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Former Navy Seal
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Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
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Growing Up Catholic

David Kennedy: I also grew up in a very intensely Catholic environment. I went to a Catholic school in both grade school and high school. I went to a Catholic Boy Scout troupe and played on Catholic sports teams. The environment was quite rigorously Catholic. And there was a deep sense in that community of being different from everybody else. There were virtually no other Catholic families in the neighborhood where I lived. It was quite a trip to the school I went to and so on. There was a sense of separateness that came with that. There were certainly events in my childhood that had downstream consequences of a sort that I couldn’t really understand at the time or foresee at the time. One was a decision I made mostly on my own as quite a young kid about 14 years old not to go to the local diocesan high school, but instead to go to a Jesuit high school which was about seven or eight miles away. So it was logistically quite complicated. My family resisted it, but I insisted. And I got a really first-rate education at that school, and I think that set me on a pathway to kind of . . . it nurtured in me a kind of intellectual curiosity that I don’t think I would have got elsewhere in Seattle at that time. And it led eventually to my applying to Stanford as an undergraduate, and going on to graduate school at Yale and becoming a professor. I don’t think that would have happened if, at age 13 or 14, I hadn’t gone to that high school.

Recorded on: 7/4/07

 

 

The only Catholic boy around.

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