Reading List

Become familiar with the great spiritual wealth of the Church. Begin reading books that feed you spiritually; it will help you grow in knowing Christ's will for you. Here are a few recommendations:

 
 

Discernment

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To Save a Thousand Souls
Fr. Brett a Brannen

To Save a Thousand Souls: A Guide for Discerning a Vocation to Diocesan Priesthood is the definitive guide for men considering the priesthood. Using powerful and entertaining stories, the book explains in down-to-earth language how to carefully discover God’s call.

 
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Is Jesus Calling You to be a Catholic Priest?
Fr. Thomas Richter

In this booklet, Msgr. Thomas Richter leads you through 10 spiritual lessons of discerning your vocation to the priesthood.

 
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Have I Been With You? Personal Prayer for Young Disciples
Fr. Paul Hoesing

The booklet is a primer on prayer for young disciples by Father Paul Hoesing. This primer was written to encourage the kind of prayer that that becomes a lifestyle, a response to the presence and love of Jesus.

 
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The Discernment of Spirits
Fr. Timothy M. Gallagher

In The Discernment of Spirits, Fr. Timothy Gallagher, a talented teacher, retreat leader, and scholar, helps us understand the Rules and how their insights are essential for our spiritual growth today. By integrating the Rules and the experience of contemporary people, Gallagher shows the precision, clarity, and insight of Ignatius's Rules, as well as the relevance of his thought for spiritual life today.

 
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What does God want?
Fr. Michael Scanlan

This book is designed to help you make these decisions. It offers a five part process for decision making that can help you choose the right course of action in matters large and small.

 
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Paths of Love
Joseph Bolin

Paths of Love: The Discernment of Vocation According to the Teaching of Aquinas, Ignatius, and Pope John Paul II is about vocation to marriage, priesthood, or religious life, has several unique features. First, while being addressed to all Catholics, not only to theologians, it does not oversimplify vocation, or give a mere compilation of advice, but aims to present the rich depth and wealth of the Christian understanding of vocation in a simple and accessible manner.

 
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Interior Freedom
Fr. Jacques Philippe

Interior Freedom leads one to discover that even in the most unfavorable outward circumstances we possess within ourselves a space of freedom that nobody can take away, because God is its source and guarantee. Without this discovery we will always be restricted in some way and will never taste true happiness.

 
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Discerning Religious Life
Sister Clare Matthiass, CFR

Discerning Religious Life distills Sr. Clare Matthiass' wisdom into clear advice, especially for women who are struggling to discover their vocations. Filled with humorous anecdotes and poignant stories of her 20 years as a sister, Discerning Religious Life is easy to read, and contains rock-solid guidance based on the wisdom of the saints. The entire point of the book, as Sr. Clare says, “is to move from discernment to decision.”

 

Priesthood

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Could You Ever Become a Catholic Priest?
Christopher J and Lorene Hanley Duquin

What is it that makes the Catholic Church so unique? Why would anyone want to be a Catholic? Could / ever become a Catholic? These questions and many more are addressed in this book by individuals who have asked them too. If you were ever curious about who converts to Catholicism and why, or whether you could ever become a Catholic, you will find much to ponder here.

 
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Priests for the Third Millennium
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan

Priesthood begins with God's invitation, but it develops out of man's response. 
What does it take to respond enthusiastically, wholeheartedly and faithfully to the call to serve? Cardinal Dolan provides answers in Priests for the Third Millennium. 

But more than just lofty rhetoric, he clearly sets forth what it takes to be a Catholic priest in the third millennium. Whether he is stressing the necessity of regular Confession, the need to celebrate daily Mass and say the Liturgy of the Hours, or discussing priestly celibacy in frank, realistic terms, Cardinal Dolan emphasizes true priestly identity by presenting a life worth living, a life worth sharing, a life worth offering up to the Father through Christ and in the Holy Spirit.

 
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Radical Surrender: Letters to Seminarians
Fr. Michael J. Najim

We live in a culture of distraction, making it very difficult to hear God's voice and respond with courage. Fr. Michael Najim's book, Radical Surrender: Letters to Seminarians, will assist vocation directors and seminary formators in helping seminarians recognize the true voice of God and rightfully discern their vocation. Seminary formation must be interiorly appropriated; in other words, formation will be fruitful only if the seminarian allows Christ to transform his heart. Radical Surrender: Letters to Seminarians is a unique resource for all interested in the spiritual and human formation of the next generation of priests. 

 
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Called by Name
Dr. Christine Ann Mugridge

Catholic priests communicate the glory of heaven through the ministry of the Word and the sacraments, especially in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the source and summit of our Faith. By fulfilling this mission, these men truly become an alter Christus another Christ.  In this intriguing look at the awesome call to the priesthood, you will experience firsthand the joys, the struggles, and the extraordinary grace needed, and given by, these men we call Father.

 
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The Priest is Not His Own
Venerable Fulton J. Sheen

This is much more than a book for priests. Based on his earlier studies of the life of Christ, Sheen envisions the priest as a man sacrificing himself in the prolongation of Christ's incarnation. Whereas pagan religions offered sacrifices to the Gods, the priest is himself both priest and victim, as he sacrifices himself, as the ancient priests sacrificed animals and other creatures. A classic description of the significance of the priesthood.

 
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Those Mysterious Priests
Venerable Fulton J. Sheen

In his final years, Archbishop Sheen gave many retreats to priests, and was very concerned with making sure that priests had a strong moral and spiritual background to meet the challenges facing the Church after Vatican II. This book covers a wide range of topics affecting the priesthood, and is vintage Sheen, written with his usual insight and humor.

 
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Reclaiming Our Priestly Character
Fr. David L. Toups

In a day and age in which permanent commitments are devalued by our society and in a particular way the priesthood is under attack for the sins of a small percentage, it is of utmost importance to re-emphasize both the permanence and the dignity of the calling to the ministerial priesthood. Reclaiming Our Priestly Character offers a review of the present crisis surrounding priestly identity through careful theological scholarship and a wise and practical spirituality, providing a clear path toward the renewal of the priestly character. An essential guide for every priest and seminarian.

 

Pastores Dabo Vobis
St. John Paul II

Apostolic exhortation to the bishops, clergy and faithful on the formation of priests in the circumstances of the present day.

 
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Dear Father
Catherine Doherty

Are you a priest searching for clear answers to questions about the meaning of the priesthood, or a layman -- or seminarian -- considering becoming a priest? Or are you a layperson seeking better awareness and appreciation of God s gifts to the Church in and through his priests? Dear Father: A Message of Love for Priests is the book for you. To read yourself or to give as a gift to challenge, encourage, reassure, inspire any priest or aspiring priest, or layperson in relationship with priests.

 
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Be Holy! God's First call to Priests Today
Tom Forrest