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Ann Barnhardt Mailbag Q&A: “What Should I Do If There Is No Decent Parish Nearby?”

Dear Ann,

The closest parish offering the Tridentine Mass is hours away from me.  All of the Novus Ordo parishes in my area are fully onboard with the FrancisChurch/Synod agenda.  What can I do?



Dear D,



P.S.  You think I’m joking or being flippant.  I’m not.  Move.


20 thoughts on “Ann Barnhardt Mailbag Q&A: “What Should I Do If There Is No Decent Parish Nearby?””

  1. Andy says:

    I tried to “re-infiltrate” our parish when we moved here, joined the groups I could, and tried to enact a resurgence of orthodoxy, of which the pastor was my biggest stumbling block, and was an utter failure. I was in this parish for 4 years. There’s no EF here so I found the most reverent NO Mass where the Parochial Vicar stands Ad Orientum and the prayers are chanted in the qoloquial. The nearest EF is 2.5 hr drive. We are moving though and will be closer. Hopefully by X-mas.

  2. Maggie says:

    That is what I did before I moved from CINO…and thus learned the TLM.

  3. Maggie says:

    I did move. Still in mostly Novus Ordo land but in a decent parish where I do not have to put up with liturgical abuses –expect when retired “Fr. Ad-Lib” fills in–or heresy. Also I have access to a TLM at one parish on Sundays. Vast improvement from the CINO parish and diocese where I once lived. It did cost. No mistake there. And it was worth the price or my children and I might have totally lost the faith.

  4. Jim J. McCrea says:

    Take decisive and radical action when the situation calls for it.

  5. Lynda says:

    Many true Catholics are poor for various reasons and struggle to get by.

  6. Chloe says:

    Also be careful of priests who say what you want to hear. Some will take your money and do nothing. Sad to say.

  7. Chloe says:

    I live in the UK Katherine so I’m afraid I can’t help. Have you thought of asking the FSSP if they know of a priest in need of a home? There might be priests who can’t be incardinated into their order that they may have contact details for. Worth a try.

  8. Jude says:

    If we have established that there are some people who just cannot move and cannot drive far enough to reach a decent parish, then I would suggest buying a Missal for the older rite and taking it with you to the Novus Ordo Mass. Read through it instead, ignore the handshake routine, and tune out the silliness. You can also buy solid homilies written by great saints or listen to orthodox ones at

  9. Katherine says:

    We would love and have been working toward that! Do you know of one who needs a home?

  10. Athelstane says:

    In the meantime, it may not be ideal, but check to see if there is an Eastern Rite or Ordinariate parish within reasonable driving distance. (This is no guarantee of solid teaching or even great liturgy, but it’s typically the case.) Admittedly that’s probably not likely either if you live in, say, North Dakota.

  11. Jude says:

    I respect Fr. Z a great deal, but he does live in a sort of internet priest bubble, where patrons send him money, and gifts and he gets to fly all over the world, attending conferences, meeting up with friends at restaurants (photographing his food), and never having to actually run a parish. I’d be spending money to move before I spent money on vestments and training for a priest that might never get to use them, because the parishioners or the bishop will shut it down. Now if you could find a stable group of parishioners willing to join in the expense and a priest that would follow through and a bishop that would let it happen, then that method might work. Even then, you’d be lucky to end up with one EF Mass a month, scheduled at the most inconvenient time so as to not annoy the Vatican II crowd that is going to do whatever they can to squash your efforts. And you’ll have to be very careful to always state that this is strictly an aesthetic choice and that the Novus Ordo is totally equal in every way.

  12. Chloe says:

    Ever thought of offering a home to a retired priest with nowhere to go who can say the Mass properly?

  13. DISCO says:

    That’s what I would do. On the other hand you could try the Father Z method – find a sympathetic ear in a young pastor or parochial vicar who has his head screwed on reasonably correctly, offer to pay for him to learn the old mass, buy vestments, have your boys offer to serve as altar boys. Maybe don’t get discouraged. Try not to flip out over dialogue nonsense. But reasonably – move.

  14. Ever mindful says:

    Thank you Ann…I find your posts very moving already…and now with practical advice too!

  15. Chloe says:

    Succinct, to the point and……right!

  16. Jude says:

    Excellent answer. I have a similar answer to those who complain about the state of the public and (barely) Catholic schools. NAPCIS or Homeschool. Gonna have to give up vacations, cell phones, and eating out to do it? I don’t care. NAPCIS or Homeschool. Don’t think you can teach trigonometry? I don’t care. NAPCIS or Homeschool and find a tutor. It will be worth it to not have your children be told every day that up is down and reality is whatever we want it to be and the only real sin is not recycling.

  17. Barbara says:

    That will come, and maybe soon. In the meantime anything up to two hours is a decent ‘commute’ for a true Mass – heck we all know people who drive two and more hours to a lousy job so they can have all the toys. Load the kids in the car and promise them breakfast/lunch/brunch at their favourite fast food joint afterwards.

  18. TheWhiteLilyBlog says:

    Ann! I think you ought to get my new sci fi novel. For one thing, bacon–or actually chicken–plays a big role as the transgendered World President imposes not just a new, made-up religion on Earth’s first space colony, but vegetarianism as well. A pre-born baby is rescued, and there’s traditional mass in the hold of the mighty space ship the Regina Coeli. There’s a convert who might interest you, and an act of cooperation between a Muslim family and Catholics that might make you re-think our strategy. And there’s a pretty good chase scene. And traditional Catholic girls handle a fire fight pretty well. Most of all, the heroine reminds me of you. Only offered here, never on Amazon:

  19. Aaron Traas says:

    Yup. Particularly if you have kids.

  20. PompousMaximus says:

    My wife, self and baby are currently driving 1 hr 45 mins to TLM. Before we found that one it was 2 hrs 5 mins. It is a delightful time filled with rosaries and chaplets and Traditionalist speakers including Miss Ann Barnhardt herself. Gets us pretty pumped. Needless to say we are indeed looking to move. I am a Catholic school Principal stuck in Novus Ordo-land. Soooo, shameless networking. If anyone knows of anything….within an easy distance to multiple TLMs……

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