13 Unconventional Catholic Habits That Leave Everyone Else Baffled

🌺  Written by Brittany Ann

Whether you’re Catholic yourself or you’ve met a few devout Catholics in real life you know…

Catholicism isn’t just a set of religious beliefs; it’s a way of life. 

While I won’t go so far as to call Catholics “strange,” (although we’re all a little strange in our own ways…) many Catholics have unique practices and traditions that simply don’t make sense to outsiders — and that’s okay!

Catholics aren’t looking for your approval. They’re doing their best to follow Jesus, even if some of their methods are a bit unconventional in today’s culture.

If you’re Catholic yourself or you’ve spent years around others who are (like I have!), you might just get a chuckle at these 13 unconventional Catholic habits that leave everyone else baffled.

 

1. You Own Multiple Rosaries

A rosary laying inside an open bible.
Photo Credit: Lightstock

Recently, on a popular social media platform, arrows_of_ithilien shared a fun conversation starter: “Tell me you’re Catholic without telling me you’re Catholic…” and the answers came pouring in.

For many Catholics, owning a rosary (or several!) is one tell-tale sign that someone is a proud and devoted Catholic.

Chestnutholly shared, “If you look in my purse, along with my other necessities you’ll always find a small bottle of holy water and a rosary.”

 

2. You Have at Least One Crucifix Hanging in Your Home

wooden crucifix on table
Photo Credit: Lightstock.

Decorating a new home? In addition to several rosaries scattered throughout, a prominently-placed crucifix is a must-have.

Whether it’s displayed prominently in the entryway, in the living room, or every bedroom in the house, every good Catholic household has to have at least one (if not several). Bonus points if they’re from the Holy Land.

 

3. You Have a Statue of Mary in Your Front Yard

Statue of Mary
Photo Credit: Lightstock.

Now that the inside of the home is properly decorated, we can’t forget the outside!

Whether big or small, no front garden is complete without a statue of Mary or another Saint to let passersby know that this house is Catholic and proud of it!

 

4. You Have a LOT of Kids (Or, At Least, Other People Think You Do)

Kids hugging their mom
Photo Credit: Lightstock.

Catholics certainly aren’t the only ones having lots of kids, but there’s no denying that large families are more commonplace in Catholic circles. Why have only two or three children when you could have ten or eleven?

Devout Catholics don’t believe in birth control, and besides, children are always a blessing from God. The more the merrier!

 

5. They’re All Named After Saints

Pictures of various saints.
Photo Credit: Lightstock.

Catholics aren’t just known for having lots of children. It’s very common within Catholic culture for parents to name their children after Saints and theologians from years gone by.

We’re not talking the common biblical names, either. Anyone can name their child Benjamin, David, or John. Catholics, however, often want to find that perfect name that’s both unique and obviously religious.

Mead_and_You shared, “I wanted to keep going till we had 11 boys, one for (almost) each Apostle. My wife wasn’t keen on Bartholomew though, which is a shame because that is the one I wanted the most.”

 

6. You’ve Accidentally Genuflected in Front of a Movie Theatre Screen

A group of people watching a movie together.
Photo Credit: Lightstock.

Not all Catholics genuflect (kneel down on one knee) before entering a church pew, but for those who do, the action often becomes automatic. More than one Catholic shared how they accidentally embarrassed themselves by kneeling when it wasn’t appropriate to do so!

Isfrid shared, “Muscle memory, man, muscle memory. My cradle Catholic brain sees a large darkened room with multiple rows of seats and the next thing I know I’m dropping down on one knee in front of ‘”Finding Dory.'”

Thankfully, devout Catholics understand the reflex and won’t laugh… too much.

 

7. You Have Multiple Saint Cards Scattered Around Your House

catholic saint cards on Bible
Photo Credit: Lightstock.

Do Saint cards multiply while you sleep? Sometimes it feels like they do!

Many Catholic households have multiple Saint cards scattered all around — from the bathroom mirror, to the fridge, to the car, to a small religious shrine set up on a mantle. LifeTurned93 shared, “If you open my wallet you may or may not find some money but you WILL find multiple images of the saints and of Mary.”

(If you aren’t familiar with these cards, they’re similar to baseball trading cards, but with pictures of the Saints.)

 

8. You Plan Your Vacations Around Must-See Religious Sites

A statue of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton.
Photo Credit: Lightstock.

You don’t have to visit the Holy Land or Rome to take in Catholic culture. Whether traveling across the country or just down the road, many devout Catholics plan their vacations to include Catholic churches and religious sightseeing stops they don’t want to miss!

After all, every trip is an opportunity to appreciate (and teach their children to appreciate) Catholic culture, heritage, and tradition.

 

9. You Love a Good Friday Fish Fry

Friday Fish Fry
Photo Credit: Lightstock.

Catholics don’t eat meat on Fridays during Lent, according to the Catholic Lent rules, but fish doesn’t count.

For this reason, many Catholic Christians look forward to Friday night fish fries all week. Catholic-compliant food, a social event with other believers, and you don’t have to cook? Yes, please! Plus, the money typically goes to a good cause.

 

10. You Keep Holy Water on Hand at All Times

Holy water
Photo Credit: Lightstock.

Holy Water (water that has been blessed by a priest) isn’t just for baptisms and the back of Catholic churches anymore!

Many devout Catholics will carry small vials or containers of Holy Water with them wherever they go. This water can be used to bless someone who is ill, a car for safe travels, or for any number of purposes.

 

11. You’ve Said “Amen” at Inappropriate Times

A woman sitting in a pew looking sad.
Photo Credit: Lightstock.

Similar to genuflecting, saying “amen” can be a habit that’s difficult to break. This can lead to some embarrassing moments with Catholics say “amen” an an odd or inappropriate time.

This has happened to JulieannFromChicago repeatedly. She shared, “Someone hands me food, and I say, ‘amen.'”

 

12. You’ve Replied to “May the Force be With You” with “And Also With You.”

sad woman
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

As if saying “amen” wasn’t awkward enough, many Catholics have found themselves accidentally but enthusiastically responding with “and also with you!” This can get very awkward on May 4th when non-Catholic Star Wars fans typically say “May the Force be with you!”

Alternately, replying “And with your spirit” can be just as awkward.

 

13. You Make the Sign of the Cross… Regularly

A man holding a wooden cross.
Photo Credit: Lightstock.

Speaking of reflexes, many Catholics routinely make the sign of the cross — both when they mean to and when they don’t.

Hanniabej shared, “My child once crossed himself at a bird bath at Lowes when he was a toddler.” Thankfully, that’s just adorable!

 

15 Quirky Things Protestant Do That No One Else Understands

smiling man covered in cake and frosting
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A large and wildly diverse group without one central authority, it’s difficult to pinpoint Protestant culture exactly.

From Baptists to Methodists to Evangelicals to Lutherans, each individual denomination has its own practices, traditions, and beliefs. A common trait that applies to one rarely (if ever) applies to all.

That being said, there are a few practices that are distinctly Protestant — practices that others find a bit weird or quirky.

Whether your church is guilty of all of these or none of these, you might just get a chuckle at these 13 quirky things Protestants do that no one else understands!

15 Quirky Things Protestant Do That No One Else Understands

 

15 Common Catholic Church “Facts” Protestants Constantly Get Wrong

priest baptizing infant
Photo Credit: Lightstock.

Think you know the Catholic Church? Think again.

Despite being the largest Christian denomination in the United States (and the world), much of what people believe about Catholics and the Catholic church simply isn’t true.

Are you guilty of believing any of these 15 Catholic Church myths?

15 Common Catholic Church “Facts” Protestants Constantly Get Wrong

 

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Brittany Ann is an ECPA bestselling author and founder of Equipping Godly Women and Monetize My Ministry. She’s also a Christian speaker, podcaster, and conference host. Her work has been featured on numerous TV, radio, and online ministries, including CBN, MSN, Christianity Today, Evangelical Alliance, Patheos, Crosswalk, and more.

Brittany Ann Equipping Godly Women

About the author

Brittany Ann is an ECPA bestselling author of “Fall in Love with God’s Word” and “Follow God’s Will” and the founder of EquippingGodlyWomen.com, a popular Christian-living website dedicated to helping busy Christian moms find practical ways to go "all in" in faith and family. Her work has been featured on CBN, The Christian Post, Crosswalk, and more.

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