Where are the best Catholic cities?


#1

Hi! I need advice on what you all perceive as the best Catholic cities in the U.S. I will be graduating in May with a degree in nursing, and I have no idea where I want to go…I just know I want to try some place new:) Here are some criteria I am looking for–please include whatever you can in your reply: Is there a good Catholic hospital? Good Catholic schools (elementary)? Churches? Community? Also, other things such as cost of living, cost of daycare, which area is the best place to live within the city, etc. I would specifically like to know about St. Louis, Lincoln, or anywhere in Maine if there is anyone from these areas that can help…or is there a better place? Thank you for your input…I plan on picking a place in the next couple months.:smiley:


#2

Hi Lisa,

I would have to say that I think Atlanta is a great place for a Catholic to live. We live in the north suburbs and go to a beautifully (and beautiful) traditional (not traditionalist) Catholic Church.

There is a Catholic hospital on the north side of town, but since I’m not a nurse I can’t verify it’s reputation. I haven’t heard anything bad about it.

There is an excellent Catholic school in Forsyth County (north of Atlanta) that is run by the Legionaries of Christ.

Cost of living is pretty good from what I hear from people that move here from the north.

The weather’s great, this part of the country is pretty, spring and fall are usually long and absolutely beautiful. Mild winters.

Please feel free to PM me with more questions!

Debbie


#3

Hi Lisa,

I would have to say that I think Atlanta is a great place for a Catholic to live. We live in the north suburbs and go to a beautifully (and beautiful) traditional (not traditionalist) Catholic Church.

There is a Catholic hospital on the north side of town, but since I’m not a nurse I can’t verify it’s reputation. I haven’t heard anything bad about it.

There is an excellent Catholic school in Forsyth County (north of Atlanta) that is run by the Legionaries of Christ.

For the last several years Atlanta has hosted a Eucharistic Congress on the feast of Corpus Christi. There have been around 20,000 people from the SE that attend.

Cost of living is pretty good from what I hear from people that move here from the north.

The weather’s great, this part of the country is pretty, spring and fall are usually long and absolutely beautiful. Mild winters.

Professional sports teams galore - including hockey.

A “red” state!

Most people that move to Atlanta love it.

Downfalls? Traffic!

Please feel free to PM me with more questions!

Debbie


#4

Lincoln, Nebraska is a great place to live. There is a good Catholic Hospital (Saint Elizabeth’s). And our Bishop is one of the most Orthodox bishops in the world - the Lincoln diocese attracts many conservative Catholics. There are many Catholic elementary schools - most associated with a related Parish. I don’t know how many of these have Daily Mass for students, but I know the one I attended for elementary school has Daily Mass for 1st - 8th.

As for day care and cost of living, not sure about those specific things.


#5

My oldest saughter just moved to Atlanta in July. She has a degree in theology from Franciscan University Steubenville and is now doing campus ministry work for a Catholic High School in Atlanta.

I would HIGHLY recommend it as a great place for young Catholics. The diocese is very active, lots of adult catechesis and plenty of programs for young adults. All of it is solid, not just social.


#6

Omaha, NE is a wonderfully Catholic city. There are Catholic schools all over the area with many Catholic high schools, some co-ed some all girls, some all boys. There is a wonderful Catholic hospital, Bergan Mercy. Housing is affordable, traffic is minimal.


#7

Now, I want to move to Atlanta!


#8

Rockford, Illinois, and BOY, do we need nurses! Three hospitals (one Catholic hospital). I work at one of the non-Catholic hospitals.

We have a Catholic high school that has won numerous awards. Protestants send their kids to this school.

We have a network of excellent elementary and middle school Catholic schools; also a fast-growing Catholic homeschool co-op.

My husband and I converted to Catholicism from evangelical Protestantism in 2004. Our parish is Holy Family, and it is the place where the “LIght of the World” retreats were created. These Catholic retreats are now conducted all over the world, and teach Catholics how to experience a “personal relationship” with their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. PROTESTANTS come to these retreats!

LOTS to do at Holy Family. Several Bible studies, lots of service opportunities, etc. A great apologetics teacher. Great pastor and priests.

Several other great Catholic Churches, including the Cathedral for our diocese. We are incredibly blessed to have Bishop Thomas Doran, who is ROCK HARD CATHOLIC. Ten years before I became a Catholic or even thought about Catholicism, I listened regularly to Bishop Doran on the radio and recognized that he was a man of Christ.

BTW, the Diocese of Rockford is one of the dioceses that does NOT have a shortage of priests.

We have hosted several Catholic Family Conferences in Rockford with excellent speakers like Tim Staples, Michael Cumbie, etc.

There is a Catholic Bible Fellowship group for ladies and men. It’s been going on for over ten years now.

The city of Rockford is about 80 miles west of Chicago, which is nice if you like the Big City but don’t want to live there. Pop. about 150,000, so a small city. Not much of a downtown, but a great mall (Cherryvale).

The Rock River runs through Rockford, so if you are a boater, you’ll like that. Our Park District is award-winning and deservedly so. We have dozens of reasonably-priced golf courses; people come here from Chicago to golf. Also lots of other rec opportunities, including two ice rinks. Rockford is the hometown of Janet Lynn, who won Bronze in figure skating Sapporo in 197. Many Rockford skaters have won National and International medals in figure skating, including my two daughters.

Rockford is the home of the OLDEST continuously running music club in the U.S., the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center. There are lots of other arts opportunities.

Our YMCA is the largest in the U.S. There are several recreation paths, including a riverfront path.

Last year, Rockford won 1st place in a Garden Competition. Lots of trees in the city; it is nicknamed "Forest City.

One of our emblems is the Sock Monkey, because Rockford was the home of the original red-heeled socks. There are big sock monkey statues all over Rockford.

The weather is great. Four definite seasons, although spring is sometimes a bit muddled (it can snow or be 90). We get a little of everything, but much of the time, it is sunny and pretty. I LOVE Northern Illinoisl! Skiing resorts are about an hour away. Lots of beautiful drives within a fifty mile radius. Lots of Fall Festivals, Bazaars, and small town celebrations. Great weekends. Rockford is surrounded by cornfields and farms, but lots of parks and forests, too. Galena is especially quaint.

Bad things about Rockford:

TREMENDOUS problems with the public schools, so don’t even think of sending children to them. A deseg lawsuit in the 1990s created a brain drain and a ton of controversy, and we are still trying to recover from it.

No night life for young singles, if you’re talking dancing and drinking. If you want ballet, the symphony, etc., you’ll be OK.

Crime rate is high, mainly due to gangs. Also, a lot of poverty, since so many factories have shut down and left people without gainful employment.

Racism continues to be a problem, no matter how hard we try to fight it.

HIGH property taxes! Many people buy homes in nearby Boone County to escape the high property taxes. But we do have some of the cheapest home prices in the U.S. People from Chicago move here and commute to Chicago because they can buy a castle instead of a flat.

Not too many technical companies, so the level of technical knowledge in the city is pretty poor. When companies hear about the bad public schools, they run away from Rockford. This means there aren’t a lot of jobs for people like my husband, who is a systems administrator. He commutes 30 miles to work.

It’s a small thing, but the music in our Catholic Churches is…not the best. We all try, but the large Protestant megachurches in town can whip us in this department. OTOH, Holy Family does have LifeTeen mass, so if you like contemp, it’s available.

In spite of problems, it’s basically a decent, reasonably-priced placed to live. Check it out.


#9

Come south to Shreveport! It’s a smallish city of 200k but has a pretty good metro area including Bossier City across the Red River at 50k or so. There’s a huge health care industry and tons of nursing openings. We have the only level 1 trauma center in the state with LSU Hospital here since it’s sister in New Orleans was damaged by Katrina. Speaking of, we’re high and dry up here on the north border of the state.:wink: Christus Schumpert is our Catholic hospital and it’s pretty nice, with a recently opened and growing Hal Sutton’s Children’s Hospital being located there. Additionally, Shriner’s Hospital for Crippled Children is in town as well as several other top notch medical facilities! We also have NSU (Northwestern State University) School of nursing in case you plan on furthering your skills as well as LSU Health Sciences center with a top notch medical school and school of allied health (OT, PA, etc).

