The New Catholic Bookshelf, vol. 3 – movie edition

Movies! There are some really fabulous movies out there that are wonderful to watch and share with your kiddos. We sometimes enjoy watching faith-related movies together, especially on a Sunday evening. I think they are a great way to spend time together and also grow in understanding some of the great stories in our family history. I have linked these to Amazon, but as always, if you want them, please consider saving resources – and a buck – by borrowing or buying used. 

1. Clare and Francis – I loved this film!  St. Francis is my oldest daughter’s confirmation saint, and is a constant inspiration for me as I struggle to balance the needs and wants of large family life, the tight budget that comes with that large family, and a desire to live a life of giving, detached from the thirst to acquire, improve, consume.

2. Restless Heart: The Confessions of Augustine – When I commented that I liked this one, but found it to be a little intense, Mark said that that was because Augustine had an intense life! This was really well-done, but does not make for light watching.

3. Jesus of Nazareth – A classic and really well done film on the life of Christ. This one is our favorite “Jesus movie” as a family. It’s extremely long – 6 and 1/2 hours! We watched it over the course of three evenings around Easter time, and it was a great way to consider the season.

4. The Chronicles of Narnia – BBC Version –  Mark read these out loud to the kids before we watched the movies, and then we watched both this version and the new ones. The kids liked the newer versions fine, but Mark and I like the old BBC ones a lot better. Especially in the Dawn Treader, we felt that they really departed way too far from the original story, without any benefit.  If you aren’t famliar with the Chronicles of Narnia – read them first!! 🙂


Previously – Bookshelf Vol. 1 and Bookshelf Vol. 2

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The New Catholic Bookshelf – vol. 2

BookshelfHere are some more books that have been helpful to me along the way as we have journeyed from Geneva to Rome. I have linked these to Amazon, but if you want them, please consider saving a tree – and a buck – by borrowing or buying used.

1. The Catholic Controversy – St. Francis de Sales’ Defense of the Faith. 
This is a collection of pamphlets written by St. Francis de Sales on a mission to reach a community of French Calvinists in the late 1500’s. The pamphlets were written to be posted on walls and slid under the doors of folks who wouldn’t give him an ear. After four years, nearly the entire region had been brought back to the Catholic church, about 72,000 people!

This is a really good volume for anyone from a Presbyterian/Calvinist/Reformed background, whether looking at conversion oneself or just trying to understand the issues involved. His writing is incisive and to the point, and he explores issues of deep concern to this branch of the Protestant churches.

2. Catholicism for Dummies, by Rev. John Trigilio, Jr. 
In the early-early days of visiting our parish, I saw this on the shelf in the library. I was silly enough to be too embarrassed to check it out on the spot, but I went and got it from the public library. Now I can giggle at myself and recommend it to you. I like the Dummies books if I can get past being rankled at being called a dummy! This book really lays it all out and is super helpful for navigating both the doctrinal distinctions of the Church, including some very deep and significant issues, and also a lot of the practical details that are so dizzying to newcomers. Even otherwise very knowledgeable and savvy newcomers. 😉

3. The Catechism of the Catholic Church. If you want to the know the church’s teaching on something, it really doesn’t get any more definitive than this. This volume is way more accessible than it looks, and it’s really lovely to read from cover to cover, if you’re the type, which I’m not exactly. For me, it’s a super reference if I have a quick question about something.

Previously: Bookshelf, vol. 1

The New Catholic Bookshelf – vol. 1

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There have been a number of books and articles that have been important to me along the road to Rome. My intention is to post periodically about books I either have read, or am reading, that have been helpful along the way. Recommended reading is also welcome! Also, I have linked these to Amazon, but if you want them, please consider saving a tree – and a buck – by borrowing or buying used! 🙂

One of the first books I read when we started thinking about this was Surprised by Truth, edited by Patrick Madrid.  It’s a compilation of 11 stories by converts from a wide variety of backgrounds, including Reformed, which was my own.  It was helpful for me to read about others grappling with the same issues I was, both the doctrinal questions and also the personal struggles and joys that come with such a major life change.  There are two sequels with more stories, which I have not read.  I plan to, eventually.

Another important book was Rome Sweet Home by Scott and Kimberly Hahn. Another Presbyterian expat, Hahn’s books are engrossing. This one is doubly fascinating because it tells the Hahns’ story from the perspective of both husband and wife. They had a rough road for a while. The book made me realize how incredibly blessed we are that our whole family came into the church together.

One more for now, another Hahn book: Hail Holy Queen.  This is a favorite of mine, and I’m so happy that our parish library has it! The Marian doctrines tend to be some of the toughest for Protestants to even understand, let alone accept. I read a few books about Mary as I struggled with the topic, but this one was hands down the most helpful. All of my worries about Mary were skillfully addressed, and I was able to not just acquiesce to but joyfully embrace the Catholic view here.