St Jude Monastery, Alabama

This Dominican Monastery was placed under the patronage of St Jude because the community was intentionally bi-racial.


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There is a disproportionate number of monasteries and similar entities in Alabama, for a state with such a small Catholic percentage of population. There is a cluster in the Cullman area, including one monastery dedicated to the Traditional Latin Mass and brought back into full communion with the Church in recent years.

The US Southland is a fertile field for Catholic mission activity and conversions, in that the people there already know of Christ and honor Him, and their values and manners are almost entirely consonant with traditional Catholic morality. They simply need to be brought “all the way home”. Flannery O’Connor wrote of the “Christ-haunted Protestant South”, and one only needs to take a short ride on a Southern country road to see signs saying “Jesus Saves”, “Jesus Forgive My Sins”, and so on, sometimes nailed to the sides of trees. A very special place.

Most yard signs around here say, “Thank you, Jesus”.

There was a “mystery evangelist” when we first moved here. Hand-painted rectangular signs saying “Jesus” and “John 3:16” are all over the place.

There’s still some prejudice against Catholics here, though.

Our diocese will be ordaining 7 next year.

The Southern Dominican Province has 17 in formation. Last I’d seen, there had been 3 in formation between the three provinces - Southern, Central, and Western.

The Hispanic population has absolutely exploded here, too.

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