Where do you learn about Catholicism from?


#1

Hi. I am 18 years old and I currently consider myself a non-denominational Christian. I have never been to a church service in my life. I have never been baptized. But I do read the Bible every day. I try to read 10 chapters a day. I started reading the Bible a month or two ago. I started with Genesis and am at Job now. (In case you’re wondering it is the King James Bible, actually called the Companion Bible…probably doesn’t agree with Catholic interpretation or dogma in some places though). I have picked up some beliefs through books, T.V., and the internet. I think that the Bible is inerrant and infallible. I do not believe in any documentary theories…Obadiah was was written by Obadiah, not four guys in the span of a hundred years. I have bought a copy of the deuterocanonical books too, but I haven’t read them yet. I have scanned through them and I can’t understand why the protestants left them out. There is good advice in them and Maccabees is history that I feel I need to know. So I accept them as part of the Bible. I also know a little bit about the apostolic fathers.
I have never belonged to any church mainly because of their obsession with the book of the end times and because of the rapture theory (which is unbiblical and condemned by the Bible itself). They also like to beg for money from poor people such as myself.
I have had some weird things happen to me such as seeing ghosts and ahem…getting a demon possessed person off of my porch with a prayer of exorcism and some holy water. One night a demon came up to the window of the house and after banging on the window stared my mom straight in the eye. She stared it down and it left! After that we bought St. Benedict medals and they do their job pretty good. I read about miracles…most are too weird not to be true. I read about saints and the weird things that happened to them. All this evidence started convincing me.
Then I was going through the NT and found that Jesus said Peter would be the rock He would build His church on. And whatsoever was bound on earth was bound in heaven and whatsoever was loosed on earth was loosed in heaven. I had learned once that Peter was the first Pope. Since I believe that the Word of God is infallible I had no choice but to accept that the Catholic church was founded there in the Bible. A lot of websites deny this by interpreting these verses a different way, but they also tend to think that the earth is only 6000 years old.
So to get to the point I would like to become Catholic, but I know very little about the Catholic church. What I do know is gleaned from the a very old missal from a thrift store, the internet and some booklets. I watched a telecast from last Sunday’s mass. I could tell you more about quantum physics than I could about mass. What I need is a book to explain traditional Catholic practice and dogma. Something that lays everything out. There is a website called fisheaters.com that has a lot of information; it would be nice to have something like that, but in book form. What are some good in-depth books you can suggest? Where have other converts started? I would like to know everything there is to know before I even step foot inside a Catholic church!


#2

Welcome! and may God bless you on your journey!

This would be a good starting point. This is the Cathechism of the Catholic Church. Also known around here as the CCC. :slight_smile:

scborromeo.org/ccc/ccc_toc.htm


#3

Welcome!

A good book is Catholicism for Dummies. It sounds like a bad title, but it is Church approved and does a pretty good job at explaining things. It was our textbook for my confirmation classes. It gives a good summary of the faith.

I would also recommend getting in touch with a local parish and talking to the priest about your journey and future entry into the Church. They can probably answer any questions you may have.

Good luck!


#4

Welcome! :wave:

For everything you want to know about what the Catholic Church believes and teaches, you can’t go wrong with the Catechism of the Catholic Church (online version or print version). For a briefer, more readable, Q&A format, the Compendium of the Catechism (online version or print version) is also excellent.

The Catechism and Compendium are very helpful in coming to learn what the Church officially teaches, but they don’t give you an explanation of some of the externals (like how to pray a rosary, or when particular feast days are celebrated). For some more general info, you might try Catholicism for Dummies. This book is a readable intro to many facets of the Catholic Church. It summarizes teaching, but then also gives you info on some of the externals.

The Catholic Source Book is also a great resource. It’s set up more like a reference book. It gives you info the Catechism doesn’t, such as who are the Doctors of the Church, what are the major feast days of the liturgical year, etc. It doesn’t go into explanations of teaching and it doesn’t necessarily go into great detail on many things, but it’s a handy reference book nonetheless.

Edit: I would also add my recommendation that you please not wait until you have studied up on Catholicism to step into a Catholic Church. There’s no reason to wait! If we all waited until we had perfect knowledge or perfect faith, none of us would ever go to Church! Go to your local Catholic Church and talk to the priest there. He will be more than happy to help you (at least, he should! :)).


