Good Catholic Books For Perseverance

Great Catholic Books for your home.Great Catholic Books for you: Bible, Missals, saints, story books for children.

Roman Catholic books like the Baltimore Catechism, the Catholic Bible, the Liturgy, and the many stories about saints teach us to know, love, and serve God in this world so as to be happy with Him in Heaven.

They are the books you'll need to keep living the Faith:

  1. The Importance of choosing good books.

  2. The Catholic Bible.
  3. Catholic Liturgy, Missals, and Prayer Books.
  4. Catholic doctrine and catechisms.
  5. Lives of the saints.
  6. Autobiographies and biographies of famous Catholics.
  7. Catholic school books.
  8. Catholic children's books.
  9. Catholic audio books.
  10. Catholic ebooks.

The question is, "How do you know if a book is Catholic?"


FTC Disclosure: I also recommend other products that I think will help you. If you buy through my links I earn ad commissions at no extra cost to you.


1. Choosing Roman Catholic Books

Your faith depends on it!

You must be discerning. It's a matter of the Eighth Commandment.

How?

A catechism can vary some words. It is not always bad; yet some omit or remove questions on important doctrines:

  • Creation, 
  • Original Sin, 
  • Heaven and Hell; 
  • Some remove definitions (What is Confirmation? as opposed to the subjective, "What does Confirmation do for you?"); 
  • Some make the answers for confession plural. Yes, many questions can be answered in the possessive plural without changing the meaning much, but Confession is a singular matter. You may have heard more than one parish priest admonish his congregation not to confess the sins of others.

You'll want to chose to use the versions of books that do not remove the truths about the Faith and that use definitions rather than subjective answers. This takes using discernment, getting recommendations, and doing your own research.

Learning the Catholic Faith well often depends on choosing Catholic books carefully and the catechism is both the guide to good books and the measure of whether a book is Catholic or not. It is the most important book that you need to be doctrinally correct.

1.A. Importance of Using Catholic Books

Books are specifically Catholic if they were written by Catholics on Catholic doctrine, and both approved of and used by the Catholic Church.

They're important because they teach the faith and help us keep the faith.

Why is this important?

Catholics can not study books of other religious persuasions on the subject of religion, and then hope to learn how to get to Heaven or to live a Catholic life on earth. It's plain common sense.

In the beginning books were hand written so they were rare and costly. Now they're available in many formats: books, audio, and online. It's still best to have them in book form for edition/revision certitude.

For centuries the main Catholic books were treasures that taught the faith. The main books that were widely available were the Catholic Bible, the Liturgy books, the Martyrology, and local catechisms until The Catechism of the Council of Trent was finished.

  • They have conveyed the Catholic Faith to millions and are beacons for us all.
  • They are encyclopedic in their information and unsurpassed for their inspiration.
  • Most importantly, you can refer back to them to compare whether what you read in other books is good.
  • Few books were named "Catholic" that were not truly Catholic. That or someone eventually condemned the book.

Thank God for the many companies who have preserved older Catholic books because they've been an important part of keeping our lives "on track".

The trouble is that fewer companies are keeping these books in stock and fewer are leaving the text unchanged. 

Other books that are written by Catholics and discuss Catholic topics are Catholic insofar as they agree with or teach the Catholic Faith. Catholics have written and continue to write bazillions of these. 

1.B. Finding Good Catholic Books

  1. Pray and discern.
  2. Get recommendations
  3. Do your own research.
  4. Stay vigilant.

Yes, this all requires work on your part. Yet we all have the duty to be vigilant. 

Hopefully your priest can recommend good books.

Often, your family and friends can share their favorites.

If you find a good Catholic book store or find Catholic books online, that will be a good resource for more of the same. I have found that there are new publishers who both preserve old books as well as publish new books. You still have to be vigilant, yet these are a great start:

  • Mother of Our Savior
  • Lepanto Press - Has a lovely Douay-Rheims Bible, Catholic homeschool books, and books by James Fitzhenry.
  • TAN Books - Especially their older choices and most especially the Douay.
  • Neumann Books - Now owned by TAN.
  • Amazon and Ebay offer used books, but you'll have to know the names of the books or the authors to navigate safely.
  • Archive.org  keeps Catholic books online in digital format.

