I work in Austin and have for the past 12 years. My company was gracious enough to allow me to work remotely for 2 years. But it is easier to be close to the corporate office and see my teammates on a weekly basis.
We have many established connections in central Texas, most valuable among them are friends and family. We learned in New Mexico that friendships are of inestimable value and cannot be taken for granted.
Things are generally more prosperous in Texas than in New Mexico. And the diocese in Austin is, well, healthier than out in New Mexico. That’s no ding on the great Catholics out west. There are some awesome, faithful people there. But there’s a lot of not-awesome stuff too. So in Austin we think there will be wider channels for our ministries.
3. Land Affordability
Albuquerque is largely land-locked by Native American reservations land, BLM land, and the rest is desert. If you cannot get close to the Rio Grande river, forget about it. But that land is expensive, so finding a good place that is affordable and reasonably close in to the city is almost impossible. In one place we were looking, land went for $267,000 per acre. Contrast that with perhaps $8,000 per acre in central Texas. We aren’t looking for much to start out, maybe 5 acres.
4. Religious Life
We are moving close to a vibrant order of nuns. We hope to be involved, in whatever ways, in their life. Even if that means I just show up each week and clear rocks from their property. We want our life to be centered around such a beautiful expression of the Faith.
That’s the short of it! We are excited for what the future holds.