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28 Famous Athletes Who Are Catholic

Updated June 14, 2019 338.7k views28 items

This list contains information about athletes who are Catholic, loosely ranked by fame and popularity. Several famous NBA players, football stars, and Olympians are Catholic. Some of these athletes were raised in the Catholic faith, while others converted later in life. One famous baseball player was banished from the church after he divorced his wife to marry a Hollywood actress.

Who is the most famous athlete who is Catholic? Kobe Bryant tops our list. Kobe Bryant was raised Roman Catholic. His family moved around a lot due to his father's basketball career. Tom Brady was raised Catholic in San Mateo, California. He says, "Look at the attention I get: It’s because I throw a football. But that’s what society values. That’s not what God values. He didn’t invent the game. We did. I have some eye-hand coordination, and I can throw the ball. I don’t think that matters to God."

Joe DiMaggio was a devout Catholic, but he was banned from the church after his divorce from Dorothy Arnold. Bishop Fulton Sheen also scolded him for marrying Marilyn Monroe. Dominique Dawes converted to Catholicism before marrying Jeff Thompson on May 25, 2013. Thompson is a Catholic school teacher.

Do you think that the Catholic faith helps these pro athletes to succeed? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
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  • Photo: s_bukley / Shutterstock
    Kobe Bryant was raised Roman Catholic. His family moved around a lot due to his father's basketball career.
    • Age: 43
    • Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America
    • Teams: Los Angeles Lakers
  • Tom Brady was raised Catholic in San Mateo, California. He says, "Look at the attention I get: It’s because I throw a football. But that’s what society values. That’s not what God values. He didn’t invent the game. We did. I have some eye-hand coordination, and I can throw the ball. I don’t think that matters to God."
    • Age: 44
    • Birthplace: San Mateo, California
    • Teams: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots, Michigan Wolverines football
  • Photo: Maitri / Flickr
    Brett Favre is Catholic. He says, "As you grow older, a lot of the things you thought were important are not near as important as they once were. I think it was during the latter part of my career that my faith started to become more of a fixture."
    • Age: 51
    • Birthplace: Gulfport, Mississippi, United States of America
    • Teams: Green Bay Packers, New York Jets, Minnesota Vikings
  • Photo: carloscappaticci / Flickr
    Babe Ruth was a Catholic and a member of the Knights of Columbus.
    • Age: Dec. at 53 (1895-1948)
    • Birthplace: Pigtown, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America
    • Teams: New York Yankees, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves