Catholic Faith Corner

Living in the Light
of Jesus Christ

Sea of Galilee at Sunrise

Catholic Faith Corner

Living in the Light
of Jesus Christ

Catholic Interviews: Stephen Colbert’s, Mine, and Yours

Salvador Dali’s “Christ of St. John of the Cross”

Last week on the Internet I saw James Martin, S.J., interviewing Stephen Colbert, who is Catholic. Fr. Martin asked the following four questions. Colbert’s answers follow. For fun I answered the questions too. I wonder if Colbert was prepared in advance. It took me awhile to think of my responses. My answers are in parentheses. I’ve also added a few more questions. You might enjoy reflecting on how you would answer all of these if you were being videotaped for the world to see:

  1. Who is your favorite saint? St. Peter. My Confirmation name is Simon. (St. Catherine of Siena)

  1. What is your favorite hymn? “Here I Am, Lord,” “O come, O come, Emmanuel” (“Christus Vincit,” with four-part harmony)
  1. What is your favorite scripture verse? Matthew 6:25–34 “Do not worry.” (Isaiah 46:1–3 “I have called you by name, you are mine. . . . When you walk though waters you shall not be burned” and similar ones)
  1. If you had one thing to ask Pope Francis what would you say? What would you do to get that smile on your face in the morning? What’s your first five minutes? (Would you pray for me?)


What is your favorite prayer? (St. Francis Xavier’s “O God, I Love Thee for Thyself”)

What is your favorite name or title for Jesus? (King— My feast day is Christ the King.)

What is your favorite religious book other than the Bible? (Right now, my own book: The Fisherman’s Wife: The GPeter's Wife cover copyospel According to St. Peter’s Spouse)

What is your favorite place to pray? (On the grounds of Bethany, our retreat house)

What is your favorite church? (St. Francis of Assisi, my home parish that burned down)

What is your favorite religious piece of art? (Salvador Dali’s “Christ of St. John of the Cross”)

What is your favorite title for Mary? (Mystical rose)

What is your favorite feast day? (My own, of course: Christ the King)

What site in the Holy Land would you like to visit? (The Sea of Galilee)

Who is your favorite spiritual writer? (Richard Rohr. As a youth I loved the books of Louis de Wohl who wrote biographies of the saints.)

What is your favorite Catholic custom? (The Easter Vigil traditions: carving of the Easter candle and then the lighting of individual candles from its flame in the dark church,

On whose feast day is your birthday? (St. Martha)

What is your favorite parable? (The prodigal son)

What is your favorite Old Testament story? (Esther)

What is your favorite New Testament story? (Besides the Resurrection, the Samaritan woman at the well)


If you have taken the time to figure out your answers, you will be all set to be interviewed on your faith!

Are there any of your answers you would like to share here, perhaps with a brief explanation?




12 Responses

  1. Hey Sister,

    My head is spinning with all the questions you asked. Again, very thought provoking. Answer all those question and you’ve defined yourself. Which is a good thing.
    But what struck me was the choice of your religious piece of art. I didn’t take you as a controversial person.


  2. I’m glad you liked the questions, Mark. I found them a challenge to answer too, but an interesting task. Why do you find Dali’s crucifixion controversial? It is based on a picture drawn by St. John of the Cross.

    1. Hey Sister,

      Dalí was a bit of a polarizing person, to say the least. Some of his artwork was blasphemous and yet some of it was absolutely full of reverence, which apparently reflected his upbringing. His father was a staunch atheist and his mother was a devout Catholic.

      The painting that you love, and so do I, has a few characteristics that stand out. We could probably spend a whole afternoon discussing them and what they represent. Good stuff.

      Where I have a bit of a problem with Dalí, besides some of his paintings, is what he said, “I believe in God but have little faith. Mathematics and Science tell me that God must exist but I don’t believe it”. So there is the controversy that rests in my mind.

      Anyways, if Monet did a painting of the manger, that would be a picture that I think you’d like. Look at the cover of your new book and then look at Dali’s painting. You just caught me a left hook! I didn’t see that one coming.


      1. Yes, Dali was eccentric and an enigma: a Roman Catholic and an agnostic. Yet, he produced a poignant and powerful depiction of the crucifixion. God works in strange ways! I’m trying to imagine what Monet’s manger scene would look like. Probably unearthly and breathtaking.

