About a year ago I received an email from a Catholic author with a request to participate in a novena. Essentially, the request was for blessings upon the works of Catholic authors in the form of sales, recognitions, and other assorted sundry ways in which an author might actually make a living, or at least get a few dollars here and there. Being a Catholic publisher I was delighted to take part in this novena. Along with my own personal participation in the prayers, I wrote a small article and posted it on a few websites that published my articles. Much to my surprise the item took on a life of its own and appeared on a number of Catholic author’s blogs and additional websites. It was a call to Catholics everywhere to search out and support the works of Catholic authors and I began receiving requests for suggestions on ways in which to find great Catholic books for families, parishes, and classrooms.
Since that novena request, we have been blessed by a Papal visit in which our beloved Pontiff has asked us to get better at catechizing ourselves and our families. He called for a return to the roots of Catholicism for educators, families, and parishes. As I listened, I couldn’t help but think about Catholic authors like Harriet Sabatini whose book, Joseph’s Hands, is written for Catholic youngsters and catechism programs as it promotes vocations in a beautiful and uplifting way. Her book has been endorsed by Archbishop Foley of Alabama and Catholic author Bert Ghezzi. It is a book that belongs in every Catholic classroom around the country and is just what Pope Benedict was referring to when he asked us to develop vocations in our children.
If you are interested in finding books that are written by Catholic authors for Catholic audiences and are perfect replacements for popular secular books and books clubs (this is especially true for middle school kids), I’ve put together a list of Catholic titles and Catholic booksellers. I asked many Catholic families and Catholic webmasters who have a “pulse” on their audience, to give me some “must read” Catholic selections. The only criteria? Let’s shed light on some of our lesser known, but well worth knowing, Catholic authors. Today I wanted to share the list of highly recommended books with you in the hope that as you put together your summer reading list, in consideration of Benedict’s call to get back to Catholic basics, or if you want to offer recommendations to your parish’s religious education program or parochial school teachers, please consider these Catholic works. Go ahead and print this list out, save it, share it…I am sure you will love these recommendations!
Highly recommended fiction for adults:
Letters to Luke by Joe Holoubek has been endorsed by C. Everett Koop, former U.S. Surgeon General and Archbishop Philip Hannan of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. It has won numerous awards including First Place in the Writer’s Digest Inspirational Category. Letters to Luke is available at http://littledovepress.com/.
Also recommended fiction is any of the works by Tony Perona, all available on Amazon.
Highly recommended non-fiction for adults:
From Pharaoh to the Father by Kay Murdy, who is the co-coordinator of the Catholic Bible Institute for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, is absolutely jam packed with spiritual information about the Lord’s Prayer and provides a great depth of information from which to spend contemplative time with God. From Pharaoh to Father is available at http://www.daily-word-of-life.com/kay’s_writings2.htm.
Highly recommended parenting book:
Sometimes parents need books that make them smile along with shed an occasional tear. It isn’t just about great tips but also about connecting with an author in a very real way. This is just what is offered in Please Don’t Drink the Holy Water by Susan Lloyd available on http://ninevehscrossing.com/Moms&Women.html.
Highly recommended fiction for teens and adults:
The Story of Peace by Miriam Ezeh is a beautiful story of chaste love and right relationships and has been heralded as “required reading” for every teenager and adult. The Story of Peace is available at http://www.ninevehscrossing.com/Books-Media-Youth.html.
Also recommended fiction for teens and adults is Emily’s Hope by Ellen Gable and The Green Coat by Rosemary McDunn which are both available on Amazon.
Highly recommended fiction for pre-teens and early teens:
My Big Feet by Joan L. Kelly is that perfect combination of plot, characters, and our Catholic faith and has received a five star review from Lisa Hendey, CE contributor and webmaster of Catholic Mom. My Big Feet is available at http://jlkellyshamrockstories.com/.
Highly recommended book on Mary and Prayer:
Behold Your Mother by Heidi Hess Saxton is available at http://www.christianword.com/. Heidi’s book does have an imprimatur for anyone interested in using it in their religious education formation classes or as gift giving for Catechumens or for the ideal Mother’s Day “card.”
Highly recommended pro-life and vocation building books for young Catholic children:
Joseph’s Hands by Kety Sabatini has been endorsed by Archbishop Foley of Alabama and has been featured on a number of Catholic radio programs. Joseph’s Hands is available at http://ninevehscrossing.com/index.html. Note: Joseph’s Hands is also available in Spanish.
Isabel’s Sister by Kety Sabatini is also highly recommended reading for young Catholic children and is available at http://ninevehscrossing.com/BooksChildren.html.
May you and your family enjoy many of these fine works by Catholic authors and be enriched by their faithfulness to our Catholic Church.