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We currently live in Minnesota but are considering moving to a warmer and more conservative State.  We are very fortunate to have joined a Diocesan Parish that offers the Extraordinary Form and have wonderful, faithful Priests.  We would like to find a similar Parish, preferably one with Middle-High School and with the Extraordinary Form.  FSSP is definitely an option too.
I was checking out (online)Ave Maria in Florida, it seems promising.  Bonus points for the University as well :)  
Is anyone from there or familiar with the area?  Would you say it is a good place for a family?  We have 2 children still at home, Middle-school age and currently a High School Junior.  
Also, asking if anyone knows about job opportunities in that area? My husband is retired military, currently working for a non-profit for military families, and I'm an RN currently working from home doing documentation review.  
Thank you in advance for any of your opinions.  If you know of any other places you'd recommend I'd appreciate it.  We are still very much in the "maybe, what if..." part of planning  so definitely open to other places/communities.  Other States we are considering are South Carolina, Northern Georgia, Tennessee.  (I know many of those areas have few Catholics).
I am not familiar with Ave Maria, Florida.

However, I have lived in Florida for coming up on 50 years, coming here in 1974, after discharge from the USAF, with my dear wife Pat, (whom I met in the USAF and was also a Vet), who was a third generation Floridian. Florida has a deep and long Catholic history. I currently live 50 miles west of the place where the first Mass was said in North America, at St. Augustine. There are many wonderful places to vist and live in around Florida. Interestingly, I visited some friends who moved to a retirement community near Ocala, Florida. It is a very rapidly growing city, Ocala, and many young families are finding new housing being developed there at this time. I also am aware of some very good Hospitals in Ocala, and being a retired RN/RRT, I have worked around the area for quite a while. There is good quality medical care in that city.

The folks I was visiting with, told me of a lovely Parish near them that had a Traditional Latin Mass every week on Sunday evening. The church was attacked by a deranged man recently and the Narthex became the area where he set a fire and did a lot of damage there. They are repairing this area and will soon have the Church back into service. Here is a link to their website: http://www.ocalaqueenofpeace.com/ with a video of the Church and some of the damages and news stories.

Ocala has a very vibrant Catholic presence in the community, with a number of Catholic Schools and a few High Schools as well. Blessed Trinity is one I know of and is near to Q of P.

I love Florida and it is a wonderful place to raise a family, as Pat (who is now deceased) and I did and as our children are now. There is no state income tax and property taxes and sales taxes generally are relatively low. A lot of people here are like me, a 'transplant' and once you 'get the sand in your shoes', you'll want to stay too.
I know of it, but I think it's more of an conservative and orthodox Catholicism than outright traditional. But that's speculation based on the impression I got when I looked into the place a couple years ago.

This could be a good video to watch if you are looking around for viable parishes to move to:

(12-18-2020, 10:51 AM)Mamadric Wrote: [ -> ]We currently live in Minnesota but are considering moving to a warmer and more conservative State.
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I was checking out (online)Ave Maria in Florida, it seems promising.  Bonus points for the University as well :)  
Is anyone from there or familiar with the area?  Would you say it is a good place for a family?  We have 2 children still at home, Middle-school age and currently a High School Junior.  
Also, asking if anyone knows about job opportunities in that area? My husband is retired military, currently working for a non-profit for military families, and I'm an RN currently working from home doing documentation review.  
Thank you in advance for any of your opinions.  If you know of any other places you'd recommend I'd appreciate it.  We are still very much in the "maybe, what if..." part of planning  so definitely open to other places/communities.  Other States we are considering are South Carolina, Northern Georgia, Tennessee.  (I know many of those areas have few Catholics).

Hi Mamadric. I've only ever looked at Ave Maria, FL from Google Maps, but I'm a South Florida native. I grew up on the edge of the Everglades National Park and have spent time in the Everglades and Big Cypress National Reserve, as well as Immokolee and Muck City.

There are a few issues with South Florida to consider, which are significantly worse in isolated Ave Maria, in the Everglades.

