Ave Maria, Florida

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Ave Maria, Florida
unincorporated community
Ave Maria University in the center of Ave Maria, Florida.
Ave Maria University in the center of Ave Maria, Florida.
Ave Maria, Florida is located in Florida
Ave Maria, Florida
Ave Maria, Florida
Location within Florida
Coordinates: 26°20′12″N 81°26′12″W / 26.33667°N 81.43667°W / 26.33667; -81.43667Coordinates: 26°20′12″N 81°26′12″W / 26.33667°N 81.43667°W / 26.33667; -81.43667
Country  United States of America
State  Florida
County Collier
Elevation[1] 18 ft (6 m)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 34142
Area code(s) 239
FIPS code 12-47625[2]
GNIS feature ID 0287528[3]
Website Official website
Ave Maria Florida

Ave Maria, Florida, United States, is a planned college town currently under development in Collier County, near Immokalee and Naples.[6]


Ave Maria, Florida is an unincorporated community that was founded in 2005 by Ave Maria Development Company, a partnership consisting of the Barron Collier Companies and the Ave Maria Foundation led by Roman Catholic philanthropist and activist Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino's Pizza and the leader of Ave Maria University at the time.[7][8] Monaghan served as chancellor of Ave Maria University until February 2011.[9] The development of the town was made possible when the Florida legislature created the Ave Maria Stewardship Community District, a limited local government whose purpose is to provide community infrastructure, including community development systems, facilities, services, projects, and improvements.[10] It is one of the top-selling master planned communities in the United States.[11]


Ave Maria is home to various institutions and businesses. Local news is covered by a local online newspaper called the Ave Herald and a monthly print and internet magazine Ave Maria Living shares human interest stories about the community.[12][13][14]

Ave Maria Oratory[edit]

The band Scythian performs at a festival in front of the Ave Maria Oratory with Annunciation sculpture visible in the background.

The town was planned with the large Ave Maria church in the center, the facade of which displays sculptor Márton Váró's 30-foot-tall (9 m) sculpture of the Annunciation, depicting the Archangel Gabriel greeting the Virgin Mary with the words "Ave Maria" (Hail Mary). [15][16] Váró's "Good Shepherd" sculpture is also featured inside the Oratory, also carved in marble from Cave Michelangelo in Carrara, Italy.[17]

The iconic building serves as the home of the Ave Maria Catholic Church, part of the Diocese of Venice, which serves as the parish for local residents and students.[18] One of the oratory's most distinctive characteristics is its steel structure, much of which is exposed internally and externally. The landmark church received an architectural award from the American Institute of Steel Construction in 2008.[19] Monaghan has had a significant interest in architecture for more than 50 years and has been one of the world's largest collectors of the works and memorabilia of Frank Lloyd Wright.[20] He drew the oratory's first sketches himself on a napkin.[19]


Ave Maria has a severe mosquito problem, and has been sprayed more than 30 times via airplane with pesticides by the Collier Mosquito Control District in 2015 with organophosphates and pyrethroids, making it the most sprayed area in Southwest Florida.[21] The Collier Mosquito Control District spokesman, stated in 2012 to the Ave Maria Herald, "The chemical used in the spraying is Naled, an organophosphate that the EPA has determined to be extremely safe".[22] This statement is contrary to the EPA's own 2006 re-registration document for Naled, which requires a 48-hour re-entry interval for farm workers as "Naled can cause cholinesterase inhibition in humans".[23]


  1. ^ "Elevation search for "Ave Maria, Fla."". Retrieved 2014-06-03. 
  2. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "Florida by Place. Population, Housing, Area, and Density: 2000". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 13 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-10. 
  5. ^ "Annual Estimates of the population for the Incorporated Places of Florida" (XLS). US Census Bureau. Retrieved 2007-09-10. 
  6. ^ "Ave Maria Development Company". Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  7. ^ Cooperman, Alan (March 25, 2007). "Magnate's Decisions Stir Controversy". The Washington Post: On Faith. Retrieved August 1, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Welcome to a slice of the promised land: Inside the Catholic town being built by millionaire founder of Domino's Pizza". The Daily Mail. July 19, 2013. Retrieved July 19, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Tom Monaghan steps down as CEO at Ave Maria University". Naples Daily News. February 10, 2011. 
  10. ^ "avemariastewardshipcd.org". Retrieved 31 January 2016. 
  11. ^ Fletcher, June (January 12, 2016). "Ave Maria earns top 50 spot on national ranking of master-planned communities". Naples Daily News.
  12. ^ "Ave Maria Living". Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  13. ^ "Ave Herald". Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  14. ^ "Ave Maria Living". 
  15. ^ "Ave Maria Oratory Quasi-Parish". Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  16. ^ "The Annunciation of Ave Maria by Sculptor Marton Varo". Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  17. ^ David Shnaider. "Memorial Statue for Alex Klucik Installed in Oratory". The Ave Maria Herald. Retrieved 31 January 2016. 
  18. ^ "Thousands welcome Ave Maria oratory into Roman Catholic Church". Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  19. ^ a b "Oratory at Ave Maria receives architecture award". Naples Daily News. 25 June 2008. Retrieved 18 August 2012. 
  20. ^ "Earning His Wings". dbusiness.com. Retrieved 2013-08-27. 
  21. ^ "Spray Map – Collier Mosquito Control District". Retrieved 31 January 2016. 
  22. ^ "Ave Maria Herald". 
  23. ^ "EPA Reregistration Document for Naled" (PDF). 

External links[edit]

Media related to Ave Maria, Florida at Wikimedia Commons