Wednesday, January 7, 2015

#ANTCHC Update: The List is Here

The big vote for America's Next Top Catholic Hipster City is finally here!

After announcing the contest back on January 5, we've been pulling together a long list of possible nominees tossed at us via Twitter, sorted through them, and narrowed our battle down to five serious contestants. 

We present to you now, in no particular order, your nominees for America's Next Top Catholic Hipster City: 

Portland, OR

Portland is a city that makes just about every list in the Hipster world, and our list is no different. Portland's Hipster credentials are pretty impressive: bike shops everywhere, craft breweries staying clear of the mainstream, beards aplenty, and even a show that revolves entirely around its Hipster scene, Portlandia

Portland is also home to the Catholic Sentinel, which is the oldest Catholic newspaper on the West Coast (started in 1870). And, something they are even more proud of, Portland is the current home of Archbishop Alexander Sample. Arcchbishop Sample is the youngest prelate to be named an Archbishop in the United States, and is one of the top tweeting Archbishops in the country. Nothing helps Catholic Hipsters to feel more at home than an equally hip Archbishop.

Denver, CO

Since hosting St. John Paul II and World Youth Day in 1993, Denver has been considered one of the top up and coming Catholic cities in the US. Denver's Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception was consecrated in 1921, and sports 75 stained glass windows brought in from Munich, in addition to 210 foot spires and an altar where St. John Paul II himself celebrated Mass! The Mile High City is also home to the St. Augustine Institute Graduate School, the John Paul II Center for the New Evangelization, a number of convents and seminaries, a shrine to St. Francis Xavier Cabrini, and is even nearby to the homes of FOCUS and the Catholic News Agency! 

Lincoln, NE

Sometimes referred to as a "little sliver of insanity" in the Midwest, Lincoln may surprise you when it comes to its Hipster credentials. "The football stadium with a town attached to it" is also well known among those in the area for being a place where people don't hide it when they geek out about things. With Hipster locales from the Sasquatch Bakery to the famous Pretty Good Pizza, Hipsters will feel right at home with their brothers and sisters from Nebraska. 

Lincoln is also well known as one of the most orthodox and traditional Catholic cities in the United States. Now retired Bishop Bruskewitz was famous for putting out a list of organizations that Catholics would be best advised to avoid, and was awesomely hipsterish in his own way. He was succeeded by Bishop James Conley, a Presbyterian convert...and we all know how converts tend to be the best Catholic Hipsters. 

Austin, TX

Keep Austin Weird is a motto known around the land, and if you aren't hip to the Hipster scene, Austin can definitely feel weird at times. Austin is a town filled with independent book stores, locally owned restaurants featuring often interesting dishes from around the world (true story: I once took my wife out in Austin for our Anniversary, and had absolutely no idea what to order...because I didn't know what anything on the menu was), and bats...let's not forget the bats!!

With over 530,000 Catholics living in the area, you know that Austin is buzzing with Hipster Catholicism like very few places in the Nation. Bishop Joe Vasquez is holding things down at the present, and Austin is also known for being the home of Catholic media mega star Jennifer Fulwiler. Her tales of life in Austin are sure to cause Catholic Hipsters everywhere to pack their bags and board a flight to the ATX.

Cincinnati, OH

With uber Catholic Hipsters Matt Swaim and Anna Mitchell calling Cincinnati home, I'm guessing it's going to be competing for the top spot thanks to the Son Rise Bump. But it isn't simply the fact that they rep the Ohio town that qualifies it as a Catholic Hipster Mecca. From touring the abandoned Cincinnati Subway System, to slamming some joe at Coffee Emporium, to repping the supremely under appreciated Reds, Cincinnati is all about the hipster vibe. 

Other than being the home to Son Rise (sorry Norwood), Cincinnati is also the current home of Archbishop Dennis Schnurr. Archbishop Schnurr has been praised for his reasonably modest home in a time when many prelates sport fairly fancy digs, and even Pope Francis would recognize that as a truly hipster move. In addition to that, Cincinnati was also one of the first Catholic Archdiocese to speak out against supporting the ALS foundation during the popular Ice Bucket Challenge...a bold, unpopular thing to do at the time. 

So, there you have our final five. Time to let your voice be heard!

Vote via the poll on the right side of this very page or send your votes in via Twitter with the hashtag #ANTCHC (America's Next Top Catholic Hipster City). 

We can't wait to crown the winner!!

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