2. Catholic Bible Books

The main Catholic book is the Bible. See more about Catholic Bible books and the books of the Catholic Bible here.

3. Catholic Prayer Books And Missals

When searching for Catholic prayer books you sometimes need to specify the term Roman Catholic since there are Anglican "Catholic" books, etc.

  • Catholic Missals - The Roman Catholic Missal is a complete daily Catholic prayer book. It's the original "thought for the day" book. It covers the daily Mass and usually has the main Catholic prayers and many saints stories or notes from The Imitation of Christ. It uses the Bible for several readings each day of the year. 
  • Spirituality - Different religious orders have their own spiritual habits and advice: Benedictine, Dominican, etc.
  • Catholic Liturgical Calendar The calendar reminds you when the feasts and holy days are. This isn't properly a book, yet it is a very handy reference.

4. Catholic Catechism Books

Once you know Catholic principles, mostly the Apostles Creed and the Ten Commandments, you can discern whether books are Catholic or not.

The catechism is the fundamental of Roman Catholic books for determining which books are good and which are not. A good catechism book has all the basic answers. If a book contradicts the principles of the Catholic faith, it is not a book to read.

Catechisms offer the Catholic principles necessary to learn to practice the Faith well enough to live the faith. You must know what is right so you can choose what is right.

Our first recommendation is to learn the basic Catholic beliefs as taught in a catechism such as the Baltimore Catechism for children. (This can be an easy way for an adult to learn, too, like using Cliffs Notes).

The Catechism of the Council of Trent and The Catechism Explained are excellent for high school and adult students.

FTC Disclosure: I also recommend other products that I think will help you. If you buy through my links I earn ad commissions at no extra cost to you.

Currently, the main catechisms we know to recommend for students who are able to study Catholic books on their own are easy to find at Amazon:

  • The Catechism of the Council of Trent, and 
  • The Catechism of Pope Saint Pius X (recommended by him before he was pope and before the Baltimore and Penny Catechisms were available), and 
  • This is the Faith was recommended by the religious sister who taught two of our daughters and is published by TAN Books. This Is The Faith used to be available as a Catholic audio book on CD. Perhaps you can inquire at TAN Books whether they will offer it again.
  • Deharbe's Small Catechism and Large catechism. See below

These catechisms are excellent for high school and college level study.

The first and last are published by Tan Books and the other is produced by Instauratio Press, now known as St. Benedict's Book Club. 

Another real gem is Children's Retreats, by Rev. Fr. Halpin, Lepanto Press, Post Falls, ID. It has a section on the sacraments of Penance (Catholic Reconciliation), First Holy Communion and Confirmation followed in another part by stories to exemplify each of these three sacraments. It is seems to be meant for teachers or older students, and it teaches a great deal as it goes. It offers much that one can retell for a younger child as Father does in the book and it is one of my favorite supplemental Catholic books for sacrament preparation.

4.A. Deharbe's Small Catechism

Deharbe's Small Catechism from Christian Book Club of America is a most concise and helpful book, especially for older students who do not need the visual aid of pictures (RCIA, CCD, Catholic Religious Education).

This is one of the very few catechisms where I've not had to use white-out. Even. Once. It parallels the Baltimore Catechism.

If you are not required to use the Baltimore, check out DeHarbe's Catechism here. The Small is for Communion preparation and the Large for the rest of us. No white-out necessary. :-)

4.B. The Catechism in Pictures

Catholic Books: The Catechism In Pictures - Teaches the doctrine of sin and Hell better than any other catechism!The images in The Catechism In Pictures teach many doctrines better than any other catechism you'll find.

The Catechism in Pictures, Studere Educational Trust, Palayamkottai, INDIA, phone # 91 462 572 389

This book is full of beautiful artwork plates which are a catechism in themselves. Young and old will learn and marvel as they read and look at these beautiful pictures. You'll marvel at the details.

There is no mistaking Hell here! The main place that you will find it available in the US is at the Immaculata Book Store, phone # 785-437-2409. (It goes in and out of print because they are small publishers, so keep checking. It's worth it!) (Blue on flat paper.)

