What areas of the country are the most Catholic, highest population of Catholics, best and most affordable Catholic schools, great Catholic sense of community, etc? Is your city or town a contender? My husband and I would like to start considering where to move when he retires from the military in a few short years. Up until recently, we thought we would stay where we are forever because my family is here. But we are realizing more and more that living here is a recipe for losing ones faith as evidenced by my family. I have a huge family and nearly all of them have lost their Catholic faith save for a few. I have no support, no Catholic friends, no access to Catholic counseling, no access to Catholic drs, have to drive really far to access even a Catholic book store or an NFP instructor. There’s no perpetual adoration at any parish in my area. Dh and I want out! Sell me on a better location!
It might be helpful if you let us know where you are now.
I am sure you will get many responses. But I have to be honest, your question makes me feel uncomfortable. While I understand and sympathize with all your issues, I have seen several questions similar to yours and I think you are looking for a panacea that doesn’t exist!
I grew up in a Catholic “ghetto” in the 1950s and 1960s. Everyone in my neighborhood was Catholic – and that is not hyperbole – I met my first Protestant when I was 12! But you know what? There were people who did not go to Mass, husbands and wives who cheated on each other, substance abuse, domestic abuse, unwed pregnancies, depression, etc. And let’s not forget that many of the cases of childhood abuse in the Church occurred in the 1950s and 1960s in those Catholic ghettos.
I guess I am saying that a “safe” environment won’t necessarily save you.
There are saints and sinners everywhere. Listen to where God wants YOU to be.
I agree. Yet there are some things the OP wants that can be found in one place, as long as she recognizes that no place will be utopia, “safe,” etc.
In my experience, all of these are available somewhere in the Washington DC metro area (Archdiocese of Washington, Diocese of Arlington, etc.). You would also find lots of Mass and confession times available throughout the week, if you’re willing to travel around the area.
The cost of living is also crazy expensive, there’s a huge population with a lot of turnover, and it’s a very politicized climate. But there’s plenty of Catholic stuff-- in many languages, too.
I travel extensively (domestically and internationally) and have found, believe it or not, that one of the most committed Catholic area seems to be Wichita, Kansas. Yes, there are wonderful Catholic parishes and communities across the country. But I find Catholicism to be thriving in the Wichita area and always enjoy my visits to the city. I have considered moving my family from our home area in the past. Wichita would be high on our list as a new home for many reasons. Certainly, the faith community would be a big part of that.
There are many diocese that have a great bishops, great priests, and active faithful. Lincoln, Nebraska comes to mind.
We must always remember, though, that faithful Catholics are a persecuted minority everywhere on this earth, even in Rome.
May I humbly suggest the Diocese of Wichita? No kidding, you would not think SE KS would be a strong area for Catholics, but it is. Catholic Schools are free from K-12 there, lots of great priests, if your husband is military you will love the Fr. Kapaun pilgrimage that is done there at the end of May every year. I don’t know what age bracket you are are in but they have a very strong young career age group there. They have the largest number of seminarians per capita as well. They also have a very good and growing Newman Center at the recently renovated St. Paul’s Parish at WSU. When I lived in Wichita I started out knowing nobody, but I soon made many life long friends there. The people of the Diocese and the region are very warm and friendly, and Wichita is actually a great place to raise a family.
Either one of the Kansas Cities are also very good. The KC-St. Joe (MO) diocese has a very good bishop, very good priests, some good Catholic High Schools and Universities and a strong group of professional age adults known as City on a Hill. The Arch Diocese of KC (KS) has a wonderful arch-bishop and some very good Churches too and it works closely with KC-St. Joes soe yes the KC-St. Joseph and the Arch Diocese of Kansas City, KS on the KS side are very good. However, the very best diocese I know of is Wichita.
St Marys, Kansas comes to mind if you are looking for a small rural, but CATHOLIC town. There is a huge SSPX school/ congregation here, a beautiful little FSSP parish and wonderful school just a couple miles out of town, and a very orthodox ( whats known locally as the Novus Ordo parish) , all in this little town of 2000 Pretty much anyone you talk to in town, be it in the grocery store or at the park, will be Catholic, trad or otherwise. It is very peaceful here. Only about 45 minutes from Topeka, where many of the people commute to work.
Thanks for the suggestions, keep them, coming! Lot of support for Kansas so far. My other Grandparents live in KS.
Let’s table the side talk that I must recognize that no place is a utopia, lol. I’m not suggesting that. However my area is particularly lacking and I know that other areas are far better. It’s time to start seriously looking at specific areas to see what job opportunities are available so we can start planning for retirement and the transition to the civilian world. If we are going to move for this express purpose, we need to know what areas meet these qualification.