The first is the climate. South Florida has been a largely unpopulated until recently in history. During the Seminole Wars, the Seminoles managed to be the only unconquered tribe in the US, largely because the climate would kill Americans who tried to come into South Florida to pursue them. Why does the climate kill? Mosquitoes, humidity, monsoon rains through the Summer and hurricanes. South Florida is only livable because of our infrastructure. It only became livable because railroads were built, air conditioning and the constant mosquito control that has to be done. This makes hurricanes more of a problem. Hurricanes don't pose much of a problem to housing anymore, but it's the infrastructure that's the issue. Power can be out for weeks. In 2005, we had one that left classmates of mine without power (or AC) for 3 weeks. If we ever hit a crisis where power and insecticide are unavailable, South Florida becomes unlivable again - especially Ave Maria, which is in the Everglades and remote.

This leads into the second issue: the shape and size of the state. A few years ago, an evacuation order was given and roads were blocked and gas was unavailable which left people stranded by their cars during the evacuation. A friend of mine spent 20 hours driving from South Florida to Georgia. If you don't have gas, then you're stuck in the middle of the Everglades.

There are environmental health concerns. Don't eat any of the fish or wildlife from the Everglades. The sugarcane plantations in the Muck City area South of Lake Okeechobee leak mercury into the water which flows South into the Everglades. This concentrate higher into larger animals. If you eat the fish, it will accumulate in you or your kids. There's also seasonal burning of the sugarcane fields. I'm not sure how close this would be to Ave Maria, but every so often they light the fields on fire to burn away part of the sugarcane and get the crop ready for processing. There is a LOT of smoke generated and it has lead to health problems in people who live near it. Check to make sure you don't have burns going on near Ave Maria.

Long story short, I can't speak to the community in Ave Maria, FL, but I have to caution against moving down here. It's a time bomb, especially with the uncertain times we live in.
Thank you for your honest reply and information.  We definitely don't want to move to a place that is basically unlivable.  Especially with the way things are going right now, we have to take into account we might not always have solid infrastructure.
(12-19-2020, 12:39 PM)Mamadric Wrote: [ -> ]Thank you for your honest reply and information.  We definitely don't want to move to a place that is basically unlivable.  Especially with the way things are going right now, we have to take into account we might not always have solid infrastructure.
Don't be too put off by the southern parts of the state.

Up here in North Florida (I am just North of Gainesville), there is an abundance of water with many natural springs all over, with state and federal parks. There is a system of underwater caves (fresh water) that can be explored (and are by many people from all over the world) that run along the west side of the state, from around Crystal River all the way up to west of Tallahassee. I have a small spring on my property and a pond. My water is quite pure and I drink it right out of the well. There are two or three big pumping plants that make bottled water off to my west. So water purity isn't such an issue (save for protecting that purity) up here in the north of the state, where it isn't quite as hot and gets cooler in the winter than down south.

Sadly, the southern parts of the state can be difficult due to past offenses (as my friend abububba noted) by people interested in money and unaware of the damages they were doing. That sounds familiar, anywhere you may wish to live. At least Florida, for the most part, has gotten ahold of much of the environmental abuses and corralled them.
Where in Minnesota do you live? We live there too.
(12-19-2020, 10:55 PM)SacraCor714 Wrote: [ -> ]Where in Minnesota do you live? We live there too.
We are about 30 minutes South of St. Paul.  We attend Mass at St. Augustine's in South St. Paul.  How about you?
We also live about 30 minutes south of St. Paul! But we go to St. Joseph’s in Miesville. I’ve actually never heard of your church; is it fssp?
(12-21-2020, 12:29 PM)SacraCor714 Wrote: [ -> ]We also live about 30 minutes south of St. Paul! But we go to St. Joseph’s in Miesville. I’ve actually never heard of your church; is it fssp?
Oh this is funny!  We live in Hastings, we used to go to St. Joseph's Ordinary Form before they had a consistent Latin Mass.  We switched to St. Augustine's a few years back only because it was more established and consistent.  It's under the Diocese and paired with Holy Trinity, Fr. Echert is the Pastor and we also have Fr. Grabner.  We actually attended Mass for the Immaculate Conception at St. Joseph's this year, we may have bumped into each other :)
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