smiling john bosco


Spiritual Reading is a wonderful way for all of us to grow in faith and to also learn about the truths of the Church.  It is a way for us to learn about the lives of those who lived every day lives like ourselves, but found their way toward heaven.  It is a way to arm ourselves with the truth so that we may catechize those around us and help to lead them towards God.   

On this page, you will find websites and a list of print books that are good and solid reads.  Please check back periodically, as this page will be added to as Father and our Website manager/Catechist read more books that they feel are good to share.  


The Official Vatican Website

On this website, you can find the encyclicals and letters written by the Popes.  You can find Canon law and official documents regarding every facet of the Church.  It is one of the best Catechetical tools and should be bookmarked and read by every Catholic and every person interested in the Catholic Church.

The Papal Encyclicals Online

A good website to find the encylicals written by the Popes in one place.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

This is also found on the Vatican website, but this is the direct link to this very important book which summarizes the teachings of our faith. 

The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

This is a must bookmark site.  This is essentially the Catechism of the Catholic Church in a much easier to read question and answer format.  This is a must read for all Catholics and wonderful way to gain some solid Catechesis.

The Way of the Lord Jesus (3 volumes) by Fr. Germain Grisez

From the website:  The Way of the Lord Jesus responds fully to Vatican II’s mandate. It presupposes and vigorously defends the truth of the Catholic Church’s moral teachings—most of which all Christians handed on until, beginning in the nineteenth century, their consensus was gradually eroded by compromises with secularism. Furthermore, The Way of the Lord Jesus is Christocentric, richly nourished by Scripture, and based on the central truths of faith. Its explanation of Christian moral teachings shows them to be, not rules, but truths about what really is good for human beings. The entire work is shaped by the teaching of Vatican II, explained and richly developed by Pope John Paul II, that God calls each and every Christian to a personal vocation uniquely his or her own—a whole, complete life of good works prepared in advance as his or her own way of holiness (see Eph 2.10).

Written in 3 volumes:  Christian Moral Principles, Living a Christian Life and, Difficult Moral Questions.  This series outlines the Church's true moral teachings and answers some very difficult questions that we face in today's society.  This is a good reference, particularly because the third book addresses 200 questions of morality that are relevant to the world today.


Pray for Us by Meg Hunter-Kilmer (ISBN 9781646800827)

This is the book that was mentioned numerous times in homilies by Fr. Maderak.  It is also the book on which the All Saints day talk given by Tara Nadal was based.  This easy to read book tells the true stories of 75 every day people who worked through shame, hardship, addiction, struggle and many other issues that we face every day, and became saints (or are in the official process of becoming saints).  This is book is inspirational as it is proof that sainthood is available to everyone from every walk of life! 

Available on Amazon Canada. 

Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI- 3 volume set

  1. Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives (ISBN 978-0385346405)
  2. Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration (ISBN 978-0385523417)

From the Amazon Canada website:  Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God, and no myth, revolutionary, or misunderstood prophet, insists Benedict XVI. He thinks that the best of historical scholarship, while it can't "prove" Jesus is the Son of God, certainly doesn't disprove it. Indeed, Benedict maintains that the evidence, fairly considered, brings us face-to-face with the challenge of Jesus--a real man who taught and acted in ways that were tantamount to claims of divine authority, claims not easily dismissed as lunacy or deception.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was truly one of the Church's greatest theologians and writers.  This triology of books walks through the life of Jesus in a very intimate, yet truthful and theologcial way. 

All 3 books are available on Amazon Canada.

The Sanctifier: The Classic Work on the Holy Spirit by Archbishop Luis Martinez (ISBN 978-0819874122)

Written by Servant of God, Archbishop Luis Martinez, who was one of the Spiritual Directors of Blessed Conchita, this book dives into the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives as a way to greater holiness. Martinez not only looks at the Gifts on the Holy Spirit and the Fruit of the Holy Spirit, but also makes some masterful connections and explanations of the Beatitudes and their connection to true happiness and the Holy Spirit and how they lead to God.  He states, "The beatitudes are a marvelous chain of mountains of which each peak is a steppingstone in the sublime ascent that leads to God."

Available on Amazon Canada. 

Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of Saint Therese of Lisieux translated by John Clarke (ISBN 978-2950883711)

Written by one of the most beloved saints, St. Therese of Lisieux, this book is written in her own words and tells of her life story and journey to holiness through the different stages of her life.  An easy read, her stories are a reminder that it is every day people who become saints in their striving for holiness. 

Available on Amazon Canada. 

The Examen Prayer:  Ignation Wisdom for our lives today by Timothy M. Gallagher, O.M.V. (ISBN 978-0824523671)

From the Amazon Canada website:

The examen prayer is a transforming and ever-growing practice in Christian spirituality. In The Examen Prayer, Fr. Timothy Gallagher draws from real-life stories and his experience as a spiritual director to explain the core principles of the examen prayer: What is the examen and how can we begin to pray it? How can we adapt it to our individual lives? What are its fruits?

