#200 – The King and The Church


It’s Episode #200 and what a better topic than The King! Elvis’ had a scandalous and an inspirational relationship with the Catholic faith from the beginning of his musical career until it’s end. Indeed he continues to inspire some Catholics in different ways today. Plus, the CNMC and Bears. A special thanks to all of the listeners, here’s to another 200 episodes!

Elvis’ “Let Us Pray” from the move “Change of Habit”
Elvis’ The Miracle of the Rosary from Elvis Now
Antoniu Petrescu – priest and Elvis impersonator

The Catholic Roundup
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podcasticon# 200 – The King and The Church



  1. Posted July 7, 2009 at 7:53 am | Permalink | Reply

    First, I am not and never have been a big Elvis fan. But I have lived in Memphis my whole life, and I am a Catholic priest. I am sympathetic to the challenges “Elvis Memorial Week” (the week leading up to the anniversary of Elvis’ death on August 16, which includes August 15) presents to our city, and particularly the parish in closest to Graceland, St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church.

    As regards the Mass on August 15, I want to make a case for its pastoral appropriateness. It is a real Mass for the Assumption of Mary. As you know, it is a holy day of obligation in the US. It happens that the Assumption is the day before the anniversary of Elvis’ death. With several thousands of “pilgrims” visiting Elvis’ home and grave site every year during THAT particular week, the local parish takes seriously its duty and obligation to meet the needs of those “pilgrims.”

    Many hundreds of those annual pilgrims are Catholics, and they have an obligation to attend Mass on the Assumption. For the last several years, the 2pm Mass for the Assumption is offered with the intention of the repose of the soul of Elvis Presley. They usually end the Mass with “How Great Thou Art,” and frequently the Mass includes the song “The Miracle of the Rosary.”

    Mass for the Assumption is offered just as it is in every Church around the world. And every Mass may have an intention, the intention for this Mass being the repose of the soul of Elvis. Most of these people who have come to Memphis are there to pray for Elvis anyway, so it seems pastorally appropriate and good for the Church to assist them in their intention.

    The homily usually talks about how Mary points us to Jesus, and how Elvis was a Christian and used his gifts and talents to draw others to Jesus. The only Grammy awards Jesus ever earned, after all, were for his Gospel music.

    Last year, I was invited to be the homilist at that Mass, and my homily is below. I address the truth of the Assumption, that Jesus prepared a place for his Mother, and I said that if Elvis, who was a flawed human like us, would prepare a place for his mom (Graceland), how much more so would Jesus, who was flawless, prepare a place for his Mother.


    Everything is licit and above board. And the Mass is always about evangelizing and drawing the visitors to the parish closer into the mystery Jesus. Every year there are people who come to that Mass who are not even Catholic, and it is an opportunity to share our faith with them.

    At least, that’s how I see that Mass. And I’m not even an Elvis fan. I just love Jesus and I love opportunities to share the Gospel.

    Also, a bit of trivia you missed about the connections Elvis had historically with the Catholic Church: he married a Catholic. Elvis was not Catholic, it’s true, but Priscilla was. When Elvis was courting her, and when he married her, she was a practicing Catholic. She graduated from Immaculate Conception High School in Memphis, and is known to have attended Mass at St. Paul after they were married, though not weekly as one would hope. She is now a practicing Scientologist, of course, but she was a practicing Catholic when she and Elvis married.

  2. lmc
    Posted July 18, 2017 at 12:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Two corrections: Jesus did not receive a Grammy Award (I think you meant Elvis)
    Priscilla did not graduate from Immaculate Conception High School, though she did attend for a period.

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