Since I was a Catholic RCIA candidate this time last year, anxiously awaiting Easter and my full communion with the Church, I thought I’d share several resources that I found to be indispensable as a Catholic newbie. Of course it goes unsaid that everyone should have a Catholic Bible (New American version) and a Catechism of the Catholic Church, so I’m going to skip past those. Here are my 5 must-dos for RCIA candidates:
1) Read “Rediscover Catholicism” by Matthew Kelly – This book changed my vision of the Catholic church from stodgy and out of date to the most genius I have yet to come upon. If you’re struggling with any of the common issues, such as praying to Mary, fasting, the Eucharist, etc., Kelly explains it in an easy-to-understand way that makes sense in today’s world. It is FREE at DynamicCatholic.com. Go order your copy today!
2) Catholic Radio – I did not discover Catholic radio until halfway through RCIA and I could not believe what I had missed. Here in Indy, you can listen to Catholic Radio on 90.9 or 89.3. All day long are shows to help you learn about your Catholic faith. Teresa Tomeo and Al Kresta help you understand the issues of the day in light of the Catholic faith and shows like Open Line and Catholic Answers help explain some of the intricacies of the faith. Good stuff!
3) Laudate & Mass Times App – Now that you’re becoming Catholic, you should never miss mass! To help, use the Mass Times smartphone app when you travel to make sure you can find the closest churches and look up their mass times. Laudate is a wonderful free app that includes the daily scripture readings, saint of the day write up, a whole host of prayers, the complete New American Bible and so much more. All at your fingertips and FREE!
4) A Rosary – Honoring Mary is one of the most wonderful gifts you can give yourself. She is a loving, caring mom who if you ask her, will guide you on your Catholic journey. I began praying the rosary nearly every day early last summer and it’s such a blessing. Find a rosary online or at your local Catholic bookstore (there are some very inexpensive ones) or just use your 10 fingers! You’ll need to learn how to pray it, which is tough for a newbie. Real Men Pray the Rosary has a great explanation (see here), as does the Laudate app (in fact they have podcasts you can listen to so you don’t even have to remember what to say). I recommend finding a pamphlet or printing out the Real Men Pray the Rosary one and following it until you have it memorized (it will take a while, no worries :)).
5) “The Catholicism Answer Book: The 300 Most Frequently Asked Questions” by Kenneth Brighenti – I had a TON of questions on the most basic tenets of Catholicism, especially on things like indulgences, praying to saints, why certain things are done at mass, etc. The best resource I found that answered nearly all my questions and explained things simply was “The Catholicism Answer Book.” I “checked it out” for free as a Kindle ebook from my local library, but you can buy from Amazon, too.
What resources have you found to be helpful during the RCIA process? Let me know if you have any questions or concerns that I can help with as a recent RCIA candidate. Email me at [email protected]!