Where Should I Move? St. Paul or Hartford?


#1

Dear friends, Pax et Bonum!

I just received my first job offer with a wonderful company, and now I have the option of moving to either St. Paul, MIN or Hartford, CT.

I consider myself a very conservative, traditional Catholic who loves beautiful liturgy (classical inspired music, etc.). I am seeking a place that has a budding community of conservative young 20-something Catholics and also a place that has an excellent choir that I could join.

I have the option of moving to either St. Paul or Hartford, and I am in quite a quandary. Hartford is closer to my family, who are in Virginia and my brother is in New Jersey, which is important. However, I’ve heard bad to mediocre things about the Catholic “scene” there. On the contrary, I’m a pampered Southern gal and it’s taken alot for me to get used to the cold and snow up here in Indiana.

Please give me honest feedback on both cities, if you may. Thank you so much! Also, feel free to e-mail me at chiara1194@yahoo.com!

Thank you so much!

  • Chiara

#2

I can speak on the Twin Cities… my husband’s family live there and I’ve spent lots of time visiting. I really like it… there’s TONS of stuff to do and WOW are those people hardy… they don’t let that freezing cold weather get them down in the least. If you aren’t a winter girl, it might not be a good fit though because it is COLD… although sunny quite often IMO. I can’t speak on the Chuches… maybe someone else can help you with that… but I have three final words to say that would help me make this decision: MALL OF AMERICA. :slight_smile:


#3

Definitely St. Paul. I am originally from Pittsburgh and spent about 14 years on the east coast. I hated it. Things are too expensive, people are less friendly, and you get dumped on by 30 inches of heavy wet snow in 24 hours at lease twice a year.

I just moved back to the mid-west (Pittsburgers consider themselves mid-west) and I would not move back to the east coast for all the money in the world.

PF


#4

I am a native of St. Paul, MN having attended Catholic grade school there as well as HS. I left for college and law school, but returned to work in a Mpls. law firm for about 7 years. There is a tight-knit, solid and traditional Catholic community and some wonderful parishes there. BUT–it can be a challenge to break in socially. The people tend to hang out with the folks from their neighborhood, H.S. and/or lake cabin neighbors they have known for years. People will be polite, but will not invite you into their social circle readily–a trait that has been nicknamed “Minnesota nice”/“Minnesota ice.”

The Mpls/St. Paul metro area has much to offer in terms of entertainment, arts, and cultural events. While the people tend to be outdoorsy, conservative and hard working, they embrace a uniquely Scandanavian progressive/liberal political philosophy–which over the years has been supportive of union labor concerns, gay rights, minority/discrimination issues, etc. The community also tends to be somewhat geographically isolated as a metro area when you consider that the closest large city is Chicago–some 400 miles away.

And then there’s the weather…If you are a fan of ice fishing, snow shoeing or cross country skiing, you have found Mecca. If not, count on cold weather from early November through April (with Oct. + May still cool) and Jan and Feb absolutely bitterly cold.

Don’t know if any of these considerations help…but they are a few of the challenges you might want to consider. I know nothing about Hartford and am unable to give you much in the way of a comparison. Good luck with your decision making!!


#5

Thank you all for your input thus far!

Anyone have anything to say about Hartford?

:slight_smile:


#6

Being a Twin Citian (ya sure ya betcha!), I too vote for St. Paul. There’s a very traditional parish in one of the older neighborhood’s–St. Agnes. It has a terrific choir and the Tridentine Mass. If that’s too traditional for you, St. Paul’s Cathedral is orthodox and one of the most beautiful church edifices in the country. It’s neighborhood is pricey on the hill but cheap below it and it is close to downtown St. Paul.

St. Paul has a very large Irish Catholic population. In that neighborhood, you’d probably attend and love Nativity of the Lord parish. It’s a lovely traditional church building and the priests are orthodox.

If you would like a German Catholic parish there is one right in the middle of downtown, Immaculate Conception. It too is a traditional style building and quite nice. By all means avoid most of the parishes in Minneapolis. That city is rank with liberalism. Trust me, you wouldn’t like it.

