Anthologies of Church Fathers?


I am asking this in the Apologetics forum because apologists should know where to get the best reading materials.

Do any of you know of anthologies or compilations of excerpts from the great thinkers of the Church that might be good for young adults? Something that will give them a good grounding in Catholic thought, but not be overwhelming to a young person?

I ask because I have four children, who are not yet young adults, but rapidly approaching that stage. We have Catholic children’s books, but I want something that the maturing mind can dig into. I want my kids to have a Catholic worldview, to view the events in their lives and in the world around them through the prism of Catholic thought and philosophy. I want them also to have a good start on being amateur aplogists. I don’t want to turn out more ignorant Catholics into the world…God knows we have enough already and some of the damage they do because they just don’t know any better…shudder

I would also like to have it around for myself, because I have been a fairly ignorant Catholic for a long time, and am just in the last few years learning more as I seek it out. My hope is that a good beginning like this will whet appetites and lead to further seeking… for all of us.

TIA for any suggestions.


This may be of help.

Day by Day with St. Augustine
Donald X. Burt, O.S.A.

It is a short reading and explanation of St Augustine’s teachings. It applies to daily life. There is reading for each day of the year. I find it to be excellent.:thumbsup:


I don’t know of any specific book for younger adults, but I do recommend a simplified book on four of our early Church Fathers. It blessed me as far as learning about early Church history and also sparked a flame for learning more about the blessed saints, all the while picking up some strong apologetic knowledge. The book is called “Four Witnesses: The Early Church in Her Own Words” by Rod Bennett. You can learn and teach your children quite a bit from reading this book. :thumbsup:


I’ve not read it, but Peter Kreeft’s Summa of the Summa is supposed to be a winner…And if your intended readers wouldn’t mind reading something a tad bit heavy, the Church Fathers are all online at



I found this great website. I hope you find what your looking for.
free catholic books online


The Faith of the Early Fathers, Rev. William A. Jurgens

Quasten, Johannes. Patrology

A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs (Hardcover)
by David W. Bercot


Thesaurus Linguae Graecae

Coverage Dates: Approximately 8th cent B.C. - 6th cent A.D.
Provider: TLG at the University of California, Irvine
Access: In-library access at Workstation B
Updated: A future update is planned
Description: Full-text database of classical, patristic, and Medieval Greek literature. (RC)

Assistance: Contact the Reference Desk at 977-3103, or your Liaison Librarian.


Goodspeed, E. J., Index Patristicus (Greek index of the Apostolic Fathers). Leipzig, 1907.

Goodspeed, E. J., Index Apologeticus (Greek index of the Greek Apologists). Leipzig, 1912.

Systematic Theology, 3 Volumes
By: Thomas C. Oden



If you want to use the writings in the context of a class (like if you are homeschooling your children), then the best thing to do is find a good translation of each church father’s writings, and take it from there. For assignments, I would have them write papers defending doctrines of the Church using the writings of the early church fathers. Otherwise, you may want to look for a book of quotes by the early church fathers instead of something that goes deep into philosophy. I have found that people don’t care what someone said 1600+ years ago. They want to know why their faith should mean something to them in 2007.

I would stick to more contemporary writers when trying to help people form a Catholic world view. A parish or diocese somewhere needs to start a program for high school students (maybe a good way to start is with those who are homeschooled), where they spend a semester in a specialized program designed to give them a strong Catholic world view- so that they are well-equipped to look at any situation, and see it through the lens of Catholicism. I know there is something like this for protestants- a relative of mine who is protestant was talking about it. When I heard her talking about it, I thought to myself "there isn’t anything like that for Catholics- at least not around here- there are Catholic youth groups here and there, and sometimes you can find parishes that have good catechetical programs, but nothing at the diocesan or state level designed for Catholic youth and/or young adults to help equip them to face the world with a strong Catholic world view.

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