Harry Connick, Jr.: ‘My faith is always evolving’


The singer, actor and talk show host has been discussing his faith a lot lately, and he talks about it more with Sean Salai, S.J. of America: 

You’re a practicing Catholic from an old New Orleans family. What makes you feel at home in the Catholic Church?

I guess the familiarity, for one. It’s something I’ve been around all of my life. When I go to Mass, or have any feelings at all about the Catholic Church, it’s an area I feel comfortable with because I know it well. Since I was a kid, I’ve gone to church with my dad and sister. I think that’s the number one reason I feel comfortable: It’s familiar to me. And then there’s the message, which is always a beautiful message of love and acceptance, and that also makes me feel very comfortable.

How has your faith changed or evolved over the years?

I had an interesting start because I wasn’t baptized Catholic; I wasn’t baptized as a baby. I decided to become Catholic when I was 14; my mother was raised Jewish and she didn’t want us to be baptized as babies. Rather, she wanted us to decide for ourselves. So my sister and I decided to eventually become members of the Catholic faith later in life.

There are advantages and disadvantages about that, and I think the disadvantages probably outweigh the advantages. But the advantage is that you call into question a lot of things that you probably would just take for granted had you been baptized, and confirmed, and gone to catechism as a young person. Ultimately, if the answers are discovered by a personal process as opposed to being surrounded by and just absorbing things, sometimes the answers can be more profound because you’ve discovered them on your own. My faith is always evolving, always changing, and it’s just something I need to work at.

How does your faith influence your approach to being a husband and father?

Everything’s sort of intertwined. My personal values are my biggest decision-making factors, with regard to how I live my life in all areas, and my faith and my values are deeply intertwined. So it’s not like I make decisions “because I’m a Catholic.” I make decisions and execute actions that happen to coincide with Catholicism, and a lot of things overlap.

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Deacon Greg Kandra
Headlines and Homilies
Deacon Greg Kandra is a Roman Catholic deacon in the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York. For nearly three decades, he was a writer and producer for CBS News, where he contributed to a variety of programs and was honored with every major award in broadcasting. Deacon Greg now serves as Multimedia Editor for Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA.) He and his wife live in Forest Hills, New York.
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