Cost of living is low to moderate. Dallas is 3 hrs west. We have 1 Catholic high school and at least 3 elementary/jr highs. People are fairly tradtional with a strong Sicilian population. It’s a bible belt city and Catholics are a minority but being Louisiana, there is strong tolerance of Catholics.

Winters are very mild with maybe 1 light accumulation of snow if you’re lucky but more than likely just an ice storm every other year or so…

Here’s a link to our diocese: dioshpt.org/

and to the local visitor page: shreveport-bossier.org/overview.html


#10

Perhaps the best Catholic city for you to pursue your nursing career is in a city that has no Catholics, or is hostile to Catholics
:eek:

As Jesus said, well people don’t need doctors, sick people do.


#11

Lincoln/Omaha might not be a bad option. Both cities have different feels to them, and different bishops too, but both have strong presence of Catholics. Lincoln is very much traditional as jediliz said and Omaha has a large blue-collar population of Catholics, lots of schools and lots of Churches.

I’d guess if your going to Omaha, the easiest place to start would be on the west side of Omaha, lots of apartments out there. You could also try the cities right outside like Papillion or LaVista. There are also all the other outside towns. The problem with the other parts of Omaha, is that there are good neighborhoods, but they are hit and miss which is hard to figure out especially out of state. The cities have catholic schools, the towns don’t really until you get quite a bit outside the cities. On the other hand the public schools tend to not be pretty fair. In Lincoln, I’m sure most places are probably fine to live, maybe Jediliz can say better, but from my time there and it’s history, it’s not going to really have places you’d want to avoid.

As far as cost of living. I think it’s fairly moderate, taxes and especially property taxes are a bit high, but I think there are the same problems in NE as there are in ND in that a lot of the land is rural, and it’s relativily expensive to provide resources for all.

There are quite a few hospitals in the area. There are the two Universities – UNMC and Creighton, along with all the other colleges, if you want to continue education. alegent.com/ A lot of the Catholic hospitals went into that system, you can search for jobs there. There is also Creighton Medical Center and that’s connected to Boys and Girls Town Reaserch Hospital. Also there is St. Elizibeth’s in Lincoln.

As far as day care, I’m not sure, but I can ask around. I hope that helps, any more questions ask or PM.


#12

Well, I was going to post to avoid Seattle, but maybe in that case I should recommend it.


#13

I live near Seattle, and believe me, we need more faithful Catholics.


#14

Atlanta? Really? In general, that area of the country doesn’t have too many Catholics. Back when I was looking for a place to move, one of the things I looked at was the # of churches in each city. Atlanta had few Catholic churches, compared to the northeastern and midwestern cities. It’s great to hear that a Catholic community could form despite that, though.


#15

Yes, Seattle is hurting for the faithful :frowning:


#16

Absolutely…just a bunch of us heathens out here. Great quality of life–for which you pay a high price in terms of housing. I would always direct anyone to Chicago–great people, strong parishes, strong traditions.


#17

St. Joseph, Missouri, or near there. Several smaller very traditional Catholic towns, including Atchison, Kansas. All are within a short drive to Kansas City. Small community hospitals in the towns, big medical centers in KC. Also very pretty in that area, lots of hills and forests.
I tried to get hubby to move that direction, we went farther south, following the previous advice of ‘go where there are NO Catholics, to evangelize’.


#18

I’ll second that, too.

Also: Sioux City, Iowa - 1 large Cahtolic Hospital (Mercy- run by the Sisters of Mercy); several Catholic church’s and schools, and Queen of Peace Shrine. Cost of living is resonable, and metro population is only about 80K.


#19

Here’s an idea, hit I-29 and stop when you feel like it. :thumbsup:


#20

Yep!:smiley:


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