Veronica and Luis (“Lucho”) were both born and raised in Colombia. Lucho Forero is an electrical engineer with an M.B.A. and a degree in Marketing. In 2000, he accepted a job in telecommunications. The firm was based in the D.C. area, but his job was in an office in Miami. Meanwhile, Veronica was in Colombia earning a degree in clinical psychology. On business trips to Colombia in 2003, through a common friend, Lucho and Veronica first met. Lucho began spending more and more time in Colombia, falling in love with this beautiful and strong woman who was also a woman of deep faith.
It wasn’t long before the two were married, and in spite of the sorrow they felt in moving away from their families, they decided to settle in Miami where Lucho worked. They found a strong community of like-minded families in Key Biscayne. As the years passed by, their family began to grow. First Micaela arrived, followed by Candelaria, and then a year later, Lucia. Three beautiful little girls, with lush brown hair and bright brown eyes that shine with joy and innocence.
By 2011, the Foreros had made many friends in Key Biscayne, and their lives were filled with parties and playdates. But Micaela was now four, approaching five, and her parents began to think seriously about school options for her. Along the way, they had become interested in a parenting philosophy called “Attachment Parenting”—essentially, allowing the child to be as close to the parents as often as they wanted. It’s a “pure formula of finding the love,” Lucho explains, in any situation. Along those lines, Veronica were open to homeschooling Micaela, but they didn’t have a strong homeschooling community around them. They also felt drawn towards a school in the classical liberal arts tradition, but once again, nothing in their area fell into that category. So they did some research.
If you drive through Coquina and spot a house with a single-car garage and ten bicycles in the driveway, you know you have found the McQuades.
If you venture inside on a typical day, you will find seven McQuade children scattered throughout the home playing, reading, or working on their homeschool lessons. Among them, two young men from Immokalee homeschool as well.
Another son, Hadyn McQuade, passes through between classes at Ave Maria University to give a violin lesson. Two more adult children pop in on occasion when they take a hiatus from their work or study to come visit.
If you’re really lucky, there may be a litter of Goldendoodle puppies to play with! The McQuades breed their family dogs and car e for the puppies until they are ready to be sent to loving homes. The lifestyle of this family of 12 may seem a bit over whelming to some, but the McQuades wouldn’t have it any other way. Their adventurous and fun-loving journey began at Ole Miss where Mike and Jenn McQuade met. The two fell in love and got married.
The McQuades have moved 19 times as a family. In the early years of their marriage, Mr. McQuade was in the United States Air Force. He flew F-16s all over the world. In fact, they were living in Korea when their first child came into the world… 16 weeks early!
It was the Fourth of July weekend and the McQuades were spending time with some military families at the beach in Korea when Mrs. McQuade suddenly became ill. She developed a very high fever and had to be rushed to the hospital while her husband and friends packed her body with ice. The hospital was five hours away.
When she got there, her water broke. She was only 24 weeks pregnant. She had an emergency C-section and a man at the hospital, who was not even a doctor, fashioned a mask small enough for their new baby out of materials he found in the kitchen. Thanks to him, baby Rylan was Read the rest of this entry »
For those of us who are newer to Ave Maria, it is hard to imagine the town without Maple Ridge, Publix, or the Oratory, but the Dix family knows the town before those things quite well. When they moved to Ave in 2007, the Oratory was just a skeleton of what it is now and the vast majority of the current residential areas were inhabited by wildlife alone.
The patriarch of the Dix family, Daniel, was present for the groundbreaking procession as a couple hundred folks walked in prayer through the tomato fields and Ave Maria became a town. Daniel and Monica were also the first to sign a commitment to open a business in Ave Maria — that business was The Bean of Ave Maria.
Standing outside of Sunday Mass, Monica Dix, wife and mother of five, shares that their offertory envelope is number 27 — those envelopes were handed out to residents star ting with number one — another fact proving their status as one of the original families in Ave.
When they moved to Ave, they were a family of five, with the youngest two girls not having been born yet. Now, they are a family of seven with one dog, Bob Lee Swagger . The Dix girls are: Isabella Ray, “Bella,” 13; Gianna Carolina, “Gigi,” 10; Josephina Maria, “Josie,” 9; Gabriella Lucia, “Gabby,” 5; and Rosa Emiliana, 2. Daniel and Monica had very specific plans for their girls’ names. Firstly, all of their names have Italian roots, and most also honor a family member or patron saint. But secondly, Monica said, “we wanted to be sure their names could work if they wanted to be diplomats or rock stars.”
