Catholic Starter Kit?

I really hope this is the right forum, but…

I am not currently Catholic (as some of you may have seen by my other posts) but am dead set on starting RCIA as soon as I move out of my parents house next fall, anyway,

I was wondering what things I should have/purchase to help me understand more of the faith and what essential things converts need to prepare them, etc.

Thank you

My humble recommendations:


  1. A good Catholic Bible. My preference for personal study and devotions is the Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition, but if you are going through RCIA, odds are they’ll have you use the New American Bible. Sometimes they just give you one, but if not, I recommend the St. Joseph’s Edition.

  2. A full size copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (the big green one). Again, they may give you one, but if you have to get it yourself, get the one with all the reference material in the back.

  3. A Rosary. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just so that it is pleasing to your eye, and comfortable in your hands.

  4. A small place in your home or room in which to put a small shrine or prayer corner with at least a crucifix and image of Our Lord and Lady.

  5. A prayerbook with basic Catholic prayers. Again, they may give you one, but if not, I like this one:


  1. The Catholic Catechism, by Fr. John Hardon
  2. Catholic Christianity, by Peter Kreeft
  3. The Essential Catholic Catechism, by Alan Schrek
  4. A good book on the lives of the Saints.


  1. Catholicism and Fundamentalism, by Karl Keating
  2. Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic, by Davis Curie
  3. Crossing the Tiber, by Steve Ray

Dont forget your vampire steaks and holy water and garlic too cus Catholics are the only ones who can kill vampires!!:smiley:

:shrug: :stuck_out_tongue:

this is a free online course that I found really easy to understand and helpful - in fact our RCIA class passed out the booklets for this course to us the first week


But seriously, I would recommend a couple of books. Catholicism for Dummies by Fathers Levis and Brighentiand Theology of the Body for Beginners, Christopher West.

The first will give you an excellent overview of the teachings, common devotions, the Mass and all things Catholic. It is a wonderful and gentle introduction. The Christopher West Book will give you a good grounding in a specific area of Catholic Teaching that will help you gain an understanding of Church teachings as a whole while also helping you to understand Church morality is not about rules.

Get you some Holy Water from Church and
make the " Sign of the Cross" with it.:slight_smile:

Oh, and you should learn about Divine Mercy:

everything else already a st jude prayer "May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be Adored, Glorified, Loved & Preserved throughout the world, now & forever. Sacred Heart of Jesus, please pray for me. Saint Jude, Worker of Miracles, please pray for me. Saint Jude, Helper of the Hopeless, please pray for me. Amen:) [FONT=Arial Black]he is a great saint. please let me know how it goes.:slight_smile: [/FONT]

A few things come to mind.

The Catholic Home Study Service has at least 8 Catholic courses that simply can’t be beat. You might start with “We Believe…”

A good Catholic Bible. If you are used to KJV then the Douay-Rheims Bible will be a refreshing find for you, and if you want something very good and more modern, there is the RSV-CE which will be good and has faithful notes.

The Catechism is going to be a handy tool, but I suggest that you wait til you get into the classes to get one. Some parishes supply each RCIA member with one, or it may be available for the asking. It’s online here. (and searchable!) The new Compendium Catechism is also really good.

The CDs from the Bible Christian Society are also something you might enjoy.
Welcome to Catholicism!

But seriously, I would recommend a couple of books. Catholicism for Dummies by Fathers Levis and Brighentiand Theology of the Body for Beginners, Christopher West.

I ditto this suggestion for Catholicism for Dummies. It was really the book that started to lead me back into the Church. Of course get a Bible and a Catechism, and possibly the Compendiun of the Catechism if you have enough money.

All that and A few good websites for now

Good list! :thumbsup:

Many fine suggestions (Bible, Catechism, prayerbook, etc.) have already been made.

If you still have room on your bookshelf, you might also find these worthwhile:

A Short History of the Catholic Church by Jose Orlandis; or perhaps Triumph: The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church - A 2000-Year History by H. W. Crocker III.

Early Christian Writings translated by Maxwell Staniforth
(These and many other such early Christian writings are available online.)

lot of good suggestions, but if I may suggest to simplify, and keep your cost down.

1st. Catholic translation of the bible. New American Bible is the version used for the readings at Mass, and you will probably be given one when you start RCIA and you will find low cost paperback versions in bookstores and at the american bible society website. Other good translations are the Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition, which you may prefer if you grew up with the KJV or authorized version. Jerusalem bible is also good, but the latter two are rather expensive.

begin with Mark’s gospel and read it through, as if for the first time.

2nd, Catholicism for Dummies, cited above, will give good short definitive answers to the questions you have at this time.

3rd. CAtholic Home study, cited above. This will include not only a Catechism, but a study guide for it. At this point, the catechism is a bit too dense and full of info for you to tackle on your own. You will probably be given both of these when you start RCIA, but I believe these are distributed free by the Knights of Columbus. If your RCIA class does not give you a Catechism, get one yourself, they are less than $10 now that the New Adult Catechsim is out. It is steep, $25 in paper, but again, wait and see what they give you in RCIA.

Don’t overwhelm yourself, see what is on the internet before shelling out big bucks on books. you know about the best website CA – check out the homepage on specific topics of interest. Now check out the rest.
daily Mass readings
daily prayer
daily saint
articles from columnists on various points of Catholic belief, and how it applies to living in our world
news roundup

for great reliable Catholic links, including a very easy-to-search Catechism and Catholic Encyclopedia

welcome home.

I suggest you call the instructor of your RCIA.

Our church gives catechumens and candidates in RCIA a Catholic Bible, a Catechism, and a HUUUUGGGEEE loose-leaf binder (one of those four inch high ones) filled with little booklets, articles, handouts, tracts, outlines, etc.

They also provide coffee, other drinks, and a very decent supply of food (lots of people don’t have time to eat before they come).

You can pick up a free Rosary in our Adoration Chapel. And there’s a good chance that someone like my husband will make you a Rosary (beaded or knots) if you want one. He’s one of the instructors.

We have a “media person” who brings a supply of books, CDs, DVDs, tapes, and videos that RCIA students (or anyone else) can check out. No need to go buy Dr. Scott Hahn or anyone else–just check it out for free.

So all you have to bring to our RCIA is yourself!

Call and ask before you buy!

This person said that they couldn’t join RCIA right now because of Family reasons.

I suggest the Catholic Grout List.

Converts and reverts to the faith are often unaware of the little things that good cradle Catholics “absorb” as children that make day-to-day Catholic living run smoother. While not as essential to the Faith as doctrinal belief and sacramental participation, these “little things” are the grout that binds the mosaic of Catholic living in place, giving it context and texture.

I bet there could be a few additions to the list, too.

Can’t come to RCIA? No problem. Our classes are videotaped each week for those who have to miss!

Seriously, ask anyway, even if you can’t formally enroll. Your parish RCIA might have a bunch of “freebies” just like ours.

Actually, the Rosary isn’t mandatory for converts (or any Catholic).

I just mention this because some people who feel drawn to the Church may still feel queasy about devotions to Mary or other saints. Certainly they must believe in the MArian dogmas if they convert, but devotions are a different matter.

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