As for the weather, well it can get quite cold here. We’ve had 20+ below zero with wind chills to rival those of Alaska. But, our summers often get hot and steamy, which ought to appeal to your southern sensibilities. There’s lots of things to see and do in St. Paul and the people are friendly. I’m sure you’d love it here, nearly everyone who lives here does.


#7

I would vote for Hartford. MY DH live in both areas and I love New England. If he is willing I’ll have him post his .02 tonight:)


#8

St. Paul for sure!

Okay, I’m a bit biased, but I can personally attest to the fact that there are a large number of active, orthodox 20-something Catholics here. This is thanks to programs like St. Paul’s Outreach and highly orthodox schools/parishes like St. Agnes. Correction–St. Agnes doesn’t do the Tridentine Mass, but it does offer the NO Mass said in Latin. I have NEVER seen a single liturgical abuse at St. Agnes–not even a tiny one! And I’ve been going to Mass there for almost 10 years, including school Masses when I was in high school. The University of St. Thomas, although officially quite relativistic, has quite a few orthodox Catholic students and teachers who are trying to restore the true faith. Don’t worry about the Minnesota Nice/ice happening to you–you’ll always be welcome whenever I throw a party!


#9

Thanks, ya’ll!


#10

[quote=Island Oak]While the people tend to be outdoorsy, conservative and hard working, they embrace a uniquely Scandanavian progressive/liberal political philosophy–which over the years has been supportive of union labor concerns, gay rights, minority/discrimination issues, etc.
[/quote]

This is true – Mpls & St. Paul are quite liberal in the way that they vote, (although St. Paul is more Kennedy-democrat, while Mpls is more Clinton-democrat.) However if you get out into the suburbs, you will see much more conservatism. In fact, if you look at a county-by-county map of the 2004 election, there are red counties surrounding the two big cities. And if you threw out Hennepin county (Mpls), MN would have been a red state!

I second or third or fourth the vote for St. Agnes parish. St. Agnes had the most seminarians last year from the entire archdiocese. The vocations to the priesthood in the archdiocese are many in recent years, and the men who are being ordained are quite orthodox, from what I have seen so far. It’s really inspiring.

In fact, I don’t know if you listen or have access to Relevant Radio, but Drew Mariani hosts Fr. Robert Altier each Tuesday on his program. Fr. Altier is an associate pastor at St. Agnes. Here is a link to his homilies: desertvoice.org/

I wouldn’t want to live right in St. Paul, personally, but the suburbs are quite nice. We travel 45 minutes one-way to get to St. Agnes each Sunday from our city – well worth it. God bless your decision.


#11

I’m from Minnesota and lived in Lakeville (south sub.) for 9 years before moving to Arizona. I have to agree with the poster who said that people are very friendly but really hesitate to invite you to their gatherings. Sure you’ll be invited to a party on the weekend, but if you are all alone for a holiday, don’t expect tons of invites :frowning: . I never realized how true that was until we moved to AZ where everyone is a transplant and everyone is so friendly. That being said, I did love MN, love the seasons and the shopping (no sales tax on clothes!) I’ve never lived in the NE, not sure if I ever will, we don’t ever want to leave AZ, love it here :slight_smile:

Good luck in your decision!


#12

Thanks, everyone! I’ve gotten alot of good ratings about St. Paul. Hartford folks, you need to represent! Any input on Hartford would be much appreciated!

:slight_smile:


#13

Any word on Hartford, ya’ll? :slight_smile:


#14

I live very near to Hartford. The Church in Hartford tends to be quite liberal. There are other areas of the State that are better like Meriden for example. I would recommend not coming to CT at all. As a concervative I am not seeing alot to be proud of in Hartford so far. On the secular level everything is too expensive and people are generaly cold. Don’t get me wrong there are good people in CT like anyplace. But Hartford is full of drugs, gangs, and a general raw detached New England style attitude.

