What books would you send a non-Catholic?

My mom grew up Catholic right around Vatican II. She was poorly catechized, was evangelized by some evangelical Christians and left the Church with a lot of bitterness and resentment, feeling as though she were lied to and never told the truth of the saving power of Jesus. Though it’s been decades, she still holds a lot of pain and anger toward the Church, and is very disturbed at me choosing to convert.

She sent me several anti Catholic testimonial books, which I read. She loves these books, and they affirmed her erroneous view of the church (these books are from nuns and priests who left the church shortly after Vatican II to become Protestant). I was shocked, but she texted me and said that I could send her some books “as long as they weren’t too dry” to read. What would you send from a Catholic perspective that wasn’t too heady theologically, and was gentle to the ex-Catholic who has been hurt by the Church, but brings to light true Catholic teaching.

I need to send the right books because I may never get this chance again. When I initially told her of my decision to leave the Protestant faith, she was incredibly angry and vowed never to go to Mass with me or speak of it again. She also implied that I probably wasn’t a Christian anymore, that Catholicism is all about works and no one ever even cracks open their Bible. So I know the Lord is working on her heart and I want to be as gracious and loving as possible here. Since leaving the Catholic Church, she has been in Baptist churches and currently is in an evangelical-free congregation.

CATHOLICISM FOR DUMMIES written by two priests. Keeps it light. Used by our priest in RCIA.

FOUR WITNESSES by Rod Bennett. Goes back to the first century on with four fathers explaining what life was like back then, the persecutions, religious practices, and early theology.

WHEN THE CHURCH WAS YOUNG is similar to the above.

The Bible: have you asked your Mom if she ever thought about the history of the Bible? Old Testament is from the Jews. New Testament consists of the memories of the apostles and the letters written at that time. Who put them altogether to make the New Testament? The Catholic Church.

THE JOURNEY HOME is a series of testimonies from Catholic reverts and converts from all faiths. It is on EWTN many times during the week. You can pick up older stories on the internet. She might want to focus on what Baptists who converted say about their journeys home.

Agreed with EWTN’s The Journey Home Program, which can be found on YouTube.
I particularly encourage the following interviews on this program (in no particular order):

Dr David Anders
Dr Wesley Vincent
Kristine Franklin
Dr Holly Ordway
Brandon Barker
Dr Scott Haun (he appears multiple times)

I would also send her the letters of Ignatius of Antioch - including information on who he was and when.

As far as books, I’ve heard The Protestant’s Dilemma is good.

I would recommend, “Surprised by Truth” by Patrick Madrid. He also has a second “Surprised by Truth” vol. 2 and "Surprised by Truth Vol. 3. But start with the first one. It is the story of those, (many are protestant ministers), that have converted to Catholicism after truthfully studying the Catholic faith. I also recommend her watching EWTN, Journey Home, program on Monday nights at 7 PM CST. if she will. Prayers for your Mom and for you. God Bless, Memaw

Welcom tp CAF and my prayers go out to you and your family.

If I had to pick one it would be - Born Fundamentalist Born Again Catholic by David Currie. It is a conversion story with much of what aicrit has listed above.


Send her a DVD or two. It’ll be easier and quicker for her than reading. I think Tim Staples has some good DVDs on Mary and the Eucharist. If you can show your mother how Mary and the Eucharist are so critical to a christian faith, she will be forced to admit that her protestant faith lacks these and they can only be found in catholicism.

If you send her too many books, she might not read them all. So a DVD or two with any books you decide on could be very handy. She’ll be sure to watch those.

Catholicism and Fundamentalism by Karl Keating. It takes the usual Protestant arguments and compares, contrasts and corrects them from a theological, but easily readable, standpoint.

Also keep her in prayer. There is a very deep emotional break someone who has left the Catholic Church has to make. They were taught, particularly pre-VII, that to leave the Church was to abandon their salvation. As such, to actually leave the Church, they have to come up with very strong reasoning which over rides the loss of salvation argument.

Kind of hard sometimes to bring them back because they then need to admit they were living under the false pretenses of that reasoning. That too is hard emotionally, particularly from a humility / shame point of view. It’s generally why confrontational or shaming type reasonings to bring someone back don’t work very well.

Good luck.

Hmmm…alot of people leave the Church because what they are getting at the Catholic Church they can get at a protestant Church. Another words when Catholic Churches don’t act like Catholic Churches and don’t provide sound liturgy and sound Catholic faith people flee.

Something on the lives of the saints?
Scott Hahn Rome sweet home?
Fr.John Hardon is a great Catechist

Anything by Scott Hahn is fantastic. I would especially recommend his The Lamb’s Supper. It gave me a whole new appreciation for the Eucharist and put a lot of my doubts about its legitimacy to rest. I think that would be the best place to start and may help get Catholicism’s foot in the door.

Hi Jennifer,

If she is is already setting limits or parameters (the not too dry comment) That tells me she isn’t all that interested in the first place and just doing it to appease you, probably so you wont close your ears to whatever she has to say about her faith.

So I would go piece by piece rather than books that cover the entire faith.

And I think your rapport with her over the next few years will likely be much more influential than any books she reads.

I have a similar problem with my family of protestants. But as much as I love them and respect their opinion, I’d gladly go toe to toe with them in friendly debate about any of the misconceptions they have about the Church. Because i can tell just by listening to them that they have not done their homework on the Church, they are just parroting whatever some zealous protestant told them at some point. Someone told me a long time ago that if you really want to learn about something, go to it’s sources, not it’s enemies. And I believe that when rational people do that, they will likely convert to Catholicism or at least put down their arms and stop attacking the falsehoods that they thought were Church teaching.


AMEN and God Bless, Memaw

:thumbsup: Outstanding suggestion!

Also very good suggestion.

Very Good.
I might also suggest a couple of excellent books that CA has only recently begun offering.

Radio Replies: Classic Answers to Timeless Questions About the Catholic Faith (Hardcover Book) $24.95

http://shop.catholic.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/small_image/210x210/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/t/h/the-protestants-dilemma_3.jpg The Protestant’s Dilemma

The latter of those two would be my first suggestion though the Radio Replies might be exactly what she needs because it’s as straight forward as she has been with you. Both are probably a good one-two punch but they are actually very gentle and kind and do not convey any anger.

I know what you mean about this likely being your only shot. Take it prayerfully and ask the Holy Spirit to guide her into all truth.

As always I continue to pray with you for this very important intention.

I might point out that the entire three volume set of Radio Replies is available on Amazon Kindle for just 99 cents:


Just finished THE PROTESTANT’S DILEMMA. On Kindle for $9.99. Quick read. Finished it in a day and a half.

EXCELLENT! I think Catholics need to read this too as well as Protestants. Most of us Catholics really don’t know all that separates us. Know this and you’ll know more about Catholicism. Win win.

If you want to evangelize, you need to read this to answer questions. :thumbsup:

Which brand of Protestantism did your mom settle in? I think knowing this will be key to providing suggestions, many of which have already been mentioned. I’d aim to give her something that resonates with her current belief system.

I love my Radio Replies book. It is an update of the tree volume set, ( which I have from many years back). I put a copy in our Adoration pew and it is getting lots of use. God Bless, Memaw

The books suggested are all great and I have read almost every single one of them (most are on my shelf). I feel surprised everyone did not say this already, but the book that unsettled me as an Evangelical Protestant and set me on the road to reading many of those books mentioned, that I never would have had an interest in reading, except my brother asked me to, is Scott and Kimberly Hahn’s Rome Sweet Home. I suggest that. Just the ONE book. You can keep the others on hand because it will likely spark her interest to read all the others. :slight_smile:

You are more likely to have success getting her to read, and read thoughtfully, if you wait till she is interested, not give her piles of books. Also, you can bargain her to read a book for you. Have you read the books she gave you? Perhaps you can say, “I’ll read a book of your choice if you read one of mine. Then we can discuss them.” Also read Rome Sweet Home yourself so you know what she is learning. You will love it. And the arguments in the book she asks you to read most likely are touched on, if not refuted, in Hahn’s book, so you can refer to what Hahn said when you talk after you both are done reading.

Rome Sweet Home is not meant to cover everything - its a personal journey/testimony - a spell-binding one, a real page turner. She will relate to Scott (who begins the book) instantly, as from the first pages he tells his young testimony and he starts right out fighting Catholics, that they might be “saved”. So you are starting exactly where she is. She will wonder, "How could such an admirable Christian that I so relate to ever become Catholic?!" And it will keep her turning the pages to find out.

I super highly recommend it! :slight_smile:

I think she should recommend the Bible to her. Obviously she may need to reread it.:smiley:

My Protestant friend told me that most Protestants feel Catholics don’t know the Bible. Hmm. I said well the problem is your Bible is different from ours because we have seven books in the Old Testament which Luther removed. In one of those books is the reference to Purgatory. She did not know this.

We got onto a discussion regarding the Eucharist. She said her church feels it is done in memory of Him. I asked her what she thought of John 6, 47:57. Told her what it said. Never heard of it before. I added that although she believes in private interpretation, I don’t know how much more explicit this could be.

So I think referring a Protestant to the Bible makes it difficult to make a point when they believe they can understand the passages.

Previously, I mentioned it is interesting to see their reaction when you ask who put the canons together for the New Testament.

You had someone willing to consider these things. Often it’s not that easy

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