Here in Pennsylvania, and the adjacent states, we had waves of immigrants from Ukraine, Rusyn areas in Slovakia and Ukraine, as well as other areas in Europe and the Middle East where there are Eastern Catholics. The priests followed the Faithful who immigrated to the US to enter challenging careers in steel manufacturing as well as in coal extraction and transportation.
The descendants of these immigrants, who mostly arrived here in the late 19th and early 20th Century form the largest portion of the EC parishes that these immigrants founded.
However, since the Pittsburgh Diaspora beginning in the 1980’s, and the economic decline of many of the other towns here in the rust belt, many of our residents left town- went down south or out west to the Sun Belt in search of opportunity.
A lot of these folks who left were of the Eastern Catholic, and they moved to areas where the closest EC church might be hundreds of miles away. What’s the strategy for these members of the Ukrainian Catholic community or Maronites or whomever, how many interested members do they need to have and how do they get together (with people they often don’t know-came from a different rust belt location) to get the EC prelate to assign a priest? What if there aren’t enough folks in Charleston, SC or Americus GA, or Torrington WY to support a parish?