Religion Briefs

Catholic college and town set for Florida

NAPLES, Fla. >> The founder of Domino's Pizza plans to build a Roman Catholic university and college town covering more than 5,000 acres in southwestern Florida.

Tom Monaghan, who also formerly owned the Detroit Tigers, announced Nov. 20 that the developer, Barron Collier Cos., will donate 750 acres to build the town near Naples.

The school will be called Ave Maria University.

It will be the latest of Monaghan's Catholic schools and organizations, including Ave Maria School of Law, Ave Maria College, a convent and the Ave Maria Foundation.

They are located in southeastern Michigan.

Monaghan said he started the foundation in 1983 "to help get as many people to heaven as possible."

Monaghan said his early years expanding Domino's Pizza franchises in college towns sparked an interest in campus community life as a vehicle for teaching Catholic values. He sold the company in 1998.

He hopes to finish construction on the Florida site by late 2006.

Ramadan has Detroit athletes in a dry spot

DETROIT >> For Muslim teens who play high school sports, observing Ramadan and its monthlong fasting from sunrise to sunset is a challenge.

The holiday began this year on Nov. 6, during football playoffs and other games. Muslims refrain from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk during what they consider their holiest time of the year.

Despite the difficulties, many in the Detroit area are running, tackling and winning games on empty stomachs and parched throats.

"You get tired," said Abdullah Babar, a 17-year-old senior at Bloomfield Hills Lahser High. "You get really tired fast."

The Detroit area has one of the largest Muslim populations in the United States.

In Dearborn all but four of the 65 players at Fordson High School football team are Muslim. Fordson coach Jeff Stergalas said Ramadan, based on a lunar calendar, fell right before a tough playoff game this year.

He arranged a dinner so his players could break their fast together after playing.

Babar also played with his team in a playoff game this month.

He practiced all week without food and water, and kept the fast on game day.

Canada church works on sex abuse lawsuits

TORONTO >> The Canadian government and the Anglican Church of Canada have reached a tentative agreement to settle thousands of lawsuits Indians brought alleging abuse at aboriginal residential schools.

The deal, if ratified by the groups involved, would save the Anglican national synod from bankruptcy.

The church helped run the schools and, along with the government, was named as a defendant in the suits.

Under the proposal announced Nov. 20, the church would pay 30 percent of the claims up to $16 million, and the government would pay 70 percent.

The lawsuits could end up costing the government hundreds of millions of dollars.

"Our agreement is a commitment to the victims of physical and sexual abuse to try to bring an end to the pain and suffering," said Ralph Goodale, a Cabinet minister.

Tens of thousands of Indian children attended the residential schools all over Canada from 1930 until 1996, when the last one closed.

Funded by the federal government but run by the churches until the mid-1970s, the schools are blamed for stripping Indian children of their native language and culture.

More than 4,500 lawsuits on behalf of 12,000 claimants have been filed, many alleging physical and sexual abuse. The government apologized in 1998 for widespread abuse at the schools.


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