Around Ash Wednesday, I wrote about Mark Wahlberg and his strong Catholic faith. However, he is not the only Catholic celebrity out there. The following listed are other celebrities of note that you may or may not know that are Catholic or have a strong Catholic background.
Mel Gibson is a very outspoken Catholic. This was very noticeable after the success of the Passion of the Christ, which he directed. However, he doesn’t follow the way we currently think of Roman Catholicism today but one that is rooted in the pre-Vatican 2 era. Most people who like him who follow this path are extremely spiritual and devout and very much traditionalist in nature.
Arnold Schwarzenegger might be a surprise to a lot of people considering his views on embryonic stem cell research. Catholicism has and always will be a part of his heritage from the times he grew up to today. It might not be totally devout to some people’s eyes due to his past lifestyle or the movies he’s made. He is also a member of the Republican party where he served as the Governor of California from 2003 to 2011. However, he’s not the kind of Republican one might see today. He would be what most consider to be a bit more reasonable on the moderate front.
Bono is the infamous front man from the popular rock group U2. While he will always be a proverbial and prolific singer/songwriter, he is also a pretty devout Catholic. He can often be seen on stage wearing a rosary around his neck displaying his faith and is not afraid to express his love and devotion to Mother Theresa and Pope Francis. His worldviews came from his parents: one who was Anglican and another Roman Catholic. Bono’s devotion to charity is very much rooted in his Catholic faith with his ONE Campaign; his work with Greenpeace, and more.
Musician and singer Harry Connick Jr. is very proud Catholic. At 14 years of age he converted to it and went to Catholic high school in his younger years. While he is not preachy about it, he has expressed in interviews that his Catholic roots have inspired him with his music and other creative endeavors. In fact, he believes that it’s because of his faith he feels like he can keep grounded and rooted in his beliefs.
Other Catholic celebrities:
Catholicism is the second highest religion in the country following Presbyterianism. It became deeply rooted in the 18th Century with Jesuit missionaries. Having said that, it is no surprise that there are some internationally known Korean celebrities who have been reported to be very devout Catholics. They include Korean singer Rain, who was recently baptized Catholic and figure skater Yuna Kim.
We might assume or think that country music is full of singer from the gospel church or Southern Baptist ilk. However, that’s not really the case. Believe it or not, some country stars happen to be devout Catholics either in their early years or after a life changing experience. For example, singer Keith Urban is said to have become Catholic after her married his wife Nicole Kidman. Sammy Kershaw makes sure to make a Mass stop on one of his tours. Aaron Neville, who can be seen on a lot of Christian networks grew up in the faith and sports a Jesus tattoo on his right arm and a St. Jude earring medal.
Catholic by not that devout
Lady Gaga is an interesting celebrity. She grew up around very strong Catholic parents who sent her to an all-girls Catholic school when she was 11. Some of her explorations of her faith are rooted in the work such as her album “Born This Way” featuring lyrics on from the title song of the album where it starts out with ” it doesn’t matter if you love him or capital H.I.M.” There are also songs that have a strong religious influence including “Judas”, “Black Jesus and Amen Fashion”, and “Bloody Mary”.
Jimmy Fallon has openly spoken about his Catholic upbringing in recent interviews. At one time he wanted to be a priest and served as an alter boy in the church. He would often go to church with his grandfather and in the home, his mother was very strict with what Jimmy would hear and listen to at home. In fact, one of the infamous stories that Jimmy tells was about how his mom scratched a Rodney Dangerfield record just so he only heard the first part of the joke, but not the last part of it. Because of this, it was what inspired Jimmy to go into comedy instead of the priesthood. In addition, while he is still rooted in the faith, he doesn’t go to church like he used to, but one may never know if he will down the road.
With songs like “Like a Prayer” which created controversy and condemnation by the Catholic church, Madonna is no stranger to the faith. In fact, she grew up as a Roman Catholic. So much so, that if you look at a lot of the song lyrics or topics of her songs, especially from the 80s, a lot of that influence is there. However, over the years as she has explored her own faith and creativity she still remains rooted. She even became devout in the Jewish Kabbalah faith which she openly discussed for some time. In 2014, she devoted a part of her concert to Pope Francis and has adopted twins from Malawi that she encountered on a special trip to the area.
Andy Warhol was an infamous pop artist. However, what a lot of people don’t know about him was that he was actually a pretty devout Catholic. He is said to have been seen in church several times a week, helping out at shelters and even encouraging a nephew to become a priest. However, by the looks of his lifestyle and what his social commentary was in his art, he didn’t seem like he was the religious type. Why this was, no one really knows. Just like his life, he wanted to keep some things private to himself, including his faith before he passed.
Many more famous celebrities could be listed here. However, these are just some of the more interesting characters one will find in the famous world.
Were most of these names known to you?
Who surprised you the most?
What other celebrity do you know that’s Catholic or once was at one time?