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Inside the Isolated Catholic Town Built by the Founder of Domino’s

•, By Pete Brook
 That is not his intention, nor is he ridiculing religion. Rather, Steele’s series Ave Maria: One Man’s Vision is a long look at the long development of an idiosyncratic place. Ave Maria was conceived of, and largely funded, by Tom Monaghan, the devout founder of Domino’s Pizza. Ave Maria, at the southern end of the state, is a place of geographic and spiritual isolation. Although drawn by the unique religious personality of the unincorporated town, Steele soon realized it was not so easily compartmentalized. The resulting work explores universal themes of opportunity, identity and money.

“It was bizarre and funny to me that people of similar faith would decide to move to this isolated place to live their lives,” says Steele. “The religious angle is there but so to is the economic downturn, the utopian vision and the creation and feel of what defines a modern community. Ave Maria is so new that the story hasn’t been written yet.”

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