In my last post I shared a number of fascinating facts that I learned reviewing Catéchic, “the Catholic trivia game” by Tyco®. Read on and discover some intriguing information about the history and theology of the largest denomination in the Christian world.
How are the following for odd facts?
Question: What Iowa city has a name which means “of the monks” in French?
Answer: Des Moines
Here in Washington State we have city named Des Moines (pronounced with the final “s”) which is named after the Iowa township and not the monks who first helped established it.
What New York museum was built entirely from stones of Christian shrines imported from France by John D. Rockefeller?
Leave it to the Americans to denude a country of their historic shrines to aggrandize a civil monument to a political dynasty.
Was St. Patrick Irish?
Now there’s a fact with which many Irishmen would take umbrage. The truth is, of course, that Patrick was Romano-British, enslaved by the Irish, who willingly chose to return to Ireland after his liberation to share the Gospel with his former captors.
The game includes a fair representation of literary questions. Two of them even deal with the esteemed author of The Chronicles of Narnia. Just one for now, with the promise of more literary insights in my next, and final, column about trivia.
Who is the Anglican children’s author that wrote the apologia The Case for Christianity?
I can overlook the inappropriately limiting label “children’s author” since they have had the wisdom to include this reference to the Oxford don.
Students of history, including recent history, will have an advantage in answering the following questions.
Who designed the colorful uniforms of the Swiss Guard at the Vatican?
They still look dandy. Fortunately for the security of the Papal See, they have advanced from relying on pikes to using modern weaponry.
Who was the most famous Bishop of Hippo?
Who in the world could name any other Bishop of Hippo?
Besides Richard M. Nixon, what other U.S. president was a Quaker?
Didn’t know that. And, as memorable as Herbert Hoover was, I fear I’ve already forgotten . . .
Who was the Catholic, four-term mayor of Chicago known as “Boss?”
Richard J. Daley
Ugh. Two dishonest politicians in a row! I don’t believe I would want to claim Daley as a Roman Catholic if I was one . . . or Nixon as a Quaker, if I professed that creed.
According to the Beatles song “Let It Be,” who whispers words of wisdom?
This must have been before the Beatles jettisoned any lip service to Christianity, claimed their renown exceeded that of Jesus, and entrusted their spiritual destiny to the philosophy of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Naturally the questions include a variety of details about Roman Catholic faith and practices themselves.
Should Catholics genuflect whenever they enter a Catholic Church?
No, only if the blessed Sacrament is present in the church.
Interesting. I had never thought about it, but it makes sense, since the obeisance is actually being offered to Jesus, present in the consecrated elements.
For what group is the annual Red Mass celebrated?
Observation: What? Whose idea was that, and do Roman Catholics grace all other professions with their own dedicated masses? If so, what color Masses are dedicated to insurance brokers, microbiologists and wig makers?
What was the name of the portable throne once used to carry the pope so that everyone could see him?
Replaced by the bulletproof Popemobile.
When was the last time that a pope proclaimed a Catholic teaching infallible?
1954 (the Assumption, Pope Pius XII)
A good reminder to countless misguided Protestants who think Roman Catholics believe that most or all of what the popes say is “infallible.” The lesson would be better taught, however, if the cited instance was not for an extra-biblical doctrine with which most Protestants strongly disagree.
What is the day on which Judas received his payment for betraying Jesus sometimes called?
That’s a new one for me, but it sounds like a great title for a new movie about the wayward disciple.
Who was the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity?
Constantine the Great
It is good to see Constantine’s conversion affirmed here, although it is often maligned by critics. (Constantine was a child of his brutal age and after his conversion remained an imperfect sinner, just like the rest of us.) Only in the Eastern (Orthodox) Church is Constantine acclaimed a saint.
I will end with a question that holds a special place in my life, since I have spent the majority of my public ministry as a military chaplain.
What was the name of the Catholic chaplain on the TV show M*A*S*H?