I live in Springfield Mo. Population is about 150,000 people in the city and several small communities surrounding it. It is a very Christian city with Catholics being a large Minority.
We have 7 Parishes, 4 schools and a Highschool. I don’t find the schools affordable, however if you are willing to fill out some paperwork every year they offer tuition assistance. In fact, My children went for free thanks to my priest.
My parish has Adoration on Mondays, and I know another who has it on Thursdays.
We have 2 Catholic bookstores. One very good, the other is more Catholic knick-knacks rather then books. As far as Counseling and Dr. I don’t know but I do know we have them, and ask a priest for one and they will give you names. I know from experience.
The city is not spread out. You can drive from 1 end of the city to the other in about .30 minutes. That’s with high traffic.
High paying jobs are rare. However there are lots of jobs and the cost of living is low.
Thanks! I lived outside of St Louis for a couple years and I remember it having tons of Carholic schools. I’m also looking for a good sized Catholic homeschool population especially if the schools are expensive.
Another vote for the Wichita, KS, diocese! We have free Catholic education (you are expected to tithe if your kids attend), vibrant faith, many perpetual adoration chapels, many seminarians for the size of the diocese, and you can find Catholic doctors who do not prescribe contraception. The Midwest Catholic Family Conference is held in Wichita every August and is fantastic IMHO. The priests uphold the teachings of the Church. I am sure you could find exceptions, but they are rare. I know there are Catholics who do not practice their faith or who do not follow all Church teachings, but there are so many who love the Lord and His Church.
Archdiocese of Detroit! Personally, I wouldn’t move into the city, but a lot of the suburbs are fantastic places to live.
Catholicism is huge in this area. Most of my Catholic mom friends homeschool, but some of the best schools in the area are Catholic schools. Like others have said, tuition assistance is available and usually you get discounts if you belong to a supporting parish.
(Expensive also kind of depends on what your definition of expensive is.)
This area also takes Fat Tuesday very seriously thanks to our Polish Catholic community. (Paczki day is a huge event here!) We’ve got Catholic Universities/Hospitals/Counselors…it’s not hard to be a Catholic here.
As for job opportunities, it depends on what field you want to get into and your skill set. There might be opportunities for someone ex-military through some of the defense contractors in town.
It’s not hard to find high-paying jobs with the right skill set.
We also get all 4 seasons and Michigan is just beautiful. I’ve heard others say that Grand Rapids is also a great town to be Catholic in as well. Until I started participating here, I had never heard anyone call Grand Rapids a Catholic town because I usually associate Grand Rapids/Holland with the Dutch/Christian Reform Christians who are very insular and distrustful of outsiders. I have a Jewish friend who grew up in Grand Rapids who had a lot of problems because of his faith (in the late '80’s - early 1990’s).
I grew up in Kalamazoo (1 hour south of Grand Rapids) and West Michigan (in general) is just a lot more protestant than SE Michigan. The cultural difference is noticeable. In SE Michigan, it seems like everyone I meet is a Catholic or ex-Catholic.
Anyway, Michigan - great place to live - if you want Catholic, then you can find it here!
Of course you could always kick-start Catholicism in the area you’re in now.
Retirees have more time to be involved. Of course you’ll need the support of your Bishop and clergy, and a few like minded brothers and sisters, but it could be done.
Have your pastor invite the Catholics Come Home apostelate.
Spearhead the formation of a latin Mass society & schola.
Challenge the Knights of Columbus to get involved in the formation of Catholic youth through sports activities and Scouting.
Lobby for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Long lines at the confessionals are a sign of dynamic parishes.
Invite great speakers and apologists to visit your parish.
Its a start.
My vote would be for Green Bay, WI. The people have that genuine, “midwestern nice” quality. It’s about 72% Catholic, and 16% Lutheran, which means about 88% of the people there have very similar values/beliefs. Cost of living is significantly lower than the coasts.
And the Packers play there. Be sure not to confuse one “St. Vince” with another!
He’s only retiring from the military. He’ll still be in his 30s with young children. Definitely needs to keep working. We already have Catholics Come Home. I went through it and didnt learn much. It’s severally lacking. I don’t know the first thing about the Latin Mass and would be incapable of spearheading anything to do with that. KOC already does. I have attended Catholic youth events throufh them but they were not well attended. There is simply little to no interest here. We don’t have enough Priests to offer more Reconciliation. I’m not in a position to invite speakers. My Priest already knows exactly how I feel about All of this.
My interest is definitely piqued for Wichita, thanks!
Great info, thanks! My husband is in the nuclear field so he would probably try to stick with that but he’s flexible.
Wow, I’m impressed by those numbers!