QUIK-CLICK GUIDE TO THIS
Basic Catholic References
Living with Faith
Introduction to the Catholic Faith
What It Means to Be Catholic
Catholic Practice, Sacraments and Tradition
Catholic Spirituality, Moral and Social Teaching
Living with Illness, Aging and Loss
Catholics and Scripture
Catholic Seekers, Inactive and Recovering Catholics
Gay and Lesbian Catholics
Current Issues in the Church
Catholic Magazines and Newspapers
for Catholic Parents
Adult Faith Resources in Print
list is list of resources for adults who want to learn more
about the Catholic faith. No effort has been made to
insure that this is an exhaustive list. The resources listed
representative of resources which are accessible and useful to
the average Catholic adult. In some cases, resources of
special value are included even if they are not currently in
print. The ten- or thirteen-digit number following the date of
publication is the International Standard Book Number (ISBN).
We believe the resources listed below faithfully represent
official Catholic teaching and the call of the Second Vatican
Council to renewal, reform and reappropriation of the Catholic
tradition. However, inclusion of unofficial publications on this list does not constitute agreement
endorsement of the content or author by the pastors or staff of the Waterloo
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Doubleday, 2003. 0385508190. A basic and authoritative
presentation of Catholic belief and teaching; the first general
catechism published by the Catholic Church in 400 years.
United States Catholic Catechism for Adults. United
States Catholic Conference of Bishops, 2006. 1574554506. This
adaptation of the general Catechism combines inspiring
stories with doctrinal explanations.
Bible Concordance for the Revised Standard Version. Compiled
by C.W. Lyons with Thomas Deliduka.
Emmaus Road Publishing, 2009. 2187pp. 9781931018494.
New Catholic Answer Bible
(Revised NAB). Paul Thigpen, ed. Our Sunday
Visitor, 2011. 9781592761869. Includes text
and notes of the revised New American Bible plus questions and
answers about Catholic teaching and practice.
The Catholic Study Bible. Oxford University Press, 1990. 0195282779. Includes
text and notes of the New American Bible, plus a wealth of
additional background information, maps, glossary and
The Collegeville Bible Commentary. Robert
J. Karris. Liturgical Press, 1992. 0814622119. Book
by book, line by line -- this is an excellent handbook for
beginners who want to understand Scripture more clearly.
The HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism.
Richard McBrien, ed. HarperSanFrancisco, 1995. 0060653388. A
comprehensive, one-volume guide to Catholic doctrine, history,
worship, art, spirituality, literature and theology.
Our Sunday Visitor's Catholic Encyclopedia and Catholic
(Revised). Russell Shaw and Peter M.J. Stravinskas, eds.
Our Sunday Visitor, 1998. 0879736690. A comprehensive and
authoritative guide to Catholic history, doctrine, and practice.
United States Catholic Catechism for Adults. U.S.
Conference of Catholic Bishops. 2006. 1574554506. An
authoritative presentation of Catholic teaching written
especially for American Catholics.
Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents
(Revised). Austin Flannery, ed. Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing
Co., 1991. 0918344158. Official texts of the documents
issues by Vatican Council II.
Guide to the Documents of Vatican II. Edward P.
Hahnenberg. St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2007.
Provides a clear and
concise overview of the Council's sixteen documents, their
background, language, context and significance in the life of
Living With Faith
The following are recommended especially for those with little or no religious
background, experience or tradition and for Catholic "Seekers"
struggling with the role of faith in their lives.
Against An Infinite Horizon--The Finger of God in Our Everyday
Ronald Rolheiser. Crossroad, 2002. 0824519655.
According to Rolhesier, “To have faith is to see everything
against an infinite horizon.” This book examines what
difference faith makes in people’s everyday lives.
Naive Belief--The Bible and Adult Catholic Faith.
Dinter. Crossroad, 1994. 0824514211. Dinter explores
how the church as a whole and individual believers grow from
"naive" to mature faith by passing through a stage of critical
Broken Rainbows--Growing Faith in a Changing World.
G. Michael McCrossin. Sheed & Ward, 1997. 1556129130.
Expresses fundamental faith ideas in a way which resonates with
contemporary experience; a good resource for those who never had
much faith or those who have abandoned faith.
Michael Quoist. Galilee Trade Books,
1972. 978-0385094849. Quoist believes that faith in Jesus Christ has as much to do
with this life as it does with the next -- an almost
revolutionary idea when this book was first published.
The Christian Vision--The Truth That Sets Us Free.
Powell. Thomas More Assn., 1995. 0883473291. A
convincing explanation of how faith in Jesus provides us with a
master vision, meaning and purpose in life--the truth that sets
us free from personal tyrants.
Does Life Make Sense?--A Pastor’s Ten Best Guesses About God,
Life and Love.
Joseph Breighner. Twenty-Third Publications, 2002. 1585951927. This parish priest offers his “best guess” answers
for readers who are trying to reconcile faith with everyday
Eyes That See, Ears That Hear--Perceiving Jesus in a Postmodern
James P. Danaher. Liguori, 2006. 0764814095. This book
bridges the gap between blind faith and objective truth; it
proposes faith based on “a more personal truth.”
Exile--Seeking Hope in Times of Doubt.
Joseph T. Kelley.
Paulist Press, 2003. 0809140888. Kelley addresses the
yearning of spiritual seekers who feel exiled or displaced from
A Faith That Makes Sense. Robert J. Cormier.
Crossroad, 1999. 0824518179. A series of short
reflections which helps readers appreciate the difference faith
makes in people’s lives.
the New Atheism--A Critical Response to Dawkins, Harris and
John F. Haught. Westminster/John Knox. 2007.
156pp. 066423304X. Haught, an expert on science and
theology, identifies the inconsistencies, misconceptions and
generalizations of the "new atheism."
God--The Oldest Question. William J. O’Malley. Loyola Press, 2000. 0829415157. An
honest, inspiring examination of why God and faith make a
difference in the way we live.
God for Grownups. Virginia Smith. Thomas More/Ave Maria, 2002. 0883474832.
A somewhat challenging introduction to the God revealed in Scripture
‘people who know how to think.’
The God Questions--What Forms and
Patrick Russell. Liguori
Publications, 192pp. 9780764816291. A practical approach to the
questions we need in life to see in order to discover that God
is the answer.
William J. O'Malley. Orbis Books. 160pp.
9781570758034. Addresses the issues raised by the "new
atheists," and shows readers that there is a way of knowing that
transcends uncertainty and provides assurance.
How to Explain Your Faith.
John Pritchard. The
Liturgical Press, 2007. 0814631789. A good primer for people
who have lots of questions, like why bother? why believe?
or why get involved?
How to Find God.
James Martin SJ.ed. Liguori
Publications, 224pp. 978764800900. Martin has collected a
variety of contributions from individuals of many faith
traditions, all of whom address the issue of how one can find
An Introduction to Christian Belief--A Contempoary Look at the
Basics of Faith.
Robert Sheard. Twenty-Third Publications, 1996. 0896227073. Sheard seeks to explain the role of faith and
fundamental Christian doctrines in a world which has radically
Jesus Today--A Spirituality of Radical Freedom.
Albert Nolan. Orbis Books, 2006. 1570756724. At the
heart of Nolan’s book is the conviction that faith in Jesus
Christ is the answer to the complex personal and social problems
of the 21st century.
Your Religion, Finding Your Faith.
Fr. Brett Hoover.
Paulist Press, 1998. 160pp.
Written for young adults, but applicable for any spiritual
seeker who feels alienated from the church or confused about how
one comes to an "adult" stage of belief.
The Pursuit of Happiness--Evolving a Soul. William
J. O’Malley. Thomas More Assn., 1995. 088347333X. O’Malley
invites readers to discover their personal uniqueness and
integrate it into the wider story of the Christian community.
Seek And You Will Find--Questions on the Christian Faith.
Taize Community. GIA Publications, 2006. 1579995926.
Examines the kind of questions we all have about life, faith,
God, Jesus, the Bible and prayer.
The Seven Storey Mountain. Thomas Merton.
Harcourt, 1999. 0156010860. Merton outlines his journey
of faith from early doubts through his conversion to Catholicism
and the decision to become a Trappist monk. This a the classic
guide for every seeker.
The Sky Is
Not Falling--An Astronomer's Faith. Aileen O'Donoghue. Orbis
Stories of God--An Unauthorized Biography. John
Shea. Thomas More Press, 1978. 0883470853. This book is out of
print, but it’s worth finding a used copy if you’re
looking for a book that explains faith in a way that is
meaningful in today’s world.
