Thursday, April 11, 2024

Hey fellow Catholic...before you buy that distant property, read this

This is going to irritate some people but I don't think the Catholic Back to the Land movement is the best or only answer for the American Catholic future. You may have a hazy fantasy about running off to an area near a chapel and priest or monks and then homesteading off grid, but is that realistic?  

Have you ever killed a chicken? My grandmother could wring a chicken's neck with seemingly no effort. My mother never got the knack of it and preferred to use a hatchet and I can't do it all. I could learn the skill, of course but I'll be starving  by the time I perfect butchering and then getting the bird on table. 

Can you shoot a shot gun? You're going to have do that at some point.  Do you know how to milk a cow or care for one? Do you understand that goats and sheep are cute but need a lot of attention? Have you any idea how to butcher a steer, a hog or deer?  Do you know what could  happen if the well goes bad?  

My grandparents weren't dancing and singing in the fields; they were working hard every day but Sunday and even then, the cow, the mule and the other animals needed to be tended to before they left for church. Do you have the stamina for that? Country boys are strong and you better be too or you won't make it. 

 I've learned many things from YouTube videos but if you want to succeed at homesteading you are going to need a wise and loyal someone in real life and nearby to help you. That may be a problem. 

Your new neighbors may not like Catholics. They may have already insulting encounters with city folks. They may resent you because you and people like you are buying up property and making things more expensive for the locals. You might find yourself a pariah before you even meet your closest neighbor. If you inadvertently messed up in your social interactions, being out there alone with hostile neighbors may be very bad for you.

Someone may be muttering right now, "But Dymphna, we have to get out of the city, and we need to do it NOW." I understand but don't run off half cocked with no plan.  You might be better served by moving to a small city or town or finding a largely Catholic planned community. I know everyone mocked Ave Maria when it was built in Florida but that, or a situation like it, might be a far more realistic option for you than homesteading. 

I have read comments from people who think cordial relations with their neighbors don't matter. They aren't looking for a community and don't care about the impression they're making on  the neighbors. All they want is a quiet place to hold up and make a stand if there is a major societal upheaval in the future. Lone wolves rarely make it. In real life they end up scavenging until they can join or create a pack of their own. You are going to  need the good will of the locals and I'm not seeing a whole lot of Catholic homesteading dreamers talking about that.