Alex Trebek was known to millions of people as the beloved host of the popular game show Jeopardy!. But did you know that Trebek almost became a Catholic monk? Yes, you read that right!
Trebek’s path to fame was anything but straightforward. As a troubled youth, he was sent to a Catholic boarding school after his parents’ separation. It was there that he had a few run-ins with one of his teachers, and he was nearly expelled. Despite his struggles, Trebek found solace in the school’s religious teachings, and he began to consider a life devoted to serving God.
Years later, while attending the University of Ottawa, Trebek seriously considered becoming a Catholic priest. He majored in Thomistic Studies and even spent a summer at a Trappist monastery in Quebec, where he immersed himself in the life of the monks. He was drawn to the simplicity and discipline of the monastic lifestyle, but there was one thing that gave him pause: the vow of silence.
Trebek later revealed that he was “not one to keep my big mouth shut,” and he realized that a life of silence would not be a good fit for him. He ultimately decided not to pursue the priesthood and instead followed his passion for broadcasting.
Although Trebek never became a monk, his experience at the monastery had a lasting impact on his life. He was known for his charitable work with religious organizations, and donated millions of dollars to causes related to education, health, and the environment. He was also a longtime supporter of World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization.
“If there’s one thing I have discovered in the past year, it is the power of prayer. I learned it from the Jesuits when I was a kid. I learned it from the Oblates of Mary Immaculate when I was in school,” he said in early 2020.
So, the next time you watch an episode of Jeopardy!, take a moment to appreciate the unique journey that brought Alex Trebek to the stage!
Although though Trebek never really took the vows to become a monk, his time spent in the monastery had a significant and long-lasting effect on his life. He was well-known for his philanthropic activities with several religious groups, and he gave out millions of dollars to various causes relating to education, health, and the environment. In addition to this, he was a longstanding supporter of the Christian humanitarian organization known as World Vision.