Are You Part of the Great Catholic Migration of the 21st Century?

Are you part of the Great Catholic Migration of the 21st Century?

Ever since my post “My Initial Doubts about the Latin Mass” also known affectionately as the “Grover Mass Post,” I have been receiving numerous Facebook messages, emails, and comments from Catholics who read this blog and want advice about their current “parish crisis.” The messages go like this:

  • My priest tells off-color jokes in the homily. What should I do?
  • The local RCIA instructor taught that contraception is a “personal decision” and when I asked the priest about it, he didn’t think it was a big deal.
  • In confession, my priest said that “the pill” is okay in certain situations.
  • The nuns at my parochial school are promoting {insert something sketchy}, should I talk to my priest about it?
  • Our parish promotes Eastern non-Christian mystical practices and prayers? Should I say something?
  • My pastor has forbidden Communion on the tongue. What should I do?
  • The priest at my parish changes the words of the liturgy, for example “Son of Man” to “Son of Humanity” in order to be gender inclusive. Should I talk to him about this?

What is to be done?

My advice is that you should join the Great Catholic Migration of the 21st Century. Most people recognize that there is a de facto division growing within the Catholic Church. It’s not popular are “ecclesiastically correct” to talk about this, but it’s the elephant in the living room.

There are those cardinals, bishops, priests, religious, and laity who are 100% supportive of the Holy Father and Catholic Tradition and then there is another group that is not 100% supportive.

My experience, and the experience of others, confirms that Group B is not sympathetic or helpful to the lay people belonging to Group A. I realize that this is a controversial analysis. I’m avoiding the terms “liberal” and “conservative” so that this comment feed doesn’t spin out of control. However, we can all readily identify the theology, liturgical styles, magazines, publications, Catholic schools, politicians, and Catholic universities that belong to Group B. Group B is, no doubt, still the majority in America.

The Great Catholic Migration

Yet in the last several years, since the beginning of the Pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI, a migration has been occurring. The folks in Group A are growing weary and discouraged. They love Christ, love Mary, love the Pope, love traditional devotions, they love traditional Catholic architecture (not white-washed auditoriums or modern “worship spaces”), they love Gregorian chant, reverence, beauty, and anything else that brings glory and honor to Christ. These people are those that pray and give the most, and they are tired of being beat up. They are now migrating.

Migration?

Here is what I mean by migration. These Catholics are not physically moving to new geographic areas (though some Catholics do literally move to be part of a wonderful parish). They are realigning their attendance, resources, skills, and money to those parishes, orders, schools, colleges, and other institutions that support and promote traditional Catholic orthodoxy and practice. These Catholics see beyond the slogans, clichés, and gimmicks of Group B’s institutional advantage, and they are becoming aware of Catholic leaders and clergy who are spear-heading this great migration.

This migration is made possible through public transportation and the internet. People can now drive to the “good parish” in the diocese. They can now download great homilies at places like audiosancto.org. They can now have fellowship and friendship with like-minded Catholics via the internet. They can refuse to put their money in the local parish collection and instead send it the FSSP, the Norbertines of Orange County, the Canons of St John Cantius, or to a solid orthodox College that promotes the magisterial teachings of the Catholic Church. A large network is currently being extended and strengthened. It’s unstoppable.

What we have is a Catholic realignment and people are talking about it every day. It is only a matter of time before more and more people vote with their feet and vote with their pocket books. The dissenting parts of the Church will wither and die. Their influence will shrivel up.

For those that have written to me about their crises of conscience, my advice to you is this: begin the migration. I’ll probably catch flack from this, but I have prayed about it and asked Christ to lead me on this question. I’d encourage all of you to do the same. Ask Christ our Lord where He wants you to be.

Is it a form of good stewardship to tithe your money to dissenting priests and parish staffs? Is it a form of good stewardship to submit your children to lame homilies, banal liturgy, and heterodoxy? I’ve only been given one life to live and Christ will ask me to give an account for each and every moment. I don’t want to waste it and I bet that you don’t want to waste it either.

