Author Topic: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America  (Read 10426 times)

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Offline ialmisry

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2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« on: October 04, 2010, 04:50:08 PM »
This should be of interest to all:
Quote
Over the past decade, my friend, the incomparable sociologist Alexei Krindatch, has developed a reputation for his remarkable studies of Orthodox Christianity in America. The full collection of his work is housed at www.orthodoxreality.org. Today, Alexei has released the results of his latest and most ambitious project yet — a census of all Orthodox congregations in the United States. The most notable aspect of this census is the fact that Alexei didn’t just go to the administrations of each jurisdiction and ask for their reported numbers. He contacted every single parish in America
http://orthodoxhistory.org/2010/10/2010-census-of-orthodox-christian-churches-in-the-usa/

http://www.orthodoxreality.org/
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2010, 05:00:37 PM »
How reliable are these statistics?

Offline ialmisry

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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2010, 05:04:50 PM »
How reliable are these statistics?

It would seem more accurate than anything else. and perhaps as important, more useful than others we have seen.
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Offline Asteriktos

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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2010, 05:09:21 PM »
I'm about half way through a preliminary reading of the pdf with the actual statistics, but I just wanted to come back and say that this has totally made my day. Heck, it has totally made my year (yes, I have no life).  :)
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2010, 05:13:38 PM »
The figures seem significantly lower than most others that have been cited.

Offline deusveritasest

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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2010, 05:13:52 PM »
but I just wanted to come back and say that this has totally made my day. Heck, it has totally made my year (yes, I have no life).  :)

Why?

Offline bogdan

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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2010, 05:14:31 PM »
I received this in an email from someone a few days ago, showing Orthodox population on a state-by-state basis, based on this same data. Very interesting.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2010, 05:26:37 PM by bogdan »

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2010, 05:22:31 PM »
but I just wanted to come back and say that this has totally made my day. Heck, it has totally made my year (yes, I have no life).  :)

Why?

First, because I just like statistics, even to the point where I tend to gravitate towards entertainment involving stats (e.g. business strategy games). Second, because I get annoyed by all the stats that I see that I consider absurd, such as claims like there are 4 or 5 or 6 million Orthodox in America; so it's nice to have something that most likely has a higher degree of accuracy. And third, I just like the idea of having realistic information about Orthodoxy, even if the info might be sobering, or even to some extent depressing.
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2010, 05:53:49 PM »
Second, because I get annoyed by all the stats that I see that I consider absurd, such as claims like there are 4 or 5 or 6 million Orthodox in America; so it's nice to have something that most likely has a higher degree of accuracy. And third, I just like the idea of having realistic information about Orthodoxy, even if the info might be sobering, or even to some extent depressing.

Ok, that makes sense.

Offline Fr. George

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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2010, 05:59:40 PM »
The figures seem significantly lower than most others that have been cited.

That's what happens when you ask more reliable sources of data for information.  I'd take parish numbers over diocesan or archdiocese numbers any day.
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Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2010, 06:26:09 PM »
Truly eye opening! This is well below what we had been looking at: At a 1% to a maximum of 2% of the total population versus 0.34%. Lord have mercy!

A few observations:

1. There is a huge disparity in parish sizes.  I do not know what the optimum number for growth and outreach may be but I think that the average numbers at a GOA church seem too high, while the number for OCA may be too low. My thinking is based on the concept of a tipping point:  you barely make do if you are under that number, however, if you are over the tipping point number, you have squandered opportunities for growing mission parishes.

2. The numbers for Macedonian Church seem too high, particularly when contrasted to attendance figures.

3.  Who would have thought that the states which ones had the highest number of parishes have now been surpassed by California?! This is a strong indication that the growth may be coming from (a) converts and (b) new immigrants.

Offline 88Devin12

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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2010, 06:37:35 PM »
I received this in an email from someone a few days ago, showing Orthodox population on a state-by-state basis, based on this same data. Very interesting.
Hehe, we are creeping inland...

I wasn't too surprised about only 6,700 in Missouri. That makes average size of each parish in Missouri to be about 300+.

I'm sure this information would be VERY useful to the Episcopal Assembly, especially if any "redistricting" of dioceses would be necessary.

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2010, 07:00:02 PM »
I think Second Chance is making some interesting points. Now that I've had a chance to think more about the numbers, here are a few other thoughts...

- I'm surprised by the 21% growth in number of parishes by the OCA. My own experience must be out of the ordinary, because the three OCA parishes I've been to in Central/Western Pennsylvania didn't exactly give you the impression of a vibrant, growing jurisdiction.

