Ave Maria U. kicks out controversial “Home of the Mother” religious community

I’ve been hearing off-the-record concerns about this community for some time so I’m happy to see that AMU has taken action to dismiss them from their campus in Florida. The circumstances of the forced departure couldn’t be less flattering, as the Naples Daily News reports:

The visible religious community known as the Home of the Mother will be leaving Ave Maria University’s campus this week after allegations surfaced that the nun supervising the school’s program to help women discern a religious vocation “was responsible for immoral conduct” last academic year, and was removed from her post in the spring, the university announced Tuesday.

The religious group, which is based in Spain and known also by its Spanish name Hogar de la Madre, recalled the nun, Sister Maria Elena, last year after learning of accusations that she had an inappropriate relationship with a female student in the program, but the group did not report the incident to the university. Nor, according to the university, did superiors at the Home of the Mother follow Vatican-prescribed procedures for reporting such incidents.
Marielena de Stuart is asking some hard follow-up questions at Spero News.


  • GGM

    Wow i’m in shock but we don’t have to talk about her we have to pray for her we don’t know what she going through right now and if Jesús forget our sins and he doesnt remember what we did we should forget her sins and don’t even remember what happen we really don’t know what her heart is going through right now and if this happen in this community doesnt mean that it could in other community this community is really different from The other communities. We need to pray a our Father, hail mary, and a glory be to the Father. For her and her community.

    Thank You….

    God Bless You

  • gab

    I have been around this group long enough to know that they are cult -like, they brainwash and they are very aggressive. On the other hand, they have brought many people back to the Church and have really helped young people find Christ. But, when you really get involved, you see the corruption and saddness….

    • Laura

      I have been long enough around this group too. I also lived in spain with them and they are a great community that have done missionary work in Ecuador, they help the elderly in another community in spain, there is another community where they teach and take care of orphans and girls whose parents cant take care of them (because the fathers are alcoholics , mother prostitutes etc..) I just mention a few of the many works that this community has. I have seen with my own eyes all the work that they did, and I also lived with them in spain doing my discerning, I saw their true kindness and devotion to Mary and the youth. Thanks to them I appreciate the church, and I have a different look at the catholic faith. I don’t agree with you that they brain wash and they are cult-like. They are just a bridge to help people become closer to christ. I don’t think they are aggressive either, they are very upfront and honest and sometimes the truth hurts. On regards to that has happened, it shocked me alot and it was very hurtful as I know this community very well. But at the same time it got me thinking that we are all human beings..who are we to judge this sister and this student. as Jesus said “He who hasn’t sinned cast the first stone”. we are all sinners and the only one allowed to judge us is God. The only thing we can do is pray. pray for the sister who had a weak moment, pray for the student, pray for the community, for all those who were affected by this.
      May God bless you all :)

  • farmerjohn

    In response to the criticism of the Home of the Mother being an Association of the Faithful: TO become a religious order you must go through the process of being recognized by the Vatican. HM is young, being founded in 1983, and is taking the proper steps. If they were sitting on their hands waiting to just “become” a order, it would never happen. They have to be out there accomplishing their mission on earth, which includes evangelization. I have nothing but respect for this soon-to-be order. In this age, where sexual abuse has happened from within the Church, I understand why people are so quick to judge when it comes to these situations, but I assure you this is a solid, holy group of people. I know this from personal experience.

  • GML

    “Track record of concerns”??, “Cult-like behavior”?? These are very strong words and accusations to any organization let alone religious women who have dedicated their lives to the Catholic church and in prayer. Helping women discern to a vocation of faithful prayer throughout their lives is what this world needs right now. Let me tell you, I have attended only a couple of adult community gatherings held by HOM here in our city about 200 miles from Ave Maria, and these nuns have shown great sacrifice and effort to bring women and men alike know the Blessed Virgin Mary and closer to Her. People are so quick to judge and condemn. The Gospel reading yesterday (9/10/10) goes to say: “Let me take the splinter out on your eye when you have a big log on yours.” It’s so easy to see the one bad that she has done than to see the many of the good she has. This is the devil’s work, to reject, discredit, and remove HOM from AMU because it hates it’s mission.

  • TKB

    Given the track record of concerns that have been expressed about the cult-like behavior of this group, it is sad that AMU had to wait for something like this to happen before acting.

    This “private association of the faithful” was not recognized by the Vatican until June 2010. Yet, it has been overseeing women’s discernment, campus retreats, and offering spiritual direction since 2004. Why anyone would have given this unproven association so much latitude and oversight on a Catholic college campus is beyond me.



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