10 Big Name Media Stars Who Don’t Talk About Their Catholic Upbringing Much

🌺  Written by Autumn Bain-Patel

With the exception of pastors, priests, missionaries, and religious authors and teacher, most people are under no requirement to share their faith openly. 

Yet, in today’s hyper connected world, it’s common to know every last detail about the musicians, movie stars, TV actors and actresses, and online influencers we all admire.

It may come as a surprise, then, to discover that these 10 big name media stars have been able to keep their current or former associations with the Catholic church mostly quiet.

Did you know all 10 of these people have a history with the Catholic Church?


1. Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio
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Leonardo DiCaprio has gone from altar boy to Hollywood icon. This Oscar award-winning actor is a practicing Catholic.

In his early years, Leo served as an altar boy in his Catholic Parish before rising to fame as an acclaimed actor. He has even met with Pope Francis.

Despite his Hollywood success, DiCaprio maintains a connection to his Catholic roots through environmental activism and philanthropy.


2. Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga wearing a pink feathery outfit.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

Lady Gaga has showcased both her faith and her fame in the spotlight. Born as Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, she was raised in a Catholic family and attended an all-girls Catholic school through high school.

Her upbringing in the Catholic Church and her childhood experiences in Catholic school influenced her music and persona.

Despite her provocative image, Gaga’s spirituality often shines through in her lyrics and performances. This reflects her complex relationship with Catholicism.


3. Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg Father Stu
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Mark Wahlberg found redemption through faith. His troubled youth and criminal past were transformed by his deepening Catholic faith.

Today, he credits his religious beliefs with guiding him on a path of growth in both his career and personal life.

Wahlberg’s faith has found its way into his work. In the 2022 film, “Father Stu,” the actor portrayed an amateur boxer turned Catholic priest. He is also a spokesperson for Hallow, a Catholic meditation, prayer, and sleep app.


4. Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert
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Stephen Colbert was raised in an Irish Catholic family, and he still practices the religion today.

His Catholic roots have been a guiding force throughout his career in comedy and television.

As a late night talk show host, Colbert’s Catholicism infuses his humor and social commentary, reflecting his deep, spiritual convictions, and commitment to social justice.


5. Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez
Photo Credit: DepositPhotos.

Jennifer Lopez spent her childhood in a Catholic household that instilled values of faith, family, and hard work. She also attended Catholic schools.

Despite her success and glamorous lifestyle, Lopez remains grounded in her Catholic roots. She often speaks about the importance of her faith in her life and career.

She has expressed that her Catholic upbringing instilled in her a strong work ethic and sense of discipline which has helped her achieve success in her career.


6.  Martin Sheen

Martin Sheen
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Martin Sheen attended Catholic elementary and high school. His Catholic faith is one of his most defining characteristics.

With Catholicism as his foundation, Sheen has been devoted to causes of social justice from helping homeless people to ending poverty, supporting farm workers and opposing nuclear weapons.

Although he was away from his Catholic faith for a few years, he came back to it in 1977 after a serious heart attack. Now he admits that his Catholic faith is very important to him and he can’t imagine living without it.


7. Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson
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Mel Gibson was raised in a large Irish Catholic family and has remained a devout Catholic to this day.

Gibson‘s Catholic journey has been one of faith, controversy, and redemption. Despite the controversy, his Catholicism remains a driving force in his life.

His religious beliefs have played a central role in both his artistic endeavors and personal struggles. In 2004, he directed the film “The Passion of Christ,” which is a tribute and testimony to both his religious upbringing and his current belief system.


8. Shia Lebeouf

Shia Lebeouf
Photo Credit: DepositPhotos.

Shia Lebeouf has transformed himself from troubled child star to spiritual seeker.

Known for his off screen troubles, as well as his film roles, he began a spiritual journey that led him to embrace the teachings of the Catholic Church. He converted to Catholicism after being confirmed at a mass presided over by Capuchin Franciscan friars.

The sacramental ceremony was held at Old Mission Santa Ines Parish, the same friary where LaBeouf trained for months for his role as one of Italy’s best known and most revered saints in the 2022 film “Padre Pio.”


9. Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese
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Martin Scorsese, the famed filmmaker, was raised in a predominantly Catholic environment, and even considered becoming a priest when he was younger. He went to a preparatory seminary but failed out the first year.

Due to his three divorces, he began referring to himself as a lapsed Catholic in his personal life. He later confirmed his commitment to the Catholic faith and its doctrines.

His religious heritage influences his cinematic works and is evident in his exploration of themes such as sin, guilt, and redemption, making him one of the most influential voices in Catholic cinema.


10. Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Nicole Kidman’s Catholic upbringing and childhood experiences in the Catholic Church have shaped her journey as an actress and humanitarian. She even once considered joining a convent and becoming a nun.

Kidman married Tom Cruise and practiced Scientology during their marriage. She returned to her Catholic roots after her divorce from Cruise in 2001.

Today, the attendance of Mass is a priority for her. Despite her international fame, Kidman’s Catholic faith grounds her in principles of compassion, humility, and service to others.


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Carrie Underwood
Image Credit: DepositPhotos.

The morals and values of celebrities in Hollywood often stand in stark contrast to the Christian faith. Where the Bible says not to be arrogant or put your hope in wealth (1 Tim 6:17), many in Hollywood flaunt their expensive mansions, cars, and wardrobes.

Or when the Bible says “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, value others above yourself (Philippians 2:3),” it’s obvious to see how the cut-throat world of Hollywood makes this verse difficult to live out.

Thankfully, there are several celebrities who are successful actors AND followers of Christ. In fact, these men and women use their fame as a way to honor God and give back to others – exactly what the Christian faith is all about.

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Brad Pitt
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Autumn Bain-Patel
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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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