Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our Patroness. You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our needs. You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to learn from the example of your holy life. You are our Mother, and like children, we come to offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive, dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively to our supplications. Amen.



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Lisa R
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Posted: Oct 25 2005 at 10:58am | IP Logged Quote Lisa R

I'm a convert to Catholicism and unfortunately did not have very good instruction. I'd love to embrace my Faith more and be able to pass it on better to my children. I'd like them to grow up with a better understanding than I've had or that my husband had and he grew up Catholic. I don't want them to just go through the motions or follow this Faith just because we told them to. I want them (and me) to embrace it and "own" their faith. I'm looking for suggestions of things to read or whatever to know the Catholic Faith better.

Any ideas?

Thanks and blessings,
Lisa

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Posted: Oct 25 2005 at 9:57pm | IP Logged Quote 5athome

Lisa:

As a lapsed Catholic getting back into the swing of things I am sure many people will give you much better choices than me:) One book I read recently was The Idiots Guide to Catholicism - it is not a great read but it did mention some things that I did not remember even after 12 years of Catholic school. I also have read through Catholic Customs & Traditions by Dues.

Another option is perhaps looking into one of the free courses offered through the mail by Catholic Home Study Services. The website is

http://www.amm.org/chss.htm
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MaryM
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Posted: Oct 26 2005 at 4:11am | IP Logged Quote MaryM

What a great question. It's exciting to see such a desire for embracing and learning about the faith. Of course the first recommendations are going to be the Bible and a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church as resources. But I take it you are looking for additional resources - ones that along with those resources help to make the teachings clear and part of our lives as Catholics.

I really have found that my copies of the Catholic Encyclopedia and Pocket Catholic Dictionary are extremely helpful. It is so easy to find information in these books. They offer a solid definition or overview of terms and topics which I find to be very helpful before delving more indepth on a topic if needed in other resources.

Alan Schreck's books are good basic explanations of the faith. The two I have are Your Catholic Faith and Catholic and Christian. Both good, basic resources to read. I also really enjoy Archbishop Fulton Sheen's books and tapes for explaining teachings of the church and making them come alive. And the book, Living the Catholic Faith, by our archbishop , Charles Chaput is a good book for living and understanding the faith in today's world.

The series from Emmaus Road Publishing - Catholic for a Reason is a must read. I think they live up to their name - they give you "reason" to be Catholic. Each chapter is written by different popular Catholic authors. Very solid. I have not yet read the newest one and this reminds me I need to get a copy.

There are numerous Catholic question/answer books that are very good when you have specific questions. Examples:
What Catholics Really Believe
Catholic Replies 1 & 2
There are many, many others as well.

My favorite periodical publications that focus on Catholic apologetics (and understanding and living the faith) are This Rock (from Catholic Answers) and Envoy Magazine. Both have their back issues archived on-line so your can read them there. Catholic Answers also has a website with lots of great info - particularly the Tract library which has tracts on many, many different topics. The other great source for quick and very readable explanations on a variety of Catholic faith topics is Catholics United for the Faith. All their "Faith Facts" tracts are included here. I go to these two sites when I have questions or need explanations.

Also the Catholic Answers page has a daily radio show. Even if you don't have a radio station that carries it you can listen to it on the internet and download past shows. They have great speakers as guests. I find it very informative and inspiring.

Looking for something visual? The Footprints of God series from Steve Ray are a presentation of the history and teachings of the Catholic Church through a "visit" to the holy lands. As the website says they are "a travel documentary, a biography, a Bible study, an apologetics course and a Church history study." Very good for making historical and biblical connections with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Good for all ages.

Catholic Culture website has a wonderful Liturgical Year section. It's actually bringing the faith alive in day to day life that I think most impacts and helps children to "embrace" the faith as their own. That is what makes the knowledge come alive. Mary Reed Newland has several books which are helpful to building a Catholic culture in the home. Hopefully Jenn will chime in here with more of those specifics - like the links to those books (they are listed on several past threads as well).

Has anyone read Cardinal Schönborn's Living the Catechism of the Catholic Church? It sounds like it would be very good along these lines as well.

I hope this listing isn't overwhelming - I had a hard time just giving one or two basic resources.


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Laura
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Posted: Oct 26 2005 at 5:49am | IP Logged Quote Laura

MaryM wrote:

Catholic Culture website has a wonderful Liturgical Year section.   


This is great and exactly what I have been looking for! Thanks so much Mary. This one needs to be placed in a Catholic Homeschoolers fat file somewhere! Now if only I had enough paper and ink to print off all the ideas for the entire liturgical year. Thanks again!

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momwise
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Posted: Oct 26 2005 at 9:02am | IP Logged Quote momwise

I can't add much except that it looks like one of my very favorite books, The Catholic Source Book was reprinted a few years ago. I bought mine many years ago and still use it al the time.

I can also recommend Domestic-Church.com and Open Wednesday, which gives the Sunday Mass readings with wonderful Catholic commentary and often has Bible history, maps, supplemental activities, etc. I know this is more of a homeschooling site but I've learned a lot about the history and context of a lot of the Mass readings.

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JennGM
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Posted: Oct 26 2005 at 1:01pm | IP Logged Quote JennGM

MaryM wrote:
Catholic Culture website has a wonderful Liturgical Year section. It's actually bringing the faith alive in day to day life that I think most impacts and helps children to "embrace" the faith as their own. That is what makes the knowledge come alive. Mary Reed Newland has several books which are helpful to building a Catholic culture in the home. Hopefully Jenn will chime in here with more of those specifics - like the links to those books (they are listed on several past threads as well).


Great list, Gwen and Mary! I'll fill in a few spots. One other site that is FABULOUS continuing Domestic-Church and Catholic Culture theme is Women for Faith and Family.

I'd second what Mary says, the best way to learn about the Faith is to read the Catechism. But also reading the Church's documents and encyclicals is just some of the best reading ever. You responded that the Liturgical Year info on the Catholic Culture site was just what you were looking for. Is that because liturgy and living the liturgy is one of the areas that is lacking in your formation? If so, Adoremus has made a nice collection of documents to read (Women for Faith and Family is affiliated with this org) and more specifically Documents on Sacred Liturgy and Music.

To understand some of the pious practices, prayers and sacramentals, a recent document is most excellent in sorting this out. It's called Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy. It's not hard reading. I found extremely interesting, especially the beginning which explains the ebb and flow of traditions and practices.

And reading the General Instruction on the Roman Missal the latest form, will help you understand the rules surrounding the Mass. In one of his last gifts to us, Pope John Paul II in Apostolic Letter Mane nobiscum Domine for opening the Year of the Eucharist encouraged a study of the above-mentioned GIRM, so this isn't just something I'm passing along to Newbie Catholics...all Catholics should read it!

And here are the threads on the liturgical year that might be helpful: Resources for the Liturgical Year and Celebrating the Liturgical Year.

Recommended Works of Mary Reed Newland:

The Year and Our Children, Planning the Family Activities for the Church Year, PJ Kenedy and Sons, 1956. It was briefly reprinted by Firefly Press, but they seem to have gone out of business. You can search for used copies on www.bookfinder.com. There is an online version: at here.

The Saints and Our Children, PJ Kenedy and Sons, 1958.
TAN books and Publishers have reprinted this book as same title.
Online version: here.

We and Our Children: Molding the Child in Christian Living, PJ Kenedy and Sons, 1954.
Reprinted as How To Raise Good Catholic Children by Sophia Institute Press.
Online version: here

I have a long list of recommended books and links on the Liturgical Year I can send you if you PM your email address, if you're interested.

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MaryM
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Posted: Oct 26 2005 at 1:54pm | IP Logged Quote MaryM

Quote:
I'd second what Mary says, the best way to learn about the Faith is to read the Catechism.
I mentioned the catechism because it is a given that it is a resource each Catholic family should have - it is so thorough and contains the fullness of the explanations on our faith, but I have to admit that it can be a little daunting and sometimes has more information than I want to start with. That is why I also mentioned the dictionary and encyclopedia. They are a good starting point for a simpler explanation. With the basic understanding first it is easier I have found to tackle the catechism.

Quote:
You responded that the Liturgical Year info on the Catholic Culture site was just what you were looking for. Is that because liturgy and living the liturgy is one of the areas that is lacking in your formation?
It was Laura who responded that this is just what she was looking for, but it was Lisa who started the thread looking for resources to help the faith formation of her and her children. So likely, everyone is at different places in what they are looking for. I would be interested in hearing if these are the type of resources you were looking for, Lisa. I love hearing everyone's ideas and the different focus areas that help you in your faith formation.

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JennGM
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Posted: Oct 26 2005 at 2:00pm | IP Logged Quote JennGM

MaryM wrote:
Quote:
I'd second what Mary says, the best way to learn about the Faith is to read the Catechism.
I mentioned the catechism because it is a given that it is a resource each Catholic family should have - it is so thorough and contains the fullness of the explanations on our faith, but I have to admit that it can be a little daunting and sometimes has more information than I want to start with. That is why I also mentioned the dictionary and encyclopedia. They are a good starting point for a simpler explanation. With the basic understanding first it is easier I have found to tackle the catechism.

What about those books printed by Ignatius Press that help unravel the Catechism? I haven't read them, so I'm wondering if they are any good, worth passing on?

Quote:
It was Laura who responded that this is just what she was looking for, but it was Lisa who started the thread looking for resources to help the faith formation of her and her children. So likely, everyone is at different places in what they are looking for. I would be interested in hearing if these are the type of resources you were looking for, Lisa. I love hearing everyone's ideas and the different focus areas that help you in your faith formation.


I'm a bit slow today...I can't tell you how long it took to put that post together with things going on here. Sorry about the slip up! I saw the beginning letter "L" in the name and just read in the rest! Thanks, Mary for keeping me on my toes!

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Lisa R
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Posted: Oct 31 2005 at 6:46pm | IP Logged Quote Lisa R

Thanks for all the replies and links. It's quite overwhelming and I haven't had enough time to digest it all yet. I just wanted to thank you all for the help.

Looks like I have a lot of reading in my near future!

Blessings,
Lisa

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Mary G
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Posted: Oct 31 2005 at 8:07pm | IP Logged Quote Mary G

One thing that really helped me (and I'm a cradle Catholic from a pretty active Catholic family, but I was schooled in the 70s/early 80s when it was all diversity and embracing ecumenism ) --

Anyway, I volunteered to sponsor at our parish RCIA when I was in Atlanta -- and I truly lucked into a very good, orthodox program. As I sponsored a woman who was marrying a cradle Catholic from Chicago (Polish and VERY conservative and devout), I learned so much that I had forgotten, or maybe had never even been taught!

If you have a good RCIA program in your area, you might check it out. Also, more and more parishes are turnign to adult faith formation programs (often scheduled for the same time as kid CCD so you can go as a family).

Hope this helps!

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Posted: Nov 06 2005 at 6:33pm | IP Logged Quote MaryM

Okay, I just heard about this site from a review in Faith and Family magazine and wasn't sure where to post it, but I think it fits here. This Catholic Defense Directory from PhatMass.com is incredible. The number of links on the given apologetics resources is amazing - so much all in one place. The search engine is one of the better ones I've seen on sites like this. It pulls up so much from so many different collections. The site got a green light from Catholic Culture so it's a reliable Catholic resource.   

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