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Old 03-03-2012, 08:30 PM
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I wanted to get some feedback on what are some good, family oriented catholic churches in the Charlotte area. I'm looking for a great music program and active parish with lots of activities for the kids.

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Old 03-04-2012, 07:53 AM
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The south is very different from the northeast regarding catholic churches/schools. This area of the country is heavily protestant, like the northeast has lots of catholics. Of course, Catholics are increasing just due to the population moving south.

I think there is St. Marks and St. Gabriels in Charlotte area and St. Philip Neri in Fort Mill. St. Philip Neri is planning on building a new church in the near future. Not sure which is more family oriented. Charlotte is a very "young" city with many families with young children- so you probably won't have too look too far!
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:19 PM
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St. Matthew's Church is the largest in the area and has a good amount of family programing. They have a children's ministry during the 9, 10:30 and I think 12 masses for the younger kids. They have a 5:30 pm teen mass on sunday. They have active teen programs and they do have a children's choir, but I don't know much about the latter, but do see them sing at church occasionally. The Preists are great. They also have a catholic elementary school as well as a faith formation program.

St. Matthew Catholic Church, Charlotte, NC
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Old 03-04-2012, 05:43 PM
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I agree, I would join St Matthews.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:40 AM
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St Matthews is where a mom from the northeast told me she felt the best about her childs 1st communion all her older kids made it up north in different towns and churches and she felt here St. Matthews beat them all hands down in all they did. Even though the church here is much larger
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:07 AM
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Default St. Matts

I would say that St. Matthews is probably your best bet. I currently live in Raleigh, but I grew up in south Charlotte and attended St. Matthews from the time I was five until I graduated high school in 2005.

St. Matthew's can be a little intimidating since it is such a large church (at one time it was the largest Catholic church in the South East, I'm not sure how it stacks up now), but a large church has it's avantages. There are MULTITUDES of ministries and ways to get involved to carve out a niche for yourself. St. Matt's has a really fantastic faith formation - I know from both participating in it as a child and later as a faith formation teacher when I was in high school. Both my sister and I have volunteered with it and had fabulous experiences with parents and students alike. It's definitely a vibrant community as long as you are willing to get involved, and it sounds like you are. In addition to faith formation for all grades, there is also a "children's liturgy," where during the gospel and homily children go to the chapel to get a children's version of the gospel and is a bit more involved for them and keeps parents from dealing with antsy kids during the homily (good if you have very young, under 3rd grade kids). Older children also have to opportunity to volunteer as child monitors for the younger kids.

St. Matt's also, at least when I was there, offered peer tutoring for children once a week. As a high schooler I used to volunteer with that as well, and it was a great opportunity for kids to get a little extra help (my girl made honor roll) and older kids to give back. They also allow families to help with food drives, angel trees, etc. I believe there are also girl scout and boy scout troops associated with the church, or there at least were when I was there.

I am singing challeged so I never investigated the music end of church, but my band teacher was the pianist there and a lot of kids I went to high school with (I attended Charlotte Catholic High) really enjoyed participating in that. There's definitely a substantial choir there, and they experiment with different types of music, so that could be fun if that's your thing.

Additionally, St. Matt's has an elementary attached. I went to public school K-6, but after my parents got tired of the ever changing rezoning coupled with a particularly dismal middle school experience (not trying to hate on CMS, everyones needs and experiences are different, and I LOVED McKee Rd Elementary), they put us in the MACS (Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools) system for middle and high school. In MACS, all of the elementary schools are attached to parishes - so St. Matt's does have an elementary school attached. I feel that MACS is a really great system, and certainly one of the most affordable private schools for Catholic in Charlotte. The elementary school opened shortly before I moved away, but several people in my neighborhood had kids there and I heard nothing but good things.

So that's my two cents. I obviously have a better idea of St. Matt's as a former parishioner, but I think St. Gabs and even the Cathedral had involved communities as well (and both have elementary schools attached), so I think you can definitely find a parish you'll be happy with down here.
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