Begin migrating to the good and holy priests who offer themselves as living sacrifices…for our spiritual well-being. Support these holy men! Find a monastery and get to know the religious there. Are they solid? Then support them with your money and prayers. Where is the closest discalced Carmelite convent to you? Start supporting them asking for their prayers? What about seminaries? You don’t need me to tell you that not all seminaries are faithful and orthodox. There are still rotten seminaries out there. Research and ask about the seminaries near you. Visit them and learn about their curriculum and liturgical practices. Support the best seminaries. Focus your resources there. Begin researching Catholic Colleges that actually instill a deep Catholic faith in their students. Are these colleges equipping 22-year-olds to live debt-free, have large families, or find vocations?* Support them. These institutions are the future of Catholicism. Don’t waste your God-given time and money on apostolates, parishes, and schools that are not fully supporting the one true Faith without which it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6).

I’d like to hear from you:

First, is the Great Migration an over-reaction? I don’t think it is, but there may be those that beg to differ.

Second, have experienced a crisis in your own parish life. If so, pause, take a deep breath and don’t write anything scandalous in the comments. Show respect and restraint. Instead, share with us how you fixed the problem or migrated with your family.

Third, I’m advocating a positive approach. I don’t think we should be a crusade to rip apart the dissenting parts of the Church. I prefer to be a gentlemen about it. I’m not going to fight or argue about it. I’m just going elsewhere. I’m going quietly, but I’m bring people with me.

Fourth, please subscribe to my blog for daily updates on this subject an others. You can get a daily email with posts like this, free, by clicking here and signing up for the email feed.

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  • Jean Baptiste

    This subject is the proverbial “elephant in the room” of my faith journey. My home parish is 12 miles away now–we moved so my daughter is close to her Catholic High School. Thing is, my parish is no great shakes in the orthodoxy department. BUT, it’s “better” than the parish adjacent to school. I NEED to find a home parish that I can believe in AND support with not just treasure.

    • Jean Baptiste

      I’m sorry if I have “gone off the rails” with regard to the topic…

  • Chris Spellman

    Dr. Taylor,

    First thank you for this excellent article and all that you do to build up the Church! Good job!

    Second, as background, my wife and I since we got married went to the Tridentine Mass (belonged to that parish) for 3 years. Then that didn’t seem quite good enough, so we joined an Eastern-Rite Ukrainian Catholic Church. After a year there, we joined our local parish (Ordinary Form — nothing too special, etc.).

    My thinking now is that–for most people–we should err on the side of joining / staying with the the parish that is nearby, rather than finding one somewhere else that “seems better.” A chief reason behind our parish selection is that we feel called to belong to the parish that is filled with our neighbors and people from our immediate vicinity. We feel that just like lead us to live in this particular place, he is leading us to belong to this particular local parish. In fact, canonically speaking, the Church declares that every person belongs to the parish that is geographically closest to him (regardless of whether he belongs to that parish or not).

    Another reason is that a parish is supposed to be your home: where you “grow up” together with your fellow parishioners. Just like in any home, there are always various problems and issues that come and go. It’s always nice to go on vacation or visit somewhere (that’s not your home) and enjoy all the good things that are there. For example when my wife and I spent a week in Rome, I enjoyed it so much that I was actually starting to make concrete plans on how to move there. When I came to my right mind, I realized how foolish this is. It’s sort of like St. Peter wanting to build 3 tents during the Transfiguration, so he could capture and prolong that wonderful experience.

    So what I’m getting at is that a parish should be like a family — often imperfect, maybe not always what you would have chosen, and tight-knit with it’s ups-and-downs. But it’s your family and you’re loyal to it. You do what you can to help them grow in holiness. That’s a lot different from shopping around for a “designer” parish, like one shops around for a house or a car.

    Anyhow, just some thoughts and I’ve been on both sides and I recognize that for the good the children and others, it’s sometimes necessary to avoid a parish that has a lot of bad things going on.

    Kudos again on this good article!

    • Benedict Carter

      You shouldn’t be changing your Rite like you change your socks. Catholics are forbidden to do so. You are a Latin Rite Catholic and should remain one.

      • Michael J Taylør

        You can’t change your Rite like you “change your socks.” That’s a bit ridiculous. You can only change your Rite ONCE, for good reason, authorized by the Bishops, and it’s permanent. I don’t know about you (eww), but I change my socks everyday.

  • Benedict Carter

    There’s only one migration to be done. To the SSPX

    • Michael J Taylør

      No thanks. I’ll stick with the FSSP or ICKSP until the SSPX regains canonical standing within the Church.

