In Canada, there are not a lot of options for living rurally AND attending an Extraordinary Form Mass. I think that St. Paul, Alberta has a Latin Mass, and it is a town about 2 hours from Edmonton. However, the cost of living in Alberta is quite high! What is a Catholic family to do? You may want to raise your kids in a simple, more old-fashioned way and even try your hand at homesteading, but you don’t want to leave your tight-knit and very orthodox Latin Mass community in the city.
It is my sincere hope that an Extraordinary Form Mass in Yarmouth would attract traditionalist Catholic families who wish to live in a more rural, isolated setting, away from the debauchery and surveillance of the big cities, but still have access to the Tridentine liturgy. We are working very hard to make that happen.
So here are some of the reasons that I think Yarmouth is a great place to live and a good place to raise a Catholic family:
- It is very isolated! Halifax is 3.5 hours away by car. We formerly lived in Edmonton, and I can say that I really enjoy being far away from the big city, where you are constantly bombarded by bad influences and things you do not want your children exposed to, like billboards with half-naked models on them. Annoying family members will be less tempted to visit you.
- It is a cute small community! Ironically, I felt more socially isolated in Edmonton than I do here. Here in Yarmouth I can hardly go anywhere without seeing someone I know. Everybody is extremely friendly. People are constantly stopping me in the street and in the stores to comment on my kids and to tell me about their own grandkids. For two years in a row now Yarmouth has hosted its “100 Meals” program where for 100 days in a row there is a free meal somewhere every day. It is great fun!
- There is a strong homeschooling presence here. I know several Catholic families who homeschool or are planning to homeschool. There is a homeschool group that meets every Thursday, and a couple hours up the way there is a homeschool consignment store. Although the government here is Liberal and the people in general are quite liberal, they seem content to just let families be. I so far haven’t seen any persecution of homeschoolers here the way I saw in Alberta.
- Housing is cheaper. What more needs to be said?
- There are cheap stores. Living on a tight budget? You should check out our Frenchys stores, which sell high-quality clothes for cheap. Even cheaper is the Salvation Army, which is an awesome place, and has kid books for free. There is a place called Parent’s Place where you can get free clothes, books and toys. Yarmouth is also a yard sale paradise. Nova Scotians LIVE for yard sales.
- It has Catholic doctors. Surprisingly, quite a few. I know of at least one family doctor, two emerg doctors, one maternity doctor, and two psychiatrists that are Catholic. There are also other doctors who are Protestant. Not once since moving here have I been asked about birth control. Not even after giving birth to Rose. The maternity ward is actually extremely pro-breastfeeding and pro-natural birth.
- The Parish priest is supportive of the Extraordinary Form.
- Although it is a small town, because of its distance from Halifax, Yarmouth actually has quite a few stores, such as Superstore, Wal-Mart, Bulk Barn, a health-food store, Shopper’s, etc.
- It’s cutesy and quaint.
- More opportunities to practice French or teach your kids French.
- It’s on the ocean, so the climate is mild (mild compared to places like Freezington and Winterpeg). Some have called it the Miami of Canada.
But most importantly of all, the Chandlers are here. So you better come in a van packed full of kids and we will welcome you with open arms.
Stay-tuned for more updates on the TLM. We are still working hard to find a priest and to get things up and running.
En union de prière,