Here is the main media outlet from hartford channel 3. Every weekend there are multiple shootings for the most part. They take place not that far Travelers insurance company in the north end.

wfsb.com/

-D


#15

Ok, I myself am a border state girl, but married to a MN boy. We live in CT.

Hartford in the city is not good. I live near the sub base (SE area), and am constantly hearing the bad stuff from Hartford. However, we do have a little peice of Heaven with the Fransican Friars of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Griswold, CT. It is as orthodox as you can get. As for the single scene, the base is over run with them sailors looking for a nice girl! I live about an hour from Hartford too. Oh,it gets cold here too! It is currently 5 above! We are conservative, but we are living in a VERY liberal state. I was nearly booed out of a room when I said I voted for Bush. The locals also tend to be a little stand offish, until they get to know you, then they are very welcoming. But it ain’t like the south! Not so friendly.

I think you might like MN better once you get passed the cold. St. Paul is a little more conservative then Minneapolis. They have a hoping night life! Lots of places to go, before kiddos that is! The Mall of America is great too. I did attend mass at St. Patrick’s Catherdral and it was beautiful. Lots of gothic spires, white marble everywhere! I have heard that the diocese on a whole was more liberal, but I do not have proof. My in-laws are not CAtholic, so I do not have a strong source, just what I have heard. To tell you but not my hubby, if it were not for my in-laws, I would not have a problem moving there when he retires from the Navy. The lakes are beautiful in the spring and summer, just pack lots of mosquito repellent. It is theit unoffical state bird! :smiley: This is pretty much your standard Mid-West attitude. The men tend to be more dedicated and open than the New England men.(Sorry, but when you move around a lot, you just notice things! Like the Hawaiian locals would be considered lazy by many but very loving! Different mentality and priorities!) And the first time you drive your SUV across the ice, they make roads on the lakes for the ice houses, it makes you a little nervous.

You should visit both if you can! Get a feel for each area, they are very different from each other! Each has their pluses and minuses! Pray for God to make your choice clear! But as a nearly southern girl, I think the MN men would find you much more charming than the New England men.


#16

St. Paul!!

Castles built out of ice (winter carnival), Minnesota Wild (Hockey), Twins (baseball), Vickings (football), St. Paul Saints (baseball), fishing, the lakes, fabulous winters (yes, it gets cold, but it is amazing how quickly one acclimates), gorgeous summers (they can get hot and steamy).

Definitely St. Paul!


#17

As a single young woman I lived in Minneapolis and St. Paul area for three years. It is very true there is a lot to do if you will go out in the cold. It is where I learned to ski! I really think that visiting there would help you decide. There are many colleges and Universities in the area. My impressions from when I was young are probably just particular to my situation in my life at the time. Friendships were a problem and being included in things was a problem. Perhaps it is a fluke that I remember it that way. I harbor no resentment of the area. I always thought that if I had lived there as a married person with children, then perhaps it would have been a friendlier place. I did not attend church up there, so you see I was not trying to be involved with the right type of people.

Minnesota is a very beautiful place for sure. It is also a very cold place, and the snow arrives and doesn’t usually melt for the rest of winter. I thought I was prepared being from Chicago. However, we get snow here, then it melts and we get more snow. There, it snows, stays, and snows some more. The snow gets very deep by the end of winter.


#18

Great feedback, ya’ll!

Glad to know there is a good Franciscan Church in CT, as I hope to become either a Poor Clare or a Third Order some day! :slight_smile:


#19

I realize that St. Paul has a huge following, and this is another post about that.

Let me say the negative first…Minnesota “Nice” is actually a political statement…nice to your face, ice in your back.

BUT, the 20-something Catholic scene that YOU are interested in and that, therefore, affects you the most does NOT fit the above description.

I am 31, but involved in the very active Frassati Society in our area. I go to Epiphany in Coon Rapids, and we have a new chapter, but the Cathedral has a thrriving and very large Frassati Society. They are young, orthodox, and will help you adjust to the cold with their warmth!

