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Basic Catholic References
Living with Faith
Introduction to the Catholic Faith
What It Means to Be Catholic

The Mass
Catholic Practice, Sacraments and Tradition
Catholic Spirituality, Moral and Social Teaching
Catholic Prayer and Devotions
Living with Illness, Aging and Loss
Catholics and Scripture
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Bibliography of Adult Faith Resources in Print

The following 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 here are 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 or endorsement of the content or author by the pastors or staff of the Waterloo parishes.

Basic Catholic References

Catechism of the Catholic Church (2nd Edition). 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.

The Catholic 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 concordance.

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 Dictionary (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 /Volume I (Revised). Austin Flannery, ed. Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1991. 0918344158. Official texts of the documents issues by Vatican Council II.

A Concise Guide to the Documents of Vatican II.  Edward P. Hahnenberg.  St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2007.  178pp. 9780867165524.  Provides a clear and concise overview of the Council's sixteen documents, their background, language, context and significance in the life of the church.

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 Lives. 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.

Beyond Naive Belief--The Bible and Adult Catholic Faith. Paul E. 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 thinking.

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.

Christ Is Alive! 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.  John 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 life.

Eyes That See, Ears That Hear--Perceiving Jesus in a Postmodern Context. 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.”

Faith in 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 institutional religion.

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.

God and the New Atheism--A Critical Response to Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens.  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 written for ‘people who know how to think.’

The God Questions--What Forms and Shapes Us.  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.

Help My Unbelief.  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 God.

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 changed.

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.

Losing Your Religion, Finding Your Faith.  Fr. Brett Hoover. Paulist Press, 1998. 160pp.  0809137828.  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.

Practicing Our Faith--A Way of Life for a Searching People 2nd ed.. Dorothy C. Bass ed. Jossey-Bass, 2010. 304pp. 978-0470484111. Explores how to make faith meaningful in everyday life by practicing hospitality, simplicity, community and other habits which enrich our lives and the lives of others.

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 Books.

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 Millennium (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 Believe.  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 Catholic Faith

The following are shorter, one-volume resources which provide an overview of what Catholics believe, what Catholics do and how Catholics pray.

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 explains Catholic approaches to Scripture and Tradition, the sacraments, and spiritual practices.

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. 189pp. 156955174X.

The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth.  Brian Singer-Towns. St. Mary's Press, 2004. 0884897672.

Catholic Quick View--Beliefs, Definitions, Prayers, Practices.  Brian Singer-Towns.  St. Mary's Press, 2005.  0884899020

The Catholic Sourcebook (fourth edition).  Peter Klein. Harcourt Religion Publishers, 2006.  0159018838

Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2006. 1574557203.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Catholicism.  Bob O’Gorman and Mary Faulkner. Alpha, 2003.  448pp. 1592570852.

The Essential Catholic Handbook--A Summary of Beliefs, Practices and Prayers (Revised). Liguori Publications, 2004. 0764812890.

Essentials 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.

Handbook for 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. 9781592760954.
--How-to Book of Catholic Devotions. Mike Aquilina et.al. 9781592734195.
--How-to Book of the Mass. Michael Dubruiel. 9781592762699.
--How-to Book of Sacramentals. Ann Ball. 9781592760961. 

Liguori's 101 Series.  Liguori Publications. 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. 9780764819859.
-- 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 information.
-- 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.

Why Do 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.

What It Means to Be Catholic

The following provide a more detailed examination of what Catholics, how Catholics behave, and what makes Catholics different.

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 everyday life.
-- Finding My Way in a Grace-Filled World. William L. Droel.  
-- Living in Ordinary Time. Maryellen O’Brien. 0879462868.

The Spiritual Apprenticeship of a Curious Catholic. Jerry Hurtubise. 

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 faith. 

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 Catholic/Christian.

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. Andrew Greeley. 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.

Catholicism (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 (Revised). 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 Church.

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.”

A Faith That Frees--Catholic Matters for the 21st Century. Richard 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.

40 Catholic Customs and Their Biblical Roots.  Scott Hahn.  Doubleday, 2009. 288pp. 9780385519496.  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 other holidays.

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 Out. 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 Heart of Catholicism--Practicing the Everyday Habits That Shape Us. Bert Ghezzi. Ave Maria Press, 2014. 192pp. 978-1594714405

The Mystery of Faith--An Introduction to Catholicism. Michael Himes.  St. Anthony Messenger, 2004. 120pp. 9780867165791. 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 Catechism.
-- 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 they believe.

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.

This Is Our Faith--An Introduction to Catholicism. Thomas P. Rausch SJ. Paulist Press. 224 pp. 2014. 9780809148936.  A basic introduction to Christian faith and the Catholic Church, based on the Apostles Creed and an analysis of the Church's role in the modern world.

Vatican II Today--Calling Catholics to Holiness and Service.  Judy 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 Catholic 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.

Why Be 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.

The Works 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 Catholic.

The Mass

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.

Consuming the Word--The New Testament and the Eucharist in the Early Church.  Scott Hahn. Image Books. 2014. 9780307590817. This book examines some of Christianity's most basic terms to discover what they meant to the sacred authors and explains why it is Catholics do what Catholics do.

How We 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. 9781592762699.  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 Revelation.

Liturgy 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.  Paul Bernier.  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 more fully.

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.

What Happens 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 prospective Catholics.

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 Catholic Church (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 Catholic sacraments.

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 resource.

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. William 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.

The How-to Book of Catholic Devotions.  Mike Aquilina and Rigis J. Flaherty.  Our Sunday Visitor. 2000. 266pp. 9780879734152. This guide includes the history of various devotions, a reflection on their importance in Catholic life, and cautions for potential temptations or distractions.

The How-to 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 cathedrals.

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.

Living 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.

Our Catholic 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.  Richard 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 and customs.

Catholic Spirituality, Moral and Social Teaching

Be Blessed in What You Do--The Unity of Christian Ethics and Spirituality. 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 world.

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 practice.

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 (Third 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.

Corporal 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 Moral Issues. 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 resource.

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 everyday experience.

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. Ronald Rolheiser. Doubleday, 1999. 272pp. 0385494181.  Considered by many critics and readers to be the absolutely best book written about Catholic spirituality in recent years.

The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life. James Martin SJ. HarperOne. 978-0061432699.

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.

Life, Death 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 question-and-answer format.

Living the Ten 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 self-reflection.

Making Choices--Practical 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., 2009. 192pp. 9780824525439.  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 Press, 2011.  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.

Signs--Seven Words of Hope. Jean Vanier. Paulist Press, 2014. 104pp. 9780809148721. Vanier, the founder of l'Arche, xplains the seven paths of personal and communal transformation essential for spiritual growth.

Walking the 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.  William 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 historical context.

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 tradition.

Catholic Spiritual 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 spiritual practices.

The 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 life.

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 sources.

An Everyday Book of Hours. William 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.

189 Ways 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.

Treasures Old 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.

The Words 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.

Living with Illness, Aging and Loss

Aging Faithfully--28 Days of Prayer.  Missy Buchanan. Upper Room Books, 2011. 72pp. 9780835810630.  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 lives.

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 acceptance.

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.  9781594712913.  An overview of how Catholics understand the Bible which connects the great stories of Scripture with salvation in Jesus Christ.

The Bible Blueprint--A Catholic's Guide to Understanding and Embracing God's Word. By Joe Paprocki. Loyola Press. 144pp. 978-0-8294-2898-8

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 previous understanding.

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.

Complete 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 dependable resource.

God’s Library--A Catholic Introduction to the World’s Greatest Book.  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 the forest."

How Do Catholics Read the Bible? Daniel Harrington. Rowman & Littlefield, 2005. 144pp.  0742548716. Uses insights from biblical scholarship and personal anecdotes to help readers engage Scripture from a “Catholic” perspective.

The How-to 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 Catholic Faith.  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 bible.

Things Hidden--Scripture as Spirituality.  Richard Rohr. St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2008. 238pp. 0867166592.  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 to God.

Who Is Jesus? Why Is He Important?--An Invitation to the New Testament. 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?

Historical Development

American and Catholic--A Popular History of Catholicism in the United States. 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 history.

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.

The Church 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 photographs.

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 Church. 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.

Renewing Christianity--A History of Church Reform from Day One to Vatican II.  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 2000.  Alfred 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.

Yours Is 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

An 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 daily lives.

Could You Ever Come Back to the Catholic Church? Lorene Hanley 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

A Faith 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.  Lawrence 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 lives.

I Like Being Catholic--Treasured Traditions, Rituals and Stories. 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 the Church.

Recovering Catholics--What to Do When Religion Comes Between You and God.  Earnie Larsen.  Harpercollins. 1992. 0060649550.

Returning Home 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.

Welcome 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 About It.  William Bausch. Twenty-Third Publications,  1994. 0896225755.   Examines questions and concerns of special interest to returning Catholics.

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.

Divorce and Annulments

Annulment--Do You Have a Case? (Revised). Terence E. Tierney. Alba House, 1993. 142pp.  0818906677.

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 forward.

Catholic Annulment: Spiritual Healing.  Dennis and Kay Flowers.  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 relationships.

Catholics and Divorce.  Sean Wales.  Liguori Publications. 47pp. 9780764815089.

Catholics 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 information.

Catholics, Marriage and Divorce--Real People, Real Questions.  Victoria Vondenberger. St. Anthony Messenger Press. 136pp. 9780867165142.

Design for Wholeness: Dealing with Anger, Learning to Forgive, Building Self-Esteem.  Loughlan Sofield, Carroll Juliano, and Rosine Hammett. Ave Maria Press. 152pp. 9780877934301 The authors present a model for understanding and dealing with anger, a discussion of forgiveness, and a model for increasing self-esteem.

Destination Joy : Moving Beyond Fear, Loss, and Trauma in Recovery. Earnie Larsen. Hazeldon. 150pp. 9781592850372 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.

The Dilemma of Divorced Catholics--Where Do You Stand with the Church?  John T. Catoir, JCD.  Alba House. 82pp. 9780818907760 Spells out clearly, concisely and faithfully what the Church really has to say about divorce and remarriage.

Easy Does It Dating Guide (For People In Recovery). Mary Faulkner. Hazeldon. 150pp. 9781592851003.  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.

Facing Forgiveness: A Catholic's Guide to Letting Go of Anger and Welcoming Reconciliation.  Loughlan Sofield, Carroll Juliano and Gregory Aymond.  Ave Maria Press. 9781594711220.  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 Publishers. 176pp. 9781886230224. 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 guidance.

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 Reconciliation.  Earnie Larsen. Ballantine Books. 208pp. 9780345379825

Getting Up, Getting Over, Getting On--A Twelve Step Guide to Divorce Recovery.  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. 9780877934837. 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. 9781585951659 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. 9780764801914.  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.

Overcoming Depressive Living Syndrome: How to Enjoy Life, Not Just Endure It. Earnie Larsen. Liguori Publications. 189pp.  9780892438686.  Helps readers understand depressive living syndrome and gives them practical, repeatable and clear tools to change.

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. 9780867164947. 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. 9781886230699.  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.  Desirée and 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 better spouses.

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.

Stage II Relationships: Love Beyond Addiction. Earnie Larsen. HarperOne. 9780062548085. 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.

The 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. 9780809141494.  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 Divorce and Beyond.

When Your Long-Term Marriage Ends--A Workbook for Divorced Women. Elaine Newell. Resource Publications. 136pp. 9780893902919.

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. 978-0809127054.

Faith Beyond Resentment: Fragments Catholic and Gay. James Alison. Crossroad. 2001. 0824519221.

Homosexuality: Catholic Teaching and Pastoral Practice. Gerald D. Coleman. Paulist Press, 1996. 224pp. 9780809136056

Homosexuality and the Catholic Church.  Fr. John F. Harvey, O.S.F.S. Ascension Press. 2007. 9781932927627.

What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality.  Fr. Daniel Helminiak. Alamo Square Distributors, 2000. 152pp. 9781886360099

With Listening Hearts: Understanding the Voices of Lesbian and Gay Catholics. 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. 9780664258207

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 Church.  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 church."

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 American Catholics.

Catholics in Crisis?--The Church Confronts Contemporary Challenges. 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 American Catholicism. 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 Practices.  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.

How to 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 America. 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 Modern World. 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 modern world.

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 abuse crisis.

Tomorrow's Catholics, Yesterday's Church--The Two Cultures of American Catholicism. By Eugene Kennedy. HarperCollins, 1988.  208pp. 0060159804.  Although dated, Kennedy’s book explains the fundamental historical and theological factors which still divide the church today.

View from the Altar: Reflections on the Rapidly Changing Catholic Priesthood. 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 ordained priest.

Catholic Magazines and Newsletters

America.  (monthly) $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

Commonweal. (biweekly) $36.00/year. 15 Dutch St., New York NY  10038

Liguorian. (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.

U.S. Catholic. (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  (live links)

Catholic Book Club/America Press

Catholic Family Book Book Club/Paulist Press

Spiritual Book Associates/Ave Maria Press

U.S. Catholic Book Club/Claretian Publications


Bibliography Compiled by Dave Cushing

Posted 03.07 • Last Update 09.08.14

The Catholic parishes in Waterloo are committed to providing life-long faith formation and spiritual growth for adults of all ages. We value individual life experience, respect the diversity of personal convictions, and welcome the wisdom of every participant. We encourage conversation and dialogue. We will never intentionally embarrass or offend participants.

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