St. Stephen Church at 6044 SW 19th Street, Miramar, FL 33023 US - Recommended Reading List
|Recommended Reading List|
You may also be able to get some of these books from the library, through Interlibrary Loan (see your librarian if you don’t know how to do this,) through your local book store or check out the links at the bottom of the list for really good, reputable, Catholic companies that you can go to online, or have a catalog sent to you.
***New Books You Must Read***
The Better Part: A Christ-Centered Resource for Personal Prayer - Fr. John Bartunek, LC. This excellent book teaches you Christian Meditation in a fantastic way and then follows with prayer help and aid for the entire four Gospels. This book will be your companion for life!
Spiritual Progress: Becoming the Christian You Want to Be - Fr. Thomas Williams, LC. This book is for beginners and experienced Christians alike. It teaches what holiness really is and how to achieve it. Written in plain language it is easy for everyone to understand.
A Mother's Rule of Life: How to Bring Order to Your Home and Peace to Your Soul - Holly Pierlot. Teaches mothers how to bring St. Benedict's Rule of Life into your home to benefit the whole family.
Our Book List
The Best Catholic book you can read is the Bible. If you are thinking of checking out new bibles, the two most acclaimed bibles in recent years are: The Ignatius Bible (The Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition) and the Jerusalem Bible. Both of these bibles are excellent and are non-inclusive, which means that, unlike most newer bibles, such as the revised New American Bible, their language hasn’t been changed to make them more politically correct. The Ignatius Bible is the clearest, most accurate translation of the Bible in English. We have a copy in our parish library for you to check out and see if you like it. If you are interested in doing a Bible Study one of these two would be excellent, or the Navarre Bible mentioned below. Also see listing for the Ignatius Study Bibles: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts & Romans, etc. also below. Before you buy a bible consider reading Choosing a Bible Translation by Catholic Answers and EWTN's Frequently Asked Questions about Bible Versions and Commentaries (Click on Scripture and Divine Revelation.) If you want an inclusive bible check out the ever popular New American Bible (The New Catholic Answer Bible is Excellent!) or the New Revised Standard Version both are very good. Remember, though, the best bible to buy is the one you will read.
Excellent Books every Catholic Must Read
Catechism of the Catholic Church An inexpensive reference book that should be on every Catholic’s bookshelf. It is pretty easy to understand and fully indexed so if you have a question and want the straight answer this is where to go.
Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict XVI (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger). Every page offers incredible insight into Christ and his mission during his years of ministry. This pope has an extensive catalog of books for years.
Catholicism for Dummies by John Trigilio & Kenneth Brighenti. This is an excellent primer on everything Catholic. Great for Every Catholic.
Why Do Catholics Do That? A Guide to the Teachings and Practices of the Catholic Church by Kevin Orlin Johnson, Ph.D. This is very interesting and not at all a dry read. It explains the beginnings of the bible, the culture of the church, such as the Rosary, Stations, The Mass, the sign of the Cross, candles etc. This is available in our parish library.
Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism by Scott & Kimberly Hahn, a former Protestant minister and Bible scholar who, along with his wife, converted to Catholicism through studying the Bible. There are books that are similar out there, but this is the best. Profound, very personal and a fairly quick read. You really MUST read this and we have it in our library as well as this next book.....
Where is THAT in the Bible? by Patrick Madrid. Our Sunday Visitor Books. Brand New! This great little book gives biblical answers to the most common questions that Catholics and Non-Catholics ask about the church. It also shows the true meaning of verses that anti-Catholics use to attack the Church. It is organized in an extremely easy-to-use format.
The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a’Kempis. Written in the 15th century by this cloistered monk it has been and continues to be the second most read book behind the Bible. a’Kempis wrote it to teach us patience, humility and how to love Jesus. Make sure you get the Catholic version because there are Protestant versions out there that are different than the original. Our parish library has this one too.
Prayer for Beginners by Peter Kreeft. Ignatius Press. This is one excellent little book. Small in size, rich in content.
The Basic Book of Catholic Prayer: How to Pray and Why by Lawrence G. Lovasik. Sophia Institute Press. A wonderful book. Another excellent book by the same author is The Hidden Power of Kindness.
The Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux. A most famous autobiography of the little French nun detailing how to love Jesus through her “Little Way.” Our parish library has a couple of copies of this.
If you are interested in more advanced books about prayer be sure to read works by Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross. It is well worth purchasing one or more of their books and taking the time to go slowly through them, possibly marking passages that have meaning for you. These authors truly change lives.
