A few years back when I oversaw the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) at our parish, I thought to myself that we really need a good book to give to our new Catholics to help them find their way in the Catholic Church after we stopped meeting with them each week. We use to tell them that for the faith to take hold in their life, they had to make it their own – they needed to do Catholic things and experience the larger Church.
Although I am no longer overseeing the RCIA program, I would like to suggest this fantastic new book titled, I’m Catholic, Now What? written by author Shaun McAfee. He is the founder and editor of EpicPew.com, has a weekly blog at the National Catholic Register, and is a contributor with Catholic Answers Magazine.
When I first picked up this book, I remember thinking to myself – this is the book that every new Catholic and every seasoned Catholic need to have in their personal library. It is by far the best book on “how to be a Catholic.”
What is great about McAfee’s work is that it’s not a book you need to read cover to cover, but you can find topics that interest you at the moment and read about them. The contents are set up as follow: Getting Started, The Sacraments, Mary, the Church, and the Saints, Prayer, Catholic Life, Customs, Rules, and Basic Etiquette, Being a Modern Catholic, Knowing and Defending Your Faith, Evangelization: It’s for Everyone and a Conclusion.
When you see the contents list, you might be thinking it reflects aspects of The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which it does, and McAfee points out it is important to be familiar with as a Catholic but keep in mind this isn’t a theology book per se but a book on “how to be a Catholic.” Some of the topics that grabbed my attention instantly were: “Where should you sit for Mass?”, “Live out your Confirmation”, “Attend an ordination”, Start a holy card collection”, “Invite your priest over for dinner”, “Have a beer” [yes, this is actually a chapter!], “Learn some Latin”, and lastly, “Know your heresies.”
If you have a coffee table in your home, this book needs to be on it! You will find yourself reading about these great topics and evangelizing your family and friends when they come over to visit. My copy is usually somewhere in our living room or kitchen counter. When you purchase this book, which I cannot encourage enough, you will find yourself wanting to “do Catholic things” the moment it arrives.
It’s the perfect book for all the new Catholics that will join the Catholic Church this year on the Easter Vigil. If you are an RCIA coordinator, a catechist, or a sponsor, this is the book that you need to give to your soon-to-be Catholics. It will not disappoint and they will surely thank you for giving them the “how-to” book on being a Catholic.
Categories: Book Reviews