Reading and Relevant Materials
Reading and Relevant Materials
Discerning Priesthood Reading List
Discerning Priesthood Reading List

Guides for discovering God’s will for your life
 
 Pope Benedict XVI:

Ignatius Press is the exclusive publisher for the writings of Pope Benedict’s works in the United States.  His ‘Author’s Page’ lists the available titles.  Not to be missed are his works on the Apostles and the Early Church, St. Paul, as well as his reflections on the face of Christ in Jesus of Nazareth.  (Part II will be available in March 2011.)

Pope John Paul II:

Gift and Mystery: On the Fiftieth Anniversary of My Priestly Ordination (Image, 1999, ISBN 385493711, $10) Letters to My Brother Priests (1979-2005) (Midwest Theological Forum,
2006, ISBN 189017758X, $25)
In the first work, the late Pope tells how he discerned his priestly call, and in the second, he shares his reflections on the priesthood.

World Day of Vocations Messages by Pope John Paul II. The Vatican website has the complete texts of the Pope’s messages on these special days at www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/messages/vocations/index.htm.

Fr. Brett Brannen

To Save a Thousand Souls: A Guide for Discerning a Vocation to Diocesan Priesthood (Vianney Vocations, 2010, ISBN 9780615345512, $20).  Fr. Brannen is a former vocation director and currently on the formation faculty at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland.  This book brings together the lessons he has learned, which he now presents in clear, conscise language.

Archbishop Edwin O’Brien

A Priest’s Life: The Calling, the Cost, the Joy (The Word Among Us Press, 2010, ISBN 9781593251680, $10).  A fruit of the ‘Year for Priests,’ this booklet contains short essays by priests on their calling to the priesthood.

Fr. Thomas Dubay S.M.:

Authenticity, A Biblical Theology of Discernment (Ignatius, 1997, ISBN 089870619X, $17). A scripture-based guide to uncovering God’s call, written by renowned retreat master Fr. Dubay.

Douglas Brinkly & Julie Fenster:

Parish Priest: Father Michael McGivney and American Catholicism (William Morrow, 2006, ISBN 0060776846, $25). Brinkly and Fenster present the inspiring story of Fr. Michael McGivney, a humble parish priest who founded the Knights of Columbus, and in doing so helped to transform Catholicism in America.

Blessed Columba Marmion:

Christ: The Ideal of the Priest (Ignatius, 2005, ISBN 1586170147, $19). Fr. Columba Marmion, wrote this classic on the priesthood to show the holiness priests are called to, and how it can only be attained through union with, and imitation of, Christ.

Fr. Reginald Garrigou-LaGrange O.P.:

The Priest in Union with Christ (TAN, 2002, ISBN 0895557029, $17). Dominican priest Fr. Garrigou-LaGrange describes the depth and breadth that underlies living “in persona Christi” as a Catholic Priest.

Fr. Jean Galot S.J.:

Theology of the Priesthood (Ignatius, 2005, ISBN 1586170961, $18). Theologian Fr. Galot explains how the Jewish priesthood, Jesus’ perfect priestly ministry, and the role of the Twelve help us understand ministerial priesthood.

Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk:

Our Priests: Who They Are and What They Do (Our Sunday Visitor, 1995, ISBN 0879736615, available from Archdiocese of Cincinnati Vocation Office). Archbishop Pilarczyk explains the nature of priesthood, vocation, celibacy and other topics related to life as a priest.

Alfons Maria Cardinal Stickler:

The Case for Clerical Celibacy: Its Historical Development & Theological Foundations (Ignatius, 1995, ISBN 0898705339, $11). In this brief work, Cardinal Stickler traces the origins of Priestly celibacy back to the norms of Old Testament priesthood, the teachings of Christ & St. Paul, the 4th century Councils and papal decrees. He demonstrates that the Latin Rite tradition precedes the Greek Orthodox and presents the weaknesses of recent challenges.

