Good books for learning the faith?

Anyone have any good books for learning about the Catholic faith. I am in the process of reading Catholicism for Dummies, The Bible, the CCC and some book called the faith explained by Leo j Trese which I really enjoy. Does anyone have any other suggestions? I’m looking for ones that could explain overviews of the faith and why the Church teaches what it does. Thanks.

Well, after reading the ones you’ve mentioned I think it would be worthwhile to read some apologetics works. That is, works which present protestant criticisms and the Catholic responses. One good book is: Catholicism and Fundamentalism, Keating

Another good set to read after becoming familiar with the catechism, is the three volume set, “Faith of the Early Fathers”. It presents excerpts from early Catholic writings, Volume I goes through ~350AD. While not scripture, it illustrates how the early christians practised their faith and what they believed. For example, it clearly shows that infant baptism and the real presence were taught from the earliest days of the Church.

On Being A Christian - Hans Kung
Christ: The Experience of Jesus as Lord - Edward Schillebeeckx
Church: The Human Story of God - Edward Schillebeeckx
Catholic Social Teaching 1891-Present: A Historical, Theological, and Ethical Analysis - Charles Curran
Contemporary Issues in Bioethics: A Catholic Perspective - James Walter and Thomas Shannon

Actually considering picking up Catholicism for Dummies myself… what are your thoughts on it so far?

This Is the Faith, Canon Francis Ripley
Chief Truths of the Faith, Fr. John Laux
Mass and the Sacraments, Fr. John Laux
Catholic Morality, Fr. John Laux
Catholic Apologetics, Fr. John Laux

If you want authentic Catholic teaching, stay far, far away from the likes of Kung (who was stripped of his license to teach as a Catholic theologian), Schillebeeckx (whose writing might not have been condemned, but is still pretty problematic), and Charles Curran (likewise not allowed to teach Catholic theology by the Vatican).

I actually love the dummies book. It offers a pretty good amount of information on the the faith and makes things easy to learn. As far as learning the faith, I don’t want to be taught by heretics. I heard bad things about that Kung guy a while ago thanks to catholic answers. That’s the one thing that scares me the most, being taught by invalid sources or matters of opinions.

When I was in R.C.I.A., I saw this book, bought a copy and LOVED it!!
I highly reccommend it.

Unabridged Christianity
Biblical Answers to Common Questions About the Roman Catholic Faith
Fr. Mario P. Romero
Cross-referenced to the Catechism of the Catholic Church

If you’re concerned with ensuring that the texts you’re reading adhere to the Catholic faith, look for the ‘imprimatur’ and/or Nihil Obstat. It is the indication that the book has been reviewed and certified that it accurately communicates Catholic teachings and doctrine. Normally in the first few pages or inside the front cover.

For example, “Catholicism and Fundamentalism” has the imprimatur indicated on the copyright page:

“Nihil Obstat: Rev. Msgr. Joseph Pollard, S.T.D. Censor Librorum
Imprimatur: + Most Reverend Roger Mahoney Archbishop of Los Angeles January 28, 1988
The Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur are official declarations that a book is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. No implication is contained therein that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat or Imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions or statements expressed.”

Rome Sweet Home by Scott and Kimberly Hahn treats many of the issues that folks who are not Catholic struggle to understand. I found it very enlightening. And it was a fast read. I’ve read many of Scott Hahn’s books and found all of them compelling and easy to read.

The USCCB’s United States Catechism for Adults is a very readable consolidation of the CCC. I found that I could process the information better than when I read the full Catechism.

Catholicism and Fundamentalism by Karl Keating, recommended earlier, was very helpful in explaining Church teachings too. Even if your interest doesn’t stretch into apologetics, the treatment of the different denominations’ objections to Catholic teachings helped me understand and appreciate the Church’s teachings more.

I’ve read the Catholicism for Dummies and had my faith strengthened. The priests who wrote it are frequently seen on EWTN (Fathers Trigiliio and Brighenti) and I’ve always learned something from hearing their explanations of the faith.

I am really gobstopped that no one in this thread would point out that the authors of the books recommended by Epistemes are Catholic dissidents whom have been disciplined by the Vatican which includes for those who are professors being removed from teaching theology at a Catholic University.

Hans Kung, Charles Curran and Edward Schillebeeckx are amongst the ‘Who’s Who of Catholic Dissidents’.

Actually–I did point that out after I gave my recommendations for books that would fulfill the OP’s request.

Missed it originally. This epistemes character is leading the flock to the wolves along the path of modernism.

I didn’t notice the one by our present Pope
Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church
Online at the Vatican
Papal archives - Exhortations, Encyclicals, Homilies, etc.
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope John Paul II
Pope Paul VI
Pope John XXIII
Pope Pius XII
Pope Pius XI
You can also buy a copy at, or any number of places…
Books by Scott Hahn
Ignatius Catholic Study Bible - New Testament
Scott Hahn’s Books - Listed Alphabetically
Books by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen - Books
Abp. Sheen listing
And, See if you can find a copy of **The Theology of the Body - **Human Love in the Divine Plan, by Pope John Paul II
Buy from these Sellers through Amazon
Or these “commentaries” on Theology on the Body - Theology of the Body

In Addition, you could track down the list of Scripture Translations I use and see if any of them work for you. Fr. Pacwa at EWTN says he advises his students to use at least 4 Translations of the Sacred Scriptures – 2 Formal Equivalence (RSV, NASB, Douay-Rheims Challoner) and 2 Dynamic Equivalence (NLT, TEV, God’s Word).
I’ve included the following on my list:
NT Greek Interlinear w/ NASB & NIV
Orthodox Study Bible - Formal (OT Septuagint)
ESV w./ Apocrypha - Formal
RSV 2CE - Formal
RSV-NOAB w/ Apocrypha Expanded Version
NIV - Idiomatic - Borderline
NAB - Borderline - Dynamic
JB - Borderline - " "
NJB - " " - " "
WEB Resources
BibleGateway (35 Translations)
KJV w/ Apocrypha (all original KJV’s the Apocrypha)
RSV w/ Apocrypha
New Jerusalem Bible
New American Bible
Douay-Rheims Bible
Haydock’s Commentary
Jerusalem Bible (In French)
Vatican - Bibliacleris (Commentaries from the Church Fathers & Doctors pf the Catholic Church)
Scripture 4 All Greek Interlinear (also leads to Hebrew Interlinear)
NET Bible
Online Parallel Bible

I hope that’s enough to get you going & keep you going for awhile.
Your Brother & Servant in Christ, Michael%between%

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