Mom wants to pay for a semester at Ave Maria


My df’s mom just offered to pay to send him to a semester at Ave Maria. She said if he goes to Ave Maria (in Florida) for the spring semester, she and his dad will pay everything. Their reasons were:

  1. He needs to be relaxed and not have too much responsibility. (He would have to quit his job and break his lease).

  2. He needs to try other thing out before deciding on one thing. (He is going to a secular private school for medicine and they want him to study in Theology at Ave Maria).

  3. He needs to date other women before marrying to make sure we are truly in love. (I guess our recent wedding planning, talking with our priest, choosing inviations, etc has prompted this part?)

Mommies on this thread, what are the mommy reasons for suggesting something like this? I am past even pointing a finger at them or being angry. They are just so disconnected from their own son, I feel very sorry for them. He is firm in his faith and dedicated to Christ, knows his vocation, studies so hard for med school and is working well in a job he likes!

He has never liked Ave Maria. (Several friends go there and his sister wanted to go). So I can’t figure out why they chose that school.

His only reply at the time was “I’ll think about it.” All analzying aside, he asked me: what do I tell her?

How would you guys phrase it to her?


“Thank you for the offer, Mom and Dad. But I’m already doing what I’ve chosen to do, so no thanks.”

If they refuse to accept that - you can’t force other people to see reason. But neither are you responsible for convincing someone who refuses to let themselves be convinced.


The last time I checked that school out (for someone else) it was not accredited yet.

You may want to check if it is. The credits would be worthless if he wanted to transfer them.

Check into it. They should wait until the school is accredited before they push it on him.

Sorry they are doing this on the personal side of it. Wow. Dont worry- it will work out:)

You will be fine. God has a plan they cant change.


Thank you for that generous offer, it is very kind of you. I see by your reasons, you have put a lot of thought into this, I thank you for that. I will not be able to accept at this time, because of other plans, but that does not mean that I do not appreciate it.


Sometimes a man must leave his mother and father. He still loves them, but he must control his own situation. That does not mean he should never give a yes, in fact he should still say yes quite a few times, but that means he should always be able to tell them no.


Actually a bit of time there might be good to give a workable moral and ethical background, but of course it still has to work out with the plan of the medical school and family life. It could be useful, but it doesn’t sound like that is exactly why his parents presented the offer. The whole he should date other women for awhile thing though just makes me laugh. I think you said he is your fiance, that would only help and driving him further away from his parents. Really, he cares enough to put an engagement ring on your finger, I doubt he would have done it if he thought that was a good idea. If it was me, I’d think I’m not going to talk to you, if you don’t take my decision to want to marry this girl seriously.


I think he made a mistake saying he’d think about it. He should have been firm up front. Date other women when he’s engaged? :rolleyes: I would go with Reepicheep’s post.


I agree with the others. But a bit of the “d’s” advocate here.

How old are you and you bf?

Who is paying for his education now? Who will pay for it after you marry?

Who will be responsible for your living expenses while he is still in school and internship?

What will you do when there are babies (as there will be in a sacramental marriage) and he is still in school and internship?

As long as you can answer that you both as adults can and will be able to provide for yourselves and your family then it is your decision. Not his parents.

If your commitment to each other is strong as it should be for marriage then even if you separated for a time it would remain strong.


I guess neither do the nearly one third of students who started there and then left the school.

While the concept might be laudable, the management of the school is suspect to say the very least.

might be a site of interest for you …

it also links to other “strange” management at the Ave Maria School of Law, and to other now destroyed projects of the ex pizza maker.


Why would a parent say these things? They are controling and manipulative.

What does your fiance say to them? Thanks, but no thanks.

Less is more in these situations-- don’t argue, don’t plead, don’t justify. He needs to be a broken record and say “I have made my decision, this topic is closed for discussion” over and over as many times as necessary.


IMHO some of those leaving just might not like the strict rules. Debate on the school should be on a seperate thread. The OPs origional post tends to make me think there is more going on then a change in schools.


**My husband has a Masters in Theology and let me tell you while he is extremely knowledgble about his faith the degree was an expensive way to learn it.

I would let his parents know that if they are wanting him to learn more Theology perhaps they could pay for some online courses from Franciscan University of Steubenville

As to all the other stuff i can’t believe they are bringing this up while y’all are trying to plan a wedding!!! Is he really close to his parents? How is your relationship with them?**


It is possible that some may leave because of “rules” which they knew where in place before attending.

And debate is a separate thread… in this case the link that I provided.

And the OP did say the “he has never liked Ave Maria”… perhaps the information provided in the link was known to him, and should be given to the “helpful” parents.


I’m so sorry your future ILs are doing this to you and your fiance. You will all be in my prayers.

I think your fiance needs to tell them asap that he is not going to take them up on his offer and thanks, but no thanks. He needs to be firm and confident and make it known that if they cannot accept his decisions, then it could put a dent in their relationship with him. This is not fair to either of you, and it makes me concerned about future decisions as the wedding gets closer. I hope that this is just a one-time incident and they realize their son is a grown man (I’m assuming he is, since he is entering the medical field and living on his own) and is completely capable of making wise and good decisions. God bless!


