Summer is upon us and so is summer reading. It is easy to get overwhelmed by all of the great Catholic books out there, so I wanted to create a list of four must-reads this summer that thousands of Catholics are reading across the country.
If I’m on my game, I’ll follow up this article with some book reviews/cliff notes and allow you all to join into the discussion on these books. It will be like an online book club. Check out the books below and stay tuned for the reviews in the future.
1. The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid by Greg Willits
Description: Greg Willits has been a popular name in Catholic New Media for several years through his podcasts and radio shows. From his experience of speaking with Catholics, active and inactive across the country, Willits brings an immense amount of real life experiences to the topic of evangelization. While the American Catholic Church has seen a huge renewal in knowing the Jesus Christ and His Church, this book seeks to show the reader how to make Him known in practical ways each day.
2. Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus by Sherry Weddell
Description: In 1993, Sherry Weddell created a system that helps Catholics discern their personal charisms and how to apply them to the Church. Through her training of over 100,000 people and extensive research with the Catherine of Siena Institute, Weddell has pinpointed the most important next step for the Catholic Church—we need Catholics who make a conscious choice to know and follow Jesus. Weddell also communicates helpful ways to communicate the faith to a postmodern world. If you are looking to understand a vision for Catholic evangelization today, Forming Intentional Disciples is a great read for you.
3. Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the 21st Century by George Weigel
Description: Through his biography on Blessed John Paul II and his writings over the past few decades, George Weigel has become the definitive intellectual authority in the Catholic Church today. In this work, Weigel masterfully captures what is needed for reform through his grasp of both the Church’s history of reform and the current landscape of the Church today. Specifically, Weigel notes that Evangelical Catholics are those who have radical conversions, deep fidelity to the teachings of the Church, joyful discipleship, and courageous evangelism. Weigel’s book is a tour de force on a deep analysis of what plagues the Church today and the hope for our Church tomorrow.
4. The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic by Matthew Kelly
Description: Matthew Kelly spent a deal of time and resources in doing research about Catholics around the country. One of their most powerful conclusions is that just under 7% of Catholics are giving 80% of the material resources and time to their parishes. Kelly’s research dives into what characteristics or signs these 7% have and then goes after how we get more of what he calls “Dynamic Catholics.” This book is a quick and popular read that presents vision and Catholic best practices in a way that anyone can understand. This book is perfect for those who are just getting into their faith or seeking to renew their parishes.