I've been hesitant to do this because of the danger of freaking out the many people we know in the real world (locally and family) who read the blog, but I want to get any results back in time to have this be a meaningful part of decision-making so here it goes:
There is a chance (perhaps not even a large chance, but a chance) that the Darwin household would be pursing career opportunities in the Silicon Valley area in the near future. Obviously, this involves a lot of considerations regarding real estate, family, etc. However there are two which, with no close friends or relatives in the Bay Area, I'm hoping the readership might be able to help out with:
1) Does anyone have any experience with parishes in the Silicon Valley area? Are any with decent liturgy and catechesis -- by decent I basically mean non-cringe-inducing and giving some sense of reverence to one's children. I'm a bit put off by the Diocese of San Jose pastoral letter mandating standing from the Agnus Dei through the end of communion. (We took a look for at the diocesan-approved Tridentine parish in the diocese, but had our hesitations there as well -- again we'd appreciate thoughts from anyone with personal experience. Reading through back bulletins, some things like the prayer that priests without true vocations would hurry up and leave gave me an odd impression.) Advice from current or recent residents of the area very much desired. With five kids going through their most formative years, one of our biggest hesitations about whether to follow through on this career opportunity is whether we'd be able to provide them with an appropriate parish environment out there. I've gone through periods in life of feeling like I was trying to remain a good Catholic despite my parish, and I don't think that kind of seige mentality is good for children in the least. (Feel free to email instead of comment if you're more comfortable with that.)
2) Anyone with experience homeschooling in the area? Is there a Catholic homeschooling group, or a Christian or secular homeschooling group which might be congenial for the Darwin family? Recent experience of homeschooling in the area? Looking around on the web I found a Well Trained Mind group there, but not much else seemed immediately in evidence, and I know how regulated homeschooling is in California can vary quite a bit by school district.
3) As we search for housing that is semi-affordable, doesn't normally hear gunshots, and is within 30min drive of the big tech companies in Silicon Valley (one of which I'd be working for) does anyone have advice on neighborhoods to particularly look for or avoid.