Billy Collins: Well I’m the kind of recovering Catholic. I went to Catholic school from the 1st grade right through college – the full metal jacket of Catholic education. When I got to graduate school, it was the first time I’d been in a classroom with a female since the 8th grade. So I’m unsure of the effect of that on me.So I have all the imagery of Catholicism. It’s still very vivid and vibrant.
And the faith is something else. It’s very difficult in a way to maintain a connection to a church that is so full of flaws and hierarchically-structured church. Martin Sheen, I think, summed it up best when he said, “I don’t believe in God, but I believe that Mary was His mother.” In other words, you can lose contact with the theology, but you can never lose contact with the iconography, the imagery and the stories.