More Great Catholic Books: Surprised by Truth (and Surprised by Truth 2 & 3) by Patrick Madrid. Collections of stories from Converts and "Reverts" (Catholics returning to the Church) who tell in their own words, with many biblical references, why they converted, or returned, to Catholicism. Many of these converts are former evangelical ministers who discovered the "One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic church" thru prayer and studying the bible. These were runaway bestsellers in the Catholic press
Parenting with Grace: Catholic Parent’s Guide to Raising Almost Perfect Kids by Gregory & Lisa Popcak, Our Sunday Visitor Press. This ia a phenomenal book has lots of helpful tips on raising kids in a loving Catholic centered environment.
The Catholic Parent Book of Feasts: Celebrating the Church Year with your Family by Michaelann Martin and others. Our Sunday Visitor Press. This one has fantastic ideas to do stuff with your children all through the year and especially during Lent and Advent etc. Lots of information about saints, tons of recipes, arts & crafts etc. In our library.
More from Our Sunday Visitor Press: The Mass of the Early Christians by Mike Aquilina. Reveals the Church's most ancient Eucharistic beliefs and practices. Using the words of the early Christians themselves he traces the Mass's history from Jesus's lifetime through the fourth century. You may also be interested in others by Aquilina, such as: The How-To Book of Catholic Devotions: Everything You Need to Know but No One Ever Taught You, Talking to Youth About Sexuality, The Way of the Fathers: Praying With the Early Christians and The Fathers of the Church: An Introduction to the First Christian Fathers.
For Better...Forever! A Catholic Guide to Lifelong Marriage, Our Sunday Visitor Press and The Exceptional Seven Percent The Nine Secrets of the World's Happiest Couples, Birch Lane Press both by Gregory K. Popcak, MSW, LCSW.
Full of Grace: Women and the Abundant Life by Johnnette S. Benkovic host of "The Abundant Life" on EWTN. This book is the basis of the foundational bible study, Full of Grace Explore authentic femininity and holiness.
Prayer: The Great Conversation, Straight Answers to Tough Questions about Prayer by Peter Kreeft, Servant Books. This is fantastic book about prayer. How to do it and why. It really helps answer your questions.
Lifeline: The Religious Upbringing of your children and Upbringing: A Discussion Book for Parents of Young Children by James Stenson, Scepter Press. These books show you how to raise children who will honor you and God all of their lives.
Real Love: Answers to your Questions on Dating, Marriage and the Real Meaning of Sex and We're on a Mission from God : The Generation X Guide to John Paul II, and the Catholic Church, and the Real Meaning of Life both books for teens and young adults about chastity and the real meaning of love by popular author Mary Beth Bonacci. These are books that teens really love and get excited about. Ignatius Press.
Try "Conversations with God" by Opus Dei priest Francis Fernandez. This is an excellent series of books of deep daily meditations for each day of the church year. You can buy them separately or as a set.
A Peek Into My Church is for Catholic children ages 4 and up and is an accurate introduction to Catholicism. Lots of pictures show all the important parts of churches, priestly vestments, parts of the Mass, Baptism, priest and sister duties and more. A picture dictionary is in the back. Authored by Wendy Goody & Veronica Kelly, Whippersnapper Books.
One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic: The Early Church was the Catholic Church by Kenneth Whitehead. A fantastic book about the early Church. Ignatius Press.
The Soul of a Lion: The Life of Dietrich Von Hildebrand by Alice Von Hildebrand. A very moving account of the life of Dietrich von Hildebrand, one of the most important Catholic theologians of the 20th century. Discusses his life, how he became Catholic, his targeting by the Nazis and his escape to the United States. Ignatius Press.
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. A Christian Classic. Be sure to check out many other classics by Lewis, some of which are in St. Stephen's library. The Chronicles of Narnia are enthralling classics for children.
Catholic and Christian: An Explanation of Commonly Misunderstood Catholic Beliefs by Alan Schreck. Servant Books. Clears up any confusion about Catholic practices. Especially suited to refuting the common Protestant belief that Catholics are not Christian.
The Catholic Church & The Bible by Peter M.J. Stravinskas. Ignatius Press. A general scriptural study guide for Catholics to show how Catholicism is rooted in the Bible. Talks about the mass, prayers, the origin of the & different translations of the Bible.
The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. This is an excellent protestant book. If you have ever wondered about the authenticity of the New Testament, whether it is a historically and archiological accurate document? Whether Jesus really was the Son of God, whether he really died and did he really rise from the dead? This is the book for you. Mr. Strobel was an award winning investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune and puts all his investigative talents to good use.
Holiness for Housewives (and other working women) by Dom Hubert Van Zeller; Sophia Institute Press. This phenomenal little book shows how to pray and incorporate God into our everyday lives and duties even when we don't think we can.