While unsure if the future has either of those two careers in store for any of the girls, their current interests are certainly varied, including track and field, martial arts, reading, sailing, fencing, book-writing, video game playing, and coding, to name a few.
While their schedules haven’t always been full with the multitude of activities they are now, Daniel and Monica are no strangers to long days and packed schedules. The two met while Monica was studying ceramics and sculpture at Carnegie Mellon University and Daniel was finishing up his degree in art history while working as an art conservator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, PA. They fell in love and Daniel proposed while on a seven-week bike trip together in Europe.
Monica, who was a cradle Catholic, although not practicing her faith at the time, wanted to get married in the Catholic Church. This was a bit of a problem for Daniel, who was a practicing Christian, but had no real allegiance to any particular denomination at the time. His problem came with the vow to raise his future children in the Catholic faith. Daniel took this vow very seriously. After discussing it with his own family and because it was something that Monica felt strongly about, the two were married in the Catholic Church.
Before they got married though,shortly after their engagement, Daniel left Pittsburgh to put his journalism degree to use by taking a job in management at a daily newspaper in his hometown of Wooster , OH. Monica wasn’t thrilled about the idea of moving to Wooster, so she stayed in Pennsylvania believing it might be easier to find work somewhere she was already comfortable.
It didn’t take her long to realize that she needed to be where Daniel was, “I was like, ‘what am I doing? I’m ruining this relationship I’m supposed to be in’ — Daniel proposed! This isn’t just dating anymore’ — I had made a commitment to Dan. And ultimately,
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The sculptor whose work is seen throughout Ave Maria in the Oratory and on the Ave Maria University campus, Timothy Schmalz, noted on social media that on the anniversary of 9/11 he will be working on a sculpture that tries to express the mysterious and merciful love Christ has even for a terrorist.
Schmalz’s “Homless Jesus”, which depicts Christ as a hooded homeless man bearing the stigmata, has garnered media attention in recent years as copies have been installed in cities throughout the world. A majority of Schmalz’s work is religious.
Schmalz sculpted the large bronze Crucifix in the Oratory and a series of about ten bronze religious sculptures that are dispersed throughout the AMU campus.
One way to mark the anniversary of 9/11 is to listen to music composed as a tribute to the victims by Stephen Edwards. His “Suite for the Americas” was paired with his “Ave Maria Mass”, which was commissioned by Ave Maria founder Tom Monaghan, on a CD a few years ago. A small number of copies is still available for purchase, though you can purchase the songs on iTunes, and you can listen to samples of all 21 songs at this link.
The Suite for the Americas is sweeping music worthy of America’s epic saga – it will spark your imagination and evoke the American spirit. Listening to the Ave Maria Mass will make you wonder why the songs are never performed at the Ave Maria Oratory – the Kyrie and Gloria are particularly moving. This review is from Amazon.com:
Steve Edwards has composed a moving tribute to the victims of 9/11 in his Ave Maria Mass. He has an excellent appreciation for this genre of music, creating a reverent transcendence. For those who enjoy fluid, coherent lines of music, Mr. Edwards satisfies this longing. The Gloria moves well, the Sanctus and Benedictus are magnificent. The Agnus Dei hauntingly echoes the musical statement of the Kyrie. His Ave Maria is a wonderful work, that I found appealing. The Suite for the Americas is a set of short pieces for very enjoyable and often very inspirational listening. It begins with a musical flight into what seems an ethereal vista over one of America’s great wonders and plummets to what seems some profound journey. All of the music uses pleasing melodic structures with all dissonances resolved with a canvas of pleasant, beautiful, or magnificent phrasing that I appreciated greatly. It almost seems Steve takes you on a musical afternoon on his Tall Ships, and then steams you down the Grand Mississippi, with music that seems to let you see the danger of the shoals but the magnificence of the moving waters. In the mind’s eye, Steve helps one see the Flag waving in the breeze, the redwoods reaching to the skies. The Eternal Flame is haunting and the Elegy to our Fallen Heroes is the tribute is is meant to be, touching on their greatness and their loss.
This is a list of the tracks:
5. Agnus Dei
6. Ave Maria
7. Gratias Deo
8. The Eagle Soars
9. I Will Fear No Evil
10. Tall Ships
11. The Grand Mississippi
12. Cowboy’s Jig
13. Flag in the Breeze
14. Central Park Waltz
15. Mighty Redwoods
16. Building a Nation
17. Eternal Flame
18. Niagra Falls
19. Baseball Hero
20. Elegy to our Fallen Heroes
21. Patriotic Parade