Saturday, April 16, 2016

Easter Break: Beaches and Books, Saints and Schools

We rarely take vacations -- our preferred thing is to stay home and relax -- but a change of scenery is lovely. I didn't know some hotels folded their towels like our fur-babies :) We had another goal this time: to check out Ave Maria University. What a gem! I will never forget the air so thick with the sweet smell of orange blossoms. Heady stuff. 

I was so impressed with both the students and faculty. Michael has already fallen in love with the town but it's a good decade before we can even think about retiring. I'm in awe of Tom Monaghan who had this great vision, putting Christ first and center. The oratory is a masterpiece; I could've spent all night there. The open steel-lattice work is an engineering feat. I love how the crucifix makes two shadows; as I was contemplating, the organist began to play When I Survey the Wondrous Cross. I love these sorts of coincidences. I wish I had decent pictures of the front of the church depicting the Annunciation -- take a look here

There is also a Mother Teresa Museum in town, I believe the only one outside of Calcutta. I loved seeing the letters she wrote in her beautiful handwriting to the current president of AMU. Imagine Mother Teresa needing a lawyer! But it's her sari that moved me most of all. Threadbare, her mending visible. It reminded me so much of my mother. I imagine those two chatting it up in heaven, smiling down upon us, praying for us. 

There was good eating and hanging out at the beach, as well as touring the Everglades, not a place you want to get lost. There are crocs. Lots of them. We did quite a bit of reading too. My favorites: A Call To Deliver: Tom Monaghan, Founder of Domino's Pizza and the Miracles and Pilgrimage of Ave Maria University by Peggy Stinnet; Write Away by Elizabeth George; Answering Jihad by Nabeel Qureshi.

On our way home we stopped in Port St. Lucie to venerate the relics of St. Maximilian Kolbe. I am so grateful that over this past year we've come in such close contact with holy men, women and children. The Saints are a gift to the Church. We picked up half a bushel of juicing oranges and boy is freshly squeezed OJ a treat!



Faith E. Hough said...

What a beautiful trip! Ave Maria was high on my list when I was researching colleges, but it was just too far away from home for me. So glad you got to visit!

Leandra Wallace said...

Wow, that cathedral is amazing!! We usually do 'stay-cations' too, but it's definitely nice to get out there and experience other places too. And who knew that about ribs! =)

Johnell DeWitt said...

Wow. That cathedral is something else. What a great trip. Thanks for sharing it.

Vijaya said...

Faith, I didn't know you were considering Ave. It's truly amazing what people with a vision can accomplish.

Leandra and Johnell, doesn't the form itself make your heart and mind go heavenward? And yeah, that restaurant had the best signs while we waited to get our table.

Carson Coronado said...
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Carson Coronado said...

It sounds like you went on a great trip! You would never think that as a man, I would want to visit a work of art. The truth is I have always loved to travel, and visiting Ave Maria really made me develop a new love for advanced architecture. To be completely honest, even though it was a school; I have never felt closer to god than I did in that experience.

Carson Coronado @ Old St Marys Detroit

Vijaya said...

Oh, I think men are entitled to be moved by great art too! I'm so glad you felt close to God. Sacred spaces and esp. beautiful ones lift our hearts heavenward. Thanks for stopping by.