A dream for one business man has been realized. On Saturday, Dominos Pizza founder Tom Monaghan opened the town of Ave Maria, Florida, a 11,000 home community for devout Catholics. The town centers around a cathedral-sized chapel with seating for 1,100 and a 13-foot-high cross marking the highest point in town. A Catholic University is another high point of the town. There will be no adult book stores or strip clubs in the town, and local businesses are discouraged from selling contraceptives or birth control.

The town has cost $400 million to build, and the project has been a nearly 10 year undertaking. Monaghan was able to realize his dream by selling his pizza company for $1 billion. Besides building the town, he founded Ave Maria College, a liberal arts school in Ypsilanti, Michigan which closed this year and was moved to Naples. The school will now move into the Florida city next week on top of 1,000 acres of land that used to be used to grow tomato plants. This land was donated by the Barron Collier real estate development company in 2002. The university cost over $200 million to build and $100 million to help develop the town. Profits from the town will go to the university. It will join the country’s more than 200 Catholic colleges and universities. However, this school boasts Catholic teachings not seen in other Catholic institutions. There will be no co-ed dorms on campus and each residence hall will have a chapel. Campus priests may celebrate Mass, but they need permission from the bishop to perform sacraments.

Not everyone is supportive of this town and its agenda. They are especially angered by the discouraging of birth control sales. The Florida American Civil Liberties Union is threatening to sue of the town bans birth control. However, being a Catholic town, there may be little demand for these products anyway.

The prices for single-family homes in Ave Maria range from $256,900 to $481,900. Residents live on Catholic-named streets like Assisi and Annunciation. Monaghan also has a positive relationship with the Diocese of Venice who supports him and his vision.

For related articles visit http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=3401106 and http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-07-18-ave-maria_N.htm.

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