St. Augustine:

Confessions (Doubleday, 1960, ISBN 0385029551, $11).  St. Augustine bluntly presents his slow transformation during adolescence/young adulthood from a life of self-indulgence to one of holiness.

St. Alphonsus Liguori:

The Duties and Dignity of the Priest (Redemptorist Fathers, 1927, ASIN B000CBGBVO) In this hard-to-find book St. Alphonsus explains the beauty and sublime duties of the priesthood.

St. Ignatius of Loyola:

The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola (TAN, 1999, ISBN 0895556464, $17) Society of Jesus Founder St. Ignatius of Loyola presents his interesting approach to orienting one’s soul to God and eternal salvation.

Archbishop Timothy Dolan:

Priests for the Third Millenium (Our Sunday Visitor, 2000, ISBN 0879733195, $25) A collection of conferences given while then-Monsignor Dolan was the rector the North American College in Rome, it is a balanced presentation on the living of a Christian life and on the living of a Priestly life.

Fr. David Toups:

Reclaiming our Priestly Character (IPF Publications, 2008, ISBN 0980045517, $25).  A review of the current challenges faced by today’s priests and seminarians, Fr. Toups lays out a clear path for renewal in the priesthood.

More Information

Further reading can be found at My Catholic Shop in Madeira, Ohio; Ignatius Press Online; Midwest Theological Forum; and Aquinas Books and More; plus many other Catholic Bookstores.

Back to the top.

Aids for Growing Closer to God       

Pope John Paul II:

The Way to Christ: Spiritual Exercises (Harper, 1994, ISBN 0060642165, $12) and Prayers and Devotions: 365 Daily Meditations (Penguin Books, 1984, ISBN 0140247254, $12). In the 1st book, the beloved late Pope presents the spiritual exercises he used during young adult retreats in Poland, and the 2rd book contains meditations from his talks/writings. Novo Millenio Innuente by Pope John Paul II. As the year 2000 ended, the Pope wrote an Apostolic letter to give guidance for Catholics on how to live life at the dawn of the third millennium. It is at www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_20010106_novo-millennio-ineunte_en.html.

Fr. Thomas Dubay S.M.:

Prayer Primer: Igniting a Fire Within (Charis, 2002, ISBN 1569553394, $11) and Seeking Spiritual Direction: How to Grow the Divine Within, (Servant Pub, 1994, ISBN 0892838108, $13). Two guides for helping deepen one’s prayer life and spirituality by renowned retreat master Fr. Dubay.

Fr. Benedict Groeschel:

Praying in the Presence of Our Lord with the Saints (Our Sunday Visitor, 2001, 0879739487, $8). Eucharistic Adoration is a remarkable means for discovering God’s will in one’s life. This short book contains the reflections of Holy men and women on the Eucharist, in their own words.  This book is part of the popular Praying in the Presence of Our Lord series from Our Sunday Visitor.

St. Alphonsus Liguori:

The Passion and Death of Jesus Christ (Redemptorist Fathers, 1927, ASIN B000BGLKWU). In this somewhat hard-to-find book, St. Alphonsus vividly presents the saving power of Christ’s Passion.

St. Francis De Sales:

Philothea: Introduction to the Devout Life (TAN, 1994, ISBN 0895555107, $13) and Treatise on the Love of God (TAN, 1997, ISBN 0895555263, $27.50). St. Francis uses lucid prose to guide anyone wanting to live a more devout life.

St. Ignatius of Loyola:

The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola (TAN, 1999, ISBN 0895556464, $17) Society of Jesus Founder St. Ignatius of Loyola presents his interesting approach to orient one’s soul to God and eternal salvation in this classic book.

St. John of the Cross:

The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross (ICS, 1991, ISBN 0935216146, $19). The writings of Carmelite St. John of the Cross are classics in Catholic mysticism.

St. Louis De Montfort:

Friends of the Cross (Montfort Publications, 1995, ISBN 0910984255, $5). De Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary had an enormous impact upon John Paul II. Here is another brilliant but lesser known work by this remarkable saint.