  • 2010 UPDATE:  An edited version was republished and is available at the Immaculata Book Store, El Camino Real, and the Angelus Press. (Blue with gold edges on glossy paper.) Be careful here as there are some unwelcome changes. I can no longer recommend it as heartily as the first one I own.
  • 2014 UPDATE: Another edition has been made available with the same changes as in the 2010 book. (Maroon with gold edges on glossy stock.)

4.C. Catholic Books For First Communion Catechism

A great companion book to the First Communion Catechism year is Jesus Comes, Book 2 from the Our Holy Faith series published by Neumann Press, Long Prairie, MN.

This is the best Baltimore Catechism version for First Communion I've found in over twenty years of purposeful comparison. We were thrilled to find it.

  • It is concise.
  • It is worded well.
  • It also has the fewest omissions.
  • The pictures are sweet and modest.
  • It teaches about Adam, angels, Abraham, Moses, the Holy Family, the Catholic Ten Commandments and the Catholic sacraments.

You can use the book as a photo album, flipping to the pictures about the ideas that you review. When we used it as a photo album, we would flip through the pictures asking who the pictures represented and what those people did.

The modest pictures helped to expand the Bible stories which help the memorizing and drill make sense to your children. 

This is the book from which most St. Anne's Helper First Communion answers originate, complete with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur. 

Audio First Communion Catechism

Our digital downloads offer the best Catholic answers to the Baltimore Catechism questions.

The St. Anne's Helper First Communion Audio CD (or Download) concurs with the Confirmation Audio Helper CD. This means there's no unlearning an answer later.

The few questions (Ten Commandments, Blessed Trinity, definitions of the Catholic sacraments, etc.) that are the same in each catechism, have the exact same answers which spares confusion.

See our Catechism Ideas page for the benefits and features of using these most helpful CDs to aid the memory work required by some pastors and CCD classes.

Children's Communion Picture Bible 

The New Catholic Picture Bible can be a great photo album of salvation history for both children and adults (Cliff notes) who are studying the Eucharist.

It is used in the Catholic home school curriculum at Our Lady of Victory School. Noe and some prophets are given the Protestant spellings of their names (which is a signal to beware), but we have otherwise used that book as a great visual memory aid (like a photo album) and as an early history book as well as a mini Roman Catholic Bible which seems to concur in meaning with the Douay-Rheims version.

It can be a great help liturgically, too, because the Nativity story has such good pictures and stories for the Roman Catholic Advent season and the Christmas season, the Passion of Jesus for the Lenten season and so forth. This is also useful for teaching the mysteries of the Rosary.

Communion Catechism Books

The Living My Religion series is used and now published at OLVS, too, and makes a great "reader" for the first few years of homeschool. It was the first set of Catholic text books that we had used when we began homeschool.

For teaching children about receiving Communion, you'll like the first three books:

  • Primer
  • Book 1
  • Book 2

They are great grade appropriate readers. It's fun to see the nuances the children will gather from their own reading.

It is also a great companion set for expanding your children's knowledge of the catechism toward the information necessary for Confirmation.

OLVS has republished this set with a workbook for the first book.

4.D. Catholic Books For Confirmation

The following books are more for high school and college level reading; yet if you are teaching about Confirmation, you'll find that these have all the answers and explanations.

The Catechism of the Council of Trent (CCT) offers high school and adult level study of these same principles and they are surprisingly easy to read and understand. The CCT was the foundation for the Baltimore Catechism and many Catholic catechisms since that time.

The Baltimore Catechism is in a more concise question and answer format for easy memorization of specific answers. The No. 2 has most of the info necessary for Confirmation

The Catechism Explained (Amazon) expands the Baltimore Catechism for adults and has an excellent Index in the back compared to most books of that era.

Further study and reference to sources at a higher level can be found in the book The Church Teaches (Amazon) since it has quotes from the Doctors of the Church. If you are beginning to study the Catholic Faith as an adult, be encouraged that you only need one good catechism. One good book is all that's necessary to learn the basic Catholic truths.

See our Catholic answers page to see that most Baltimore Catechisms concur with very little difference in the wording of catechism questions and answers. The discrepancies are few, especially where there are no expansions; but you'll want to know where the differences are. 

The most concise and easy to use presentation of the basic Catholic beliefs for Confirmation are the St. Anne's Helper Confirmation downloads and E-Catechism Copybooks.

