|What a Blessing!
On Sunday, December 6, 2015, the feast of St. Nicholas, St. Laurence welcomed our Archbishop, His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, to bless the new Ave Maria Parish Life Center.
This new facility is home to our Weekday Children’s Program and the primary location for all religious education, ministry meetings, spiritual direction and events of all sizes benefiting our entire community, including our popular Parish Bazaar. The Ave Maria Center is an extraordinary blessing which will allow us to even more effectively live out our parish mission: to be a people centered in the love of Christ, glorifying God in all we do.
The Ave Maria Parish Life Center will be the hub for most ministry activity. The pulse of parish life will be felt in this new facility as the primary meeting location for our 80+ parish ministries and groups. It has 3 large gathering rooms for big groups and events, a dedicated Youth Room, an expanded Parish Library, 4 large meeting rooms, 30 classrooms, and a commercial kitchen, with elevator access to the 2nd floor and enhanced security so we will now be able to hold programs for adults and children simultaneously.
Ave Maria Stained Glass Window
Inspired by the stained glass window in our Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, we commissioned the same artists from the Mellini Studio, in Florence, Italy, to create an Ave Maria window for our front façade. The window includes many symbols of Mary: at the center of the beautiful sunburst pattern is an entwined A & M for Ave Maria; a royal crown acknowledges Mary Queen of Heaven; encircled by 12 stars (Rev 12:1), with a spray of lilies, a symbol of virginity and purity. Lighted from the inside, we hope it will serve as a beacon in the darkness and a means for evangelization in our community.
Holy Family Statue
Located in the Holy Family Courtyard, this statue features a scene taken from the daily life of the Holy Family. Families today can relate to and be inspired by Mary in the traditional role of the Jewish mother, educating and preserving the faith; Jesus is shown as a thoughtful adolescent, listening intently; and Joseph, gentle and protective, looking on tenderly. This piece was created for us by artisans from the Ferdinand Stuflesser 1875 Studio in Ortisei, Italy.
Wedding at Cana Mosaic
This mosaic located in the Oratory of the Rosary depicts the Wedding at Cana, the first of Jesus’ miracles. At the wedding feast, Jesus turns water into wine. Mary's trust inaugurates her Son's messianic mission, as she urges the servants to “do whatever he tells you.” This mosaic gives us a unique vantage of this gospel story: we see Jesus facing us in his divinity, creating miracles. This artwork is also a product of the Mellini Studio in Florence, commissioned for the Ave Maria Center.