UPDATE 3/23/07 The latest is that Fr. Fessio will continue on at Ave Maria University, though in a non-administrative capacity. Click here to read the story from the Naples News.
Update article in NapleNews.com on 3/28/07, click here.
YESTERDAY'S NEWS: This is new news for me. I am a regent at the University of Ave Maria in Naples Florida and am sorry to hear of this separation. I will update you as I learn more. I am good friends with Fr. Fessio who is my publisher and also good friends with Tom Monaghan and Ave Maria University with whom I sit on the Board of Advisers of Ave Maria Foundation. I am saddened by this news and will be anxious to find out the details.
I received an e-mail from Nick Healy stating in part that Fr. Fessio "was asked to step down as Provost of the University as a result of irreconcilable differences over administrative policies and practices."
CWNew writes, Mar. 21, 2007 (www.CWNews.com) – Father Joseph Fessio, SJ, has been abruptly dismissed as provost of Ave Maria University in Florida.
Father Fessio, the founder of Ignatius Press and publisher of Catholic World Report*, was asked to submit his resignation on March 21, and ordered to leave the Florida campus immediately. No public explanation of his dismissal has been offered.
Ave Maria University was founded in 2003 with a heavy infusion of funds by Thomas Monaghan; the former owner of Domino’s Pizza, pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to the effort to build a solidly orthodox new Catholic university on the new Florida campus.
Father Fessio– a former student and longtime friend of Pope Benedict XVI (bio – news)– had been instrumental in recruiting Catholic scholars for the faculty and in providing reliable spiritual direction for the school’s students. His name regularly appeared on fundraising letters for the young and growing institution, and his sudden departure raises questions about the overall future direction of Ave Maria University. News of his departure prompted demonstrations by students on the school’s campus Wednesday afternoon.
Updated WashingtonPost.com article, click here.