Traditional Catholic Towns in the Ozarks

The Community at Clear Creek Abbey in Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma

If you’re looking for traditional Catholic towns in the Ozark Mountains, they can be found. These are towns were the local parish celebrates either the Traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form) regularly on Sundays or more often, and/or the Traditional English Mass (Divine Worship) regularly on Sundays or more often. These towns have no other Catholic parish, so the town itself is considered “Traditional Catholic” even if the majority population may be non-Catholic. In other words, Traditional Catholicism is the only form of Catholicism practised in that town.

Ozark, Missouri — Traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form)
Ozark is about 15 minutes south of Springfield, Missouri, (a mid-size city), and is noted for its rolling hills and heavily forested area. The parish is St. Joseph the Worker, which celebrates the Traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form) every Sunday, with reverent Ordinary Form (Novus Ordo) masses also on Sunday and weekdays. This is a regular parish within the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau. All masses are celebrated ad orientem, and communion on the tongue while kneeling is the norm. Moving to this traditional Catholic town will put you within 15 minutes of a mid-size city (Springfield), but well outside of urban sprawl. This is still a small town with a small-town feel. It has a magnificent community centre and indoor aquatic park. The public school system is one of the better ones in the region, however, Missouri is considered one of the best homeschooling states in the country. The real estate market in Ozark can be viewed here.

Republic, Missouri — Traditional English Mass (Divine Worship)
Republic is about 15 minutes southwest of Springfield, Missouri, and is noted for it’s growing suburban neighbourhoods, wooded parks and nearby Civil War battlefield which is now a national park. It has an excellent recreation centre and outdoor aquatic park. The parish is St. George Catholic Church and it celebrates the Traditional English Mass (Divine Worship) exclusively, on all Sundays and minimally twice during the week, with more weekday celebrations to come. The Ordinary Form (Novus Ordo) mass is not celebrated at St. George or anywhere in the City of Republic. This is a parish within the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, but any Catholic may become a member of the parish and no Catholic will be turned away. The Traditional English Mass (Divine Worship) is celebrated ad orientem and communion on the tongue while kneeling is the norm. It is similar to the Traditional Latin Mass in many ways, but the language is Sacred English (thee and thou) instead of Latin (see example here from a similar parish). Moving to this traditional Catholic town will put you within 15 minutes of Springfield (a mid-size city), but well outside the urban sprawl. St. George is preparing to build a traditional Catholic chapel on the land it currently occupies. The public school system is one of the better ones in the region, however, Missouri is considered one of the best homeschooling states in the country. The real estate market in Republic can be viewed here.

Hulbert, Oklahoma — Traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form)
Hulbert is about an hour east of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and 20 minutes south of Clear Creek Abbey, a traditional Catholic Benedictine monastery and convent. Clear Creek Abbey is about as traditional as it gets; all Latin all the time, Gregorian chant, with a very European look and feel. However, Hulbert is the nearest town (20 minutes away) and it is very small and isolated. This is a good place to go if you just want to “get away from it all.” Both Hulbert and Clear Creek Abbey are within the Cherokee Nation, which is basically another country within the United States with its own culture and legal system. Clear Creek Abbey is within the Diocese of Tulsa, but is part of the traditional Benedictine Order. The only other Catholic Church is in Tahlequah, which is 16 minutes east of Hulbert.  The real estate market in Hulbert can be viewed here.

Tontitown, Arkansas — Traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form)
Tontitown is a suburban bedroom community of Springdale, Arkansas, just 15 minutes west of downtown Springdale which is a mid-size city in the beautiful Ozark Mountains. The parish is St. Joseph Catholic Church and the Traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form) is celebrated there weekly on Sunday afternoons. The Ordinary Form Mass (Novus Ordo) is also celebrated there but it appears to be in the contemporary manner. This parish appears to be a quasi-traditional, mixed-Catholic community and it is under the Diocese of Little Rock. It is included in this list because it is the only parish situated in this suburban town and has the potential to become a Traditional Catholic town if more Traditional Catholics move to the area. The real estate market in Tontitown can be viewed here.

