A 'Catholic's Paradise' created by ... Domino's Pizza?
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Ave Maria Town, meaning "Hail Mary" Town, is located in Florida, roughly 40 miles from Naples. It opened in 2007 after popular pizza chain Domino's' CEO, Tom Monaghan, invested in its creation.
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LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In accordance to Monaghan's ideals, Ave Maria Town is deeply rooted in strict Catholic ideologies.
When Mohaghan initially announced his plans for Ave Maria Town in 2004, he happily stated, "There is not going to be any pornographic television in Ave Maria Town. If you go to the drug store and you want to buy the pill or condoms or contraception, you won't be able to get that in Ave Maria Town."
Ave Maria Town was designed to be a family-friendly college town and features a large church as the centerpiece of the community.
The church's facade displays a 30-foot-tall sculpture of the Annunciation and depicts the Archangel Gabriel greeting the Virgin Mary with the words, "Ave Maria."
Since it's inception, Ave Maria has grown to cover 4,000 acres of land. The plan is to build a total of 11,000 homes, and as of 2015 there are 500 houses in the town. The Ave Maria's website contains testimonials of citizens claiming the town is centered on Christ, with one person writing, "In Ave Maria, it's politically correct to say, 'Merry Christmas!' to my customers or anyone I meet on the street and they always say, 'Merry Christmas!' back."
The town boasts an 18-hold golf course and water park exclusive to residents as well as a single OB/GYN, who refuses to prescribe contraception to women. There are also hospitals and clinics that refuse to perform abortions and do not sell birth control, though there is no town ban on such medications and items.
Since its creation, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) questioned whether Ave Maria Town's existence is constitutional, but no case has been successfully filed against either the town or Monaghan.
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