Going to look at things from another angle.

I am the mother of a son, and if his father and I saw him planning his future and saw him both stressed and looking at more stress - I might advise him to take a retreat before moving on to the next step.

The young man in question is working, leasing a place to live, going to college and planning med school. This means a mountain of debt is in his future. Debt like this can cause huge stress. He is looking at a world of study/work stress that will only increase with internship and residency. This kind of stress can cause huge pressure. Adding a young marriage to the mix. Perhaps these parents KNOW doctors who have been down this road and have cracked under the pressure. Perhaps they know doctors who can tell you that the idea of making a big pile of $$ is not a reality for many physicians, that the debt can follow for years - again, adding pressure. Perhaps these parents SEE marriage as a lifetime commitment, not something to be taken lightly and they do not see divorce as an option.

So, before heading down this road, they may say “Son, we would like to give you a retreat. For one semester, 4 months, sit back and rest - pray - discern, away from the pressures of job and school and wedding planning. This is our gift to you, and if you come back from this retreat knowing that your path is determined, you will be rested and refreshed before you begin the next leg of your journey. If your vocation is set and your love is lasting, this retreat will only make it stronger”.

That could be the intention of the parents. They are talking about sending him to a place that is focused on the spiritual, it is not like they said they’d pay for him to live in Vegas or a party school frat house for a semester.

Maybe, just maybe, these parents do have their son’s future well being in mind.

Jesus took time away from everyone to prepare spiritually before He began the most difficult part of His life…


Thanks MrS-

I am going to send this to the person I know who tried sending 2 of her kids there. I pointed out its not accredited and that stopped her, but now she is thinking about her other 2 children going there since she said they will get accredited status soon. Your link might help her to ditch that plan and spare her hard earned money from going in the can.

BTW- Haskille-

I gave your situation more thought and I really admire how you handled it so far. Many women would have a hard time coping with all this and you sound like a level headed person who is going to prevail in the end. Manipulators end up loosing their kids trust and respect. If they really had his interests at heart they would not want to push for him to go to a bogus school. Just my 2 cents…:o


They could be, but if it is, it seems there is a break down of communication if it is, atleast by the time it gets to hasikelee.

It’s actually possible there is way too much stress, and it might be a good idea to strech out what is being planned. If the parents feel that way, they really need to be very cautious on how they approach it. It’s tough to convice a young man who cares deeply about his beloved to slow things down.


nice post. Much wisdom.


I seem to remember a great deal of posts about hasiklee’s future in-laws and as much as it would be great to ascribe the purest of intentions to these individuals, it certainly does not appear from past behavior descriptions that they have their son’s best interest at heart. I’d go with 1ke’s assessment: manipulative and controlling. PM me if you want some book suggestions, hasiklee, in trying to better understand these people and cope with their shenanigans…


Df really dislikes the school. He thinks it is not legitimate and it doesn’t offer much for what his goals are.

I have known it does not have accreditation with the ECA or whatever that acronym is, for awhile because I was considering the school my junior year.

They aren’t really interested in the “graduate” or “degree” part of it. They want him to “experience” life, or as his mom put it, “There is more to life than just maintaining a relationship, working and going to church.” :rolleyes:

Actually, God probably does have a hand in this (his mom’s reasons for all of this are that God told her in a dream) as I am becoming very genuinely proud of him. He could easily take their offer and go party in Florida with a car, plenty of old highschool friends and free flowing money from his parents, instead of saving and working and straddling school here with me.

  1. We are both in our early twenties.

  2. He is paying for his own education. His parents paid for about 1.5 years worth of college, but once they found out he was taking science courses, they withdrew the support. Right now he is taking his basics at a community college and going full time at a university. :eek: I don’t know how! lol. So far, careful budgeting and his grades have kept him out of debt other than semester to semester on a credit card.

  3. He is living on his own right now in an apartment next to school and work, and owns two cars. I work with the same company so we will actually receive full benefits at a 20% discount. He and I are still covered under our parents’ insurance due to being in school full time.

He is putting weekly savings away in a money market so that right after we are married, we can buy a little house with a big down payment. That way, even if he is on a stipend or working part time, he can still afford the monthly payment and expenses so I wouldn’t have to work. This is possible because there is a “historic” area about 5 minutes from work that has just teensy houses. The neighborhood is lovely and these houses are literally 1 and 2 bedroom summer houses that are very inexpensive. Just perfect for a new family!

  1. I am a year behind him in school, but with some accelerated classes, I will graduate about 4 months after we are married, and he wants to have an MBA that same semester as well. So we both pray that with God’s blessing, soon after our wedding I will be able to become a mother without worrying about working or school, although I want to continue both until/if I do become pregnant.

His decision to complete an MBA in business and prepare for medschool seems really smart to me because he will be completed with his business education right after marriage and able to find a job along that pathway if so required by circumstances. That way we aren’t worrying about years and years of education/residency without any other ability to make ends meet.

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