When I was up in the American Redoubt I had a chance to visit Post Falls, Idaho. I have discussed my deep respect and admiration for the work of the SSPX in previous posts. I did not realize that Post Falls was such a large traditional Catholic enclave until virtually being introduced to the SSPX there through this blog. Post Falls is a small town, only 14 square miles approximately 30 minutes East of Spokane, Washington. However it has a very large traditional Catholic community. Post Falls, Idaho was 17.247 in 2000 census, and is estimated to be 30,123 in 2014. It has nearly doubled in 14 years. Buck knives is one of the largest employers in the town. It was not an exhaustive visit by any means, but I did get to drive around. Stop in and walk around. I also visited the Traditional Catholic parish in Post Falls named the Immaculate, Conception. When I went in it was a fairly simply parish outside, but inside it was very beautiful. And just as beautiful was that it had perhaps 10 women praying the rosary inside when I happened to visit.
The women had a loud clear voice as they prayed. When I was there several men came through, prayed and left. I went in, gave my respect to Lord Christ and sat and listen for a while. I spent some time talking to the office and had to find one of the people I needed to talk too at the school the Immaculate Conception Academy which is right next to the parish. During my short time in the school it appeared to be a very “old school” catholic private school. It looked great.
As I drove around the town, there were many older “large” SUVs for larger families. This is 4×4 SUV country, not minivan as it gets some snowfall. The people I saw walking around had a very high percentage of women in longer, but utilitarian type skirts. It is like a badge identifying these are valuable women to be protected. Men dressed in slightly nicer clothing, kids in private school uniforms. Several people said hello when I was on the parish grounds and people were generally friendly. They … were fairly friendly. I explained that I was attending an FSSP parish at this time and that seemed to end several conversations. I thought there was more camaraderie between the SSPX, FSSP, CMRI and other traditional groups, guess I was wrong. There seems to be some serious … negative energy between the SSPX parishioners and any other Catholic group, even the FSSP. That is very unfortunate. The majority of the liberal Catholic leadership would love to end all groups dedicated to any thing than the New Church. It would seem you find common cause with all groups fighting the Novo Ordo mass and all that it brings. I got the “…what in the world are you doing here…” vibe a few times (not all the time). Now, that is not a bad thing, I guess it is fairly natural. However I have noticed that the FSSP parishes seem a bit more welcoming even to Novo Ordo families. Again, everyone was very polite and most were welcoming at the Immaculate Conception. Perhaps it was my own failing.
The parish office was very welcoming, spent a lot of time talking to me, asking me where I was coming from and going. I had a great conversation with the man.
The thing I was really sorta of surprised was that Post Falls felt like a traditional catholic community. I have never experienced in my entire life a town or city that is a majority of practicing Christians. It was strange. The SSPX community seem to work very, very hard to attract as many believers to their area as possible. So many Catholic parishes consist of people driving in, rather than living near the parish and being immersed in the community. Everywhere there were people I would assume attended that parish. Nicely dressed families, kids running around everywhere. What does living in a Catholic community really feel like? What would it be like to live in an area where the majority are believing conservative Catholics? I. Don’t. Know. I am unsure if it is the fact that most Catholics in America have historically been an overall minority, or what. It just felt like wow. This is what we are working for, a majority of conservative Christian people living in a fairly rural dominated small town. I am still thinking through my feelings and reaction of this.
I would suggest from a pure TSHTF preparedness view point that the folks in Post Falls, Idaho have a plan to deal with the potential refugees coming out of Spokane. Spokane is a small city, perhaps 300K. It has a lot of red brick buildings, not many (or any) are taller than 30 stories. It looks like the typical small city, and perhaps maybe another 100K in the suburbs around the city. Post Falls is on what JWR calls the natural flow. In other words, just get on the freeway and walk East from the city and you are in Post Falls. I assume the men there in Post Falls have a plan for this.
If I was starting new on searching the Redoubt for a place to drop anchor, and I was Catholic (or any conservative Christian) and moving to the American Redoubt, I would most certainly look closely at the Post Falls area. For me I am pretty happy with my land and neighbors and are making a new home there. I feel a bit cut off that I am far from the large SSPX community in Post Falls, or the FSSP community in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho which is about 20 minutes away. This may be one the largest concentrations of conservative traditional Catholic families in the US. BTW, I would strongly suggest that if you are thinking of moving to the SSPX community in Post Falls or the FSSP community in Coeur d’Alene you start attending your local chapel or parish first.
Pray for the continued strength of the SSPX and the FSSP.