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National Office:
Foundation for International Cooperation
1237 S. Western Ave.
Park Ridge, IL 60068

Niagara Falls in the old days!

(Report by Editor Irene Horst)

We have had a number of requests this past month, to forget our domestic travels and plan a wonderful excursion to the Arctic!! We must find a few indigenous folk who can invite us into their igloos! We really like warmth here, but light weight jackets in February, flowers growing in March, the trees past their blooms in April? My goodness, this fairy-tale winter is certainly one for the books! But where is the pretty snow, with trees looking like magical forests, children lapping up snowflakes as they trek along in their lovely new snow boots, scarves, and mittens! I think many of us are still Luddites and enjoy the seasons as they show on the calendars. We can fly to the warmth, but return home to the “way the weather should be!” (Written by a true northerner.)

This January, however, found a number of FICers gathered in Bonita Springs, Florida, guests of the Pawliks, at a social get-together after a Board meeting. We did enjoy the comfortable short-sleeved weather and eating out-of-doors. But most of all we all enjoyed reuniting with each other. Some members hadn’t seen each other in years, others in months, but as with all FICers, one picks up right where one leaves off and continues on with conversation as old friends manage to do. Especially delightful was the opportunity everyone had—sitting in a circle—to tell about FIC events that they participated in and remembered as most pleasant affairs. Many were very humorous occasions that had occurred, and others were one-of-kind encounters that happened just because they were FIC sponsored-events. How wonderful to rub shoulders with one another if only for a short while.

But, of course, a FIC week-end could not be complete without some travelling. Therefore, a trip to Ave Maria, Florida, was a tour made to order. Just 25 miles or so from Naples lies a planned community with a university as a vital part of it. Thus the Ave Maria University and the Ave Maria Oratory (church) exist in the heart of this community. This heart is called the Towne Center or the La Piazza, where people gather to dine, shop, and enjoy life together. Resident homes encircle the little city with more on the drawing board to be built. The Oratory is of gothic style with visible touches of Frank Lloyd Wright within. The whole area is a dream come true for Tom Monaghan, a Catholic philanthropist and activist, and founder of Dominics Pizza. He felt that such a university and town was needed in our country and made it a reality in 2005. It was a delightful excursion for us, FIC style.

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