Two years ago, I published a post that broke my blog. It was the Seven Types of Catholic Nerds & Where to Find Them, every Catholic’s field guide to nerdy Catholics and their quirks. It was so much fun to write but even when I wrote it, I knew it wasn’t quite complete. There was still so much of Catholicnerddom land left unexplored!
With great trepidation, therefore, I present you with Part II of Catholic Nerds & Where to Find Them. Be sure to get a refresher too on the original seven types of Catholic Nerds: the Apologetitechie, Bibliobrain, Converty-Pants, Dominiac, Liturgeek, Theonerd and, of course, ToBsessive.
n., /ar-is-to-cath/ (adj., ~thic)
- Catholic nerd who stumbled out of Evelyn Waugh novel and still hasn’t adjusted to the fact that they’re not a duke or duchess.
- Has a teddy bear called Aloysius.
- Toyed with the idea of founding their own chivalric order to reclaim the Holy Land for Christians and Savile Row for real gentlemen.
- May describe self as an “aspiring countess”. Don’t let the irony fool you; the ambition is real.
- Has an all-consuming love for our Sovereign Queen, even though she’s an Anglican. (Aristocaths can be very forgiving like that.)
Where to Find Them: Aristocaths can be found at Eucharistic processions of the Knights of Malta with dreams of some day having the money or connections to be invited to join. If you find an aristocath outside of England, do the kind thing and return them posthaste to the motherland with a packed lunch of scones, cucumber sandwiches, and a thermos of tea.
Patron Saints: Basically every royal saint ever. St Edward the Confessor, St Louis XI, St Margaret of Scotland, St Elisabeth of Hungary, etc, etc, etc. If they’re English royal saint, so much the better!
n., /fe-mi-nin-ja/ (adj., ~ninjaesque)
- Absolutely convinced that the Catholic Church is fundamentally feminist and always has been.
- Gets very annoyed when literally no one else seems to notice this.
- Skilled at furrowing out obscure pro-woman quotes from even the most famously politically incorrect Church Fathers. Did you know St Augustine was a proto-feminist? Have you read Tertullian’s touching tribute to egalitarian Christian marriage? Don’t worry, the femininja has!
- May have written blog posts about how you can’t be a real feminist and not be pro-life.
Where to Find Them: Femininjas are notoriously difficult to find. You don’t find you, they find you. (They are a subgenus of the ninja after all.) I suggest you loudly mutter something about “rosaries on ovaries” and wait for the femininja to emerge, sword drawn, ready to take you dowwwn.
Patron Saints: SS Perpetua and Felicity, St Macrina the Younger, St Joan of Arc, and all four of the female Doctors of the Church. (You know them all, right?)
n., /frans-ips-ter/ (adj., ~rish)
- Verifiably the “coolest” of all Catholic nerds, although this is not saying much.
- Sports a full-on hispter beard à la Padre Pio and wears ripped skinny jeans. (“It’s poverty, man!”)
- Frequents their local community garden’s hole-in-the-wall.
- Gives their name to the barista as pax et bonum.
- Likes to remind dominiacs that there are just as many Franciscan Doctors of the Church as there are Dominicans. (Three for all you keeping track at home: St Bonaventure, St Anthony of Padua, and St Lawrence of Brindisi.) Because francipsters are just as nerdy as dominiacs, not that it’s a competition or anything…
Where to Find Them: Francispters can usually be found being charitable and meta by serving cappuccinos to the poor. Think about it.
Patron Saint: You thought it was going to be St Francis of Assisi, didn’t you? Nah, man, St Francis Anthony Fasini. Oh, you haven’t heard of him? What a surprise.
n., /Mar-i-an-ut/ (adj., ~nutty)
- A Catholic nerd utterly devoted to our Blessed Mother and I mean, utterly devoted.
- Their scapular has its own scapular. And it’s a five-fold scapular. So that’s like a twenty-five-fold scapular, right?
- Always throwing parties with the best wine because that’s what the Immaculate loves best. ;)
- Can be neatly divided between 1) those who believe that all messages from the alleged apparitions at Medjugorje should be immediately proclaimed dogma and 2) those who believe the latter in category 1) should be immediately be burned at the stake with extreme prejudice.
Where to Find Them: Driving between Fatima and Lourdes in a Fiat, praying the Rosary of course.
Patron Saint: Um, let’s think, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Our Lady of Sorrows, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Our Lady of Good Success, Our Lady of the Snows, Our Lady of Loreto, and then of course there’s Untier of Knots, Star of the Sea, Cause of our Joy, Seat of Wisdom, Destroyer of Heresies, and Mediatrix of All Graces. Or as marianuts tend to call her, Mama.
(Several characteristics noted by Gerald Lamb — thank you!)
n., /pat-ri-stick-ler/ (adj., ~sticky)
- A Catholic specialist in Patristics who doesn’t understand why other why you’re obsessed with all these newfangled flash-in-the-pan theologians like Aquinas or Anselm.
- One of the rare Catholic nerds who can mention St Gregory Nazianzen and not automatically think about Nazis.
- Always seems on the verge of “going Orthodox” on the mistaken belief they’re more “Patristic”.
- Constantly blackmails his mother with this threat. Mum wants patristickler to clean their room? “You know, Moscow claims to be the third Rome… maybe they’re onto something.” Mum won’t lend them money to buy more books? (#storyofmylife #Catholicnerdproblems) “Hmm, I wonder what the saints would think about that, saints like… St Gregory Palamas.” (Warning: please don’t try this at home. Your mum deserves better than ecumenical blackmail.)
Where to Find Them: Eschewing all “modern” furniture like chairs and tables by sitting on the floor in front of Dewey Decimal Number 281 in the library stacks. (Why #281? Google it.)
Patron Saints: St Ignatius of Antioch, St Clement of Rome, and St Polycarp of Smyrna. (The three church fathers who lived, at least part of their lives, in the 1st Century. They are early!)
(Spotted in the wild by Ink — we honour his heroic work!)
I’m sure I’ve missed more again but I need your help! If you’ve spotted a subspecies of the Catholic Nerd out there, let me know!