#5

This is our Faith

http://www.aquinasandmore.com//images/items/1580sm.jpg

This is a fantastic book. Explains everything really well.


#6

Hi Andrew,

Almost every Catholic parish has what is called RCIA, which is a kind of course on the Catholic Church, with no obligations attached, although it may lead to your acceptance into the Church.

To find a parish near you use this directory ;
:
parishesonline.com/scripts/default.asp

Verbum


#7

So to get to the point I would like to become Catholic, but I know very little about the Catholic church. What I do know is gleaned from the a very old missal from a thrift store, the internet and some booklets. I watched a telecast from last Sunday’s mass. I could tell you more about quantum physics than I could about mass. What I need is a book to explain traditional Catholic practice and dogma. Something that lays everything out. There is a website called fisheaters.com that has a lot of information; it would be nice to have something like that, but in book form. What are some good in-depth books you can suggest? Where have other converts started? I would like to know everything there is to know before I even step foot inside a Catholic church!

Im going to go out on a limb here and it might sound like a big leap but it is September and all of the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) classes are starting now. The classes are for those who want to become Catholic or for those who are not sure yet but just want to know more. There is no pressure to join but if you do decide to become Catholic one day you have to go through the classes eventually. Im a revert so never attended RCIA but hearing from those who did you will learn a lot more than can be found in one book plus you can ask questions.

The first step would be to find your nearest Catholic church and talk to them and just say you are interested in starting RCIA. If you arent ready to take that leap yet Im sure others on here will be able to give you tons of resources. Id just like to add you might be interested in the Journey Home program on ewtn. ewtn.com/ for past episodes go to the audio library. You can also subscribe to ewtn on itunes. They also have a daily mass you can watch to get a feel for what goes on without actually attending. Dont be scared to attend though just sit stand and kneel along with everyone else, shake hands at the sign of peace, and so on. The only thinkg you cant do is receive the Eucharist so you may remain seated and make a spiritual communion prayer.

One more thing. Ive been Catholic all the twenty some years of my life and there is no way I will ever know everything about the Church because there is just so much to know. I am constantly surprised by new things. Knowledge of Catholicism is like a river a fly can skim the top and be content or a elephant can wallow in its depths.


#8

If you can stand a few more book recommendations :wink:

The Catholic Way: Faith for Living Today

What Catholics Really Believe

Why Do Catholics Do That?

and I have to recommend this DVD, The Catholic Mass Revealed, too. :smiley:

Oh, and do consider going to RCIA. The first several weeks are the Inquiry period where you can ask all your burning questions - but you will never, ever be pushed to become Catholic unless you want to. Personally, I was beating down the doors proverbially screaming, “LET ME IN!!”


#9

I recommend Alan Schreck’s “Catholic and Chrisian” - “An Explanation of Commonoly Misunderstood Catholic Beliefs.”

John


#10

Hi and welcome!

I attended RCIA in '05 and was admitted at Easter Vigil in '06. What a ride!

I used this forum extensively for my study of the Church, along with most of the recommended readings already posted here. One other resource I would recommend is
Dr. Scott Hahn’s website who is also a convert. Not to mention a brilliant theologian. You will find online Bible Study, Catholic theology, and access to all of his books.

I would caution you about fisheaters.com, I found some bad info there although I couldn’t tell you what it was anymore - I haven’t been there since. An idea might be doing a search through the forums here, I know I saw some threads about it.

Here fisheaters thread

There are probably more, but there have been kazillions of threads with that website mentioned. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ll also echo what Joe 5859 said regarding going to Mass. You might get some looks, sure, but so long as you don’t go up for Communion no one will say anything but Welcome!. The Mass is beautiful and enriching - enjoy as much and as often as you can!

So again - Welcome!

Peace and Blessings

John


#11

Catholic Culture gives a good review of the Fisheaters website and lists its major strengths and weaknesses. Overall, it gives the website a “Danger!” rating in the fidelity category, so I would also urge caution when using it (if you use it at all).

Incidentally, Catholic Culture reviews lots of Catholic websites. Even if one doesn’t agree with all of their ratings, they give examples of why they rate each site the way they do. This is always very helpful in evaluating a new Catholic website that you come across.


#12

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