Book Recommendation Needed


#1

Does anyone have a recommendation of a book that explains a basic understanding of Catholicism to an ill-informed non-Catholic?

We are expecting our first child and my Southern Baptist Mother-in-law has absolutely no idea, or worse yet false ideas, about Catholicism. I’d like her to be able to at a minimum understand what the Sacraments are and how important they are to us Catholics and how all this “stuff” we practice as Catholics wasn’t just made up yesterday and is in no way similar to how Baptist churches each “do things a bit differently.”

I’ve read Mr. Keatings book, Catholicism and Fundamentalism, Surprised By Truth, By What Authority and Rome Sweet Home. However the problem is:
These are all too intellectual for my mother-in-law. Frankly she wouldn’t know what is meant by the Eucharist, infallibility, transubstantiation, etc. While she has a tremendous faith in her understanding of Jesus, she is not very educated–in the secular sense.

So frankly, I am looking for a simply written, relatively short book to help explain Catholicism, our Sacraments and our wonderful 2000 year old Tradition. Any suggestions?


#2

The Catholic Answers little book, “Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth” may be a good start.


#3

My wife was an atheist for the first several years of our marriage (then converted to Catholicism). She was influenced by her Seventh Day Adventist grandmother, so her understanding of Catholic teaching was pretty minimal, and what she did hear was quite false. When we got married, we bought this book:

How to Survive Being Married to a Catholic – by Alph Ligouri, et al

It’s the most basic summary of Catholic beliefs I’ve come across, as it uses many humorous cartoon pictures and short explanations. You can browse through some of the contents online here:
amazon.com/gp/reader/089243452X/ref=sib_dp_pt/002-7350315-0716850#reader-page

This would be the first thing I’d give her. It isn’t so much apologetic, as it is explanatory.

After she reads that (it’s very short and fun to read), I’d give her this:

Catholic and Christian: An Explanation of Commonly Misunderstood Catholic Beliefs by Alan Schreck

It was a very good and simple explanation. You can browse some of the contents online here:
amazon.com/gp/reader/0892831812/ref=sib_dp_pt/002-7350315-0716850#reader-link

Good luck and God bless.


#4

There’s a “Catholicism For Idiots” book you can get. It’s actually a pretty good source. It was co-written by one of the priests from EWTN, but I can’t remember what his name is right now.

Scout :tiphat:


#5

Actually, it’s Catholicism for Dummies and it’s by Fr. John Trigilio and another priest who also has been on EWTN. The Idiot’s Guide to Catholicism is not as reliable as the Dummies book.

Peace,
Linda


#6

[quote=KLStevens]Does anyone have a recommendation of a book that explains a basic understanding of Catholicism to an ill-informed non-Catholic?

We are expecting our first child and my Southern Baptist Mother-in-law has absolutely no idea, or worse yet false ideas, about Catholicism. I’d like her to be able to at a minimum understand what the Sacraments are and how important they are to us Catholics and how all this “stuff” we practice as Catholics wasn’t just made up yesterday and is in no way similar to how Baptist churches each “do things a bit differently.”

I’ve read Mr. Keatings book, Catholicism and Fundamentalism, Surprised By Truth, By What Authority and Rome Sweet Home. However the problem is:
These are all too intellectual for my mother-in-law. Frankly she wouldn’t know what is meant by the Eucharist, infallibility, transubstantiation, etc. While she has a tremendous faith in her understanding of Jesus, she is not very educated–in the secular sense.

So frankly, I am looking for a simply written, relatively short book to help explain Catholicism, our Sacraments and our wonderful 2000 year old Tradition. Any suggestions?
[/quote]

Exploring the Catholic Church;
An Intoduction to Catholic Teaching and Practice

Marcellino D’ambrosio, PhD

Very straightforward, easy reading. Minimal theological depth. Very probably what you’re looking for and inexpensive. I got mine through EWTN’s catalogue…

Good luck

Phil


#7

[quote=KLStevens]Does anyone have a recommendation of a book that explains a basic understanding of Catholicism to an ill-informed non-Catholic?

We are expecting our first child and my Southern Baptist Mother-in-law has absolutely no idea, or worse yet false ideas, about Catholicism. I’d like her to be able to at a minimum understand what the Sacraments are and how important they are to us Catholics and how all this “stuff” we practice as Catholics wasn’t just made up yesterday and is in no way similar to how Baptist churches each “do things a bit differently.”

I’ve read Mr. Keatings book, Catholicism and Fundamentalism, Surprised By Truth, By What Authority and Rome Sweet Home. However the problem is:
These are all too intellectual for my mother-in-law. Frankly she wouldn’t know what is meant by the Eucharist, infallibility, transubstantiation, etc. While she has a tremendous faith in her understanding of Jesus, she is not very educated–in the secular sense.

So frankly, I am looking for a simply written, relatively short book to help explain Catholicism, our Sacraments and our wonderful 2000 year old Tradition. Any suggestions?
[/quote]

How about the Bible?:smiley: Just kidding … sort of. It truly might help her … showing where the Church’s doctrine comes from.

But a book I suggest is Life in Christ - A Catholic Catechism for Audults. It is in a question/answer fromat. My father who was raised Baptist, was given this book to read for part of his training coming into the Church 38 years ago … It is in the latest edition of 1995 by the way :).

God Love you,

Joe


#8

[quote=LindaS]Actually, it’s Catholicism for Dummies and it’s by Fr. John Trigilio and another priest who also has been on EWTN. The Idiot’s Guide to Catholicism is not as reliable as the Dummies book.

Peace,
Linda
[/quote]

Whoops, you’re right, Linda. Sorry about the mix-up. Boy, I must’ve left my brain in bed yesterday. I was forgetting and messing-up all sorts of things yesterday.

Scout :tiphat:


#9

Catholic and Christian: An Explanation of Commonly Misunderstood Catholic Beliefs by Alan Schreck

It was a very good and simple explanation. You can browse some of the contents online here:
amazon.com/gp/reader/089…850#reader-link

I second this recommendation. This book has been recently revised too, taking out some of the more “squishier” explanations of the Faith that kept me from wholeheartedly recommending it before. It is very easy to read, with a friendly, positive tone concentrating for the most part what we have in common with other Christians, but giving good expalnations for those areas in which we differ.


#10

Oh, i have a good one for you!! It didn’t look like anyone had mentioned it yet, it’s perfect!

Philadelphia Catholic in King James Court
**
I cannot remember who the author is or who published it, but I do believe it is fairly easy to come by in a Catholic book store.

It is a novel really aimed at teenagers, but I read it and liked it very much, it is very well written and the Catholic doctrines are sprinkled throughout.

It is a story of a boy that looses his father and so he moves to the country with his mother and brother to live with his uncle, who is a fundamentalist type. He starts reading some of the Catholic books of his fathers that they had boxed up and brought with them. As the local Baptists try to “save” him from Catholicism, he ends up learning more about his faith than his father ever knew. There is much more but of course I do not want to spoil things for anybody.

Give it a try, I think it is just what you need.


#11

Always fall back to the basics-The Catechism of the Catholic Church. Everything you need is right there. You can also schedule a dinner date and invite your parish priest over for dinner and visit with him. Most priests appreciate a home cooked meal. That would give everyone an informal place to ask questions.


#12

Thank you everyone for all your wonderful recommendations!

I truly appreciate all your help. I will keep you posted on any progress and hope this thread can help anyone else out there looking for the same sort of info.

:slight_smile:

Yours In Christ,
KLStevens

PS: Keep them coming if you have any more ideas…


#13

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