses in whatever Missal the Church permits. Nor does it even have the right to spurn student wishes about Latin liturgy. None whatsoever. The chaplain is not even from the diocese! The university is run by laymen! So, this is a test case. Fessio personifies, and always has at AMU, an issue much bigger than he. It is a liturgical issue directly involving Church authorities when a chaplain who draws a paycheck from a lay board restricts another priest or when a layman attempts to dictate policy about Mass. A university, or for that matter an old folks home, which restricts, in any way, celebration of the new or old form in the sacred language of the Church, must be corrected."
Will the Bishop of Venice rein in the misappropriation of laymen like Healy and Monaghan? Monaghan's giant oratory, in the center of his real estate development, may be a factor in this, given that the Bishop has yet to approve the structure for mass. Healy hasn't delivered on accreditation, and Monaghan hasn't delivered on the centerpiece of his development, the oratory. A recent issue of Conde Nast said "... James Daly, just bought a $337,000 home, which he and his wife intend to use for vacations, on Ave Maria Boulevard, near the oratory. 'We're Catholics, we're serious about our faith, and we like the idea of the church being there..'
" Well, Mr. Daly, it isn't a "church" until the Bishop says it is... and that has yet to happen
. Monaghan will have his hands full between townspeople and sales partners (Pulte, Baron Collier) if the oratory isn't "delivering" on mass soon.
How ironic it is that the two most fundamental aspects of Monaghan and Healy's projects - accreditation and Magisterial approval - have flopped to date.