5. Lives Of The Saints Books

Reading the lives of the saints helps your faith come to life.

Be vigilant here, especially with new authors or reprints that change text.

6. Autobiographies, Biographies And A Catholic Reading List

Real Books - Really. Really Good Catholic Books :-)

These reading lists should be a big help to you for various levels:

Many of these books could also be read during the school year, but these are also less "text booky", or more interesting in and of themselves, not merely books for information during the school year.

All these books are edifying and many are also very interesting for adults, especially the high school reading list. You'll find these on some Catholic homeschool books reading lists, too.

These are excellent new Catholic books, too:

You'll especially like that Mother of Our Savior's Refuge of Sinners Publishing republishes their books with no changes.

TAN used to do the same, although it would also publish newer works. TAN Books company has been sold, so you may have to double check the new versions to see if any changes in the books are noted.

I wish I'd had this list thirty years ago. Better, I wish my teachers had used these books when I was in school. 

7. Catholic Homeschool Books And Text Books

There are also others who have worked to republish and restore good books like Our Lady of Victory homeschool and other Catholic homeschool companies.

We are so fortunate that there are so many Roman Catholic home school programs available today. The new textbooks read better than textbooks did 30 and 40 years ago.

Many homeschool books teach their subjects better, too. Many Catholic homeschool curriculum publishers have rewritten old Catholic books (Seton) that needed updating for Catholic homeschooling or have gone to great effort to republish authentically Catholic books.

See my Catholic Homeschool recommendations here.

8. Catholic Children's Books

Catholic Books for Children: Kids love the stories and the prayers.Catholic Books for Children: Kids love the stories and the prayers.

The Catholic Church has some antique children's books that are most endearing. Neumann Press had a very nice selection of republished old children's books and song books. This company was bought by the new TAN Books which has retained many Neumann titles.

We like using this Catholic children's Bible and St. Anne's Helper Catholic Audio Books for First Communion and for Confirmation that teach the Catholic prayers for children.

Be sure to add The Children of the Kingdom ebook and the Catholic Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes for fun. They are super to read to little children.

9. Catholic Audio Books

Catholic audio books make it easy to learn the truths of the Catholic Faith and to hear the stories of the saints.

Faith comes through hearing and, if you do not have good sermons available, you'll need to read them. Many audio books offer you the same benefits as reading or listening to a sermon. 

Two excellent times to have an audio book are

  1. When you're able to listen while you're doing other things,
  2. And when your high school children are reading books that are a bit difficult.

The best Bible audio books we've listened to is the Audio Douay-Rheims Bible

Find Catholic Audio Catechisms here.

10. Out Of Print Catholic Books

Out of print Catholic books are super cheap or free at Amazon or even at Archive.org. They're taken from libraries and other sources so you can have the world's best Catholic library at your finger tips.

It's often hard to search those sites for Catholic books unless you know the names of the books or the authors. Once you have these then you can search online.

Here are some books that we have put in PDF format (Ebooks - Download to computer before putting on Ipad):

More Catholic Books

See our Catholic Reading List for more good reading suggestions.

Thank you for visiting!

Definitive Catholic Catechisms and Doctrine

FTC Disclosure: I also recommend other products that I think will help you. If you buy through my links I earn ad commissions at no extra cost to you.

If you are not required to use the Baltimore, check out DeHarbe's Catechism here. The Small is for Communion preparation and the Large for the rest of us. No white-out necessary. :-)

Catechism of the Bible, Douay Version (Amazon)

 A Practical Commentary On Holy Scripture combines the Bible and the catechism. I wish all books were this good.

Child's Bible History (elementary) and Bible History book (high school) are excellent for catechism class.

Audio Baltimore Catechism, Catholic Worksheets, Catholic eBooks, and Catholic Coloring Pages:

Order Baltimore Catechism worksheets. Choose fontscolors, and SIZES.

Use these printables in your Roman Catholic catechism class, Faith formation, or Sunday school lesson. ~Mary Fifer

Audio Baltimore Catechism CDs and downloads for Catholic Sunday school worksheets and coloring pages.

If you use the Baltimore Catechism, you'll love SaintAnnesHelper.com!



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