St. Teresa of Avila:

The Way of Perfection (Image, 1991, ISBN 0385065396, $13), and The Life of Teresa of Avila (Penguin Classics, 1988, ISBN 0140440739, $11). These two books reveal Saint Teresa’s theological genius.

St. Therese of Liseux:

Story of a Soul (ICS Pub., 1999, ISBN 0935216588, $13). Called “the most important saint of the 20th century”, her autobiography reveals her “Little Way” by which a person can move closer to God.

Jean-Pierre de Caussade:

Abandonment to Divine Providence (Doubleday, 1975, ISBN 0385468717, $11) Short book which guides the reader to an open-hearted acceptance of God’s will.

Back to the top.


Deepen your Knowledge and Love for Christ’s Church       
 
 
The Holy Bible:

Be sure to get a good Catholic translation, such as Douay-Rheims Bible, Revised Standard Version Bible, St. Ignatius Bible, Ignatius Study Bible (published book by book), Navarre Bible or New Jerusalem Bible.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd Edition.

(Doubleday, 2003, ISBN 0385508190, $15). Pope John Paul II had an update made of the catechism, summarizing the Church’s official teachings on virtually any issue you will face in life.

Pope Benedict XVI:

Introduction to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Ignatius, 1994, ISBN 0898704855, $13) and Gospel, Catechesis, Catechism: Sidelights on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Ignatius, 1997, ISBN 0898706335, $10). These two guidebooks help people understand the depth and breadth of the new Catechism. Introduction to Christianity (Ignatius, 2004, ISBN 1586170295, $19). Prior to his election as Pope, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger wrote this textbook based on the Apostles Creed for one of his theology courses.

Didache Series:

(4 part series published by Midwest Theological Forum)

Introduction To Catholicism (2004, ISBN 1890177288 ,$30) Understanding The Scriptures (2005, ISBN 1890177474, $45), The History of the Church (2006, ISBN 1890177466, $50), Our Moral Life in Christ (2006, ISBN 1890177296, $30). These 4 texts provide a well-organized and remarkable overview of the whole of Catholic life and history, with numerous direct quotes from Scripture, the Catechism, Church Fathers, Papal Encyclicals, and Vatican II.

Fr. Rumble & Fr. Carty:

Radio Replies (TAN, 1979, ISBN 0895551594, $48). Brilliant answers to 1000s of tough questions on Catholicism.

Frank Sheed:

A Map of Life: A Simple Study of the Catholic Faith (Ignatius, 1994, 089870474X, $10), Theology and Sanity (Ignatius, 1993, ISBN 0898704707, $20) and Theology for Beginners (Servant Ministries, 1982, ISBN 0892831243, $15). In clear, concise prose, Frank Sheed introduces the theological genius of the Catholic Faith.

Archbishop Charles Chaput:

Living the Catholic Faith: Rediscovering the Basics (Charis Books, 2001, ISBN 156955191X, $10), Render Unto Caesar (Doubleday, 2009, ISBN 0385522290 $14). Archbishop Chaput’s books offer brilliant presentations of how to make your Catholic Faith a part of your daily life.

Karl Keating:

Catholicism and Fundamentalism (Ignatius, 1988, ISBN 0898701775, $17). Many hold very strong, but very inaccurate, beliefs about our Church. Karl Keating carefully reveals how these negative beliefs are incorrect.

Scott Hahn:

Catholic for a Reason (3 part series, Emmaus Rd, ISBNs 0966322304, 1931018235, 1931018189, $16 each), Swear to God: (Doubleday, 2004, ISBN 0385509316, $20), The Lamb’s Supper (Doubleday, 1999, ISBN 0385496591, $21), Many are Called: Rediscovering the Glory of the Priesthood (Doubleday, 2010, ISBN 0307590771) and Scripture Matters (Emmaus Road, 2003, ISBN 1931018170, $16). Presents where Catholic doctrines are found in Scripture.  (For a complete list of Dr. Hahn’s books, click here.)

