Catholic Education provides students with a strong foundation, instilling   moral character, a spiritual worldview, and leadership skills. Approximately 10% of Catholic teenagers attend a Catholic school, and many have gone on to become celebrities, athletes, famous musicians, and influential politicians throughout the years. Listed below are five graduates of Catholic schools that might surprise you.

Channing Frye

NBA Basketball star Channing Frye was raised in Phoenix, AZ, and was also raised Catholic. He attended St. Mary’s Catholic High school, where he received national attention for his athletic ability. It was at St. Mary’s that he was rated in the top 100 recruits in the nation and led the Knights to the AIA State Tournament Semi-Finals. He played basketball collegiately, eventually signing with the NBA and playing on teams including the New York Knicks, the Phoenix Suns, and the L.A. Lakers.

Bill Murray

Funnyman Bill Murray grew up in an Irish Catholic family and graduated from Loyola Academy, a Jesuit high school in the suburbs of Chicago, IL. Murray attended Regis University, a Catholic university in Denver, CO. Murray developed his love for acting while in school, acting in high school and community theater. Following graduation, Murray launched his comedic career in Chicago’s Second City improv comedy troupe. He rose to fame on Saturday Night Live, appearing in three seasons from 1977-1980. He’s since acted in popular movies like Ghostbusters, Caddy Shack, Groundhog Day, and Scrooged.

Gloria Estefan

Acclaimed songstress Gloria Estefan was born in Havana, Cuba, and attended Catholic schools in Miami, FL. She graduated from Our Lady of Lourdes Academy in 1975, going on to attend the University of Miami. Estefan and her band, Miami Sound Machine, first found worldwide success in 1985 with their chart-topping hit “Conga.” She’s one of the best-selling female singers of all time and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015.

J.R.R. Tolkien

Widely considered to be one of the greatest writers in history, Tolkien received his Catholic education at King Edward’s School and St. Philip’s School in England. His mother felt it was important for him to receive a quality, Catholic education and made arrangements for this to be possible prior to her death when he was a mere 12 years of age. Throughout his career, Tolkien wrote the widely known trilogy, The Lord of the Rings.

John F. Kennedy

Throughout his career, President John F. Kennedy was outspoken about his deep rooted, Catholic faith. This was especially courageous given the time period, as anti-Catholic prejudice was prevalent in American media when JFK decided to seek the presidency in 1960. In fact, when Kennedy decided to enter the West Virginia Primary, Catholics constituted less than 4% of the electorate. However, Kennedy stood strong to his convictions that were formed from childhood when he attended Catholic school as a young boy.

Helping a New Generation Receive a Catholic Education

At Catholic Education Arizona, we are committed to changing lives through quality, Catholic education. Through our partnership with generous individuals and corporations, families have the choice or the education best suited to meet their child’s needs, regardless of income. Contact us to learn more about our services and find out how you can receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for your contribution. Visit or call 602 218-6542.