Available on Amazon Canada.

The Discernment of Spirits: An Ignatian Guide for Everyday Living by Timothy M. Gallagher O.M.V. (ISBN 978-0824522919)

From the Amazon Canada website:

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. When we learn to read Ignatius correctly, we discover in his remarkable words our own struggles, joys, and triumphs. 

Available on Amazon Canada.

He Leadeth Me: An Extraordinary Testament of Faith by Walter J. Ciszek S.J. with Daniel L. Flaherty S.J. (ISBN 978-0804141529)

This book was mentioned by Fr. Maderak numerous times during homilies.  It is a story of Fr. Ciszek, who spent years in isolation in Soviet prisons and also in Siberian work camps during World War II as a prisoner.  It was during this time that he was able to completely surrender himself to God, and it is through the horrors of this time that he truly comes closer to God and finds his calling.  This is an inspirational story of perserverance, strength and survival - only possible through Jesus Christ.

Available on Amazon Canada.

Spiritual Warfare/Discernment of Spirits by Dan Burke (ISBN 978-1644132579)

We cannot deny that the adversary exists.  Dan Burke outlines ways to engage in Spiritual Warfare with the adversary by using the Ignatian discernement of Spirits.  This book is easy to read and provides not only personal testimony from Burke, but also gives practical suggestions on how to face every day battles using the grace of God and the tools of St Ignatius.

Available on Amazon Canada. 

My Sisters the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir by Colleen Carroll Campbell (ISBN 978-0770436513)

This book is a necessary read for all women.  Campbell gives personal testimony of her own life- the ups and the downs, and how she befriended certain female saints along the way.  It was through reading and learning about these saints that she was able to get through many of the difficulties in her life. This book is an inspirational record of how we can incorporate the lives of the saints into our own lives.  

Available on Amazon Canada. 

The Heart of Perfection: How the Saints Taught Me to Trade My Dream of Perfect for God's by Colleen Carroll Campbell (ISBN 978-1982106171)

Are you a perfectionist?  Do you struggle with your own spirituality because of your perfectionism?  This is the book for you. 

From the Amazon Canada website:

In the ruins of her own mistakes, Colleen dug into Scripture and the lives of the canonized saints for answers. She discovered to her surprise that many holy men and women were, in fact, recovering perfectionists. And their grace-fueled victory oer this malady—not perfectionist striving—was the key to their heroic virtue and contagious joy.

In The Heart of Perfection, Colleen weaves the stories and wisdom of seven ex-perfectionist saints (and one heretic) with Scripture and beautifully crafted tales of her own trial-and-error experiments in applying that wisdom to her life. Gorgeously written and deeply insightful, Colleen Carroll Campbell’s The Heart of Perfection is a “must-read” (Jeannie Gaffigan, executive producer of The Jim Gaffigan Show) that “gives us permission to…walk in the freedom of God’s unconditional love” (Jennifer Fulwiler, author of One Beautiful Dream).

Available on Amazon Canada. 

The Daring Teen Saints Series by Colleen Swaim

  1. Ablaze:  Stories of Daring Teen Saints (ISBN 978-0764820298)
  2. Radiate:  More Stories of Daring Teen Saints (ISBN 978-0764821479)

These books are good reading for teenagers.  Focusing on the stories of some amazing teens who became saints, it also features sections for journalling and for "saintly challenges".  Suggested by one of our staff who was a youth minister for 20 years and is currently a high school teacher, this is wonderful reading for teens who need some spiritual reading that they can identify with and that will remind them that the even the young can achieve holiness.

Available on Amazon Canada. 

Basics for Catholics Series by John Bergsma

  1. Bible Basics for Catholics:  A New Picture of Salvation History (ISBN 978-1594712913)
  2. New Testament Basics for Catholics (ISBN 978-1594715822)
  3. Psalm Basics for Catholics:  Seeing Salvation History in a New Way (ISBN 978-1594717932)
  4. Love Basics for Catholics:  Illustrating God's Love for us through the Bible (ISBN 978-1646801961)

Dr. John Bergsma, professor at Franciscan University of Steubenville and Vice President for Biblical Theology and Mission Effectiveness at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology pens this wonderful series which is a must read to understand the Bible and Salvation history.  Written in an easy to read and candid style (with numerous humourous stick figure drawings by the author), these books are not light on the Biblical Theology.  These books are highly recommended to anyone wishing to know Scripture better and learn more in a fun and relaxed read.

Available on Amazon Canada.

A Biblical Walk through the Mass (Revised) by Edward Sri (ISBN 978-1950784660)

Many people do not make connections with how much of the Mass is based on Scripture.  We watched the video series that goes along with this book a few years ago during Lent and it is amazing to see the connections to the Bible in every part of the Mass.  It is not simply just the Liturgy of the Word that is Bibliical, but much, much more.  Dr. Edward Sri outlines all these connections in an easy to read and organized manner.  

Available on Amazon Canada.