Where in the country is the Catholic population growing and most vibrant?

I read this article today about how quickly the Church is growing in the South:
ncregister.com/daily-news/protestant-south-becoming-a-new-catholic-stronghold

The idea of the article is basically that the Church in the western U.S. is growing, but mainly because of Hispanic immigration. Catholics are very lax and disengaged in “the north.” And, in the South, because religiosity is pervasive there and because of the need to learn the faith amidst the vocally Protestant majority, the faith is absolutely on fire.

How true is that?

Here’s the problem I see with it. Aren’t most of these southern Catholics New York, Philly, and Boston transplants? Moreover, Boston is not a Catholic city. It is a deeply secular and even anti-religious place. If hostility makes the faith grow, then wouldn’t the faith be most vibrant and alive in liberal, non-religious places like Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago?

Is there a particular part of place in America where the faith is truly on fire? Where parishes are full of young people and big families? Where orthodoxy is more common?

I attend a very old, generally not-so-fired-up parish in Denver, which is odd given that this archdiocese as well as Lincoln, NE are known to be two of the most passionate, evangelical dioceses in the country. Yet I’ve heard a lot about Knoxville and Atlanta, too.

Are there truly vibrant, orthodox, youthful dioceses in Philly and Boston, or is the Catholic center of devotional gravity really moving to the south?

Any thoughts?

Well I’m in the Diocese of Charleston, and I think the Church is growing here very much. I know at my very small parish, a huge proportion of the people are converts. & at the parish about 45 minutes away from my town which I go to for Lifeteen is very vibrant and the people are very involved. Our vocations director also bragged about how we have 3 new seminarians(The amount of Catholics in South Carolina is incredibly small) whilst the Arch Diocese which has a huge Catholic population only has two.
A lot of the Protestant churches here are going to one of two directions- either painfully liberal or almost cult like conservative and people are turning away from it. Also it’s easier now to clear up those ridiculous anti Catholic lies that have been perpetuated for centuries here.

I’m not sure that I would say that the Catholic population is GROWING in my diocese, but it’s certainly healthy. The Diocese of Arlington (Virginia - right outside of DC) has over 30 seminarians, and George Mason University and Mary Washington University, two colleges within the diocesan boundaries, have very active campus ministries thanks to FOCUS.

My parish in particular is jam-packed at most Masses, and is a fairly new parish. There are over 60 (probably close to 70) parishes, plus a few mission churches within the diocese, and because of the area there are plenty of parishes with congregations other than your usual white and Hispanic populations (the Korean and Vietnamese parishes come to mind). Depending on the parish, you have varying levels of youth involvement, but I would say that a vast majority of them have teenage programs.

I am in the Archdiocese of Boston and it is not a place where people are on fire for their faith. There are are some vibrant parishes ( St Joseph in Wakefield MA) however these are far and few between. The problem is that most of the parishioners are graying and elderly in many of the churches. The young adults are missing from the churches here and unlike generations past they are not necessarily coming back when they marry and have kids. Many in this age group have lost their faith or never really understood it to begin with. While some may culturally identify with being Catholic they also reject most of the teachings so they have become Catholic in name only. It should be a matter of huge concern and a crisis but no one seems to be doing much about it. Perhaps the Archdiocese doesn’t know how to deal with this huge problem. Boston needs missionaries to come and evangelize but currently it is not a place where the faith is growing. Perhaps when things hit rock bottom then people will be inspired to renew their faith.

Instead of thinking about where the Chuch is doing fine, we need to think of places where religion in general is seen as negative.

Don’t you think much of the east coast Catholicism is cultural Catholicism based on previous immigrants who brought their faith from Ireland or Italy for example? Like cultural Jews who do not practice their faith but self identify as Jewish, I think New England is full of Catholics who were born and baptized but became culturally secular.

There is a new evangilzation program I heard about on Catholic Connection. It is sort of “street evangilization” but not like JW’s or Mormons who knock on doors. It apparently was quite successful here in the People’s Republic of Oregon…a VERY secular state. Might work there as well!

Lisa

I don’t think it’s realistic to expect a majority of people in one particular area to suddenly tire of secular culture’s shallow amusements. Studly men who play romantic music which is found only on alternative media, along with women who want true romance, present the greatest opportunity for growth. Unfortunately, they are few and far between due to pop culture media’s success with dumbing too many people down into an addiction to shallow amusements. As more women tire of shallow men, they’ll seek those of us who are deeper. My fellow Gentlemen, since I am already spoken for, this is Your call to action.

Catholics — their presence increased nearly 60 percent since 1990 — have eclipsed Evangelicals to become the state’s largest religious group.

whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/2012/03/everythings-bigger-on-ad-limina-at.html

You can find vibrant Churches all over America, but perhaps the Church is growing the most in the South in general?

Catholics — their presence increased nearly 60 percent since 1990 — have eclipsed Evangelicals to become the state’s largest religious group.

whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/2012/03/everythings-bigger-on-ad-limina-at.html

That is in Texas. You can find vibrant Churches all over America, but perhaps the Church is growing the most in the South in general?

Catholics — their presence increased nearly 60 percent since 1990 — have eclipsed Evangelicals to become the state’s largest religious group.

whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/2012/03/everythings-bigger-on-ad-limina-at.html

That is in Texas. You can find vibrant Churches all over America, but perhaps the Church is growing the most in the South in general?:blush:

Catholics — their presence increased nearly 60 percent since 1990 — have eclipsed Evangelicals to become the state’s largest religious group.

whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/2012/03/everythings-bigger-on-ad-limina-at.html

That is in Texas. You can find vibrant Churches all over America, but perhaps the Church is growing the most in the South in general?:confused:

Catholics — their presence increased nearly 60 percent since 1990 — have eclipsed Evangelicals to become the state’s largest religious group.

whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/2012/03/everythings-bigger-on-ad-limina-at.html

That is in Texas. You can find vibrant Churches all over America, but perhaps the Church is growing the most in the South in general?:stuck_out_tongue:

Catholics — their presence increased nearly 60 percent since 1990 — have eclipsed Evangelicals to become the state’s largest religious group.

whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/2012/03/everythings-bigger-on-ad-limina-at.html

That is in Texas. You can find vibrant Churches all over America, but perhaps the Church is growing the most in the South in general?:p:thumbsup:

Catholics — their presence increased nearly 60 percent since 1990 — have eclipsed Evangelicals to become the state’s largest religious group.

whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/2012/03/everythings-bigger-on-ad-limina-at.html

That is in Texas. You can find vibrant Churches all over America, but perhaps the Church is growing the most in the South?

I live in the south (NC) and our parish is huge and growing. All masses are standing room only and filled with mostly young families with lots of kids. We have >30,000 parishioners. Most of the other parishes in our dioces are growing as well. However, we do have a huge population of NE transplants.

I’m curious what it’s like being Catholic in Philly? Are there active young adults activities? Are there more traditional NO parishes? (I know there’s at least 1 TLM parish in the area.)

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