- I realised that that we Antiochians had a very minimal monastic presence, but seeing the numbers side by side really emphasises this problem. When considering the jurisdictions with over 50,000 adherents, the Antiochians having 1 (now 2) monasteries is embarrassing next to the 19 Greek, 19 OCA, and 13 Serbian monasteries.

- The Serbs seem to be making the most of what they've got to work with: I don't know how affluent the average Serb is, but they seem fairly small in numbers (listed as having 15,400 regular church attenders), and yet they still have 13 monasteries and a theological school/seminary.

- I was surprised by the small numbers of regular attenders for both the Carpatho-Russians and ROCOR. I suppose where I live has something to do with my skewed view of the size of Carpatho-Russians. And I suppose my familiarity with the prominent role ROCOR has played in various online discussions has skewed my perceptions of how big ROCOR is.
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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2010, 07:29:31 PM »
3.  Who would have thought that the states which ones had the highest number of parishes have now been surpassed by California?! This is a strong indication that the growth may be coming from (a) converts and (b) new immigrants.

I actually have insight into this one.  When we've discussed the parishes per state numbers in the past here (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,14412.0.html - North American Unity), we've limited our analysis to EO parishes (and didn't include ROCOR at the time).  The numbers published in this census include the OO, who have very many parishes in California and New Jersey, the states that did the most surprising movement (when compared to our older numbers) in this survey.
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Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2010, 09:42:51 PM »
Another thing occurs to me: the church attendance rate may be a stronger indicator of spiritual health than anything else.

The questions that were asked were very broad:

1. Approximately how many individual persons in total are associated in any way with the life of your parish: counting adults and children, regular and occasional attendees, paid stewards and persons who do not contribute financially?

2. Approximately how many persons — including adults and children — attend Liturgy in your parish on a typical Sunday?

In other words, just don't pull out the Baptismal Registry; just tell me how many actual persons are darkening your doors ever, and on a typical Sunday. I am using "Baptismal Registry" as a proxy for all who have been baptized, Chrismated or otherwise accepted into the Church.

The difference between the Baptismal Registry and these numbers may the number of souls that the Church has lost. It does not matter whose fault it is. It is sad and should cause great concern.

I wonder if there is a correlation between Church attendance rate and the discrepancy between the "Baptismal Registry" numbers and the actual reported numbers. I suspect that there may be a relationship: when the discrepancy is relatively a small percentage, the attendance rate should be relatively higher--if my hunch right, that is.

Finally, I suspect that the attendance rate is somewhat inflated as the attendance figure (a rough head count) might include visitors, while the association number may be restricted to actual persons known to the parish.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2010, 10:07:30 PM »
I think Second Chance is making some interesting points. Now that I've had a chance to think more about the numbers, here are a few other thoughts...

- I'm surprised by the 21% growth in number of parishes by the OCA. My own experience must be out of the ordinary, because the three OCA parishes I've been to in Central/Western Pennsylvania didn't exactly give you the impression of a vibrant, growing jurisdiction.

No offense, but how vibrant and growing is the state of Pennsylvania?

Quote
- I realised that that we Antiochians had a very minimal monastic presence, but seeing the numbers side by side really emphasises this problem. When considering the jurisdictions with over 50,000 adherents, the Antiochians having 1 (now 2) monasteries is embarrassing next to the 19 Greek, 19 OCA, and 13 Serbian monasteries.


Since Met. Philip seems to have gotten over the problem, that should change.  One of the ethnic (i.e. Arab) Antiochian parishes here had a resident monk (Romanian!). When I went to the local Athonite monestary here, the monk you invited us in was Arab (Palestinian).

I actually though we had fewer in America.

Quote
- The Serbs seem to be making the most of what they've got to work with: I don't know how affluent the average Serb is, but they seem fairly small in numbers (listed as having 15,400 regular church attenders), and yet they still have 13 monasteries and a theological school/seminary.

Само слога Србина спасава. Go Serbs!

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Offline Father H

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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2010, 10:21:38 PM »
I recall a couple of snowbirds visiting on a Sunday morning a couple years back mentioning to me that they had run into other people who were "members of my parish."  Once they mentioned their names, I realized that I had not seen the people they spoke about for three years since I baptized their grandchild  :(

Offline deusveritasest

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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2010, 12:24:04 AM »
3.  Who would have thought that the states which ones had the highest number of parishes have now been surpassed by California?! This is a strong indication that the growth may be coming from (a) converts and (b) new immigrants.

