American Catholic History

American Catholic History, hosted by Tom and Noelle Crowe, finds the hidden gems and compelling stories of Catholic Americans who have contributed to their nation by virtue of their faith over the past three centuries. In less than 10 minutes per episode, American Catholic History will introduce you to the amazing men and women who came to these American shores and were born here and contributed in ways both great and small, celebrated and unheralded.

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Join the American Catholic History Pilgrimage in August 2021

Join Tom and Noëlle in August 2021 for a six-day guided pilgrimage through the Kentucky Holy Land and Bourbon country. Visit the historic sites they discussed in the American Catholic History episode about the region and learn about the courageous Catholics who settled the land. Learn more and sign up for your spot on the pilgrimage.

Teachers, Catechists, and Parents

Are you a teacher, catechist, or parent who would like to use American Catholic History to share with your children or students? We’ve made the following worksheets available for you to download and reproduce and we’re working on future resources as well. (Let us know if you’re looking for something specific.)

Parish Bulletin Editors

Are you a parish bulletin editor or catechist looking for good, brief content that will entertain, inform, and form your audience? StarQuest is making available brief, written versions of American Catholic History episodes–under 350 words each–for you to use in your publications. These are available in Word and PDF downloadable formats and free to use under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike (CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0) license. We will be periodically adding new downloads so be sure to check back often.

  • Founding Fathers and American Catholic History (Word format, PDF)
    • George Washington, Catholic?
    • John Fitzgerald
    • Ben Franklin and Bishop John Caroll
    • Commodore John Barry
    • Fr. Pierre Gibault & Francis Vigo
  • Other Stories from American Catholic History
  • Black American Catholics for Black History Month (Word format, PDF) (UPDATED: February 15, 2021)
    • Mary Edmonia Lewis
    • Julia Greeley
    • Mother Mathilda Beasley
    • Pierre Toussaint
    • Mary Lou Williams
    • Daniel Rudd
    • Henriette Delille

American Catholic History Store

Find links to all the books and other resources we mention in our show to find out more about these fascinating people and places in American Catholic History, by shopping in the ACH Store. We’re constantly adding new resources to the store, so if you don’t find what you’re looking for check back later or send us an email to ask.

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Recent Episodes

Fred Allen - Fred Allen was a hugely influential and beloved comic actor in the golden age of radio whose characters, tropes, and sketches have been imitated ever since. Tom and Noëlle Crowe tell us that even though Allen's Catholicism was public and obvious, his simple faith showed through.
The Unsinkable Molly Brown - Margaret Brown did so much in her life--helping the poor, building churches, establishing a juvenile justice system, women's suffrage, even running for office and going into acting--that Tom and Noëlle Crowe tell us she'd remarkable even if she hadn't also survived the sinking of the Titanic.
Fr. Pierre-Jean de Smet, SJ - The Jesuit missionary Fr. de Smet met, befriended, and evangelized nearly every native tribe west of the Mississippi in the mid-19th century and, as Tom and Noëlle Crowe tell us, was prized among nearly everyone for his joy, his wisdom, his holiness, and his tirelessness in bringing Christ to all he could meet.
Blessed Michael McGivney and the Knights of Columbus - The Knights of Columbus are the largest Catholic fraternal and charitable organization in the world, and as Tom and Noëlle Crowe tell us, we can thank the charismatic and holy young priest Fr. Michael McGivney for identifying the need for the Knights among his people and starting it all.
Mother Mary Magdalene Bentivoglio - Mother Mary Bentivoglio's story is yet another of overcoming obstacles and persevering in faith. Tom and Noëlle Crowe tell us how this Poor Clare nun came to the US with her community in the late 19th century and was bounced around the country as she sought to establish her contemplative monastery.