Newbie reading list

Good evening to all, i would appreciate if you have any suggestion of books a newbie should read (RCIA in 2 weeks). I did one year of university theology in a baptist program and would really like to know what you would consider essentials for a potential convert. I have already read the catholic catechism and read the bible many times over. I truly wish to understand the pillars of the catholic faith, its traditions, the landmark authors etc etc.

this might be a good book for you.

I highly recommend two books:

The Catholic Controversy by St. Francis de Sales

One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic: The Early Church Was the Catholic Church

God bless,

Sorry, I forgot to put the author of the second book is Kenneth Whitehead :slight_smile:

Welcome to the Church! I’m a recent convert as well and while in RCIA I found two books by Scott Hahn particularly interesting - Rome Sweet Home and Understanding Our Father. RSH covers Hahn’s own conversion story and provides a very good explanation of the difference between Catholicism and Protestantism. UOF details why prayer is important and explains a good deal of Catholic-specific views on prayer. Good Luck!!!

If you are having any difficulties with the Church’s teaching about Mary, I would recommend Hail Holy Queen by Scott Hahn.

Thomas Howard’s *On Being Catholic *is a wonderful, beautifully written book by a convert to the Faith.:slight_smile: Reading this book made my heart leap; he obviously loves the Catholic Faith. Father Robert Barron’s Catholicism is written in a different style and may also appeal to you. I have just started to read it so can’t tell you much about it.:slight_smile:

Thank you so much for the time you took in your recommandations. RCIA starts in 1 week and i am thrilled to engaged myself in this journey.

Today i had a though provoking experience. I went to St Patrick Basilica here in Montreal for the 9am service. Beautiful homily and felt righ at home. Viewed the Eucharist for the first time as Catholics do and felt right in genuflexing at the end. I was able to abandon myself to the experience and not view it through my ex protestant/neo-pagan eyes.

Then after i joined my wife (22 year married to a wonderful girl and my college sweetheart!) to a protestant mega church ceremony. Great energy, great music, great vulgarization of the story of Joseph in Genesis. Funny thing is my wife is a cradle Catholic of converted to protestant. She was deeply disapointed by the catholic models she had when young (more catholics who did not know their faith, did not life their faith and obviously did not transmit their faith). Anyhow all of this left her very cold to the catholic faith and she became a born again protestant very recently. However she is supportive of my path but wonder why i would consider joining a church she just thinks did a awful job of teaching the values that it promotes ( i have to agree with her on this. Here in Quebec, a former stronghold of the catholic church, it does seems that there is a few generation that are truly ignorant of their own religion and i do wonder why did the church did such a bad job cathechizing the people for the last 50 years…) So me a cradle protestant is now considering joining the Catholic church and my wife a former cradle catholic is a born again christian. God must have a sense of humor…

To be honest when i compared my church morning today back to back, the protestant have such energy and you do feel the spirit alive. However, i was reading a lot of the early fathers writings recently and discovered that things did not changed that much…the Catholic church is very true to the teachings of the early christians. That says a lot… More energy in the protestant group, but much more profound theology when one starts to truly study the catholic teachings.


Welcome !

Good catholic books here… free :slight_smile:


"This Is the Faith: A Complete Explanation of the Catholic Faith"
Canon Francis Ripley (Author)

Beat me to it! :smiley:

it’s a good one :slight_smile:

For a whirlwind tour of the Church’s philosophical history (which includes the Greek philosophers of antiquity), consult Edward Feser’s *The Last Superstition *and Aquinas. Can’t recommend either of these enough; they basically provide the whole of Catholic moral and social teachings in a pretty quick and easy read.

I would also recommend this one:
**“The Catechism Explained: An Exhaustive Explanation of the Catholic Religion.” by Spirago & Clarke (Author), Richard F. Clarke (Editor) **

Edward Feser isn’t for everyone. Go to his blog and see if you can understand him then you might be able to understand his book. Feser is way beyond me. :blush:

One of the problems with giving complete strangers book recommendations is that we don’t know the education level of the person requesting books. Recommending something too simple or too difficult can be off putting. To paraphrase Goldilocks it is hard to find a book that is “just right” :slight_smile: When I returned to the Church I checked out recommendations on Amazon and via other reviews to see if they were at my level and if they were faithful to the Magisterium of the Church. A few books I bought in a hurry are hidden behind other books now because their authors had their own individual spin on Church teaching and one book way waay beyond me “The Trivium” by St Miriam Joseph. :slight_smile: I am going to will it to my brainy kids.

For a newbie, for any of us that needs a brush up on the basics - The St. Joseph Baltimore Catechisms.

Soul of the Apostolate by Dom Chautard. This book sums up the center of Catholic spirituality: mental prayer. This, in my honest opinion, is the biggest difference between [practicing] Catholics and non-Catholic Christians; not doctrines, dogmas, beliefs, or liturgies. I read it shortly after I came to the faith, and I’m currently on my third time reading it. Its great!

And to everyone one else, I recommend this as well!

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit