150 People, Places and Things you Never Knew Were Catholic

150 Catholic Things book cover

Jay Copp (MSJ89) You may not be Catholic, but good luck getting through a day without experiencing the impact of Catholicism. Woken up by an alarm and glanced at the clock? The mechanical clock was invented in the 10th century by a monk who became pope. Cornflakes for breakfast? The milk is safe thanks to Louis Pasteur, a devout Catholic whose research was driven by a love of God and humanity.

Relaxing with a beer or glass of wine once you get home? Monks in the Middle Ages, sequestered in their monasteries and needing to fend for themselves, were the first brew masters and also significantly advanced the art of winemaking.

Curling up with a good book by a literary giant? Rough-and-tumble Papa Hemingway was a disillusioned member of the Lost Generation, but as a Catholic he also searched for God as diligently as he hunted big game in Africa.

Perhaps you have a good job because you went to college. The university was a Catholic innovation. Stopping at the hospital after work to visit a sick parent? The Greeks and Romans had some admirable civic virtues, but caring for the ill was not one of them. Early Christians began the first hospitals.

Our customs, pastimes and enduring practices and institutions often can be traced back to an inventive, resourceful and, usually, a devout Catholic.