Arts & Culture, Opinion

19th February 2020

33 Things You Know if You Were Raised a Catholic

Opinion pieces are the view of the author and in no way reflects the view of the Liverpool Guild Student Media or Liverpool Guild of Students.

The comedic and relatable truth

From broken-glued-together Nativity sets, to Grannies’ obsessions with their candles, there are so many things that make us definitively Catholic. I mean, who else eats colossal amounts of fish and chips on a Friday evening and justifies it as ‘religious expression’?! We’re quite the mad bunch and we do have some pretty odd quirks, so here, I’ve compiled a list of all the relatable things that Bind us Together (Lord) and make us so ardently and distinctively Catholic…

1. We lurrv Mary.

The Beyoncé of the Catholic-Sphere, the ORIGINAL Madonna and unlike the 1980s phony, it’s safe to say that our Madonna would definitely have been more favourable of Preaching to our Papa. We Catholics Just Can’t Get Enough of Mary and we sure as heck make it clear with our statues, prayers and paintings that ensure we definitely Don’t Stop Believin’ (okay, I promise that’s the last of the 1980s-hits references).

2. We speed through the Rosary faster than a Grand National Commentator

Honestly, where on earth are we meant to find the time to say a whole SIX Our Fathers and FIFTY-THREE Hail Mary’s at a prayerful pace?!

3. AND we always lose our place

Is this the eighth one…Wait…what- GLORY BE TO THE FATHER, AND TO THE SON… *pretends everything’s fine*

4. We have heaps of extended family and are well known for our towering reproductive figures

Image Credit: Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

Seriously, God must be thinking we took the piss with his whole ‘Go Forth and Multiply’ teaching. What ever happened to just simply turning on the heating???

5. We expose our lapse-Catholic selves when we’re the only ones in the congregation replying to the Priest’s ‘Peace be with you’ with the bygone, ‘And also with you’.

6. We have incalculable amounts of Rosary Beads around the house and in our cars.

Image Credit: Photo by wu yi on Unsplash

“ROLL UP ROLL UP we’ve got rosaries in l i t e r a l l y every colour, shape and size.”

7. We use Jesus’ miracle of turning water into wine as an excuse to justify our intolerable drunken behaviour.

8. We were brought up in a non-swearing household and had to quickly adopt profane cover-ups.

“JESUS!… was a good man.” “SHIT-tzu dogs are my fave xxxx’

9. We brought communion 2-tha-playground and ordered our friends to stand in a nice, orderly line whilst we dished out our mini cheddars/white chocolate buttons (delete as appropriate) in an orderly ‘Body of Christ’ fashion.

10. We all have a favourite hymn.

NEWSFLASH: ‘Kumbaya’, AIN’T one of them. We’re more akin to absolute bangers like ‘Bread of Heaven’, ‘How Great Thou Art’ or the Primary School classic ‘Morning Has Broken’. All Top-Notch Tunes ammirite?

Photo by Susana Fernández on Unsplash
OH HAPPY DAY

11. We all die a little inside when we remember just how long and lengthy the Eastertide gospels are.

Likeee for real, I only came for the hot cross buns…

12. We’ve got at least one Irish relative.

13. Our ‘Rebellious Teenage Phase’ simply comprised of us kneeling back during the knelt-down parts of Mass. Mwhahaha…

*cue glares from Mother*

14. There’s a Holy Water Font by our front door.

And at least a further 15 random bottles of the stuff lying around the house

15. For a good chunk of our childhood, we unintentionally misquoted a lot of the prayers…

‘Our Father, who aren’t in heaven, Halloween be Thy Name…’, ‘And may petrol light shine upon them’ and ‘ever this day, be at my size’.

Photo by David Beale on Unsplash

16. We’d de-Catholicise the house before any of our atheist schoolmates came over.

“CIAO crucifix, ADIOS Sacred Heart of Jesus, CYA L8R Parish Newsletter stuck on the fridge”. This was always followed by an absolute bollocking off the madre and padre when they eventually found their beloved artefacts shoved to the back of the cupboard under the fish tank…

17. We all diligently bow our heads like Churchill the dog as soon as we hear the name Jesus. *QUICK – BOW HEAD*

18. St. Anthony is our go-to guy when we’ve lost something.

“St. Anthony, I’ve unfortunately lost my bank card in McCooley’s…again. I know I said that that would be the last time I ever got that drunk, but I PROMISE if you get it for me this time, I’ll pursue a life of sobriety now and forevermore. Amen.”

19. BUT HECK, we’re Catholic. We most likely won’t keep this promise, but don’t worry we’ve always got confession that we can go to to relieve our conscience xox

20. We go to mass even when we’re absolutely hanging because the Catholic guilt just ain’t worth the bother and let’s face it, it’s worth it for the post-mass coffee and scran, however, we’re SURE to avoid communion wine (No one likes a mass chunderer…)

21. When we’re having those reeeeally bad, mother-of-all-hangovers, a quick Google of the week’s readings is enough to fool the parentals that you were their good little angel who still went to mass xxx

22. For the clammy-handed people amongst us, the weekly Sign of Peace is our ULTIMATE anxiety.

Can we not just hug it out instead?!

23. We got so pumped for our Holy Communion.

Whether it be the dress, the novelty of wearing slightly heeled shoes or the fact that we got to drink WINE (Ooh la la!) we were all BUZZIN for this day. Gotta admit though, the tasteless wafer bread and the musky sweet wine were QUITE the let-down.

24. Fr. Ted is our guilty pleasure and there’s simply no denying it.

25. We plan confessions with foresight.

“If I’m going out on the lash this Saturday, I’m wearing that low-cut V-neck dress, then I might as well save confession for next week after my immoral escapade.”

26. We invoke the help of Grandma and her religious posse whenever we have a test or exam coming up and they go HELL FOR LEATHER on it.

“Don’t worry pet, I’ve lit 15 candles in each of the diocese’s churches and Patricia’s having Fr. George say a mass for you every day this week.”

27. The Nativity set we’ve used for Christmas since we were born, still manages to make its annual appearance.

(Even if one of the shepherd’s heads is stuck on with a piece of blue-tac and the baby Jesus is armless, no one will notice…)

28. It is a DOUBLE-WHAMMY when we tell our mum we’ve met a young Catholic boy.

Genuinely – the guy could be a convicted serial killer, but if he wears his rosary beads and says his prayers, our mother-dearests really couldn’t care less

29. We all LOVE it when there’s a Catholic celebrity.

Mark Wahlberg – ILY XOXOXO

30. At some point in our lives, we have/we will accidentally genuflect/ed in a non-religious arena.

WATCH OUT for: lecture rooms; cinemas and theatres. And remember, if it happens, Keep Calm and Carry On. It’s all about the recovery.

31. Confirmation was really just a complete free-for-all where you could FINALLY use that favourite name you’d had throughout childhood; the one you’d only been able to use – up until this point – to christen your Labrador Nintendog with.

32. And we almost definitely would not choose the same name again if we had the chance.

‘Suzie’…Ugh…Grewsssss

33. We all have that slightest leap of elation when you go to sit down after the readings but the priest jumps straight into the creed.

Yassssss! That’s at least 20 minutes shaved off our total mass-time – SWAHEEEET!!!

…sorry God we luv u REALLY xxx

So, there you have it: the 2020 definitive list of what it’s like to be a Catholic today.

Featured image credit: Photo by Pascal Bernardon on Unsplash