A Year of Catholic Life for Dummies?


#1

Hi All!
My Wife and I are planning on starting RCIA this fall. I've always been some sort of Protestant and my Wife was nominally Jewish, but became a Baptized Christian in 93. We've pretty much gotten all the apologetic type questions and doubts resolved...But... neither of us have any experience with Catholic life thru the Liturgical year etc. Things like feast days, days of obligation, fish or no fish or meat, ordinary time, Lent, Advent, all the assorted days contained within them. Liturgy of the hours, morning and evening prayers, home altars, getting items blessed, first Fridays, First Saturdays, vigils, May Mary Processions etc. Pretty much have Rosaries covered as that's where this all started, with being led to make mission Rosaries. Etc. Etc. Etc....
So, my question is. Is there a book out there that takes you thru the life of a Catholic family that takes you thru the year from the perspective of a family trying to be good Catholics and meet the requirements/obligations/needs/calendar of Liturgy etc. (Not expressed well, I know, but I'm new to all this :-) There's a million things to learn and do and keep up with. I have the how to book of the Mass, Sacramentals etc. and prayers thru the year type stuff. I would really like to find something that takes us past the theory and thru making it part of our lives, preferably by following the lives of people who are doing it. Any help is greatly appreciated!
Thank You!
God Bless!!
Paul Q


#2

Welcome Home! Are you regularly attending Mass? Getting involved in parish life will help you get into the rhythm of the liturgical year; a lot of the Feast Days and celebrations are local and there really isn't a single book to cover them all.


#3

Here's a decent starting place, the Holy Days of Obligation:

ewtn.com/expert/answers/holy_days_of_obligation.htm

If you go to Mass every Sunday as well as attend for the Holy Days of Obligation, you're pretty well covering what is required and it will be easier to pick up the additional facets of Advent and Lent as you lead up to these season.

I know this isn't the all-in-one resource you're looking for, but the reality is that beyond these obligations held by all, your Catholic life, which is really your prayer life extended to all parts of your life, is something that develops differently for different people.

I'll give you some advice I received from my pastor. Look at the Saints; there are so many different Saints and each of them have different strengths. Some were had extraordinary devotion in prayer, some excelled at helping the poor. All of these are valid ways to serve God in your life, the common element for all of them is daily prayer and daily Scripture. As you attend Mass each week and pray each day, ask God for the specific ways He is calling you to serve Him in your life.


#4

There are a number of Catholic bloggers out there who blog about their experiences integrating their faith into their daily lives. It’s late at night here, so my fuzzy brain can’t recall any particular blogs, but you might want to search such terms as “Domestic Church”, etc.

I’m sure there are other posters on CA who can make some suggestions.


#5

Does your parish have missalettes in the pews? If so, ask your RCIA leader or pastor if you can take one home.

Liturgical Year - Catholic Culture
catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/

Liturgical Calendar for current year from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
usccb.org/about/divine-worship/liturgical-calendar/upload/2013cal.pdf


#6

I do not recommend Catholicism for Dummies LOL I've read the book. It is sad for some of us who are very self conscious that not all RCIAs handle rituals and traditions. I thought I'd be messing up if I didn't genuflect or do the sign of the cross perfectly...not so. Lighten up, enjoy meeting people, ask. If they're offended you'll have no doubt, so brush the dust from your sandals and ask the next person. I don't know of one person who knows it all..and how do you think the Pope gets where he is? One of the smartest guys in handling the stuff..very knowledgeable :) Most important, is to believe in the Bible and know that the Catechism is the closest thing you'll find to the understanding of it. Attend mass like they say...but don't make yourself so self conscious that you miss the sharing and the love...a good church, kneel and pray when no one is there (preferably a rosary) for a love 'depth finder', then again, when the parishioners are there...easier to find a home. You can also purchase missalettes from a variety of providers, usually the printers are Catholic brothers and if you explained they might manage sales for two...LEARN THOSE PRAYERs and just when you think you've learned the right ones...the next season begins and oh my LOL Most of all, enjoy it. Good Luck in your faith journey, and may you and your wife grow closer with this enhancement...Love and Love...sounds like a pretty good combination.....


#7

I can attest to the value of two books. The first helped me immensely, when I joined the Catholic faith in 2008. The second also helped me when I "swam the Tiber", and continues to help me in my academic studies.

  1. "Catholicism for Dummies", written by Fr. John Trigilio and Fr. Ken Brighenti. If a Catholic, the book serves as an excellent refresher. If converting to Catholicism, this book is priceless. The book has been given imprimatur status by several archbishops, in several languages.
    < 2catholicpriests.com/ >

  2. "Modern Catholic Dictionary", written by Fr. John A. Hardon.
    < therealpresence.org/dictionary/adict.htm >

Steve


#8

Thank You for all your replies! I haven’t been to a Mass yet, but it should happen soon. Talked to a friend today who was overjoyed to find out we are converting :slight_smile: She’s offered to go with us and help us learn and follow. Thanks for the book links Radmanna. I’ve actually already read thru the Catholicism for Dummies book and have the pocket version of the Dictionary :slight_smile: I’m just one of those people that when I get going on something I have to research it to death. The main things that have helped me so far are listening to dozens of episodes of “Journey Home” and Catholic answers on my mp3 player and bookwise started with Patrick Madrid’s “where’s that in the Bible?”, “Catholicism for Dummies”, de Montfort’s Rosary stuff, “Catholic pocket prayer book”. Also I have to metion a little pocket trifold from Our Lady’s Rosary Makers that I’ve worn out learning the Rosary prayers and Mysteries. I’ve also started going thru some of the early Church Father’s stuff in particular St. Augustine, and St Cyril of Jerusalem. Ooops, almost forgot the “Radio Replies” all three volumes of which you can get on Amazon for the kindle for only $.99 Amazing buy. Also been watching Masses on TV. Going to Mass has been troubling as we live in a very small town and it would be known in a matter of minutes that we’re there. We’ve been at our current Church for around 20 years. Friends with the Pastor and his Wife, was a deacon for a few years, led singing for 11 years etc. When we tell them I don’t think it will go over well. I’m going to have to have some good answers for our Pastor and friends.
Anyway, sorry for taking so long to reply. Kept getting server not found errors when trying to get into the forums and just got busy.
Thanks again for the help all.
God Bless!!
Paul Q


#9

Also forgot to mention the “New Saint Joseph Sunday Missal” Tons of info and $1.64 on Amazon.
PQ


#10

I must apologize most humbly, the book that I'd read was the Complete Idiot's Guide to Catholicism by Faulkner.....What turned me off of one part, was, and perhaps I misunderstood, but as if the person responsible for the implementation of the rosary, in their treatment, sounded more like a 'medicine show'.

Wishing you all the best in your blessed faith journey.


#11

I believe the Catholic Resource Guide to be very helpful.

Welcome, and God bless and keep you!

Blessings,
Christina


#12

[quote="fiveqs, post:1, topic:328625"]
Hi All!
My Wife and I are planning on starting RCIA this fall. I've always been some sort of Protestant and my Wife was nominally Jewish, but became a Baptized Christian in 93. We've pretty much gotten all the apologetic type questions and doubts resolved...But... neither of us have any experience with Catholic life thru the Liturgical year etc. Things like feast days, days of obligation, fish or no fish or meat, ordinary time, Lent, Advent, all the assorted days contained within them. Liturgy of the hours, morning and evening prayers, home altars, getting items blessed, first Fridays, First Saturdays, vigils, May Mary Processions etc. Pretty much have Rosaries covered as that's where this all started, with being led to make mission Rosaries. Etc. Etc. Etc....
So, my question is. Is there a book out there that takes you thru the life of a Catholic family that takes you thru the year from the perspective of a family trying to be good Catholics and meet the requirements/obligations/needs/calendar of Liturgy etc. (Not expressed well, I know, but I'm new to all this :-) There's a million things to learn and do and keep up with. I have the how to book of the Mass, Sacramentals etc. and prayers thru the year type stuff. I would really like to find something that takes us past the theory and thru making it part of our lives, preferably by following the lives of people who are doing it. Any help is greatly appreciated!
Thank You!
God Bless!!
Paul Q

[/quote]

Welcome and methinks thou doth worry way too much. There really isn't much to it other than wanting it and you sound like you are already there. As a cradle Catholic and probably at my peril on this website I can tell you it's pretty much way more simpler than you envision. Once you are received into the Church you just have to go to Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation (you don't have to have any altars erected in your house etc.) All the things you are worried about will come natural to you once you start attending Mass on Sundays. My son just came into the Church April of this year. He is 36 years old and to my great regret, I didn't raise him in the Church but he decided he wanted what I have and became a Catholic. RCIA every Thursday evening for 6 months and I attended all classes with him since I was his sponsor. What a thrill. You have a wonderful and loving journey ahead of you and all my best wishes to you both.


#13

[quote="fiveqs, post:8, topic:328625"]
Thank You for all your replies! I haven't been to a Mass yet, but it should happen soon. Talked to a friend today who was overjoyed to find out we are converting :-) She's offered to go with us and help us learn and follow. Thanks for the book links Radmanna. I've actually already read thru the Catholicism for Dummies book and have the pocket version of the Dictionary :-) I'm just one of those people that when I get going on something I have to research it to death. The main things that have helped me so far are listening to dozens of episodes of "Journey Home" and Catholic answers on my mp3 player and bookwise started with Patrick Madrid's "where's that in the Bible?", "Catholicism for Dummies", de Montfort's Rosary stuff, "Catholic pocket prayer book". Also I have to metion a little pocket trifold from Our Lady's Rosary Makers that I've worn out learning the Rosary prayers and Mysteries. I've also started going thru some of the early Church Father's stuff in particular St. Augustine, and St Cyril of Jerusalem. Ooops, almost forgot the "Radio Replies" all three volumes of which you can get on Amazon for the kindle for only $.99 Amazing buy. Also been watching Masses on TV. Going to Mass has been troubling as we live in a very small town and it would be known in a matter of minutes that we're there. We've been at our current Church for around 20 years. Friends with the Pastor and his Wife, was a deacon for a few years, led singing for 11 years etc. When we tell them I don't think it will go over well. I'm going to have to have some good answers for our Pastor and friends.
Anyway, sorry for taking so long to reply. Kept getting server not found errors when trying to get into the forums and just got busy.
Thanks again for the help all.
God Bless!!
Paul Q

[/quote]

Oh my gosh! You are going to be a very well-versed Catholic at the end of your journey. It has always been said there is no more fervent Roman Catholic than a convert and you certainly seem to fit the bill. I applaud you and I am over the moon happy to welcome you and I fervently hope you find all in the Catholic Church that which will fulfill you and that you and your wife find a welcome home with us. Your Pastor and friends will come around since we are all in the business of God and at the end of the day that's what it is all about. I'm so very happy for you.


#14

[quote="fiveqs, post:1, topic:328625"]
Hi All!
My Wife and I are planning on starting RCIA this fall. I've always been some sort of Protestant and my Wife was nominally Jewish, but became a Baptized Christian in 93. We've pretty much gotten all the apologetic type questions and doubts resolved...But... neither of us have any experience with Catholic life thru the Liturgical year etc. Things like feast days, days of obligation, fish or no fish or meat, ordinary time, Lent, Advent, all the assorted days contained within them. Liturgy of the hours, morning and evening prayers, home altars, getting items blessed, first Fridays, First Saturdays, vigils, May Mary Processions etc. Pretty much have Rosaries covered as that's where this all started, with being led to make mission Rosaries. Etc. Etc. Etc....
So, my question is. Is there a book out there that takes you thru the life of a Catholic family that takes you thru the year from the perspective of a family trying to be good Catholics and meet the requirements/obligations/needs/calendar of Liturgy etc. (Not expressed well, I know, but I'm new to all this :-) There's a million things to learn and do and keep up with. I have the how to book of the Mass, Sacramentals etc. and prayers thru the year type stuff. I would really like to find something that takes us past the theory and thru making it part of our lives, preferably by following the lives of people who are doing it. Any help is greatly appreciated!
Thank You!
God Bless!!
Paul Q

[/quote]

At the expense of being told off on this site, can I make a suggestion that you obtain your reading material from your RCIA class and ignore all other until then.


#15

My mom owns a wonderful older book called "The Year and Our Children", by Mary Reed Newland. You would probably have to look on eBay or Amazon for it as it's quite old. It presents a beautiful way of living out the liturgical year as Catholics. It's geared more towards families with young children, but there are still many things you could do. Mrs. Newland, a mother of 7 children (six boys, one girl) describes things she and her family did to celebrate the liturgical year, from a St. Nicholas Day puppet show to special Valentines, a Catholic charades game, Mary shrines for the home, and even apostle cookies where you decorate gingerbread men with icing and symobls of different apostles, have people blindly pick a cookie, and then identify the apostle from the symbols. She includes a list of different saints and angels and their symbols at the back of the book. Mrs. Newland also wrote another book called "We and Our Children", but I am not familiar with that one.

St. Francis Books (www.saintfrancisbooks.com) also has a number of lovely resources for Catholic family life.

Welcome home!


#16

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