There are a few other parishes in the Ozarks that celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass, particularly in Northern Arkansas, but these are not Traditional Catholic towns, as there are other Catholic parishes in the city, or the traditional mass is not celebrated weekly. This page will be updated as other traditional Catholic towns in the Ozarks materialise.

UPDATED: 6 June 2018

8 thoughts on “Traditional Catholic Towns in the Ozarks

  1. I believe Mountain Home, AR has (or had) an Extrodinary Form Mass as well. It is a far cry from when, two bishops ago in southern Missouri, we didn’t want to offend anyone by being too Catholic.

    As this blog’s author has rightly pointed out in the past that practicing the Catholic faith fully (and publicly) is the best evangelization tool.

    1. The EF Mass in Mountain Home is celebrated on the 2nd, 4th, and 5th Sundays of the month at 5:00 PM. St. Peter the Fisherman is the only Catholic Church in Mountain Home.

  2. St. Martin of Tours in Louisville, KY celebrates the Traditional Latin and Traditional English Mass. It also has a very reverant Novus Ordo. Louisville also has 3 great Christian schools. Our Lady of Imaculata, Holy Angels, and Highlands Latin. While I’m less familiar with Holy Angels, it is my understanding that all three teach Latin, Logic and Rhetoric.

    St. Louis Bertrand is also in Louisville, KY and is actually the parish I attend. But they only have a reverant Novus Ordo. It’s probably the type of parish JPII would have hoped to see everywhere. I’m hopeful that it will continue to move in an increasingly orthodox manner because it’s run by a community of Dominican friars and all the young new priests coming through have been passionate about the faith and tell me there is a growing movement in the Dominicans to bring back the Latin Mass in the Dominican Rite.

    1. Oh also

      St Martin of Tours never closes. And inside there is a chapel with perpetual Adoration.

      And St Louis Bertrand has Adoration, I believe, every Wednesday in the evening.

      They both have frequent access to Confession.

    2. The Novus Ordo Masses at both of those parishes leave much to be desired, in my opinion. Both continue to use EMHC, even at StLB where there are more than enough priests; neither use altar rails despite having them; etc. The reverence at StLB seems to have gone downhill in the past 20 years.

      For a truly reverent Novus Ordo Mass, check out Guardian Angels.

      You couldn’t pay me to send my children to Holy Angels. Immaculata and Highlands Latin are wonderful though.

  3. I used to live in Mountain Home Arkansas and St Peter’s is a lovely church. In addition to Latin Mass, they also have 24 hour Perpetual Adoration. Try to find pictures of the ceiling of the church, it is designed to look like the inside keel of a boat.

  4. You may want to re-title your article to: “Ozark Traditional Catholic Towns in the Making” b/c none of these — yet — have the full sacramental and parish life in the Traditional Rite. They are all on the way though, so that is the real situation, Those communities that have the full sacramental and Parish life in the Traditional Rite such as the various FSSP, Institute of Christ the King, and some Diocesan Parishes that are run exactly like these fully Traditional apostolates (such as Mater Ecclesia Chapel and the Greater SE Philly area: https://www.facebook.com/pg/MaterEcclesiaeChurch/about/?ref=page_internal)

    God Bless you and keep up all your good work,
    Oremus Pro Invicem!!

  5. @jima77

    Thank you for your comment. 🙂

    I do think that one can find full sacramental Catholic life in a traditional form at two of the Missouri parishes I mentioned. The first is St George in Republic, which offers the traditional Divine Worship mass exclusively, along with baptisms, confirmations, and matrimony, all in the traditional Divine Worship form. Also, St Joseph the Worker in Ozark not only offers the mass in the Traditional Latin form, but upon request I believe the other sacraments can be obtained that way as well.

Comments are closed.