All of us have at one time or another needed a good book as we explored the faith or needed a good book to recommend to someone who was searching for answers about the Catholic faith. With Catholic publishing doing their best to create more titles that appeal to more people there is a plethora of choices examining different aspects of Church doctrine to memoirs of conversion experiences. Today I’ve compiled a list of popular books that have a fairly wide appeal in hopes something on this list can help you or someone your know answer some of the big questions about Catholicism.
Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey To Catholicism by Dr. Scott and Kimberley Hahn
This quintessential conversion story has remained one of the most popular books about conversion for over 25 years with converts and lapsed Catholics alike. As a Presbyterian minister and biblical scholar Scott Hahn assumed the Catholic Church was incorrect about everything, until he begins to see that the Church has the answers to all his questions. The book also shares the difficulty Kimberley had with Scott’s conversion, how she grappled with his coming to the Church and her own acceptance of Church teaching.
This handbook of common misconceptions regarding Catholicism gives clear answers of what the Church actually teaches to be a true. A great starting out point for someone who has basic questions about the faith, or for someone who wants to know the whys behind Church teaching at a quick search.
Fundamentals of Faith: Essays in Christian Apologetics by Peter Kreeft
A selection of essays that lay the foundation not just for Catholicism, but for the need of faith and religion and how religion works. A clear framework answering questions about the need for faith in your life, or to answer questions other’s may be tossing your way. Dr. Kreeft’s work is always aimed at helping readers understand the faith more clearly and deeply.
A fascinating look at the Scriptural and Jewish roots and meaning of the Eucharist. As the Eucharist is one of the most important teachings of the Catholic faith, this book helps flesh out the importance of Christ’s words and actions at the Last Supper. Seeing the continuation in tradition and teaching from the Old Testament to the Church today makes for a great introduction to the faith and for deepening your understanding of Jesus in the Eucharist.
Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith by Bishop Robert Barron
Most Catholics know Bishop Barron, but he’s also making great inroads with people who have no belief by talking about today’s culture from a Catholic perspective. In his book Catholicism, Bishop Barron synthesizes the beauty and teachings of the faith so that someone who has no idea what the Church is about can gain a clear understanding of the Faith. This book is a great reference for the history of the Church, and also discusses the lives of famous saints.
Introduction to Christianity by Pope Benedict XVI
A deep dive into the Apostle’s Creed and what Christianity is by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, this book provides a beautiful, intellectual basis of what Christianity believes. Pope Emeritus Benedict’s insight and genius in his understanding of theology and Scripture is a gift not just to the Church but to Christianity as a whole. Diving into any of his books will provide the reader with new ways of seeing faith, Scripture, and the Church.
Perhaps the best written and most readable memoir of faith and conversion written in recent memory, Fulwiler does a phenomenal job of detailing what led her to seek truth after growing up an atheist. Her humour and candor make her conversion process imminently relatable and her intellectual honesty is sure to touch a reader of any faith or non-faith background.
Where does the Catholic Church get the authority to teach her doctrines anyway? Mark Shea shares his personal conversion story as he investigates Sola Scriptura and how biblical authority is the source of the Church’s magisterial teaching and tradition. A book with wit and an easy to read style that answers and appeals to Evangelicals and their questions about Catholicism.
A great book for those with questions on Mary’s role in the Church and salvation history from a Biblical perspective. This book follows Mary’s life through Scripture, her journey of faith, her presence in the life of Christ, and what we can learn from her. A great place to begin if you wonder what devotion to Mary is all about.
Another invaluable book by Dr. Scott Hahn, Signs of Life looks at different customs and practices of the Catholic Church and the biblical basis for them. Each chapter explores a different tradition, such as devotion to the saints or the celebration of Holy Week and Easter. A great place to begin if you’ve wondered about all this “Catholic stuff” or if you want to know the deeper meaning behind aspects of the faith.
Written by Christy Isinger. Find out more about her here.