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What to Do: A Daughter at Loyola
& a Son at Home?

Dear Dr. Marian T Horvat,

I have recently purchased your CD's on the family. I also purchased your books Restoring the Family, Courtesy Calls Again, and Catholic Manual of Civility. Much of what you refer to we have known to various degrees over the years in our hearts to be right. We did not know about the long history of the Patriarchal Catholic family which brings all of these understandings into clearer terms and unity.


Chapters on fathers/sons and mothers/daughters

I am sharing this information with my husband and we are very grateful for the direction. I did have a few questions as these CD's refer on what to do with younger children. We do still have 5 at home that are under 12 so it is much easier to incorporate many of these principles without difficulty.
However, we have four adult children as well, 3 boys ages 32, 29 and 23. Our daughter is 20 and finishing her sophomore year at Loyola University in Chicago.

I too went to college and did work several years before marrying. She is very intelligent and has the gift of a beautiful voice. We have been trying to introduce her to a young man that we have met serving as a physician in the military. She is very resistant, claiming that she "isn't ready for a serious relationship" and hasn't dated in high school.

She is a sanguine temperament and very outgoing /social. We feel she is partially wanting to enjoy her friends and sorority and finish school. We don't see the studies as something negative per say, but the way it's become, the priority is to finish a degree and have work experiences before she will even consider vocational calling is concerning.

We did speak often about vocation but didn't properly form her in this area. We had the false mindset that adults, men and women, leave the house after high school for college or military or technical school. This never felt right, but we fell prey to this mindset, as many do.

We don't know how to reverse it now and doing so is causing a lot of confusion, of course, for her. She is just doing what we set her up to do: go to college, have a career and later marry hopefully, but only on her terms when it is right for her and the rest is complete. We would appreciate some advice or if there is a CD/Book speaking about adult children we would appreciate knowing which one.

Also, this patriarchal family concept that children don't leave at 18 and become independent individuals - does this apply to young men of 18-20 also?

My husband fears that they would then never leave the home and forge a life for themselves. He lived at home during college but had to pay rent and leave when he graduated college. He was raised to work very early and make a life for himself by his father.

Our older sons have left, but there is a sense that they live their own lives separate from our family and do not consult us in decisions they make as they ought to. We don't know how to correct all of this in hindsight.

The 23-year-old son left but has come home recently and is getting on his feet again. My husband is counting the time for him to move out and stand on his own two feet. We would appreciate some guidance on what a patriarchal Catholic family looks like with adult children.

Thank you for assistance.

     Pax Christi,


Dr. Horvat responds:

Dear J.M.,

Thank you for your kind words on my books and your consideration in addressing these delicate problems with me. I am pleased to give some suggestions, based on the information you offered.

Indeed, you have two situations going on in your family - one with the older and another with the younger children. It is much more difficult to undo mistakes made under the influence of modern society than to form a family well following Catholic principles and good customs. Now is the time to try to form the younger souls in a good, Catholic manner.

The daughter

Regarding your daughter: Under the influence of modern thinking, so many Catholic parents have encouraged daughters to leave the home, follow a career, in effect, develop - or perhaps better said, "create" - a new life and world different from that of the family.

By following this trend, many Catholic young women - even from good traditionalist homes - become feminist in varying degrees, believing that equal rights should be afforded them in all professions, and then, naturally in the home should they marry.

What is forgotten is that when the authority of the man as head is destroyed, what will naturally follow is the mutual competition, disorder, disobedience and unhappiness found in so many homes where the key note is equality.

feminist forum loyola

Loyola University openly promotes feminism

A daughter's chastity is also protected in the family home, especially when the wise Catholic practice of courting is practiced and the modern practice of "dating" eschewed.

I believe that the modern Catholic university - especially Jesuit-run ones like Loyola - are particularly dangerous both in instilling the spirit of feminism and corrupting the purity of young women. It is dangerous to place young women - more influenced than men by public opinion and the desire to fit in and have friends - into the modern university ambience. Its decadent customs, erroneous doctrinal teaching and tolerance for every immorality can quickly unravel whatever good formation was received in the home.

You did not provide much information about your daughter regarding her religious tendencies, but I hope she is not entering the progressivist circles or learning to "tolerate" "friends" who dress badly, cohabitate, are homosexual, etc.

 I would suggest that you give your daughter the booklet "The Letter from Beyond" to read; it can help her understand the seriousness of life, something especially important for sanguine souls. We never know when a grace we receive that invites us to change our course or follow a more serious path will be our last one. This short work emphasizes that point with a vivid true story.

letter from beyond

An eye-opener!

Another way to help keep your child on the good path is give her a Miraculous Medal and ask her to wear it always. It should not be a cheap medal, but one that is lovely and attractive that she will not have human respect to wear. There are many finely crafted gold and silver medals today that you can find without much difficulty.

I would like to make one other small point. You mentioned that you are trying to introduce your daughter to a young man and she is resistant. I would certainly not push in this direction. Perhaps Our Lady has another vocation planned for your daughter in the tumultuous days ahead.

It is a great sadness to me that the single vocation is not given any place in "discernment" retreats offered today. One of the young women here at TIA addressed this topic last year in a strong article and opened a polemic with angry mothers who did not want to consider that the single vocation is higher in the spiritual sphere than marriage.

Also, on our Cultural Page there are other articles that your daughter may like to read.

We would be happy to answer her questions or, if you find it convenient, even arrange a short visit for her to have a better understanding of the Counter-Revolution for women.

At TIA we are not opposed to education for women who are preparing to work in jobs that are characteristically feminine, or who want to improve or distinguish themselves by learning language, studying music, and so on. But the parents should make an effort to assure that their daughters remain at home while they study.

The son

Now, let me turn to your question about young men at home. Certainly a spirit of self-reliance should be inculcated in young men, for many of them will need to be the heads of their own homes someday. However, I believe there is something Protestant and modern in the attitude that the son should necessarily be pushed out of the house to "be a man."


A young man takes leave of his parents to begin work away from home

This was never the mentality in the Catholic home of the past. The home was a place where a young man knew he could always find the support and stability he needed in times of, psychological, physical or financial difficulties or crises.

Certainly, a good formation prepared a young man to leave the family, enter the military, follow a profession and so on.

But in Catholic organic society, very often a son took up the trade, craft or profession of the father, and would work side by side with him in the home or office. One son might inherit the family bakery or tannery, continuing to live in the same home with his family if it were a larger house, or building his own edifice on the same property or the near environs.

This is how the bonds of family burgeoned and created the large extended family, a small world inside another larger world of the community. I would strongly suggest you read the articles on Organic Society by Dr. Plinio to begin to gain an understanding of and admiration for the role of the family in this natural process of building a Christian Civilization.

I do not know all the circumstances of your son being at home, but it seems that he should not be made to feel guilty for returning, especially should he need to retreat from a world that is foreign and opposed to all the family values and spirituality he learned from you. There are moments when a young man needs the support of the family to regain his balance, a balance the modern world and workplace does all it can to upset.

three generations

Three generations of men working on the family farm

A young man should, of course, be required to follow the family rules: do not play rock music, do not bring in bad friends or customs that scandalize the younger children, do not treat you disrespectfully. He should wear the Miraculous Medal. He is old enough to follow his own prayer life and should not be required to enter the family night prayers when you say them with the younger children, but surely he should join the family in saying Grace before meals.

If he is in conditions to pay you something and you are in need of that financial help, then he should do so. But, otherwise, no. The financial concerns, which tend to be placed first in the protestant-influenced American society, should be secondary.

As noted in the Courtesy Calls Again chapter on the mother and son relationship, it is important for you not to treat this young man like a little boy, but he should always know the warmth and tenderness of a mother. I would suggest your husband read the chapter on the relationship between fathers and sons.

What seems most important to me is that, if he is willing to respect the family rules and show civility to all, he not be pressured to leave the family home. This is a wrong attitude, reeking of the same Protestant spirit that labels daughters who do not marry and stay home as "old maids." It is not the way to build the strong enduring family Catholic bonds that we admire in times past.

May Our Lady continue to guide and inspire you to form your family well as you grow in the Catholic spirit that will regenerate a better future society, the Reign of Mary promised by Our Lady at Fatima.

     In Maria,

      Marian T. Horvat, Ph.D.


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Posted May 28, 2019


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