I actually love our archbishop, and have found him to be an orthodox, sincere, and living shepherd. Rather than letting the storm of politics and dissent move him, he is allowing himself to be guided by the Holy Spirit. God Bless him.

Orthodoxy is growing and overtaking the hold the feminazis have on the archdiocese. We are strong, we are faithful, and you will find more of us than those of them.

The cold…call me, and I’ll take you skiing…if you wear a size 8 Ior 9 'll give you my spare ski boots (too big for me).

It’s a beautiful area with a lot to offer. Sure, it’s very liberal, politically, and the gay capital of the world, but if you focus on the Eucharist you don’t mind them so much because you’re the only one who can see in all that particular darkness.

Don’t let the weather scare you…you will get used to it and it’s OK for adults to play in the snow. (That’s why God made skis and ice skates).

What else…oh, yes…if you decide to move here, send me your address or something and I’ll pass it on to the young adult groups in the area…you can be added to e-mail lists and welcomed to any group! If you’d prefer, I’ll send YOU e-mail links so that you can get in contact with Catholic young adults.

As far as vocations…well, in this desert up here, there are a lot of “progressive” orders, but there are also a few which are growing.

Sisters in Jesus the Lord is brand new, very orthodox, and based out of St. Agnes. They are not yet allowed to wear habits outside of the convent, but wear them inside. They are a missionary order, and from what I gather, they are Augustinian.

There are others, as well, which are good or looking to come to the Minneapolix-St.Paul area.

Can we ask why you would move here specifically? What company? Education? (Or do I need to go back and re-read your first post?)

You can IM me if you’d like, I’ll be happy to put you in contact with more local orthodox Catholics.

But the best reason for you to come here…we need YOU! :slight_smile:


#20

[quote=JCPhoenix]I realize that St. Paul has a huge following, and this is another post about that.

Let me say the negative first…Minnesota “Nice” is actually a political statement…nice to your face, ice in your back.

BUT, the 20-something Catholic scene that YOU are interested in and that, therefore, affects you the most does NOT fit the above description.

I am 31, but involved in the very active Frassati Society in our area. I go to Epiphany in Coon Rapids, and we have a new chapter, but the Cathedral has a thrriving and very large Frassati Society. They are young, orthodox, and will help you adjust to the cold with their warmth!

I actually love our archbishop, and have found him to be an orthodox, sincere, and living shepherd. Rather than letting the storm of politics and dissent move him, he is allowing himself to be guided by the Holy Spirit. God Bless him.

Orthodoxy is growing and overtaking the hold the feminazis have on the archdiocese. We are strong, we are faithful, and you will find more of us than those of them.

The cold…call me, and I’ll take you skiing…if you wear a size 8 Ior 9 'll give you my spare ski boots (too big for me).

It’s a beautiful area with a lot to offer. Sure, it’s very liberal, politically, and the gay capital of the world, but if you focus on the Eucharist you don’t mind them so much because you’re the only one who can see in all that particular darkness.

Don’t let the weather scare you…you will get used to it and it’s OK for adults to play in the snow. (That’s why God made skis and ice skates).

What else…oh, yes…if you decide to move here, send me your address or something and I’ll pass it on to the young adult groups in the area…you can be added to e-mail lists and welcomed to any group! If you’d prefer, I’ll send YOU e-mail links so that you can get in contact with Catholic young adults.

As far as vocations…well, in this desert up here, there are a lot of “progressive” orders, but there are also a few which are growing.

Sisters in Jesus the Lord is brand new, very orthodox, and based out of St. Agnes. They are not yet allowed to wear habits outside of the convent, but wear them inside. They are a missionary order, and from what I gather, they are Augustinian.

There are others, as well, which are good or looking to come to the Minneapolix-St.Paul area.

Can we ask why you would move here specifically? What company? Education? (Or do I need to go back and re-read your first post?)

You can IM me if you’d like, I’ll be happy to put you in contact with more local orthodox Catholics.

But the best reason for you to come here…we need YOU! :slight_smile:
[/quote]

What a nice message :slight_smile:
Now THAT is Minnesota Nice! :thumbsup:


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