May, a busy month for any school, was unusually special for Ave Maria University. It was more than final exams, graduation, and the start of summer courses. It was even more than the month which saw the last graduation on the school's temporary campus.
May is far more important than all these things because it is the month dedicated to Mary, our patroness. During this month, all Catholics should meditate more than ever on the countless virtues of Our Lady. Members of the Ave Maria community feel especially called to do this, and they had plenty of opportunity.
Mother's Day this year fell on May 13, the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima. Because this was also the day after graduation, many students arrived home just in time to say a special thank-you to mom. Those students that stayed on for summer courses were able to celebrate the feast day with extra fervor — thankful for the (hopefully) successful end of one semester and looking forward to the next.
Unfortunately, the busyness of the time could have made it easy to barely notice May 13, except as a quick reprieve between the scramble of final exams and the beginning of summer jobs or classes. Aside from two very blessed Ave undergraduates who actually went to Fatima, most students, both at Ave Maria and elsewhere, are likely to be very distracted and worn out.
To keep the stress from taking over and distracting them from this important time of year, Ave students tried to keep in mind the peacefulness and love of our Blessed Lady. During an especially crazy time, nothing could have been better than to have the two special days fall together. That wasn't the only opportunity of grace, however. The feast of the Visitation on May 31 gave us more to keep in mind.
If we are truly to imitate Our Lady, we absolutely must retain our love of neighbor and keep that love active. "Mary rose with haste" to go visit St. Elizabeth when she had just agreed to carry the Savior of the world in her womb. It doesn't matter if we're tired from work, missing friends over the summer, or a little worried about homework, we can still lend a helping hand. That is what we pray to be able to do at Ave Maria. Summer students spent Memorial Day weekend painting Immokalee's La Casa Thrift Store. Other students simply helped each other pack or move, while still others prepared to offer most of their summer for the unborn by participating in the Crossroads Walk for Life.
Finally, Our Lady did (and does!) all of her work with a true cheerfulness springing from the deep joy of God that she possessed at all times. Whether studying, working, or praying together; making phone calls; sending emails or writing letters, Ave students usually can't help but keep each other in that spirit of joy. But no matter what, we always have the example of Our Lady: One of perfect peace, joy, faithfulness, and love.
For more information about Ave Maria University or to apply online, please visit www.AveMaria.edu.
To arrange a campus visit, please contact Visitor Program Coordinator, Susan Nutt, at 877-AVE-UNIV (ext. 2556).