      2. I think a lot of people have trouble “feeling” their faith, Mark, and this leads them to think they don’t believe. But feelings can’t really be trusted. For example, I am horrified of dental impressions (and I don’t think anyone has ever been harmed by one), but I have no fear of even a difficult extraction (and people have gotten deadly infections from those). Most of us, I think, have trouble believing something we cannot see or understand completely (God). If you read the writings of Mother Teresa (which she really wanted destroyed), she, herself, had trouble feeling her faith and worried about that. Her spiritual advisor, however, told her that worry and despair and desire to “feel” her faith was evidence of her great faith. It is just my humble belief, but I would bet that Dali truly did believe and just couldn’t get his emotions in line with his reasoning. There are many wonderful writings on the confluence of faith and reason by many wonderful authors. Sometimes I feel, “Oh, all these wonderful things surely can’t be true! I’ll live again – in a perfect body in a perfect world, I’ll see my parents and the priest who was my best friend, I’ll see Jesus – forever!” But, when that feeling of “it can’t be true” haunts me, I just dismiss it because I know it is, of course, very true. I know my faith is never in question. I think, perhaps, Dali simply didn’t know enough about faith to know he possessed it. Many people are like that.

        Like you, I would love to see a Monet painting on a religious subject! Monet is my favorite painter. I also like Van Gogh, and I once lived in the South of France where so many of these wonderful painters lived. I’ve also visited Dali’s hometown of Figueras, Spain – and the Dali Museum there – many times. I’ve been lucky enough to travel a lot.

        I wish you a Blessed Lent and a Joyous Easter, Mark!


  3. My favorite verse is John 3-16 “For God so loved the world he gave his only son.” Imagine he did that so we could live and become what we are today because he loved us so much. My Birthday Apr. 28th has St. Louis De Monfort, St. Maximillian Kolbe, Blessed Luchesso, and St Peter Chanel. Ave Maria is my Favorite song. Immaculate Heart of Mary Pray for us. I have a favorite statue from childhood of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Lastly “Jesus,” his name called by me. Be blessed. Siochan Agus Maitheas (peace all good)

  4. Who is your favorite saint? Teresa of Avila (I gravitate to the mystics)
    What is your favorite hymn? Panis Angelicus
    What is your favorite scripture verse? Psalm 139 is a favorite, I don’t know that it’s “the” favorite
    If you had one thing to ask Pope Francis what would you say? I will always pray for you.
    What is your favorite prayer? St. Teresa’s “Let nothing disturb you…”.
    What is your favorite name or title for Jesus? Lord…and Jesus, that is his name, what I would call a friend.
    What is your favorite religious book other than the Bible? The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross
    What is your favorite place to pray? At the church where I am now a member
    What is your favorite church? St. Joseph’s Cathedral, the Mother Church of our diocese…so beautiful.
    What is your favorite religious piece of art? The Pieta is high on my list
    What is your favorite title for Mary? Mother
    What is your favorite feast day? I do not have a favorite, which leaves me free to celebrate them all!
    What site in the Holy Land would you like to visit? The Via Dolorosa
    Who is your favorite spiritual writer? St. John of the Cross, Meister Eckhart
    What is your favorite Catholic custom? The same as Sister Kathleen’s, the lighting of the Easter candle, and the individual candles
    On whose feast day is your birthday? St. John Bosco
    What is your favorite New Testament story? Everything from Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem to the Resurrection

  5. Goodness! I apologize for my typing errors in the above! I proofread as I typed, never a good thing for me to do.

  6. What a wonderful discussion.. such good and interesting comments. The Dali painting is one that hangs prominently in my home and has had a special place in it for 40 years… Interesting that this is your favorite!
    My favorite saint is the Little Flower… she has done great things for me and my loved ones. One of my granddaughters reminds me so much of her both physically and spiritually. The eyes in the popular image of St. Therese are so much like our beautiful girl. At 15, she is most spiritual, unworldly, and deeply devout. We are so blessed!
    Also, I did see the interview and really enjoyed that of Stephen Colbert’s… quite a man..looking forward to his next assignment as Late Night Host… (though don’t often stay up to watch.. but the current host upsets me with his unkind humor.)

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