Once referred to as the “Tibet of Catholicism,” for centuries Quebec was a rural, conservative province with a church at the heart of every village. By 1900, there was almost one church official per 100 people (a ratio that makes Starbucks embarrassed). The church’s influence has faded considerably since then, following the Quiet Revolution that secularized the province in the sixties, but it’s still part and parcel of the culture. The province’s spiritual roots are evident in its attitude toward money—most Quebecers believe wealth should be redistributed to those in need, not controlled by the one percent. Mark Twain once remarked that you couldn’t throw a brick in Montreal without breaking a church window, and that’s still the case—it’s just that these days, many of those windows belong to condos in converted churches. And Quebecers continue to invoke the language of the church every day—through the colourful, religion-derived swear words that are an integral part of the local French vernacular. Shout about tabernacles, chalices, ciboriums or hosts, and risk a good old-fashioned Quebec beating … which is really like a regular beating, but most likely in front of a church.