Recommendations for reading for someone seriously checking out Catholicism?


I’m excited that I found this forum. I was baptized Catholic when I was an infant, but since then was pretty much raised without any religion but nonetheless took a deep interest in the topic as a teenager. I ended up becoming a Mormon when I went to the university, but left Mormonism several months ago when I realized that I am a monotheist (Mormonism is polytheistic). Since that revelation, I’ve been sorting out my theology and doing a lot of study… which leads me to my question. Do you have recommendations for reading for someone who is educated in religion generally but not an expert in Catholicism? Do you have any other recommendations for someone seriously checking out Catholicism?

Thanks very much. I look forward to joining the forum.


Welcome nebula. I would read Scott Hahn. His books give great insight to the teachings of the Catholic Church.


Welcome, nebula! :wave:

There are lots of good places to go to learn more about Catholicism. Where you are is one of them. Catholic Answers has many great tracts on various topics, although these tracts deal primarily with those topics where Catholics and Protestants disagree. So these tracts alone will not necessarily give you the complete picture.

Catholics Come Home might be a good place for you to begin your search online. They have loads of great links and info geared specifically towards non-practicing Catholics and interested non-Catholics.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) is a great resource to find official Catholic teaching, although it can be hard to understand for beginners who aren’t necessarily familiar with all the Catholic lingo.

I have heard many people recommend the book Catholicism for Dummies as a great, accurate-yet-readable intro to Catholicism. This is not to be confused with the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Catholicism which is written by non-Catholics and contains many errors on basic Catholic beliefs.

There is much more that can be said, but I don’t want to overwhelm you. I have many great Catholic links in my blog (see my signature below for the link). Of course, if you have any specific questions, you can always come here to ask them. Hopefully you’re not easily scared :wink: (Some of us can be a bit rough around the edges, to put it mildly). Just be patient with us. We’re all still learning and on the journey together.


Yes, Scott Hahn is great. You might begin with his book Reasons to Believe, or else Rome Sweet Home (his and his wife’s personal conversion story). Any of his books are great, though.


Great thanks. I look forward to looking through everything.


Welcome to CAF nebula!

The Lamb’s Supper was the first Scott Hahn book that I read. I recommend it often. :wink:

May the peace of the Lord be with you,
Prodigal Son1


You might consider “Catholicism for Dummies” which is actually a great little primer on the nuts and bolts questions and issues of the Church.


Here’s what I posted to a similar inquirer. God bless and good luck!


Welcome Nebula!

The above links are all good, but a SHORT introduction is right here at Catholic Answers, the pamphlet "Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth"

Now, for an even shorter statment of what we believe:

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in being with the Father. Through Him all things were made. For us men and our salvation He came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit, He was born of the Virgin Mary , and became man. For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate; He suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day He rose again in fulfillment of the scriptures: He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son, He is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.” (Nicene-Constantinople Creed)


Start by reading your favorite books of the Bible. (Mine are the Gospel of John and the Psalms.)

“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”
–Jesus (John 5)

I gain understanding from your precepts;
therefore I hate every wrong path.

Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light for my path.

I have taken an oath and confirmed it,
that I will follow your righteous laws.
–David (Psalm 119)



Welcome to the forums.


A Complete Explanation of the Catholic FaithThis Is The Faith
This Is The Faith. Originally published in 1951 (with minor updates in 2002), the book covers the nature of God, the nature of man, the meaning of life, the nature of religion, the sources of Faith, the necessity of prayer, the duty of belief, the consequences of sin, the Commandments of God, the Holy Trinity, belief in Christ, the Redemption, the supremacy of the Pope, the Mystical Body of Christ, the Sacraments, the Mass, the priesthood, devotion to Mary and the Saints, what happens after death, the devotional life of a Catholic. Very interesting and very popular! Impr. 474 pgs, PB.


Please note the edited thread title. :thumbsup:


Hi Nebula :slight_smile:

I always recommend reading about the lives of the Saints. Can’t get any better than that.



“The Imitation of Christ” by Thomas a’ Kempis is a wonderful book for strengthening the reflective/prayerful side of faith. Also has several wonderful sections that help draw one nearer to the magnificence of the Eucharist.
I have to agree that “Catholicism for Dummies” is an excellent introduction to the faith. It is a rather detailed and comprehensive book that is at the same time easy to read/digest.
Reading sacred scripture is, of course, always beneficial…but I would be sure to stick with something like the New American Bible (St. Joseph Edition) for its Catholic perspective, notes, index etc.
Lastly, there is the mighty Catechism of the Catholic Church. In order to prevent becoming overwhelmed I would suggest finding a quality indexed summary…be sure to look for the Imprimatur!


Great, thanks everyone! :slight_smile:


I really, really have to recommend the show “The One True Faith” with Michael Voris. If you can’t get copies of the show, you can download the podcast for for from Saint Michael’s Media website ( or from iTunes. I am a newly converted Catholic and this show really helped me. Please give it a shot.


All the suggestion made so far are excellent. As for me, I am prejudiced towards the writings of our Holy Father. Actually, I have been studying his works since the 1970’s and they only get better with each new work. The Catechism of the Catholic Church has his fingure prints all over it.

So I would suggest first “Introduction to Christianity”. Another work of his which I think would be of great help especially on the question of the Bible and evolution is “In the Beginning”. On the subject of Mary I think “Daughter Zion” and “Mary the Source of the Church” are a must. Where Christianity stands in the modern world I would suggest “Christianity and the Crisis of Modern Culture” and “What it means to be Christian”. I think most here would agree with me that no bookshelf is complete without our Holy Father’s work, “Jesus of Nazerath” and I would also say that the Pope’s two encylical letters are also essential (and what I find interesting is that the second part of his first encyclical letter “God is Love” was actually taken from the work of Pope John Paul II). Finally I would suggest “God is Near”.

These should keep you busy for a few days. Again all his writing are important but also they reflect a man who has been given the charism to teach and it shows at how clearly he presents his subject - I can even understand what he writes!

I hope these suggestion will help.


This Tremendous Lover by Boylan.


Patrick Madrid’s book series - Suprised by Truth. (I think there are three books in the series)

Surprised by Truth: 11 Converts Give the Biblical and Historical Reasons for Becoming Catholic

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