I actually have insight into this one.  When we've discussed the parishes per state numbers in the past here (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,14412.0.html - North American Unity), we've limited our analysis to EO parishes (and didn't include ROCOR at the time).  The numbers published in this census include the OO, who have very many parishes in California and New Jersey, the states that did the most surprising movement (when compared to our older numbers) in this survey.

Ummmm. The grammar of this post sort of confused me, but it seems like you might have been saying something interesting. Could you clarify?

Offline 88Devin12

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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2010, 12:49:04 AM »
- I'm surprised by the 21% growth in number of parishes by the OCA. My own experience must be out of the ordinary, because the three OCA parishes I've been to in Central/Western Pennsylvania didn't exactly give you the impression of a vibrant, growing jurisdiction.
I'm going to have to ditto ialmisry's post. I don't want to hate on the OCA in Pennsylvania, but from what I've heard, the Parishes there aren't doing too good.

OCA parishes in one region don't reflect other parishes nationwide either.

Offline Super Apostolic Bros.

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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2010, 12:56:29 AM »
I notice the complete lack of Orthodoxy in Idaho. Why such a random state, you say? The local Antiochian priest had to leave to bury his mother, citing no Orthodox clergy in Idaho. He was right.

Offline Chacci

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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2010, 10:41:07 AM »
I live in Boise, Idaho - there are 3 Priests - an Antiochian (mine), a Greek, and a ROCOR priest.  In Twin Falls, there is a Hieromonk who serves at an Antiochian Parish.  Up in Northern Idaho there are an additional couple of Antiochian parishes with Priests that I know of as well.  I believe there are at least one other jurisdication up there.  Finally, in Pocatello, there is a Greek Church - not sure if they have a priest or not. 

The numbers suggest that there are approximately 100 parishoners per parish in Idaho - which seems very high to me.  On the otherhand, Idaho seems like fertile missionary ground with having only .05% Orthodox versus .34% total for the US. 

Offline Jetavan

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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2010, 10:08:04 AM »
From Religionnews, via HP:

"Alexei Krindatch, research consultant for the Standing Conferences of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas, said the 16 percent growth in the number of Orthodox parishes is "a fairly high ratio for religious groups in the United States."

The number of Orthodox parishes has reached 2,370, and the Orthodox community in America consists of more than 1 million adherents across 20 different church bodies, according to the 2010 U.S. Orthodox Census.

The top five largest Orthodox churches in the U.S. are Greek Orthodox (476,900), Orthodox Church in America (84,900), Antiochian Orthodox (74,600), Serbian Orthodox (68,800) and Russian Orthodox (27,700).

Two of these church bodies--the Bulgarian Orthodox Eastern Diocese and the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese--experienced a growth rate of over 100 percent. Both churches began with a small number of parishes in 2000 and are supported by a community of established Eastern European immigrants.

"It takes immigrant communities a little while to establish a religious community," Krindatch said. "They settle, then begin to think about their religious lives.""
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Offline tuesdayschild

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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2010, 11:30:06 AM »
How did HOCNA end up on the survey? (Not that I have anything against HOCNA. Just wondering.)

Offline ialmisry

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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #23 on: October 07, 2010, 11:48:18 AM »
How did HOCNA end up on the survey? (Not that I have anything against HOCNA. Just wondering.)

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Offline tuesdayschild

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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #24 on: October 07, 2010, 01:07:03 PM »
How did HOCNA end up on the survey? (Not that I have anything against HOCNA. Just wondering.)

Definitely the hats.

More to the point, why HOCNA from among all other Old Calendarists?

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #25 on: October 07, 2010, 01:09:20 PM »
How did HOCNA end up on the survey? (Not that I have anything against HOCNA. Just wondering.)

Token traditionalist group? Just to demonstrate how tolerant and open-minded the people behind the data were? Perhaps they met some pre-determined criteria for minimum number of parishes required to be part of the survey? I dunno. :)
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #26 on: October 07, 2010, 06:24:03 PM »
I think HOCNA are the largest Old Calendarist group with a presence in the US.
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Offline 88Devin12

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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2010, 11:21:21 AM »
Some more interesting information...

Quote
1906:
129,606 in the U.S.A. (not including Alaska)

1916:
249,840 in the U.S.A.

1926:
259,394 in the U.S.A. (may be off due to a "schism")

1936:
348,025 in the U.S.A.

1947:
550,000 in the U.S.A.

http://orthodoxhistory.org/2010/10/historical-census-data-for-orthodoxy-in-america/

Offline tuesdayschild

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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #28 on: October 11, 2010, 11:26:44 AM »
Some more interesting information...