G.K. Chesterton:

Orthodoxy (Ignatius, 1995, ISBN 0898705525, $12).  A spiritual masterpiece by one of the great Catholic writers.

Thomas Woods:

How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization (Regnery, 2005, ISBN 0895260387, $30). Historian Thomas Woods reviews the many ways in which the Church inspired, shaped and “built” the Western World.

Back to the top.


Be Inspired by the Witness of Devout Catholics       

Pope John Paul II:

Gift and Mystery: On the Fiftieth Anniversary of My Priestly Ordination (Image, 1999, ISBN 0385493711, $10) In this work, the late Pope tells how he discerned his priestly call.

George Weigel

Witness to Hope (Harper, 2005, ISBN 0060732032, $25), The End and the Beginning – Pope John Paul II: The Victory of Freedom, the Last Years, the Legacy (Doubleday, 2010, ISBN 038552479X, $32.50) George Weigel was given unprecedented access to the Holy Father to complete this book, the definitive biography of the great Pope John Paul II.  The second title delves into recently de-classified documents to give a larger picture of Pope John Paul’s struggle to conquer Communism through culture.

Robert Bolt:

A Man for All Seasons (Vintage, 1990, ISBN 0679728228, $9.50, on DVD here). This is the award-winning play that tells the courageous story of St. Thomas More, a wealthy and powerful politician who literally sacrificed everything rather than abandon his Faith.

Douglas Brinkly & Julie Fenster:

Parish Priest: Father Michael McGivney and American Catholicism (William Morrow, 2006, ISBN 0060776846, $25). Brinkly and Fenster present the inspiring story of Fr. Michael McGivney, a humble parish priest who founded the Knights of Columbus, and in doing so helped to transform Catholicism in America.

Fr. Walter J. Ciszek S.J.:

With God in Russia (Ignatius, 1997, ISBN 0898705746, $17). Fr. Ciszek describes his 23 years spent in a Siberian prison camp, falsely accused as an “American Spy.” He performed the sacraments undercover, in constant danger of death.

He Leadeth Me (Ignatius, 1995, ISBN 0898705460, $15) He Leadeth Me is the follow up spiritual journey told as a sequel to With God in Russia.

Andre Frossard

Forget Not Love: The Passion of Maximilian Kolbe (Ignatius, 1991, ISBN 0898702755, $15). Powerful biography of St. Maximilian Kolbe, Priest and Auschwitz martyr.

Thomas Reeves

America’s Bishop: The Life and Times of Fulton J. Sheen (Encounter Books, 2001, ISBN 1893554252, $26) The powerful influence of Bishop Sheen upon American culture is described.

George Rutler:

The Cure D’Ars Today: St. John Vianney (Ignatius, 1988, ISBN 0898701805, $12). An inspiring biography of the great St. John Vianney, Patron of Confessors and Parish Priests.

St. Augustine:

Confessions (Doubleday, 1960, ISBN 0385029551, $11). St. Augustine bluntly presents his slow transformation during adolescence/young adulthood from a life of self-indulgence to one of holiness. One of the best selling and most influential books of all time.

St. Teresa of Avila:

The Way of Perfection (Image, 1991, ISBN 0385065396, $13), and The Life of Teresa of Avila (Penguin Classics, 1988, ISBN 0140440739, $11). These two books reveal Saint Teresa’s theological genius.

St. Therese of Liseux:

Story of a Soul (ICS Pub., 1999, ISBN 0935216588, $13). Called “the most important saint of the 20th century”, her autobiography reveals her “Little Way” by which a person can move closer to God.

Back to the top.
Be Sociable, Share!
Reading and Relevant Materials

Rev. Dan Schmitmeyer
Vocations Director

(513) 421-3131 x.2890
(800) 686-2724

Contact Me

Mr. Wayne Topp
Associate Director

(513) 421-3131 x.2891
(800) 686-2724

Contact Me
OTHER CATEGORIES
Resources           Videos
Events         Gallery
FOLLOW US ON: