Book Recommendations for Potential Catholics
Adults enter into the Catholic Church every year for a whole host of reasons. Some look into this 2,000 year old Church because of the witness of a Catholic Christian in their life, or because their Catholic fiancé has sparked their curiosity, or because they have heard that this Church is the one founded by Christ. While these may be the most common examples I encounter, there are many others.
Whether out of curiosity or focused interest, considering the Catholic Church can seem difficult. The Church was first called “catholic” by the bishop of Antioch (St. Ignatius) and decades prior “in Antioch the disciples were for the first time called Christians” (Acts 11:26). Prior to the use of words like “Christian” and “Catholic”, it was simply called “the Way” (Acts 9:2). This is because following Jesus—who is “the way, and the truth and the life” (Jn 14:6)—is a way of life, a way of thinking, a way of being. There is nothing as life consuming and encompassing as deciding to live for and in Jesus who is the “way.” The fullness of this “way” is found in the Catholic Church.
People often ask, “What Catholic books or materials would you recommend?” While the way of Christ in the Church is not easily reduced to knowledge to be read, books and media can often help one to become more familiar and comfortable with the Church. As part of our Evangelium Institute’s Recommendations series, we want to offer our recommendations to assist you in your journey.
Book Recommendations for Potential Catholics:
Deacon Omar Gutiérrez
Apologia Pro Vita Sua by St. John Henry Newman is a book (also on Audible!) that details Newman’s own faith journey as a youth and then important figure within the Church of England who shocked society when he later entered the Catholic Church.
Why I Became a Catholic by Sir Joseph Pope explores the author’s reasons for becoming Catholic. A Canadian public servant and pursuer of truth, Sir Joseph Pope originally wrote this work as a personal testimony to his children.
Not God’s Type: An Atheist Academic Lays Down Her Arms by Holly Ordway is a journey with an English professor who moved from atheism to Christianity.
Dr. Keith Jiron
A Father Who Keeps His Promises: God’s Covenant Love in Scripture by Scott Hahn looks at God’s covenantal love for us and walks the reader through this love story from the Bible’s book of Genesis to Christ and the Church in the New Testament, and to us today.
Saint John Paul the Great, His Five Loves by Jason Evert introduces the reader to the life and works of Saint Pope John Paul II and explores the reasons behind his five great loves as a Catholic and as the pope: Young People, Human Love, the Eucharist, Our Lady, and the Cross.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is a complete and organic summary of the Catholic Faith in the form of the catechism tradition. This means it moves from our beliefs regard God and the Church (creed), the sacramental life of the Church, morality, and prayer.
Deacon Peter Kennedy
Your Questions, God’s Answers by Peter Kreeft is a book of answers to common questions, ranging from God or identity or even entertainment choices, from God's perspective. The answers from God are provided by offering responses with the assistance Sacred Scripture.
I’m Catholic. Now What? By Shaun McAfee was written to help new Catholics in growing their faith and participation in the life of the Church. It is beneficial to both Catholics and potential Catholics.
The Hallow Prayer App is the #1 prayer app at the time of this article and offers engaging options for learning common Catholic prayers, but also offers help in growing in prayer habits and spiritual reading.
Dr. Brandon Harvey
Catholicism by Bishop Robert Barron is a ten-part video series that surveys the faith and life of the Church. Host Bishop Barron explores Catholicism while visiting both famous and unknown locations of the Church throughout the world.
The Real Story by Curtis Martin and Edward Sri is a brief introduction to the story found within Sacred Scripture, the story of Salvation History.
Rome Sweet Home by Scott & Kimberly Hahn details the journey of a Presbyterian pastor and his wife into the Catholic Church.
Whether it is for you or a friend, we hope these resources will be of assistance on the journey. May God be with you.