Make sacred the entire day with Christian Prayer and Shorter Christian Prayer Catholic Book Publishing Company. This is the “Liturgy of the Hours” for the laity. The Liturgy of the Hours is the official prayer of the Church and celebrates the day with prayers & Psalms for each segment of the day. For the Clergy and for Laity "Christian Prayer" gives all the prayers (mostly Psalms & Canticles) for the day, allowing you to make sacred the morning until night. It is more detailed and also includes music, poetry, biblical and non-biblical readings (homilies from the Early Church Fathers etc.) "Shorter Christian Prayer" is a pocket book enabling you to pray only the morning, evening & night prayers that are part of the series. You don't need to do all the prayers all day, just those you can fit into your schedule.
The Confessions of St. Augustine by St. Augustine of Hippo the great saint. A classic. We've got it in our library.
True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, The Secret of the Rosary & Preparation for Total Consecration, by St. Louis De Montfort. These three books, explain St. Louis’ great devotion to Mary and explains how the easiest and most pleasant way to Jesus is thru Mary. True Devotion & the Secret to the Rosary are great. Preparation for Total Consecration is a day by day guide of prayers and meditations for three weeks in order to prepare yourself to consecrate your life to Jesus through Mary. Pope John Paul II advocated all of these books as an excellent way grow in the faith and Consecrated himself when he was young.
Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic by David B. Currie. Ignatius Press. How Mr. Currie, born into a Fundamentalist family, came to the Church through the Bible. Very interesting.
Life of Christ by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. Image Books. One of dozens of highly acclaimed books Bishop Sheen, one of the great Catholics of our time, wrote. In our library.
The Ignatius Catholic Study Bibles: The Gospel of Matthew, The Gospel of Mark, The Gospel of Luke, The Gospel of John, The Acts of the Apostles & Romans, etc./RSV-CE Commentary by Scott Hahn & Curtis Mitch. Ignatius Press. Commentary, notes, topical essays and study questions. Affordable beginnings of a series. Has outlines, maps & cross references. Provides rich historical, cultural, geographical, & theological information pertinent to the Gospel – information that bridges the distance between the biblical world and our own. Competes with the Navarre Study Bible as the best Catholic Bible Study. Just excellent. Highly recommended.
The Navarre Bible (RSV-CE) With a Commentary by the Members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre. Scepter Publications. This is actually a series of books, which we are very proud to be able to provide to you in our library. Each affordable volume includes English text, latin Vulgate translation and a commentary for each Bible book (or sometimes a few bundled together.) This is probably the BEST Catholic Bible Study series there is. This is true Catholic, no nonsense. Clear language and using the excellent Ignatius Bible (Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition) translation that is so lauded as being the most accurate English translation.
Catholic for a Reason: Scripture and the Mystery of the Family of God by editor Scott Hahn and many others. Emmaus Road Publishing. Excellent overview of biblical and historical basis for Catholicism. Also see A Father Who Keeps His Promises: God's Covenant Love in Scripture also by Scott Hahn. Charis Books. Explains the covenants God has made with man including the most important the one through Jesus.
If you are interested in finding a spiritual director please read Seeking Spiritual Direction: How to Grow in the Divine Life Within, by Fr. Thomas Dubay.
Other Website's Reading Lists You may also want to look at some other Catholic reading lists, such as: New Advent, the Awaken to Prayer website and if you are interested in dabbling in philsophy check out EWTN's Philosophy Reading List for Beginners.
A Few Book Hints 1) Try to make sure that the Catholic books you get have a Nihil Obstat and an Imprimatur. These can be found at the beginning of the book on the copyright page. These two things show that it has been read by a bishop, and that there is nothing that is contrary to the Faith in the book. This is important because there are a lot of books that are published that say they are Catholic, but are really not. Some of these books say the exact opposite of what the Church teaches, so you have to be careful. Most of the books on this list have a Nihil Obsat and an Imprimatur.
2) Most of these authors have written many other books. You should investigate these too. Try using Amazon.com or The Broward County Library Websites as databases to find out what is available. If you go to the library, the librarian can show you how to access the Interlibrary Loan database and you can get books from libraries all over the country. This cannot be done from home.
Other websites also may have the information you are looking for. Don’t be surprised if you can’t find what you are looking for at our county library. They have some Catholic books but not many. You can also watch the catalog of shows on EWTN, and or listen to them at their Audio Library. EWTN also has a VAST Document Library. Their database is extensive.
3) There are lots of really great, reputable Catholic Book Publishers and Stores online and through catalog. There is not one company that has everything so try each one to find what you are looking for. Some of these companies are: Our Sunday Visitor Press, Ignatius Press, Leaflet Missal Company, Pauline Books & Media, Tan Books, Ligouri Publications, Sophia Institute Press, Scepter Publishers, publishers of the Navarre Bible series and Catholic Books Online. You can get great audio and video tapes, including wonderful bible studies at St. Joseph Communications among other places. The best thing to do is to get on each of their mailing lists which is an education in itself. You can also get some very good deals on Catholic Books & Tapes at All Catholic Books. Now all you have to do is find the time to read all these great books. And check back from time to time because we add books to the list all the time.