Theology for Beginners (Revised). Francis Sheed. St. Anthony Messenger/Servant Books,
1982. Considered a classic modern introduction to the
central doctrines of the Christian faith, and a good place
to start if you don't know much about the Christian faith.
Tomorrow’s Catholic--Understanding God and Jesus in a New
(Revised). Michael Morwood. Twenty-Third Publications, 1997.
0896227243. Connects faith to the postmodern cosmology;
a good read for those who aren’t used to religion or church.
Tracing the Footsteps of God--Discovering What You Really
C.S. Song. Fortress Press, 2007. 0800638921. Provides a
process to help readers use their daily experience to answer the
question, “What do I believe?”
Twelve Theological Dilemmas.
Gregory C. Higgins.
Paulist Press, 1991. 144pp. 080913232X. This is an excellent
description of the issues involved in some major theological
questions, such as the existence of God, the need for salvation,
the nature of truth, the relationship between faith and science,
the meaning of Christ, and the relationship between Christianity
and other religions.
What Faith Is Not. Mitch Finley. Sheed & Ward, 2001. 1580511031. According to
Finley, faith is more than an excuse for suffering, an antidote
to doubt, a hedge against death, or a source of secret
knowledge; it is the foundation of meaning and joy.
What Is the Point of Being a Christian? Timothy
Radcliffe. Burns & Oates/Continuum, 2006. 0860123693.
This apology for living with faith is based on the conviction
that the lives of Christians should be marked by hope, freedom,
happiness, courage and openness to the world.
Who Are You Really?--A Seeker’s Guide to Faith.
Peter Cullinane. Twenty-Third Publications, 2005.
1585953792. Explores the role of faith and our relationship to
God in terms of what it means to be fully human.
You Know More Than You Think--Your Intuitive Knowledge of God in
the Catholic Tradition. James Penrice. St. Pauls, 2003. 081890948X. Penrice’s
premise is that we can all intuitively access the essentials of
faith through our everyday experience.
Introduction to the
The following are shorter, one-volume resources which provide an
overview of what Catholics believe, what Catholics do and how Catholics
An Invitation to Catholic Faith--Exploring
the Basics. Joseph Stoutzenberger. Twenty-Third
Publications, 2013. 978-1-58595-916-7. Here is a concise and
clear introduction to what it means to be Catholic which
approaches to Scripture and Tradition, the sacraments, and
Catholic Answers to Fundamentalists' Questions (revised).
Philip St. Romain. Liguori Publications, 2005. 96pp.
9780764813412. St. Romain offers a clear, accurate and
understandable explanation of what distinguishes Catholic faith
from more fundamentalist traditions.
Catholic Beliefs from A to Z--An Inspirational Dictionary.
Alfred McBride. St. Anthony Messenger/Servant Books, 2001.
Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth.
St. Mary's Press, 2004. 0884897672.
Quick View--Beliefs, Definitions, Prayers, Practices.
Brian Singer-Towns. St. Mary's Press, 2005.
(fourth edition). Peter Klein.
Harcourt Religion Publishers, 2006.
of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2006.
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Catholicism.
O’Gorman and Mary Faulkner. Alpha, 2003. 448pp. 1592570852.
The Essential Catholic Handbook--A Summary of Beliefs, Practices
(Revised). Liguori Publications, 2004. 0764812890.
for Christian Living. United Stated Conference of
Catholic Bishops, 2008.
127pp. 1601370204. This small book contains a
selection of traditional Catholic prayers, a summary of Catholic
beliefs, and space for personal reflection.
Today's Catholic (revised). Cardinal Francis George. Liguori
Publications, 2004. 9780764813221.
How-To Series. Our Sunday
Visitor. This series provides a helpful guide to "everything you
need to know but no one ever taught you."
--How-to Book of the Bible. Karl A. Schultz.
--How-to Book of Catholic Devotions. Mike Aquilina et.al.
--How-to Book of the Mass. Michael Dubruiel.
--How-to Book of Sacramentals. Ann Ball. 9781592760961.
Liguori's 101 Series.
This series provides a good introduction to Catholic beliefs,
presented in a thorough but accessible format.
-- Church History--A Concise Overview. Christopher M. Bellitto.9780764816031.
-- Holy Spirit--Present Among Us. John L. Gresham.
-- Jesus--God and Man. John L. Gresham. 9780764819315.
-- Liturgy--Sacraments and Sacramentals. Daniel G. Van Slyke.
-- Mary--Tradition and Influence. Mary Ann Zimmer. 9780764818516.
-- Scripture--An Intro to Reading the Bible. William J. Parker CSsR.
Theology for Today's
Catholic--A Handbook. Stephen Rehrauer. Liguori
Publications. 2005. 0764813080
Twelve Reasons to Be Glad You're Catholic.
Daniel Connors. Twenty-Third Publications, 2012. 978-1585958948
What You Should Know About...(series).
Charlene Altemose. Liguori Publications. These short,
informative and interesting books provide a summary of basic
What You Should Know About Church History. 0764808184.
-- What You Should Know About Mary. 0764801627
-- What You Should Know About the Mass. 0892434627.
-- What You Should Know About the Sacraments. 0892436298.
-- What You Should Know About the Saints. 0764800477.
-- What You Should Know About the Word of God. 076480532.
Catholics Genuflect?—and Answers to Other Puzzling Questions
About the Catholic Church. Al Kresta. Servant
Books/Franciscan Media. 2001. 9781569552439. Here’s an
excellent resource which provides clear, concise answers to the
most common questions people ask about the Catholic faith.
Means to Be Catholic
The following provide a more detailed examination of what
Catholics, how Catholics behave, and what makes Catholics
The American Catholic Experience
(series). Acta Publications. Writers in this series are lay
people who explore the unique ways in which faith comes alive in
Finding My Way in a Grace-Filled World. William L. Droel.
-- Living in Ordinary Time. Maryellen O’Brien.
The Spiritual Apprenticeship of a Curious Catholic. Jerry
Being Catholic--How We Believe, Practice and Think.
Daniel Pilarczyk. St. Anthony Messenger, 2006. 246pp.
0867167084. Examines what is unique about Catholic belief,
practice and thought.
Being Catholic Today--Your Personal Guide.
Bert Ghezzi. Servant Books, 1998. 166pp. 1569550107. Explains
what it means to be Catholic and 15 key ways of practicing the
Bible Proofs for Catholic Truths. Dave Armstrong.
Sophia Institute Press, 2009. 464pp.
978-1933184579. Catholic apologist and scripture scholar Dave
Armstrong presents passages from scripture that point to and
underline various Catholic teachings.
Catholic Beliefs and Traditions--Ancient and Ever New.
John F. O’Grady. Paulist Press, 2002. 368pp. 0809140470. A good
review of the nature of Catholic faith and practice, appropriate
for anyone who is looking for a unified vision of Catholicism.
The Catholic Experience. By Lawrence Cunningham. Crossroad, 1986. 270pp. 0824507053.
Examines the Catholic experience of human reality--time, space,
life, community; convey what it “feels like” to be a
The Catholic Faith--An Introduction. By
Lawrence Cunningham. Paulist Press, 1986. 192pp. 0809128594. A
good overview of what it means to be a Catholic which focuses
more on religious experience than theological doctrines.
The Catholic Imagination.
University of California Press, 2001. 213pp. 0520232046.
Examines Catholicism’s unique worldview and culture, shaped by
the conviction that objects, events and persons of daily life
are revelations of grace.
(Revised/3rd Edition). Richard McBrien. HarperCollins, 1994.
0060654058. Comprehensive explanation of Catholic teaching
which examines its historical development, the current official
teaching, and contemporary interpretations.
Catholicism--Now I Get It! Claire Furia Smith. Our Sunday Visitor, 2007. 1592761526. Written
especially for Catholics from the ‘lost generation’ who want to
rediscover the richness of their faith.
Choosing to Be Catholic--For the First Time, or Once Again
William O’Malley. Ave Maria, 2001. 240pp.
9781594713439. An excellent book for readers who want to learn
more about the Catholic faith and feel “at home” in the Catholic
Distinctively Catholic--An Exploration of Catholic Identity.
Daniel Donovan. Paulist Press, 1997. 210pp. 080913750X. Although
somewhat academic, this is an excellent resource for readers who
want to know what makes Catholic Christianity “different.”
That Frees--Catholic Matters for the 21st Century.
G. Malloy SJ. Orbis Books, 2007. 1570757341. For
Catholics disappointed in the Church, Malloy offers a vision of
a church engaged in transforming the world.
Catholic Customs and Their Biblical Roots. Scott Hahn.
Doubleday, 2009. 288pp.
Illuminates the biblical roots of
Catholic traditions such as the Sign of the Cross, the Mass, the
Sacraments, praying with the saints, guardian angels, sacred
images and relics, the celebration of Easter, Christmas and
Full Christianity--A Catholic Response to Fundamental Questions.
Richard Chilson. Paulist Press, 1985. 136pp. 0809126699. Uses
questions-and-answer format to show the differences between the
Catholic and fundamentalist visions of Christian faith.
The Good Enough Catholic--A Guide for the Perplexed.
Paul Wilkes. Ballantine Books, 1997. 354pp. 0345409620. Wilkes
sorts through the debate over who’s a good Catholic and who
isn’t in order to find out who’s good enough.
The Great Mysteries--Experiencing Catholic Faith from the Inside
By Andrew M. Greeley. Sheed & Ward. 2003. 180pp. 1580511317. No
one summarizes the basic ideas of Catholic faith better than
Greeley, who writes passionately about the faith questions which
arise out of everyday experience.
The Mystery of Faith--An Introduction to Catholicism.
Michael Himes. St. Anthony Messenger, 2004. 120pp.
A short, well-written explanation of ten basic truths about the
Catholic faith. Highly recommended introduction for new
and life-long Catholics.
The Pillars of Faith
Series. Fr. Peter J. Vaghi. Ave Maria Press. This
series provides a concise, accessible and complete introduction
to the four "pillars" of Catholic faith outlined in the
-- The Faith We Profess. 9781594711770.
-- The Commandments We Keep. 9781594712616.
-- The Sacraments We Celebrate. 9781594712319.
-- The Prayer We Offer. 9781594712944.
The Privilege of Being Catholic. By Fr.
Oscar Lukefahr. Liguori Publications, 1993. 208pp. 0892435631.
Explains the distinguishing features of Catholicism in a way
that helps readers appreciate what Catholics are as well as what
Rediscovering Catholicism--Journeying Toward Our Spiritual
Northstar. Matthew Kelly. Beacon Publishing, 2002.
313pp. 9781929266081. Writing with passion and enthusiasm,
Kelly explores the essence of authentic Catholic spirituality
and addresses important questions we face today as both
individuals and as a Church.
Roots of the Faith--From the Church Fathers to You.
Mike Aquilina. Servant Books/St. Anthony Messenger Press.
9780867169386. This introduction to the roots of
Catholic beliefs and practices illustrates how the Catholic
Church as we know it today has grown and changed but is
still in continuity with what has gone before.
Seeker’s Guide to Being Catholic. Mitch Finley. Loyola
Press. 1997. 184pp. 0829409343. A good introduction which
examines basic beliefs and how they apply to relationships,
work, spirituality and church life.
The Seven Secrets of Successful Catholics. Paul
Wilkes. Paulist Press, 1998. 080913795X. Wilkes has identified
seven common factors which provide a framework for Catholic
beliefs and actions.
Today--Calling Catholics to Holiness and Service.
Ball ed. St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2005. 122pp.
9780867166705. This is an excellent introduction to what
it means to be Catholic today. The chapters address
identity, the Mass, sacraments, interfaith relations, Scripture,
the nature of the Church, handing on the faith, marriage and
family life, ministry and discipleship.
What Makes Us Catholic--Eight Gifts for Life. Thomas
Groome. HarperSanFrancisco, 2003. 314pp. 0060633999. Groome
uses alot of (mostly Irish) stories and anecdotes to explain
eight spiritual qualities which are characteristic of Catholic
faith and Catholic life.
Why Be Catholic?
William J. O’Malley. Crossroad, 1993. 184pp. 0824513622.
O’Malley’s goal is to introduce Catholicism to Catholics and
non-Catholics who aren’t used to a lot of religious talk.
Catholic?—Understanding Our Experience and Tradition.
Richard Rohr OFM and Joseph Martos. Franciscan Media, 1990.
9780867161014. An excellent introduction to the fundamental
principles which characterize Catholic faith and distinguish it
from other Christian traditions.
of Mercy—The Heart of Catholicism (Second Edition). James
Keenan. Rowman & Littlefield, 2007. 074256021X. Explores the
seven corporal and seven spiritual works of mercy; Keenan
believes being Catholic means being willing to enter into the
chaos of others.
Would You Like to Be Catholic?
Eugene Kennedy. St.
Anthony Messenger, 2003. 96pp. 0867165308. Examines the human
and spiritual qualities of what it means to become and remain a
Celebrating the Mass--Six Weeks with the Bible.
Kevin Perrotta. Loyola Press, 2005. 9780829420647.
This book, designed for individuals or group study, examines in
more detail the scriptural foundations for the Catholic Mass.
Worship--The Eucharist, the Sacraments and the Hours.
Lawrence E. Mick. Liguori Publications, 2009. 144pp.
9780764819360. Unlike most books in this genre, this one
takes a broader look at Catholic worship by including the Mass,
the other sacraments and the Liturgy of the Hours.
The How-to Book of
the Mass (Revised). Michael Dubruiel. Our Sunday
Visitor. 2007. 272pp.
Provides a step-by-step description of the Mass, Biblical
background of the prayers, insights from the Church's teaching,
and practical suggestions on how to overcome distractions.
The Lamb's Supper--The Mass As Heaven on
Earth. Scott Hahn. Doubleday Religion, 1999. 97803855496599.
Examines the Mass as a way of experiencing here and now a taste
of the future Kingdom of God envisioned in the Book of
101--Celebrating the Mass. Lawrence Mick.
Liguori Publications, 2009. 9780764818455. This
introduction to the Catholic liturgy includes an explanation of
each of the four "movements" of the Mass and questions for group
or individual reflection.
Living the Eucharist--Celebrating Its Rhythm in Our Lives.
Twenty-Third Publications, 2005. 136pp. 9781585955060. Fr.
Bernier compares the liturgy to a divine melody, and shows
readers how its rhythms are mean to lead us deeper into a
Eucharistic spirituality which shapes our everyday lives.
Living the Mass--How One Hour a Week Can
Change Your Life (Revised). Fr. Dominic Grassi and Joe
Paprocki. Loyola Press, 2011.195pp. 9780829436143.
Explains how each part of the Mass relates to our baptismal call
to live our faith, closing the gap between Sunday Mass and the
rest of the week.
Making The Eucharist Matter.
Frank Andersen. Ave
Maria Press, 1999. 148pp. 9780877936954. This book, designed
for readers who find the Mass too routine, explores how the
liturgy can come alive and how it involves and ennobles those
who participate in it.
The Mass--A Guided Tour.
Thomas Richstatter OFM. St. Anthony Messenger
Press, 2009. 9780867166460. An excellent and
accessible introduction to the structure of the Mass and how the
various components invite us to experience and express our faith
What Every Catholic Needs to
Know About the Eucharist. Michael Kwatera OSB.
Resource Publications, 2011. 64pp. 9780893906808.
What Every Catholic Needs to
Know About the Mass--A Parish Guide. Kevin McGloin.
Resource Publications, 2001. 72pp. 9780893905361.
At Mass. Jeremy Driscoll. Liturgy Training Publications,
2008. 144pp. 9781568545639
Catholic Practice, Sacraments and Traditions
Catholic and Loving It--Traditions for a New Generation.
Sabitha Narendran and Andres Salzmann. Servant Books,
2007. 178pp. 9780867168075. This book is a
good resource for younger Catholics who were not introduced to
Catholic practices, prayers and devotions and for new or
Catholic Customs and Traditions--A Popular Guide
(Revised). By Greg Dues. Twenty-Third Publications, 1993.
210pp. 0896225151. Explains the origin and meaning of popular
and traditional practices associated with the liturgical year,
the saints, sacraments and sacramentals.
Doors to the Sacred--An Introduction to Sacraments in the
(Revised). Joseph Martos. Liguori Publications, 2001. 477pp.
0764807188. One of the first, best and most comprehensive
reviews of the historical and cultural evolution of the seven
The Essential Catholic Handbook of the Sacraments.
Thomas M. Santa. Liguori, 2001. 284pp. 0764807811.
This is an inclusive and reliable introduction to the
Sacraments; recommended for readers who want one dependable
A Handbook of Catholic Sacramentals. By Ann
Ball. Our Sunday Visitor, 1991. 222pp. 0879734485. Explores the
history and meaning of many traditional Catholic sacramentals
and religious customs.
A New Look at the Sacraments.
J. Bausch. Twenty-Third Publications, 1983. 300pp. 0896221741.
Looks at how Catholic sacramental rituals have changed, and
explores sacraments as grace-filled actions rather than things.
Book of Catholic Devotions. Mike Aquilina and Rigis J.
Flaherty. Our Sunday Visitor. 2000. 266pp. 9780879734152.
includes the history of various devotions, a reflection on their importance in
Catholic life, and cautions for potential temptations or
Book of Sacramentals. Ann Ball. Our Sunday
Visitor. 2005. 335pp. 9781592760961. This introduction to
sacramentals used by Catholics includes a brief history,
explanation and suggestions for how to incorporate sacramentals
into your personal prayer life.
How to Read a Church--A Guide to Symbols and Images.
Richard Taylor. Hidden Spring/Paulist Press, 2005. 256pp.
1587680300. Explains the religious meaning of the images,
symbols and features found in traditional churches and
The Living Church--Old
Treasures, New Discoveries. Christopher M. Bellitto.
2011. 160pp. Liguori Publications. 9780764820397. Explains
the origin and development of seven core Catholic traditions and
practices from an historical perspective.
the Sacraments—Grace Into Action. Bert Ghezzi. Franciscan
Media. 2011. 9780867169935. Uses scripture, writings of the
saints, and personal stories to explain the practical and
spiritual benefits of the seven sacraments.
Now That You Are a Catholic--An Informal Guide to Catholic
Customs, Traditions and Practices (Revised). John J. Kenny. Paulist Press, 2003. 128pp.
0809141949. Includes a ‘how-to’ guide for new Catholics, an
explanation of Catholic terms, and the text of common prayers.
Symbols--A Rich Spiritual Heritage. Michael J. Daley.
Twenty-Third Publications, 2009.
9781585957538. Examines the core
symbols of Catholic faith, including symbolic persons, virtues,
and symbols of the Mass.
Rethinking Sacraments--Holy Moments in Daily Living.
Bill Huebsch. Twenty-Third Publications, 1989. 204pp.
0896223930. Huebsch uses “church basement” language to interpret
what the sacraments mean, and
how we experience them as “holy moments” in everyday life.
The Sacraments--How Catholics Pray. By
Thomas Richstatter. St. Anthony Messenger Press, 1995. 135pp.
0867161760. A good introduction to Catholic sacraments which
explains the rites, their history, and the reasons why Catholics
do what they do.
Sacraments--Rites of Passage. William J. O’Malley. Thomas More Assn., 1995. 280pp.
0883472937. Explains the sacraments in simple, meaningful
language based on readers’ lived experience.
Signs of Life--40 Catholic
Customs and Their Biblical Roots. Scott Hahn.
Doubleday Religion, 2009. 9780385519496. Hahn examines a
variety of traditional Catholic customs, explains their biblical
roots and explores how they help Catholics grow in grace.
Things Hidden--Scripture as Spirituality.
Rohr OFM. St. Anthony Messenger Press. 248pp.
9780867166590. Rohr examines the central themes of Scripture and
develops a Christian vision of abundance, grace and joy to
counteract a world filled with scarcity, judgment and fear.
Why Do Catholics Do That?
Kevin Orlin Johnson.
Ballantine Books, 1995. 304pp. 0345397266. An eclectic but
interesting presentation of various Catholic teachings, practice
Spirituality, Moral and Social Teaching
Be Blessed in What You Do--The Unity of Christian Ethics and
Michael K. Duffy. Paulist Press, 1988. 140pp. 0809129604.
This is an important book which helps bridge the gap between morality and spirituality, action
and solitude, holiness and worldliness.
Belonging to God--A Personal Training Guide for the Deeper
Catholic Spiritual Life.
Charles M. Murphy. Crossroads, 2004. 022452148X. Offers
practical advice for beginners in how to shape a spirituality
which begins with who and where we are as lay people in the real
Blessed Are the
Bored in Spirit--A Young Catholic's Search for Meaning. Mark
Hart. Servant Books, 2006. 9780867166774. This book
was written especially for younger Catholics who want to "enter
into the transforming light of your Creator, who invites you to
live from the still center of his undying love."
Breathing Under Water--Spirituality and
the Twelve Steps. Richard Rohr OFM. Franciscan Media, 2011.
9781616361570. Helps readers appreciate the secret of
12-Step spirituality, equally helpful to people with or without
acknowledged addictions or compulsive behavior.
A Catholic Perspective on the Purpose-Driven Life.
Joseph Champlin. Catholic Book Publishing, 2006. 0899421326.
This book clarifies and enhances Rick Warren’s popular insights
from a Catholic perspective.
Catholic Teaching on
Homosexuality--New Paths to Understanding. Louis J.
Cameli. Ave Maria, 2012. 192pp. 9781594712937.
Provides a deeper understanding of the Church's teaching and
offers hope and understanding to gay and lesbian Catholics who
feel alienated from the Church.
978159471Christian Spirituality--Themes from the Tradition.
Lawrence Cunningham and Keith Egan. Paulist Press, 1996. 224pp.
0809136600. A concise and accessible thematic overview of the
various ways Christians have approached God in prayer and
A Concise Guide to Catholic Social Teaching.
Kevin McKenna. Ave Maria Press, 2002. 159pp. 0877939799. A good
introduction which explains the seven significant themes
contained in Catholic Social Teaching.
Conscience--An Owner’s Manual. James Penrice. St. Pauls, 2007. 83pp. 0818912251. Examines the
role of personal conscience in moral decision-making and how to
form a reliable conscience.
Conscience in Conflict--How to Make Moral Choices
Edition). By Kenneth R. Overberg, SJ. St. Anthony Messenger
Press, 1997. 152pp. 9780867167238. Provides principles of
Catholic moral teaching in a way which helps readers make good
moral choices about personal and social issues.
and Spiritual Works of Mercy—Living Christian Love and
Compassion. Mitch Finley. Liguori Publications, 2003.
144pp. 0764808400. Presents the Spiritual and Corporal Works
of Mercy and interprets them for modern times.
Don’t Tell Me What to Do!--A Catholic Understanding of Modern
Dave Heney. Paulist Press, 2002. 176pp. 0809140748. Explains
what the Church teaches and why in the areas of sexuality,
family life, medical ethics and social justice.
The Essential Moral Handbook--A Guide to Catholic Living.
Kevin O’Neil et.al. Liguori, 2004. 313pp. 0764809229. This
is a reliable and inclusive introduction to Catholic moral
teaching; recommended for readers who want one dependable
The Essential Spirituality Handbook.
Wendy M. Wright. Liguori Publications,
288pp. 9780764817861. Provides a practical and helpful
introduction to various aspects of Catholic spirituality and
various Catholic spiritual traditions.
Finding God Again--Spirituality for Adults. John
Shea. Rowman & Littlefield, 2005. 224pp. 0742542157. Shea
writes for adults who have lost touch with spirituality because
their image of God is too narrow or unreal to make sense out of
Following Christ--How to Live a Moral Life.
Daniel L. Lowery CSsR. Liguori Publications,
192pp. 9780892438501. Includes sections on the moral
teaching of Christ and the Church, God's love for us, moral
freedom and the dignity of the moral conscience.
The Good Life--Where Morality and Spirituality Converge.
Richard M. Gula. Paulist Press, 1999. 080913859X. Explores the
complementary nature of character and duty, virtue and
principles, spirituality and ethics.
Good News About Sex and
Marriage (Revised). Christopher West. Servant
Books/Franciscan Media. 2004. 9780867166194. Answers typical
questions about Catholic teaching on human sexuality and
marriage in a fresh, appealing and convincing way.
The Holy Longing--The Search for a Christian Spirituality.
Doubleday, 1999. 272pp. 0385494181. Considered by many
critics and readers to be the absolutely best book written about
Catholic spirituality in recent years.
Jesus Today--A Spirituality of Radical Freedom.
Albert Nolan. Orbis Books, 2006. 220pp. 1570756724. At the
heart of Nolan’s book is the conviction that faith in Jesus
Christ is the answer to the complex personal and social problems
of the 21st century.
and Catholic Medical Choices. Kevin O'Neill CSsR and
Peter Black. Liguori Publications. 2011. 96pp.
9780764819537. Addresses basic
questions about making ethical medical decisions in a
Commandments As a Catholic Today. Mathew Kessler, ed.
Liguori Publications, 2009. 96pp. 9780764818493. Each chapter is
written by a noted Catholic theologian or scripture scholar and
provides a helpful explanation and questions for
Wisdom for Everyday Moral Decisions. Peter Kreeft.
Servant Books/Franciscan Media, 1990. 9780892836383.
Provides a guide to making common moral choices with wisdom,
humor and common sense "simple enough for the believers,
convincing enough for the skeptic."
Making Sense of
God--A Woman's Perspective. Elizabeth Dreyer.
St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2008. 128pp. 9780867168446.
Written particularly for women, this book examines how women
think about God, justice, love, prayer, family life and the
destiny of humanity.
The Naked Now—Learning to See As the
Mystics See. Richard Rohr OFM. The Crossroad Publishing Co.,
Rohr believes that the fundamental truths of Christianity are distorted
when they are explained or understood in strictly rational ways,
which rely on dualities which lead to division and conflict. He
says postmodern Christians must learn to see reality in the way
that ancient mystics did.
A New Look at Grace. Bill Huebsch. Twenty-Third Publications, 1988. 160pp. 0896223558.
In his unique sense-line style, Huebsch explores God's presence
(grace) in our everyday lives and provides a graphic account of
what it means to live in an incarnational world.
101 Questions and Answers on
Angels and Devils. Irene Nowell OSB. Paulist
0809164694-9. This is a good introduction
to Christian beliefs about angels, devils and demons, written by
a trusted Scripture scholar.
The Seven Storey Mountain. Thomas Merton.
Harcourt, 1999. 0156010860. Merton outlines his journey of
faith in this modern spiritual classic which is helpful to
newcomers and veterans alike.
Sacred Path--Spiritual Exercises for Today. Dan
Schutte. Twenty-Third Publications, 2009.
9781585957354. Schutte invites readers
into a more personal, living relationship with Jesus Christ in a
series of exercises based loosely on the Spiritual Exercises
of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
Whatever Happened to Sin?--The Truth About Catholic Morality.
Charles E. Bouchard. Liguori Publications, 1996. 0892438495. A
short but very practical and faithful introduction to Catholic
moral teaching and practice designed for the average reader.
Catholic Prayer and Devotions
Blessings of the Rosary--Meditations on the Mysteries. Fr.
Dennis J. Billy. Liguori Publications. 112pp.
9780764819438. Offers prayerful reflections and thoughtful
questions on each of the twenty mysteries of the Rosary, useful
for both first-time and veteran pray-ers.
A Catholic Book of Hours and Other Devotions.
G. Storey. Loyola Press, 2007. 392pp. 0829425845.
Here is a modern and flexible adaptation of the official
"Liturgy of the Hours" which includes options for praying once a
day or several times a day.
Catholic Prayer. By Lawrence S. Cunningham. Crossroad, 1989. 208pp. 0824509307. A
basic introduction to Catholic spirituality and prayer in their
The Catholic Prayer Book.
Michael J. Buckley et.al. St. Anthony Messenger Press/Servant
Books, 1986. 273pp. 0892832835. Provides a wide range of
personal, family and official prayers from the Church’s rich
Practices--A Treasury of Old and New. Colleen Griffith
and Thomas Groome. Paraclete Press, 2012. 176pp. This short book
provides concise introductions to a variety of Catholic
Way to Pray--An Essential Guide for Adults. Kathleen
Glavich SND. Twenty-Third Publications, 2009.
9781585957552. A guide for Catholics of any
age who are looking for the inspiration to deepen their prayer
Challenges in Prayer. M. Basil Pennington.
Liguori Publications, 128pp. 9780764813443. Important but
practical ideas from the Catholic tradition about the challenges
of learning to pray well, offered here by a popular spiritual master.
Encyclopedia of Catholic Devotions and Practices.
Ann Ball. Our Sunday Visitor. 720pp.
9780879739102. This is a
comprehensive guide to regional and
ethnic as well as universal Catholic devotions and practices.
The Essential Catholic Prayer Book.
Redemptorist Publications/Liguori Publications.
304pp. 9780764804885. A collection of private and community
prayers for holy days, holidays, special occasions and special
needs, drawn from a wide variety of traditional Catholic
An Everyday Book of Hours.
Storey. Liturgy Training Publications, 2001. 156854278X. A
simple approach to morning and evening prayer adapted from the
traditional “Liturgy of the Hours” (ie, "The Divine Office").
The Everyday Catholic's
Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours. Daria Sockey.
Servant Books/Franciscan Media, 2013. 9781616365288. A
practical handbook for anyone who wants to start slowly and
build a daily habit of praying the Church's "official prayer."
The New Rosary in
Scripture--Biblical Insights for Praying the 20 Mysteries.
Edward Sri. Servant Books/Franciscan Media, 2003. 9781569553848.
Addresses common questions about Mary and the Rosary and
provides biblical background for all twenty mysteries, plus the
text of Pope John Paul II's Rosarium Virginis Mariae.
to Contact God--Find the Prayer Starters That Work for You!
Marlene Halpin. Loyola Press. 304pp. 0829413656. A
collection of prayer suggestions for anyone -- beginners or
veterans -- who wants to jump-start their prayer life.
Opening to God--A Guide to Prayer (Updated). Thomas H.
Green SJ. Ave Maria, 2006. 128pp. 1594710716. This “must have”
guide explains what prayer is and describes techniques that
prepare the soul to encounter God.
Our Catholic Prayer--A Popular Guidebook. Therese
Johnson Borchard. Crossroad, 1999. 144pp. 0824516060. An
excellent introduction to the history, theology and spirituality
of Catholic prayer and devotion.
Paths to Prayer--A Field Guide to Ten Catholic
Traditions. Pat Fosarelli.
Ave Maria Press, 2009. 9781594712180. Provides an overview
of the history, characteristics and sample prayer of ten
spiritual traditions and a guide to help readers discern which
one works best for them.
Prayer--Our Deepest Longing. Ronald
Rolheiser. Franciscan Media, 2013. 9781616366575. Illustrates
the importance of prayer, offers insights on how to pray, and
addresses common issues and fears with hope and inspiration.
A Prayerbook for Catechumens. Alison Berger.
Twenty-Third Publications, 2001. 1585951471. Helpful
introduction to the Catholic prayer tradition, church seasons,
devotions and blessings.
Prayers for the Domestic Church.
Edward Hays. Forest of Peace/Ave Maria, 1989. 093951611X. A
wonderful collection of creative, unusual and moving prayers for
a wide variety of common and uncommon occasions.
Prayerfulness--Awakening to the Fullness of Life.
Robert J. Wicks. Ave Maria Press, 2009. Wicks is a popular
spiritual guide who helps readers appreciate prayer as more than
an activity, but an attitude and habit which leads to a loving
and spiritually balanced way of living.
Simple Ways to Pray--Spiritual Life in the Catholic Tradition.
Emilie Griffin. Rowman & Littlefield, 2005. 206pp. 0742550842.
Explores the different types, styles and techniques of Catholic
prayer and provides practical strategies for starting and
sustaining a prayer life.
and New--Traditional Prayers for Today's Catholics.
Philip Neri Powell OP. Liguori Publications, 2009. 144pp.
9780764818400. Offers a modern approach to traditional
prayer with user-friendly devotions and novenas designed to help
pray-ers appreciate prayer as an expression of gratitude.
With Open Hands
(New edition). Henri J.M. Nouwen. Ave Maria, 2006. 128pp.
1594710643. A classic introduction to prayer by one of the most
respected contemporary spiritual guides.
We Pray--Discovering the Richness of Traditional Catholic
Prayers. Amy Welborn. Loyola Press. 232pp. 0829419566.
Explains the meaning of nineteen traditional Catholic prayers
and explores their role in spiritual life.
Illness, Aging and Loss
Aging Faithfully--28 Days of
Prayer. Missy Buchanan. Upper Room Books, 2011.
This devotional book provides four weeks of daily reflections on
the aging in light of faith.
All My Days--A Personal Life
Review. Richard P. Johnson. Liguori
Publications, 80-pp. 9780764806438. This personal journal
helps senior adults remember and celebrate the special moments,
memories and traditions that have shaped and enriched their
Come, Healing God--Prayers During
Illness. Joan and Lou Guntzelman. Liguori
Publications, 112pp. 9780764812149. This is a collection of
prayers and reflections which address the need for spiritual and
physical healing; some ask for deliverance, others ask for
The Gift of Years--Growing Older
Gracefully. Joan Chittister. BlueBridge, 2009.
9781933346106. Sr. Joan invites readers to examine the many
dimensions of growing older, and embrace aging as a natural part
of life that can be very rewarding.
Grounded in God--A Mature
Experience of Faith. Jim and Ann Cavera. Liguori
Publications, 128pp. 9780764814082. This book of personal
reflections helps older adults focus on living life to the end,
filled with faith, hope, love and laughter.
The Losses of Our Lives--The
Sacred Gifts of Renewal in Everyday Loss. Nancy
Copeland-Payton. SkyLight Paths Publishing. 2009.
9781594732713. Helps readers find hope and renewal in the minor
losses of everyday life and see them as ways to prepare for the
major losses we experience in life.
May I Walk You Home?--Courage and
Comfort for Caregivers of the Very Ill. Stories by
Joyce Hutchison; Prayers by Joyce Rupp. Ave Maria Press.
2009. 9781594712142. This tenth anniversary edition
of a classic resource helps caregivers and loved ones find the
courage to embrace the struggles and rewards of caring for those
who are ill or dying.
Prayers for Later Years. William
Rabior. Liguori Publications. 96pp. 9780764807596.
Rabior focuses on the concerns, themes and tone of prayer that
flow from a maturing faith which emerges as we grow older.
The 12 Keys to Spiritual Vitality.
Richard P. Johnson. Liguori Publications, 192pp.
9780764802300. Helps older adults recognize the wisdom and grace
that come with aging, and discover the keys to maturing in the
way God intended.
Catholics and Scripture
Bible Basics for Catholics--A New Picture of Salvation
History. John Bergsma. Ave Maria Press. 2012. 192pp.
An overview of how Catholics understand the Bible which
connects the great stories of Scripture with salvation in
The Bible Blueprint--A Catholic's Guide to Understanding
and Embracing God's Word
The Bible Companion--A Catholic Handbook for
Beginners (2nd Edition).
Ronald D. Witherup. Crossroad Publishing Co.
9780824525477. This a an authoritative, readable and easy
to use resource, appropriate for beginners and those with some
A Catholic Guide to the Bible.
By Fr. Oscar Lukefahr. Liguori Publications, 1998. 224pp.
0764802011. A concise guide to the historical background,
author, style and meaning for each of the 73 books of the Bible.
Introduction to the Bible. Christopher Gilbert . Paulist
Press. 2009. 9780809145522. This introduction provides literary
and historical background and explores the content of both the
Old and New Testaments.
The Essential Bible Handbook--A Guide for Catholics.
Liguori, 2002. 304pp. 0764808362.
This is a reliable and inclusive introduction to the Catholic
understanding of Scripture; recommended for readers who want one
God’s Library--A Catholic Introduction to the World’s Greatest
Joe Paprocki. Loyola Press, 2005. 122pp. 082942069X. Provides a
basic overview and an approach to reading the Bible for
Catholics who don’t know where to begin.
Great Themes of
Scripture--New Testament. Richard Rohr OFM and Joseph Martos.
Franciscan Media, 1988. 9780867160987.
Great Themes of Scripture--Old Testament. Richard Rohr
OFM and Joseph Martos. Franciscan Media, 1987. 9780867160857.
An excellent overview of key themes in the two testaments, great
for those unfamiliar with the "big picture" or feeling "lost in
How Do Catholics Read the Bible?
Harrington. Rowman & Littlefield, 2005. 144pp. 0742548716. Uses
insights from biblical scholarship and personal anecdotes to
help readers engage Scripture from a “Catholic” perspective.
Book of the Bible. Karl A. Schultz. Our Sunday
Visitor. 2004. 351pp. 9781592760954.
Provides a Catholic
approach to divine inspiration and the Bible, background on
eras, events, peoples, sections, books, and passages of the
Bible, and step-by-step guidelines on reading, meditating,
praying, contemplating, and applying the Bible.
If I'm Christian, Why Be A Catholic?--The Biblical Roots of
By James E. Hanson, C.S.C. Paulist Press, 1984. 232pp.
0809126338. Shows how both the Bible provides a foundation for
Catholic beliefs and shapes a Catholic’s everyday life.
Matthew, Mark, Luke and You--Unraveling the Gospels.
William J. O’Malley. Thomas More/Ave Maria, 1996. 263pp.
0883472864. Demonstrates how to let these Gospels say what they
want to say, not what others think they say.
People of the Covenant--An Invitation to the Old Testament.
Dianne Bergant. Sheed & Ward, 2001. 216pp. 1580510906. An
introduction to the First Testament which explores the text
through the eyes of the people who populate it.
The Seeker’s Guide to Reading the Bible.
Steve Mueller. Loyola Press, 1999. 237pp. 0829413456. An
excellent introduction to how Catholics understand and use the
Hidden--Scripture as Spirituality. Richard Rohr. St.
Anthony Messenger Press, 2008. 238pp.
Rohr examines the central themes of the Bible and how these
themes challenge believers to change their lives.
A Walk Through the New Testament—An Introduction for
Catholics. Margaret Nutting Ralph. Paulist Press, 2009.
9780809145829. This guide is designed as a companion for
Catholics who want to understand the context of the New
Testament stories and what they teach us about our relationship
Who Is Jesus? Why Is He Important?--An Invitation to the New
Daniel Harrington. Sheed & Ward, 2000. 212pp. 1580510531. A
step-by-step guide through the entire Second Testament, focusing
on the basic message: Who Is Jesus?
American and Catholic--A Popular History of Catholicism in the
By Clyde F. Crews. St. Anthony Messenger, 1995. 181pp.
0867165537. Presents its strengths, diversity and weaknesses of
the Church in America.
The Catholic Church--A Brief History. By
Alfred Lapple. Paulist Press, 1985. 109 pp. 0809195674. A
short, simple but very useful and reliable overview of Catholic Church
The Catholic Heritage. By Lawrence Cunningham. Wipf & Stock Publishers. 2002. 236pp.
1579108970. Examines how the Catholic tradition has been
embodied and experienced through the years; shows how the
Catholic tradition is a history of continuity and change.
Emerging from Vatican II. By Dennis M. Doyle.
Twenty-Third Publications, 1992. 0896225077. This is an
excellent overview of how and why the Catholic church has
changed since the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s.
Encyclopedia of American Catholic History. Michael
Glazier and Thomas Shelley, eds. The Liturgical Press.
7189780814659199. This is a comprehensive guide to the
Church in the U.S., with over 1,200 articles and 300
Encyclopedia of Catholic History
(Revised). Matthew E. Bunson. Our
Sunday Visitor, 2004.9781592760268.
This is a critically acclaimed and bestselling
resource which includes over 2,750 entries.
A Concise History of the Catholic Church
(Revised). Thomas Bokenkotter. Image Books, 2005. 624pp.
0385516134. A bestselling and definitive resource for scholars,
students and general readers.
Key Moments in Church History--A Concise Guide to the Catholic
Mitch Finley. Rowman & Littlefield, 2005. 208pp. 0742550737.
Examines the origin, development and future of the Catholic
Church through eleven significant historical periods.
People of God--the History of Catholic Christianity.
Anthony E. Gilles. St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2000. 251pp.
9780867163631. Helps readers put Church history into
perspective with the times and cultures in which it developed.
Christianity--A History of Church Reform from Day One to Vatican
By Christopher M. Bellitto. Paulist Press, 2001.
0809140284. Bellitto explains how the Church has adapted
to changing times without betraying its fundamental principles.
Retrospect--The Origins of Catholic Belief and Practices.
By John Deedy. Thomas More Press, 1991. 346pp. 0883472600.
Explains the origin and historical development of many aspects
of the Catholic tradition.
Story of the Church--Peak Moments from Pentecost to the Year
McBride. St. Anthony Messenger, 1996. 196pp. Uses mini-dramas,
interviews, diaries and dialogues to present church history from
a personal perspective.
This Is Our Church--A History of Catholicism.
Michael Pennock. Ave Maria. 360pp. 9781594710759.
An in-depth, chronological approach to the Church which reveals
the historical experiences which have shaped Catholic identity.
Turning Points--Unlocking the Treasures of the Church.
James Philipps. Twenty-Third Publications, 2007. 128pp.
158595577-9. This overview of church history explains how
the Catholic Church has grown and changed over the years.
the Church—How Catholicism Shapes Our World. Mike Aquilina.
Servant Books/Franciscan Media. 2013. 9781616364342. Explains
the key role the Catholic faith has played in shaping culture,
history and society, transforming the western world.
Catholic Seekers, Inactive and Recovering Catholics
Unlikely Catechism--Some Challenges for the Creedless Catholic.
William Reiser SJ. Paulist Press, 1985. 0809127067. This
book was written for those who are not sure if they believe,
what they believe or what beliefs are really central to their
Could You Ever
Come Back to the Catholic Church?
Duquin. St. Pauls, 1994. 0818907894. This is a balanced
presentation of where the Church is at these days, and what
you’re getting into if you decide to reconnect.
The Dysfunctional Church--Addiction and
Codependency in the Family of Catholicism. Michael H.
Crosby. Ave Maria Press, 1991. 087793455X
Interrupted--An Honest Conversation with Alienated Catholics.
Alice Camille and Joel Schorn. Loyola Press, 2004.
082941682X. This is an invitation to healing and hope for
those who are struggling with their faith, whether they intend
to remain Catholic or not.
Faith Rediscovered--Coming Home to Catholicism.
Cunningham. Paulist Press, 1988. 080912923X. Written
especially for inactive Catholics, but helpful for anyone who
wonders how or why faith can make a difference in people’s
I Like Being Catholic--Treasured Traditions, Rituals and
Michael Leach and Therese Borchard, eds. Image, 2005. 176pp.
0385508069. A collection of personal essays, prayers,
quotations and stories by a wide variety of Catholics who like
being Catholic and wouldn’t think of being anything else.
It’s My Church
and I’ll Stay if I Want To.
Lonni Collins Pratt. Liguori/Triumph, 2003. 0764810960.
Examines how the author’s decided to take personal
responsibility for her faith and resume active participation in
Catholics--What to Do When Religion Comes Between You and God.
Larsen. Harpercollins. 1992. 0060649550.
to Your Catholic Faith--An Invitation.
Sally L. Mews. Liguori, 2003. 0764810995. Addresses the fears,
hurts and guilt many inactive Catholics feel and provides
practical tips on how to reconnect if you’re ready.
Home!--Stories of Fallen-Away Catholics Who Came Back.
Terry Barber. Ignatius Press, 2000. 0898707927. Eleven
personal, unique and moving accounts of Catholics who left and
later returned to the Catholic faith.
While You Were
Gone--A Handbook for Returning Catholics and Those Thinking
Bausch. Twenty-Third Publications, 1994. 0896225755. Examines
questions and concerns of special interest to returning
Why I Am
Still a Catholic. Kevin Ryan, ed. Riverhead, 1998.
1573226777. The essays in this book were written
especially for young adults by individual Catholics -- some
famous, some not.
Why Stay Catholic?--Unepected Answers to a
Life-Changing Question. Michael Leach. Loyola Press,
2011. 9780829435375. Leach explores the beauty and truth
at the heart of the Catholic faith which he believes are a
healing antidote to faltering a faith and a wounded Church.
Annulment--Do You Have a Case?
(Revised). Terence E. Tierney. Alba House, 1993. 142pp.
Annulment--How the Church Can Declare a Marriage Null. Michael
Smith Foster. Paulist Press, 1999. 205pp. 0809138441.
Explains the concepts and procedures
surrounding annulment and the mechanics of canon law. Using
clear, simple language and dozens of concrete examples.
Annulment—100 Questions and Answers for Catholics. Pete
Vere and Jacqui Rapp. Franciscan Media. 2009. 9780867168730.
This resource is written by two canon lawyers who translate
legal jargon into everyday language and offer a guide to the
annulment process which is helpful for divorced individuals,
their family and friends.
Annulment--Your Chance to Remarry Within the Catholic Church.
Joseph P. Zwack. HarperSanFrancisco, 1983. 144pp. 006250990X.
Annulment--A Step-by-Step Guide for Divorced Catholics.
Ronald T. Smith. ACTA Publications, 1997. 128pp. 0879461276.
Explains what a person needs to do and say in
order to obtain an annulment and remarry in the Catholic Church;
offers suggestions about healing the hurts of divorce and moving
Annulment: Spiritual Healing.
Liguori Publications, 96pp. 9780764808838.
Addresses a variety of basic mental, emotional, and spiritual
factors in the process of healing the pain of divorce and broken
Divorce. Sean Wales. Liguori Publications. 47pp.
Experiencing Divorce--Grieving, Healing and Learning to Live
Again. Vicki Wells Bedard and William E. Rabior.
Liguori Publications. 69pp. 9780764811579. Offers practical
advice on starting over, including resources for education,
career guidance, housing, counseling, and helpful online
Marriage and Divorce--Real People, Real Questions. Victoria
Vondenberger. St. Anthony Messenger Press. 136pp. 9780867165142.
Wholeness: Dealing with Anger, Learning to
Forgive, Building Self-Esteem.
Loughlan Sofield, Carroll Juliano, and Rosine Hammett. Ave Maria
The authors present a
model for understanding and dealing with anger, a discussion of
forgiveness, and a model for increasing self-esteem.
Joy : Moving Beyond Fear, Loss, and Trauma in Recovery.
Earnie Larsen. Hazeldon. 150pp.
In one sense we are all living in "recovery;" Larsen
explores ways we can achieve greater love, acceptance and
belonging by sharing stories of recovering people and the
various paths they have taken.
Dilemma of Divorced Catholics--Where
Do You Stand with the Church?
Alba House. 82pp.
9780818907760 Spells out
clearly, concisely and faithfully what the Church really has to
say about divorce and remarriage.
It Dating Guide (For People In Recovery).
Mary Faulkner. Hazeldon. 150pp.
This is a helpful guide for any adult who wonders what "normal"
dating looks like or has questions about when to date, what
commitment and intimacy mean, the impact of children, divorce or
abuse on dating.
Forgiveness: A Catholic's Guide to Letting Go of
Anger and Welcoming Reconciliation.
Loughlan Sofield, Carroll Juliano and Gregory Aymond. Ave
Combines personal narrative, spiritual guidance, and practical
suggestions which help readers take the first steps in the
process of forgiving.
Fifty Ways to Love Your
Leaver--Getting On with Your Life. Dwight Webb. Impact
Offers hope and encouragement to those in deep despair; Webb
combines professional expertise with personal expereince to
provide practical exercises, "how-to" procedures and expert
Finding Your Way
Through Divorce. Kathy Brewer Gorham. Ave Maria
Press. 128pp. 9780877936947.
Offers a Christian guide through
the myriad of emotions and difficulties that surround any
divorce; each chapter focuses on a different emotion and offers
scripture passages, personal accounts, questions for
self-discovery, and a prayer.
From Anger to Forgiveness--A Practical Guide
to Breaking the Negative Power of Anger and Achieving
Earnie Larsen. Ballantine Books. 208pp.
Getting Up, Getting Over, Getting On--A Twelve Step Guide to
Micki McWade, MSW.
Adapts the best techniques,
information, and life lessons of long established recovery
programs to provide a concise and comprehensive pathway to a
fulfilling life after divorce.
Growing in Faith When a
Catholic Marriage Fails. Antoinette Bosco.
Resurrection Press. 125pp. 9781933066042. Ms. Bosco uses
her own experience and the experience of other divorced
Catholics to offer encouragement, hope and factual information
for divorced Catholics.
The Healers Way--Bringing Hands-On Compassion to a Love-Starved
World. Earnie Larsen and Carol Larsen Hegarty.
Conari Press. 1573243094.
Healing After Divorce--Hope
for Catholics. Susan K. Rowland. Franciscan Media,
2010. 9780867169805, Offers practical advice for taking care of
oneself, telling others, finding balance, grieving, forgiving,
and building a foundation for the future.
Healing from Divorce--28
Days of Prayer. Mary Lou Redding. Upper Room
Books, 2014. 72pp. 9780835813150. This devotional book provides
four weeks of reflections for individuals anticipating divorce,
in the process of divorcing, or who are divorced.
Healing the Wounds of Divorce--A Spiritual Guide to Recovery.
Barbara Leahy Shlemon. Ave Maria Press. 136pp.
Addresses practical issues such as children, finances, and
relatives and spiritual concerns such as fear, guilt, and
forgiveness; includes prayers which invite readers to surrender
their sorrow to God.
How to Love
Again--Moving from Grief to Growth. John Monbourquette.
Twenty-Third Publications. 176pp.
Guides readers through the stages of a healing
process which leads to a renewed ability to live and love again.
The Joy of You--Your Life After
Divorce. William E. Rabior. Liguori
Publications, 2009. 80pp. 9780764818530. Helps divorced
persons cope with the sense of loss, loneliness, mistrust and
failure that follow a divorce by focusing on hope in the future.
Life After the
Divorce--Practical Advice for Starting Over. Medard
Laz. Liguori Publications. 69 pp.
This practical guide helps readers work through the grief,
defuse anger, forgive, let God help and talk things out in the
aftermath of a painful divorce.
Marriage, Divorce and Nullity--A Guide to the Annulment Process
in the Catholic Church.
Geoffrey Robinson. Liturgical Press, 1987. 96pp. 0814615708.
Depressive Living Syndrome: How to Enjoy
Life, Not Just Endure It.
Earnie Larsen. Liguori Publications. 189pp.
Helps readers understand depressive living
syndrome and gives them practical, repeatable and clear tools to
Prayers for Catholics
Experiencing Divorce. Vicki Wells Bedard and William
E. Rabior. Liguori Publications. 9780764811562. Offers 44
prayers to help divorcing Catholics heal the hurt by
rediscovering themselves and their self-worth.
Praying Through Your
Divorce. Karen O'Donnell. St. Anthony Messenger Press. 96pp.
O'Donnell challenges readers to embrace the struggles and joys
of building a new life by building a new relationship with the
One who will never leave.
Rebuilding When Your
Relationship Ends (Third Edition). Bruce Fisher and Robert
Alberti. Impact Publishers. 290pp.
This is one of the most popular and successful recovery
processes, based on more than two decades of research,
experience and feedback from hundreds of thousands of divorced
men and women.
Returned to Peace--The
Spiritual Benefits of Annulment.
Tom Marciani. The authors explain their journey
through the annulment process and the significant things they
learned that helped them be better Catholics, better people, and
Seeking an Annulment with the Help of Your Catholic Faith.
Lorene Hanley Duquin. Our Sunday Visitor. 64pp.
9781592762620. This short, simple guide leads
readers through each stage of the annulment process.
II Relationships: Love Beyond Addiction.
Earnie Larsen. HarperOne.
Larsen offers clear and practical techniques for individuals,
couples and families who are striving to bring health and
vitality to their relationships.
Undoing the "I Do"--The
Sacrament of Marriage and the Annulment Process.
Ida Iris Miranda. Resource Publications, 2009. 96 pp.
0-89390-550-X. Explains the history and theology of marriage
and annulments in an easy to understand language which is both
informative and comforting to anyone who is examining the
possibility of an annulment.
Unraveling: Hanging On to
Faith Trhough the End of a Christian Marriage. Elisabeth
K. Corcoran. Abingdon Press, 2013.
240pp. 9781426770272. Based on her personal experience,
the author walks readers through the varied emotions of being
newly single in a collection of vulnerable and hopeful essays
which address some of the most common struggles of divorce such
as anger, faith, guilt and loneliness.
Unwilling Celibates--A Spirituality for Single Adults.
Jean Sheridan. Twenty-Third Publications. 240pp. Examines the
state of adult Catholics who are single because of separation or
divorce and offers a spirituality based on their life situation
and challenges them to come to terms with it.
When the Trust
Breaks--Healing Psychological, Spiritual and Emotional
Wounds. James Greteman. C.S.C. Paulist Press. 84pp.
Provides a unique process for self-affirmation and healing based
on relaxation, breathing and imaging techniques rooted in
developing an image of a loving God, by the author of
Long-Term Marriage Ends--A Workbook for Divorced Women.
Elaine Newell. Resource Publications. 136pp.
Gay and Lesbian Catholics
Bulletproof Faith—A Spiritual Survival Guide for
Gay and Lesbian Christians.
Candance Chellew-Hodge. Jossey-Bass, 2008. 192pp. 9780470279281
Catholic Teaching on
Homosexuality--New Paths to Understanding. Rev. Louis Cameli. Ave Maria Press,
2012. 9781594712937. Fr. Cameli addresses issues of many
who feel alienated from the Church by their sexual orientation,
including whether a same-sex orientation is a blessing or a
curse and whether it leads to or away from God.
The Courage to Be Chaste.
Fr. Benedict Groeschel. Paulist Press, 1985. 132pp.
Faith Beyond Resentment: Fragments Catholic and
James Alison. Crossroad. 2001. 0824519221.
Homosexuality: Catholic Teaching and Pastoral
Gerald D. Coleman. Paulist Press, 1996. 224pp. 9780809136056
Homosexuality and the Catholic Church. Fr. John F. Harvey, O.S.F.S. Ascension Press. 2007.
What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality. Fr. Daniel Helminiak. Alamo Square Distributors, 2000.
With Listening Hearts: Understanding the Voices of Lesbian and
Peter J. Liuzzi. Paulist Press, 2001. 144pp. 9780809139835
The Word Is Out—Daily
Reflections on the Bible for Lesbians and Gay Men. Chris
Glaser. Westminister/John Knox. 1999.
Current Issues In the Catholic Church
Brave New Church--From Turmoil to Trust. William
J. Bausch. Twenty-Third Publications, 2001. 299pp. 1585951358.
Examines twelve challenges facing the Catholic Church in the
wake of the sex abuse scandal.
Breaking Trust--A Priest Looks at the Scandal of Sexual Abuse.
William J. Bausch. Twenty-Third Publications, 2002. 112pp.
1585952346. Bausch is a pastor and writer with a reputation for
being honest and insightful in his analysis of issues
confronting the church.
Catholicism at the Crossroads--How the Laity Can Save the
Paul Lakeland. Continuum, 2007. 164pp.
082642810X. Explores the emerging role of lay persons in
the Catholic Church and suggests ten steps toward "a more adult
Catholicism in Motion--The Church in American Society.
James D. Davidson. Liguori, 2006. 224pp. 0764813455. Examines
current beliefs and practices and a variety of challenges facing
Catholics in Crisis?--The Church Confronts Contemporary
William J. Bausch. Twenty-Third Publications, 1999. 229pp.
0896229653. An older book which pre-dates the sexual abuse
scandal but looks at a variety of issues which confront the
church in today’s world.
The Coming Catholic Church--How the Faithful Are Shaping a New
David Gibson. HarperSanFrancisco, 2004. 384pp. 0060587202.
Controversial “state of the union” for the Church which
documents a breakdown in trust in the Church’s leadership.
Excellent Catholic Parishes--Guide to the Best Places and
Paul Wilkes. Paulist Press, 2001. 255pp. 0809139928. Wilkes
visited hundreds of Catholic parishes across the country to find
out what makes a good parish and reveals the results in this book.
Save the Catholic Church. Andrew M. Greeley and Mary
Greeley Durkin. Viking, 1984. 258pp. 0670384755. In
Greeley's typical acerbic style, he and his sister argue that
the future of Catholicism depends upon re-capturing a sense of
the "Catholic Imagination."
The Liberation of the Laity--In Search of An Accountable Church.
Paul Lakeland. Continuum, 2004. 311pp. 0826416365. A timely but
somewhat academic book about the emerging role of lay people and
how they will shape the future Church.
A People Adrift--The Crisis of the Roman Catholic Church in
Peter Steinfels. Simon and Schuster, 2004. 448pp. 0743261445.
Claims the Church in America, “on the verge of either a
irreversible decline or thorough transformation.”
The Rule of Benedict--Pope Benedict XVI and His Battle with the
David Gibson. HarperSanFrancisco, 2006. 384pp. 0060858419.
Gibson, who worked for Vatican Radio, presents a portrait of
the current pope who the author believes has a deep-seated distrust of the
Sacred Silence--Denial and the Crisis in the Church.
Donald Cozzens. Liturgical Press, 2002. 208pp. 081462779X.
Examines dynamics within the Church which create a climate of
denial and silence in the face of major problems like the sex
Tomorrow's Catholics, Yesterday's Church--The Two Cultures of
By Eugene Kennedy. HarperCollins, 1988. 208pp. 0060159804.
Although dated, Kennedy’s book explains the fundamental
historical and theological factors which still divide the church
View from the Altar: Reflections on the Rapidly Changing
Howard Bleichner. Crossroad, 2004. 224pp. 0824521412. Views
the changes in the Catholic priesthood over the past 30 years
and provides a fascinating glimpse into the real world of the
Catholic Magazines and Newsletters
$17.00/year. 106 W. 56th St., New York NY 10019.
Catholic Heritage. (bimonthly) $ 12/year. 200 Noll Plaza, Huntington IN 46750.
Catholic Trends. (biweekly) $32.00/year. 3211 4th St. NE, Washington DC 20017.
Catholic Update. (monthly) $8.00/year. 1615 Republic St., Cincinnati OH 45210.
The Catholic World.
(bimonthly) $12.00/year. 997 Macarthur Blvd., Mahwah NJ 07430
(biweekly) $36.00/year. 15 Dutch St., New York NY 10038
(monthly) $15.00/year. 1 Liguori Drive, Liguori MO 63057-9999.
National Catholic Reporter. (weekly) $29.75/year. P.O. Box 419281, Kansas City MO 64141.
Our Sunday Visitor. (weekly) $17.97/year. 200 Noll Plaza, Huntington IN 46750.
St. Anthony Messenger. (monthly) $14.00/year. 1615 Republic St., Cincinnati OH 45210.
(monthly) $14.00/year. 205 W. Monroe St., Chicago IL 60606.
The Witness (weekly) $18.00/year. P.O. Box 917, Dubuque IA 52004.
Catholic Book Clubs
Catholic Book Club/America
Catholic Family Book Book Club/Paulist Press
Spiritual Book Associates/Ave
Book Club/Claretian Publications
Bibliography Compiled by Dave Cushing
Posted 03.07 • Last Update 12.12.13