Find Effects of Catholicism Everywhere – EpicPew

Find Effects of Catholicism Everywhere

Do you have a St. Christopher medal in your car? Or enjoy a pretzel and wonder why it has the holes and bends? Or about how a Catholic Archdiocese’s saved Monopoly? As much as our secular world would like to try and be completely separated from religion, there is no denying the fact that Catholicism is ingrained into our history and our future. Just because we have jobs outside of the Church walls doesn’t mean that we leave our faith at the doors. We are all called to live our faith in all that we do, in our families, in school, at work and in charity. Catholicism Everywhere: From Hail Mary Passes to Cappuccinos: How the Catholic Faith is Infused in Culture, Helen Hoffner explores many of the ways Catholics have changed history and how even today, our Catholic history influences what we do even today (without even knowing it). Here are some of the surprising facts:


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Developed by a monk, they twisted the dough to resemble arms crossed in prayer. The three holes represent the Trinity. It was cheep and easy to make and satisfies our craving for a salty snack.


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Created during the depression, it gave people the hope to gain properties and be rich again. In order to keep up with production, Parker Brothers needed to keep the printing presses running 7 days a week, but manufacturing was closed on Sundays in Salem, Massachusetts. The Brothers petitioned and were granted permission by the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston to allow the workers to work on Sundays, so they could keep up with production, which in turn boosted the economy.

Montessori teaching method

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Developed by a Catholic doctor, Maria Montessori, she realized that children learn just as well by letting them work independently at their own pace and teachers would only offer guidance rather than direct instruction.


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Starbucks would not be the same without cappuccinos! Given to us from Franciscan friars, it was created as a way to mellow out strong coffee by adding cream and spices.

Ale and beer

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Yep, Catholics and beer, who knew! Ale was used as a way to consume more grain and beer was created as a way of “sanitizing and adding nutrients to river water”. The Trappist monks would produce the brews for themselves and then gave the remaining to others freely. When they discovered how much the people loved it, they began to sell it to support the monasteries.

BASIC language

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Yes, Catholics also influenced computer programming, and a woman to boot. Sr. Mary Kenneth was a pioneer in computer science. She was granted permission to go to the all male Dartmouth College and worked with other developers on the BASIC computer programming language in the 1960s.

Mary’s flowers

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Mary often is seen with flowers. Remember the beautiful roses from Spain that Juan Diego brought to the Archbishop for the Our Lady of Guadalupe miracle? It is also commonly said that every “Hail Mary” gives Mary a rose. In order to honor Mary, Catholics have often planted “Mary Gardens” or Grottos for Mary. It is a wonderful way to celebrate Our Mother in our own gardens, and a great way to meditate with her surrounded by beautiful flowers.

We Catholics know we are to live “in the world, not of the world”. Therefore, the way we do this is by showing the love of Christ in all that we do while we are in the world. We show love and kindness as Jesus did to everyone in the common things we do everyday. The best example of this are all of the saints who have taken care of the poor, shown kindness to those who are hated, and used the gifts and talents that God has given them to show His love to others. Helen Hoffner points out this Catholic influence in Catholicism Everywhere: From Hail Mary Passes to Cappuccinos: How the Catholic Faith is Infused in Culture. There are so many examples, and many surprises of where a Catholic has influenced and even changed the course of history. Many would like to take religion out of schools, out of the government and out of the economy, but it is so ingrained into our culture and the way we live, we need to continue using our time and talents for the good of all, and give all Glory to God in all the work that we do.