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Newnan

Catholics in the south

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We all know that traditionally there have never been many Catholics in the Southeast (excluding the Louisiana Bayou) However, the changing demographics in the south are altering that. What areas of the south have the most Catholics, how many are there and do you think the south will be more religiously diverse in the future? Just so you know, although my mother was Catholic, I'm an Episcopalian.

- if you want to, tell us your religion and denomination

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I think Florida and other coastal areas may see an increase in the number of Catholics, if only because those areas are growing at rapid rates and are perhaps more attractive to Latin Americans. The recent surge of Latin Americans in New Orleans and on the Mississippi coast may point in this direction as well. The same reasoning may also indicate a growth of Catholicism in Houston and other parts of southern/western Texas. Still, it's wise to remember that Catholicism is facing great challenges within Latin America. I saw a new church in Brazil which I mistook for a soccer stadium- it was a pentecostal church of some kind.

For the record, I'm an Episcopalian as well.

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Speaking from an Arkansas viewpoint, there's been some small pockets of Catholics around the state. The big influx of hispanics have really made them more prominent here in northwest Arkansas. But I think the overall number before the arrival of hispanics was so low that it won't make a huge difference.

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Well, I live in Williamson County, TN, which happens to be the one blue county in the state. There seem to be few that live here, even though there is only one Catholic Church (which happens to have more the one or two thousand people, though). Nashville, though has a bunch of churches, and there are many Catholic schools in the area.

I'm a Nazarene, by the way.

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My Dad came from the Mississippi Coast and he was Catholic (though that area probably falls under the Louisiana Bayou area). He and the rest of my family are Methodists now, though.

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In the Huntsville area, there are 9 Catholic churches (w/ 2 more planned), 4 Catholic elementary schools and 1 Catholic high school. Catholics only make up 3% of the population here.

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Most catholics in the south are either yankee transplants, or people from the two old cities (charleston and NO). As one of my friends who was a catholic transplant from New Jersey said "Being catholic isn't socially acceptable in the south". I have seen many catholics convert to a different denomination when they have transplanted

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Surprisingly enough my mom, who grew up in Atlanta as a Catholic, found most people to be very accomodating to her. There were only three or four Catholics at her Elementary School yet the cafeteria served fish every Friday for them.

What's with the dark aqua marine counties all by their lonesome in Kentucky?

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South Charlotte has a few rather large Catholic parishes, one has over 5,000 families and 16,000+ members. Another parish on the south side has around 3,400 families, 10,000 members.

Charlotte has 6 Catholic elementary schools (largest has over 650 students), 1 middle school (1,100 students), and 1 high school (1,100 students).

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I'm sure the dark green counties in Kentucky are because of Notre Dame, which I think is the largest Catholic University in the country. I may be wrong, though.

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Most catholics in the south are either yankee transplants, or people from the two old cities (charleston and NO). As one of my friends who was a catholic transplant from New Jersey said "Being catholic isn't socially acceptable in the south". I have seen many catholics convert to a different denomination when they have transplanted

I think you'll find Charleston to be more Episcopalian than Catholic. Just down the road though, Savannah has one of the largest native Catholic populations in the Southeast, consisting of those primarily of Irish decent. Note their huge St. Patrick's day celebration.

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I'm sure the dark green counties in Kentucky are because of Notre Dame, which I think is the largest Catholic University in the country. I may be wrong, though.

DePaul University is the largest Catholic university in the county. Notre Dame is in northern Indiana.

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We all know that traditionally there have never been many Catholics in the Southeast (excluding the Louisiana Bayou) However, the changing demographics in the south are altering that. What areas of the south have the most Catholics, how many are there and do you think the south will be more religiously diverse in the future? Just so you know, although my mother was Catholic, I'm an Episcopalian.

- if you want to, tell us your religion and denomination

I haven't read any of the posts from this thread so this may have been added, but in Charlotte, since I moved here in '79 there have been several Catholic churches added. I am catholic myself and I know a lot of Catholics and episcopalians, for that matter. It will continue to grow with all of the northerners moving here. I am a transplant from Pittsburgh.

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As a Catholic, I'm not sure how Augusta would rank, but our largest church in terms of members is a Catholic church, which I believe has somewhere around 4,000 families. I'm told that it is the also the wealthiest parish in the Diocese of Savannah. I have no idea how many Catholic churches we have in the area, so there seems to be quite a few of them. Most of our Catholic population I think migrated from Savannah and tends to be of Irish ancestry. We also have the oldest active Catholic church in Georgia, which I think was founded sometime around 1810. Outside of the obvious choices like New Orleans, Savannah is the place I associate most with Catholics. I agree with the earlier post that Charleston (like Virginia) tends to be more Episcopalian.

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I am not sure overall in the Winston-Salem area, but the old Catholic High School (Bishop McGuinness) on Link Rd. has been remodeled and reopened as a Catholic School (St. Mary's??). They also added on a beautiful new Cathedral you can see from Peter's Creek Parkway. With the hispanic influx here, I know there is a need for more Catholic churches.

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Well we too are opening new catholic schools to accomodate the growth of Catholics (many in those schools are Hispanic, Philipino, and even Arab). I myself am Episcopalian just like it seems many other people on this board.

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Interesting. In Charlotte the Catholic population is exploding and from my experience it's mostly people from the NorthEast. In the other parts of town the hispanic presence is probably growing but I haven't seen it.

There are maybe 2 hispanics at the Catholic highschool out of 1,100 students.

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I'm sure the dark green counties in Kentucky are because of Notre Dame, which I think is the largest Catholic University in the country. I may be wrong, though.

Notre Dame is in Northern Indiana, although many Louisville Catholic Highschools send their graduates there. The heavily Catholic central and Northern KY are results from the history of the area. Many of the settlers in central KY were Catholics from Maryland and they brought Catholic missionaries. The diocese of Bardstown, KY (just south of Louisville) was the first diocese in the Midwest! In 1820, if you lived in Chicago (or Detroit, Indy, etc), you were part of the Bardstown diocese.

Eventually, the archdiocese moved to Louisville due to its rapid growth in the 1820's and many Midwestern cities got their own dioceses.

For this reason, outside the New Orleans area, Louisville (and suburbs including Indiana) is by far the most concentrated per capita with Catholics. There are something like 80 Catholic churches just in Louisville-Jefferson County alone. Nearly 40 of those parishes still have k-8 schools, and there are 11 Catholic high schools in the metro.

Clearly from the map as well, Louisville is the most Catholic area in the south outside New Orleans (along with the central KY area around Bardstown). It can be seen in the culture up here in the summer when there are dozens of Catholic picnics each summer, and during Lent when there is a Fish fry every Friday. Starting tmrw is Lent, so even the local Mcdonalds will have Fish specials.

Now areas of Florida now have more per capita Catholics, but that is mostly old people. You won't find as many families with children as you will in Louisville, although the Catholic population in places like West Palm Beach, FL is just exploding. Anywhow, according to the map, most southern catholics are around New Orleans, Louisville, or South Florida. Rapidly growing cities like Atlanta, Nashville, and Charlotte have a fair amount due to Northern transplants, but these cities still are way more per capita dominated by baptists.

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The diocese of Bardstown, KY (just south of Louisville) was the first diocese in the Midwest!

I thought we were talking about the South? How can Louisville be in the south if a county south of it is considered MidWestern?

Anyways,

From the maps, Texas seems to have a very large Catholic population in the southern parts mainly due to Mexican immigration. Catholic power in the South will only increase as hispanic immigration and northern migration continue.

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