Glory to Jesus Christ! We are the McCann family, and we moved to Tyler in October 2022. We came all the way from Canada, which has become increasingly secular and anti-Christian since 2020 to the point that thousands upon thousands of Canadians have fled to the US, or to other parts of the world. In particular, the Catholic Church in Canada is under intense persecution, and those of us who cling to the traditions of the Faith (e.g. the Traditional Latin Mass) have been pushed to the fringes of Canadian society. When we first learned about the Diocese of Tyler, we couldn’t believe what we were seeing – a vibrant, growing Catholic community, with all aspects of the Faith, both traditional and modern, being celebrated and encouraged. As well, the culture of freedom in East Texas stood in stark contrast to the draconian culture of government oversight and control that currently oppresses the Canadian people, and my wife and I knew that we couldn’t continue, in good conscience, to raise our children there when we had an opportunity to move elsewhere. As we continued to discern what we should do, we prayed several novenas to St. Therese of Lisieux, and she never disappoints! The “roses from Heaven” were granted to us and showed that our inclination to move was from God; all that was left was to decide where to relocate.
We wanted a strong Catholic diocese; a strong, orthodox Catholic bishop; a vibrant community of young Catholic families; and most of all, the ability and freedom to practice our Catholic faith without undue fear of reprisal. Bishop Strickland has proven to be not only a wonderfully pastoral shepherd of souls, but more importantly a man deeply in love with Our Lord, and this love for Christ is reflected in the fruits of his many labors for the faithful in the Diocese of Tyler. While moving to a new country with 4 young children was no easy feat, we were moved by the Holy Ghost to come here, and we have been so grateful to God for the ways that He has blessed us since we’ve arrived. The people have welcomed us with open arms, and our children have already made friendships that they desire to grow and foster. We still have a long way to go to fully settle here, but our trust in the Lord’s providence has not been in vain, and He has continually shown us that our family is meant to be in Tyler, both for the good of our souls and for the spread of His Kingdom. Thanks be to God!