Quote
1906:
129,606 in the U.S.A. (not including Alaska)

1916:
249,840 in the U.S.A.

1926:
259,394 in the U.S.A. (may be off due to a "schism")

1936:
348,025 in the U.S.A.

1947:
550,000 in the U.S.A.

http://orthodoxhistory.org/2010/10/historical-census-data-for-orthodoxy-in-america/

These are Chalcedonian Orthodox numbers, according to the article.  The 2010 survey includes non-Chalcedonian Orthodox.

Offline 88Devin12

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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #29 on: October 11, 2010, 12:40:46 PM »
Some more interesting information...

Quote
1906:
129,606 in the U.S.A. (not including Alaska)

1916:
249,840 in the U.S.A.

1926:
259,394 in the U.S.A. (may be off due to a "schism")

1936:
348,025 in the U.S.A.

1947:
550,000 in the U.S.A.

http://orthodoxhistory.org/2010/10/historical-census-data-for-orthodoxy-in-america/

These are Chalcedonian Orthodox numbers, according to the article.  The 2010 survey includes non-Chalcedonian Orthodox.

I know those are Chalcedonian numbers... maybe I should have clarified that though...

Offline tuesdayschild

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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #30 on: October 11, 2010, 01:20:29 PM »
I know those are Chalcedonian numbers... maybe I should have clarified that though...

Not intended to correct you.  :)

Offline Fr. George

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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #31 on: October 11, 2010, 01:50:49 PM »
I notice the complete lack of Orthodoxy in Idaho. Why such a random state, you say? The local Antiochian priest had to leave to bury his mother, citing no Orthodox clergy in Idaho. He was right.

There are Orthodox in Idaho, although I can't speak to whether each parish has a priest.  I'll echo what Chacci said - there are at least 6 Orthodox parishes in Idaho.  Every US state (plus the District) has at least 2 Orthodox parishes in it.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2010, 01:51:42 PM by Fr. George »
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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #32 on: January 25, 2011, 11:32:38 PM »
Ummmm. The grammar of this post sort of confused me, but it seems like you might have been saying something interesting. Could you clarify?

I'm sorry that I didn't see this post until now.

Second Chance indicated surprise that California had surpassed in total number of parishes other traditional Orthodox hot-spots that have, in the past, had more parishes: PA and NY to be specific.  My comment basically said that our previous conversations on "which US state has the most parishes in it" have been limited in scope to the EO; this survey, however, took into account the OO parishes as well.  ISTM from my limited study of the subject that the OO have a disproportionate number of parishes in CA and NJ, which likely "tipped the balance" toward CA having the most parishes.

Does that make more sense?

I actually have insight into this one.  When we've discussed the parishes per state numbers in the past here (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,14412.0.html - North American Unity), we've limited our analysis to EO parishes (and didn't include ROCOR at the time).  The numbers published in this census include the OO, who have very many parishes in California and New Jersey, the states that did the most surprising movement (when compared to our older numbers) in this survey.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2011, 11:33:00 PM by Fr. George »
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #33 on: January 26, 2011, 12:13:27 AM »
Ummmm. The grammar of this post sort of confused me, but it seems like you might have been saying something interesting. Could you clarify?

I'm sorry that I didn't see this post until now.

Second Chance indicated surprise that California had surpassed in total number of parishes other traditional Orthodox hot-spots that have, in the past, had more parishes: PA and NY to be specific.  My comment basically said that our previous conversations on "which US state has the most parishes in it" have been limited in scope to the EO; this survey, however, took into account the OO parishes as well.  ISTM from my limited study of the subject that the OO have a disproportionate number of parishes in CA and NJ, which likely "tipped the balance" toward CA having the most parishes.

Does that make more sense?

I actually have insight into this one.  When we've discussed the parishes per state numbers in the past here (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,14412.0.html - North American Unity), we've limited our analysis to EO parishes (and didn't include ROCOR at the time).  The numbers published in this census include the OO, who have very many parishes in California and New Jersey, the states that did the most surprising movement (when compared to our older numbers) in this survey.

Yeah.

Are you suggesting that OOy is growing rather quickly in California?

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Re: 2010 Census of Orthodox in America
« Reply #34 on: January 26, 2011, 12:38:08 AM »
I'm not sure, but I do know that it has quite a presence in CA - a higher percentage of total OO parishes are in CA (vs. the rest of the US) than EO parishes in CA, so it certainly looks like very many OO (who, if they are from a traditionally OO culture/ethnicity, are used to warmer climates) are going west.
How in Mor's good name
one hundred fifty four posts
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