Holy Wholey Things

I was raised Baptist . . Southern Baptist.  Growing up in southwest Louisiana, there were way more Catholics than Baptist.  I was in elementary school and I had a Catholic friend.  I don’t know if kids still do it but every Friday night, we either had to be spending the night with someone or someone had to be spending the night with us.

When I would go to my Catholic friend’s house to spend the night, it was always on a Friday night and her mom and dad would almost always drink a beer.  Of course, at our house, beer was really bad (Southern Baptists don’t drink, you know?).  I figured that if someone drank a beer, they’d probably do other awful stuff . . like kill you while you were sleeping or something.  So, as soon as I’d see my friend’s mom or dad drinking a beer, I’d start thinking of a reason I should go home.

Catholics also had nuns and Baptists didn’t have those.  I never quite understood the whole thing and I was an inquisitive kid (which means I grew up to be a nosy adult).  I wanted to understand about nuns and the clothes they wore but . . we weren’t supposed to ask.

And those Catholics . . they had all kinds of holy things.  They had Holy Day of Obligation, Holy Water, all things Holy for the Catholics.  But one day, my friend and I were going to go for a walk and she couldn’t find her tennis shoes.  I saw a pair in her closet and I said “oh, here are your tennis shoes!”  She responded that she couldn’t wear those because they were HOLEY (as in  . . they had holes!) but it sounded to me like she had Holy Tennis Shoes.  I could hardly believe it but I didn’t dare ask.  Finally one day I said to her “Laurece, what makes your shoes holy?”  She said:  “Holes!  Don’t you ever get holes in your tennis shoes?”  Yep, even Baptists get holey tennis shoes every now and then.

It’s been 45+ years since that happened and every time I get a hole in socks, shoes, underwear . . whatever, I think of my friend from elementary school and her holey tennis shoes.


  1. 1

    pdudgeon says

    that’s sad.
    i grew up in CA as a high church Methodist, and we had no prejudices like that at all.

  2. 2


    Sorry but I don’t see it as prejudices towards Catholics . . just differences! We didn’t drink beer and I didn’t want to be around it. We never messed around with guns and to this day, I detest guns. I don’t consider myself prejudiced toward beer or guns . . it’s just not for me. My niece with the four children that I love is now Catholic so I hope no one else takes the message of this post as prejudicial . . more so just a view of life from a 7 or 8 year old. Judy

  3. 3

    Annie says

    I got the biggest chuckle with your blog today. I grew up a Catholic kid and spent nine years being taught by those nuns and was always so curious about them-their clothes, their lifestyles and everything about them. You certainly never asked, those years were total confusion to me too.

    : )

  4. 4


    I’m laughing so hard at your post. Raised Catholic, it never occurred to me to question all the rituals of the Church. Especially the no-meat Fridays. That was tough on me spending Friday night at the house of a Baptist friend! Mom used to laugh when I’d come in on Saturday and tell her I had a hamburger for dinner, and say, “And you lived through it! Imagine that!” You should have asked the nuns your questions. I remember having spirited and very funny discussions with them about things! I remember one in particular being a real hoot! She used to refer to all the sitting/standing/kneeling at Mass as Catholic calisthenics! And the priests joining in our pickup football games. Something real satisfying about tackling one of them! LOL

  5. 5


    Judy, I didn’t take your post as prejudicial at all! I thought it was hilarious! When I asked about their clothing, that one nun told me they were her work clothes; she wore a uniform to work!! I understood that because Mom dressed in nurse whites every day.

  6. 6


    LOLOL…..it’s funny what we think as kids. I was raised Catholic, school and all and we had those same questions. I can remember my Mom telling me, if Sister says this is black and you think it’s white, you just say, ” Yes, Sister!” You better know you would never go home and tell Mom you got in trouble at school. 🙂

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    Isn’t it funny how we remember things from our childhood. I was raised Catholic (12 years of Catholic school too) and I could never figure out why thevery Orthodox Jewish girl next door was not allowed to talk to me.

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    KC says

    Thanks for the memories! I was a non-Church goer as a child but my best friend was Catholic. We were in public school but every Friday lunch was Fish Fry! She usually brought Tuna fish with her mom’s homemade dill pickles! And I also remember that you didn’t question things…that just wasn’t done! I now have a 3 yr old grandson that asks “Why?” to Everything!

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    veronica says

    I read your blog faithfully every day. And you’re sooooooo funny!!! I grew up Catholic also with the nuns, etc but my mom was raised Baptist and then Methodist but became Catholic when she married my dad. Similiar situations when we’d visit mom’s side for a wedding-no beer, no dancing, etc. LOL!!!

  10. 12


    isn’t if funny how hcildhood memories pop up 🙂 I am so glad you shared… I think I’ll try to share more posts like that too over on my blog sometime. If I can remember them when they happen or at least jot a note to remind me incase I get side tracked…. and I WILL get sidetracked 🙂 LOL

    oh, and funny thing… I just sent you a “Catholic” email. It was good and I thought of you and wanted to share the blessing of the message. 🙂 Hope you like it. ~bonnie

  11. 13


    Hi Judy; today’s post brings back all kinds of happy memories. As a child, I went to an Evangelical Church and my Great Granny went to a Catholic Church. I loved to go with her because my friends at school were Catholic. Ohhh, I wanted to be Catholic. Not for any religious reasons but for the fact that they got to go to Church on Wednesday night and I didn’t. I thought if I was Catholic, I could go somewhere on a school night. I think I was in 3rd or 4th grade and this memory has made me chuckle at myself all these years.
    Thanks for making me smile this morning.

  12. 14


    I had to laugh! It’s always funny/interesting to see how other people view Catholicism. I have in laws that aren’t Catholic, and it’s fascinating to hear FiL’s questions – just like your holey shoes!

  13. 15

    Marla says

    Judy, I really have enjoyed your posts the past few days. I grew up mostly not going to church but when I did, I went with my brother, his wife and two kids to a southern baptist church. My other brother however, converted to being Catholic as his wife was and they raised their kids Catholic. I was able to see both sides growing up. I also had friends who went to Catholic school and would talk about how the nuns would beat them if they did not know their lessons. My what memories you bring back!

  14. 16

    Diane says

    Sometimes I think we are twins! You grew up in Louisianna, and I grew up in Texas, but my parents and all of my aunts and uncles are from Louisianna. When you talk about certain things I can totally relate. I was raised Baptist and had Catholic friends also and we were raised to not ask questions. I always thought that was strange since I would never learn anything unless I asked questions, but I did what I was told (sometimes). I still wonder about stuff, but now as an adult if you ask questions you have to be careful people don’t think your being judgemental, unlike children who are now encouraged to ask questions.
    I wanted to thank you too…I have been reading your blog for a long time and every time you show what your cooking I love it, so does my husband since I have started cooking alot more. So thank you!

  15. 17


    I am a ‘half breed’ Catholic, christened Methodist, brought up Presbyterian, and confused about the differences!
    I went to the public school, from where occasionally we would throw stones from our oval to the Catholic school oval, and they would throw them back! The road was wide enough to prevent any damage on either side, but I can’t remember any aminosity involved, just a game.
    On Wednesday night I went to the Catholic school and played with the boarders until it was time for music lesson with a Nun, and on Thursday night went to netball practice where it was half and half ‘us’ and ‘them.’
    My brother married one of ‘them,’ a sister married a Lutheran, I married Church of England, and I am still confused about how we are different. I still have Christian values, but have no permanent allegiance to any church, but rather amused by the fact that I was united in two churches long before those two particular churches became United!

  16. 18


    Religon is a funny topic. My Catholic story is priceless. After our engagement John told his mother we were to be married and her reply was “You ‘re going to marry one of those?” He could not understand her comment, and of course he didn’t ask why. John grew up in the Bible Belt were there were very few Catholic familes. My Mother-in-law is very Southern Baptist and as far as he knew she did not know a Catholic. John’s parents did attend our traditional Catholic Wedding. Our dinner was toned down and the hard refreshment were out in the barn. My husband told me this story many years after our marrage & I thought it was hilarious.

  17. 19


    church differances seen thru child eyes is a funny thing ! Dads side was German Baptist. Moms side was Methodist. Some of the baptist girls we visited with were not allowed to go to school dance. (70’s) but yet they were allowed to drive all over the countryside in cars with boy freinds. Mom thought that worst thing ever.. just NOT done.She never said why………. ‘just NOT done’.

    silly memories ~~~~~K

  18. 20

    Mary Ann says

    You made me LOL, Judy, and I don’t think you were being prejudicial at all. We were Lutherans, but my oldest brother married a Catholic when I was 6. I could tell you lots of funny stories, but my favorite was when my own kids were tiny and my baby-sitter was a Catholic mother of 6 (this was pre-day care days – working Moms had baby sitters). One day her youngest was telling me about something going on at church, and I made a comment that made him ask if I were Catholic, too. When I told him no, he said, “Oh, you must be public.” Then when we were living in Ireland one of my son’s friends asked if he wasn’t Catholic, what was he? When he said Lutheran, the Irish boy said, “Oh, German Catholic.”

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    Yep, we Catholics know how to drink!! I’d really miss my wine so I’m glad that Mom converted when she married my Dad.

    She was raised Southern Baptist and her Dad didn’t attend the wedding because it was in a Catholic church – he waited outside on the steps. We were all raised Catholic and he loved us so I guess he managed to put aside his feelings (fears?) about Catholics.

    BTW, I agree with the others, I didn’t think your post was offensive to Catholics.