Skip to content

Was Arnold Palmer Catholic? Archabbot shares his story of friendship

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
9/29/2016 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (

Arnold Palmer was a great man and an example of how to be.

The world lost a great human being and legendary sportsman in Arnold Palmer. The golfer passed away on September 25, a day before he was to have heart surgery. While many people know about his talent at golf, there was a private side to Palmer that was only known to his family, friends and community.

Arnold Palmer won 95 professional championships and seven major tournaments.

Arnold Palmer won 95 professional championships and seven major tournaments.


By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
Catholic Online (
9/29/2016 (2 years ago)

Published in Sports

Keywords: Arnold Palmer, Archabbot Nowicki, Catholic

LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Golf legend Arnold Palmer passed away on September 25. He was 87 and awaiting heart surgery in a community hospital. Many people know of his legendary record in golf, but few realize that he was also a man of faith and charity.

Catholic News Service carried an interview they conducted with his friend, Archabbot Douglas Nowicki. Palmer was a lifelong Presbyterian, but he maintained a close friendship with Nowicki. Their friendship spanned 50 years, dating back to a time when Nowicki was a teen.

Palmer was a man who made no distinctions by race or creed. He appealed to everyone, Nowicki explained. The Archabbot said Palmer would occasionally attend his 7:30 a.m. Sunday Mass.

Years ago, before Palmer was a legend, he invited Nowicki over to play golf. But Nowicki did not know how to play, so he asked his prior to play in his stead. The prior won, costing Palmer $20.

Palmer attended school with Fred Rogers, who the world knows as Mr. Rogers, according to Nowicki. It was Palmer who taught Rogers how to play golf.

Palmer and his family also donated generously to their community, often lending their name to charitable events.

He received a Congressional gold medal in 2012.

And Palmer spoke at public events. Nowicki recalled a recent speech Palmer gave to students at a commencement address. "When you enter a room, you take your hat off."

Over his lifetime, Palmer won 95 professional championships and seven major tournaments.

Nowicki visited Palmer twice on the day he died. The first was to offer a blessing and to extend warm wishes to Palmer and his family. The second visit came an hour later as Palmer's health failed. Nowicki returned to the hospital and was present when Palmer passed.

Arnold Palmer gave the world an example of how to be. He was famous and earned a fortune, but he did not withdraw from the world or become aloof. Instead, he gave back much of himself to others. He formed broad relationships that crossed classic barriers. He was a Presbyterian, yet still found time to attend Catholic Mass celebrated by his Catholic friend. He taught others how to play his sport, and he modeled respect.

Arnold Palmer is an example of how to be as a person. Magnanimous in victory, generous in character and a friend to all.

Archabbot Nowicki is hosting a memorial on October 4.


More Sports

Croatia vs. France: How do the World Cup teams line up in the Catholic Church?

Image of France may have won the World Cup, but who would win in the Catholic Church?

On Sunday, France and Croatia will square off on the soccer pitch for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Championship. While most U.S. Catholics are ... continue reading

The 2018 Olympic Games open with one ominous sign Watch

Image of Vice President Mike Pence refused to stand at the entrance of the unified Korean team. Does this portend difficult times ahead?

The 2018 Olympic Games have opened in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The opening ceremonies saw the North and South Korean teams enter the ... continue reading

Is it acceptable for a Catholic to enjoy watching the Super Bowl? Watch

Image of

Super Bowl Sunday. It's as American as apple pie, but in recent years, controversy has erupted over the beloved American pastime and - ... continue reading

Black magic? Have you heard about the curse broken by the Chicago Cubs? Watch

Image of The Chicago Cubs have won the 2016 World Series.

The Chicago Cubs have won the 2016 World Series in a 10-inning game, beating the Cleveland Indians 4-3. The win breaks a 108-year losing ... continue reading

Was Arnold Palmer Catholic? Archabbot shares his story of friendship Watch

Image of Arnold Palmer won 95 professional championships and seven major tournaments.

The world lost a great human being and legendary sportsman in Arnold Palmer. The golfer passed away on September 25, a day before he was to ... continue reading

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

All of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.