  • Guest

    i hate this websitre so much

  • Chesire11

    im leaving this website forever

  • Chesire11

    If your local parish has become heterodox, it would seem to me that the duty of an orthodox Catholic would be to minister to his neighbors, rather than to seek his own comfort, abandoning them to their fates. Does a good doctor cocoon himself among the healthy, or does he seek out the sick and injured?

    That is behaving like a consumer, not a communicant.

    • Mollie

      But if we have children, their souls are our number one priority. Others can minister to our neighbors as well as we can, but our children are our, and only our, responsibility.

  • Chris

    The only thing I’d say you aren’t correct on is that the migration started long before the pontificate of Benedict XVI. There were large numbers of people doing this exact thing in the days of John Paul II.

  • Kevin Shook

    I think “The Great Catholic Migration” is the correct term, but you probably (unfortunately) need to broaden the definition to include those who are leaving the Church all together. Just last week, the Pew Research Center reported that the number of U.S. Latinos who describe themselves as Catholic fell 12% over the last four years. Not only is the current “parish crisis” causing people to seek out the TLM, but unfortunately a vast majority are seeking outside the Catholic Church.

  • Dean

    Taylor as much as I have immense respect for you I do think this article could end up being divisive, even if that wasn’t your intention. I think we the laity are called to pray for our priests. If any of the Popes had written a document telling us to do what you are suggesting it would lead to another Reformation. As far as I am aware the Pope nor any of his predecessors have asked any such thing of the Laity. Even if there are priests who are not orthodox, we should be praying for them and if they are seriously in error then report it to the Bishop in charge and if the Bishop is in error then report that to the cardinal or to the Vatican. The last three Popes have spoken openly about corruption in the priesthood and even at Vatican level. They don’t ask us to choose one priest over another. Instead the Pope humbly asks for our prayers. Let the Pope do his job and pray for an out pouring of The Holy Spirit on the entire Catholic Church. It is not our place to judge the clergy instead we should be praying and even fasting for them. None of us has any idea of what they are fighting at a spiritual level. We should be thankful that we can still receive the sacraments from then, even if they are in error with the preaching. Pray for them and if you have to, challenge them in Love. But most of all Be a good example. ‘be salty” as you yourself keep saying. Imagine if your or my vocation in life was simply to “be salty” in our own parishes.
    I’m kind of lucky here because there are many parishes within a ten minute drive. But I mainly go to my own Parish. I only go to other parishes for weekday Masses etc. Don’t get me wrong, not all our priests are as orthodox as we’d like them to be but when I make up my mind to love them, then The Holy Spirit does the rest. St Therese when talking about sisters in her own convent (discalced Carmelites let me add). She said some of them are saints, others are trying to be saints and some of them are sick. I think the same applies to the whole Church, some of us are saints, some of us are trying to be saints and some of us are sick. And what are we called to do for the sick? We are called to care for them and love them and ask God to heal their wounds.
    We are all very concerned about Our Catholic Church just now but that should inspire us to pray. We have a lot to be thankful for. We’ve been told that we are at a Golden Age of Popes. And in the prophetic document of Pope John Paul II ” I will send you Shepherds”. I trust that at the right time God will send us good shepherds but in the meantime I pray to Our Lady of Fatima for the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart. I know that triumph will come but the Church (both clergy and laity) will be purged first. We are now living through that purging. We might even live to see the Triumph but even if we don’t we must never lose hope. God is in control and God himself has given authority of the Church on earth to Peter and I trust Peter with all my heart. John Paul II, Benedict XVI and now Francis.

  • Jen

    Love this! We made the migration 4years ago, 1500 miles to be in the Diocese of Lincoln, to attend both FSSP and solid NO parishes. Worth every bit of sacrifice to see my children grounded in their faith and surrounded by solid theology no matter where we attend Mass. Deo Gratias!

  • Michael J Taylør

    I am a part of the “Great Migration.” My only complaint is that we are STILL not connected enough across the country, nor are we large enough in number to be called “Great” as of yet.

  • Paulusmaxumus1

    I and my family are part of the migration. We now drive 1 1/2 hrs. to go to the only priest (that I am aware of) in my Diocese that upholds ALL teaching of the church. (He has caught flak for it but carries on non the less). He celebrates Holy Mass in the Novus Ordo form but does it very reverently with no extraordinary ministers. He would love to do Tridintine but our Chancellery office would have a meltdown. The Homilies are what we call “spiritual meat and potatoes” and my kids love hearing them.