Good Cities for Catholics?

Strictly from a Catholic perspective, which of the following six cities would you prefer to move to and why?

  • Charlotte, NC
  • Durham, NC
  • Fort Worth, TX
  • Huntsville, AL
  • Lexington, KY
  • Tyler, TX

If you accounted for other conditions (weather, jobs, housing), would your answer change?

I posted this in the Traditional Catholicism board and not Catholic Living because I was looking for particular feedback, but please move/delete if this is inappropriate.

St Petersburg, FL


None of these six cities appeal to me.
Can’t we please see the name of the city behind curtain number seven?


Huntsville, since that’s where EWTN headquarters are.

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Huntsville has got a ton of things going for it apart from Catholicism. It’s one of the most highly educated cities in the nation thanks to NASA.

Charlotte NC is a pleasant place.


Billy Graham’s Museum is awesome! Definitely worth a visit in Charlotte!

Lafayette, Louisiana. Lafayette was voted the MOST Catholic city in the entire country this past year. There are probably 15 Catholic Churches in Lafayette alone.


From strictly a Catholic perspective, I’d pick Tyler, Texas. I’ve heard wonderful things about the bishop there and would love to attend Mass there.

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From that list I’d pick Charlotte, balancing weather, political climate and access to the TLM. Overall my first choice would be around Boise, ID though for all those reasons and more. Just have to convince the wife.

Charlotte is getting to be a bona fide Catholic city, with all the transplants from traditionally Catholic areas (the northeast, midwest, etc.), a solidly orthodox and traditionally-leaning bishop, and some very, very large parishes. St Gabriel’s has perpetual adoration and St Ann’s on Park Street has several Traditional Latin Masses (EF) every week with one on Sundays, at a very convenient time, no less (12:30 pm). Can’t say I’m terribly fond of the traffic, nor of the transient nature of the city, but if you didn’t have the latter, you wouldn’t have the growth. Fine restaurants for every taste and a very nice international airport. Close to both the beach and the mountains. There is a lot to like about Charlotte, and very little not to. I live two hours out, and get there several times a year.

No offense intended to those who live there, but Durham isn’t much to look at. Many fine job opportunities in the Triangle, though, and there are worse places to live. TLM/EF isn’t available weekly.

Not crazy about Lexington. Very pretty, very clean city, but kind of suffocating and irritating in a way I find hard to describe. The horse country is pretty, I’ll grant that, and many fine things can be said about the bourbon. The FSSP has a presence, and that’s never a bad thing.

I don’t know enough about the other places to have an opinion.

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Beyond just the lack of EF/TLM, what is your overall view of Catholicism in the Triangle? I’ve been thinking about relocating there, and it looks like at least Raleigh might have a few decent churches.

I think I read on the internet that Rhode Island is the most Catholic state in the country - over 40% (I don’t remember the exact percentage, but it was over 40%)

I would like to live there, but I don’t know if I could handle the winters.

All the cities listed would be nice places to live. I think
I would choose Lexington, Kentucky.

Of those listed I’d probably choose Charlotte. But I have no plans on moving anymore.

Personally, I wouldn’t move to any of these cities. If the population exceeds 40,000, count me out!

From a traditional Catholic perspective, I don’t think you would go wrong with any of those choices, so you should make your choice based on other factors like access to employment in your field or proximity to family, etc.

If I had to think of the most Catholic city I’ve lived in, I’d say New Orleans. :stuck_out_tongue: Sure, a bunch of the Catholic stuff has been secularized, but it’s still there at the roots. I want to say that 65% of the population is religious, and half of the religious population is Catholic-- about one out of three, if I recall. We always had stuff like St. Joseph’s Altars, and there were more churches than you could shake a stick at. The last time I visited, we had a nice time at the Latin Mass at the Church of St. Patrick, though I was sorry we never made it to St. Louis Cathedral. And, of course, Mardi Gras can be kind of like Halloween… something that you appreciate the roots of, even in the midst of all the secular/commercialism/excess around you. Good music, good food.

I’ve lived in Fort Worth. It’s fine. I’ll take it over Dallas any day of the week. Dallas has a very… big business? flavor to it. Fort Worth has the same access to arts and culture, but was more relaxed and laid back. I miss Bass Hall. I loved St. Mary of the Assumption down on Magnolia; there was a very nice Anglican convert priest. The first time he talked about his wife, it was a little bit of a surprise, but I liked him. :slight_smile: There used to be a FSSP Mass with a very nice Gregorian choir, but they ended up building their own parish over in Irving. So I was happy to see them succeed, but was sorry to lose them. St. Patrick’s Cathedral is good for lunchtime Mass if you work downtown, but can be a bit frustrating if you’re counting on pre-lunchtime-Mass Confession. St. Andrew’s over at TCU was a very affluent parish, and had some good homilists, but they tended to get cycled out relatively frequently when I was there.

I think pretty much every city on your list has major heat and humidity issues. :slight_smile:

For me, I’d probably stick with a Texas city… not necessarily because it’s more Catholic, but because I prefer to avoid state income tax, even if it means a higher property tax bill or whatever.

I really don’t know enough about the Triangle (Raleigh/Durham/Cary/Chapel Hill/RTP) to have much of an opinion about Catholic life there. It would be heavily tilted towards well-educated transplants, for whatever that’s worth. There is no weekly TLM, though the SSPX has an evening Mass on most Sundays (the priest goes to Goldsboro, about an hour out, on the other Sundays). There are weekly diocesan TLMs in Dunn and, I believe, Rocky Mount. I know little of anything about the non-TLM churches.

I lived not a long distance from Lexington for several years and never really cared for the place. There is kind of an old-money, elitist air to it, basically an endless suburb surrounded by horse farms. UK basketball is legendary. There are far worse places in the world to live, but it was just not my cup of tea. It is a mecca, and that is putting it mildly, for well-educated young professionals. Beautiful country, though, no doubt about it. The terrain reminds me of northern France as you approach Paris from Belgium. And Booker’s bourbon is the gold standard, at $85 a bottle too expensive for me anymore. Pappy Van Winkle is the platinum standard, and one I never expect to try, it costs a fortune.

I like how those are all Southern cities. I’ve never been to Texas, so I can’t give an opinion about that, other than this, I do know a priest that died recently that was from there, and he was fairly orthodox, in fact, so Orthodox that when he was ordained he was actually ordained an Orthodox priest, he became Catholic later. Charlotte is not too terribly far from me, it’s about a two-hour drive, it’s okay

None of those sound appealing to me. I guess whichever has the best bbq.

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