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Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith
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Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith

4.54 of 5 stars 4.54  ·  rating details  ·  981 ratings  ·  109 reviews
“What I propose to do in this book is to take you on a guided exploration of the Catholic world, but not in the manner of a docent, for I am not interested in showing you the artifacts of Catholicism as though they were dusty objets d’art in a museum of culture. I want to function rather as a mystagogue, conducting you ever deeper into the mystery of the incarnation in the ...more
Hardcover, First, 279 pages
Published September 6th 2011 by Image (first published January 1st 2011)
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Julie Davis
I discovered that Father Robert Barron narrated the audiobook version of Catholicism ... and was able to snag a copy. Having watched the DVDs of the Catholicism series when I helped with RCIA classes, I was able to "hear" Barron's intonation and pacing when looking over the print version recently. It is simply a pleasure to hear him reading this great book.

My official review is below.


Since my conversion, I have read many a book about saints, angels, prayer, virtues, and all those good
I have a book packed away in my basement titled Catholicism: An Incredibly Difficult To Read and Boring Introduction to the Faith. OK, maybe that wasn't the title, but it should have been.
Father Robert Barron's book is the opposite. It's meant for well-meaning people like myself who prefer to learn about interesting topics the National Geographic way - well written, insightful, and plenty of pictures. Like this book, which came after Barron's documentary series. That shows. It's not dumbed down
One of the very best books I've ever read about the Catholic faith, and Christianity in general. And that's saying a lot, becaue I've read so many books about the faith that I've lost count.

One of the best things about this book is it's readability. I think it should be just as accessible and enjoyable for the novice theology reader as it is for the theologian.

Also, it covers the gamut of basic Christian belief in an exciting and non-offensive way. I think non-Catholic Christians who want to und
Michael D'esterre
“It has been said that the healthiest spiritual people are those who have the strongest sense of the difference between themselves and God.”
-Fr. Barron in Catholicism: Journey to the Heart of Faith

I thought I would do an interesting twist and contrast a recent movie with this book of colossal meaning .

Mr. Banks
Fr. Robert Barron

A Sad Mr. Banks

The other night my wife and I watched Saving Mr. Banks. We thought it was going to be a fun movie about how they made Mary Poppins. Instead it ended up be
I think this book is one that everyone I know should read. Yes, that means YOU. ESPECIALLY if you have an interest in your Catholic faith.

As I read and delighted in Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith, by Fr. Robert Barron, I tried to give it a nifty one-line description. (It’s a little marketing challenge I play when my brain is awake.) I came up with a few:

- A Catholic text for the rest of us
- Theology as faith study, punctuated with pictures
- Delightfully Catholic, universally fa
Sandra Hestand
This was a book I won through Goodreads giveaways. I was excited to receive the book as I have been Catholic most of my life, but have always felt like there was so much about the church, that I didn't know. Of course, after reading this, there is still so much that I don't know, but this provided a thorough introduction to the religion while leaving me wanting to know more. It also helped to enlighten me on some of the more difficult aspects of Catholicism, such as papal succession.
The book
Carol A. Weiss

As a cradle Catholic it was good to be reminded of things learned long ago. In addition I enjoyed his take on the saints and their histories as well as he explanations behind some of the traditions of the church. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
If you've seen the Catholicism series, then this book will prove to be nothing new under the sun. In fact, this book is almost a transcript of the video series. This is both good and bad. It is bad because the book will never match the visual appeal of the videos. They were breathtaking presentations that brought us to many great landmarks of Roman Catholicism. However, there is a lot of dense material in the videos that is easy to miss, unless you rewind and re-watch several times. Having it pr ...more
Catholicism is a notable book that is well worth a read for anyone interested in learning more about the Catholic church's history, beliefs, teachings, and traditions. It is an easy read and is packed with information, so it can easily be read and reread. Barron's voice is approachable and informative, and the examples of saints' stories and church art enrich this book. This is a truly amazing book that has found a permanent place on my shelf! More at
J.T. Therrien
Father Barron explains Catholic theology and dogma like no one else can. He is clear, concise, enthusiatic and always eager to show God's Hand at work in our world.

This book accompanies Father Barron's DVD series Catholicism, although it goes into considerably more detail than the episodes. To repeat his own claim: the book's chapters are based on his scripts for the DVD series. Even if one has seen the DVDs it is a worthwhile and edifying enterprise to read the book.

Father Barron covers all the
Luke Langley
This book builds up the edifice of the Catholic faith piece by piece discussing the life, death and resurrection of Christ, discussing the theological foundations for the existence and nature of God, introduces Mary and several saints and Church doctors and concludes with talking about heaven and hell. It is the written version of his fantastic film series by the same name, though the films are better since they better convey the visual and musical beauty of the Church. It sows above all the bea ...more
Zacaro Caro
I'm not the intended audience for this book. I'm naturally excited about my faith and have read much to educate myself. I teach Sunday school and work with youth groups so I'm always looking for better ways to answer tough questions and to dive deeper in my faith. There are lots of good reviews of this book, and it's not bad, but it bored me, I found myself skipping ahead and skimming and finally giving up. I'm not sure what I learned, if anything I have to admit I really enjoyed the section on ...more
This was a look at Catholicism from the inside. It doesn't cover all the doctrines, but more walks the reader through the interior experience of being Catholic. For example, instead of explaining how the Church recognizes who should be called a saint, Barron takes us through the lives of four saints. While not exhaustive, it is full of information and is very readable. My only real complaint was his defense of Purgatory, supposedly answering the Protestant viewpoint by addressing the issue with ...more
Lucy Pollard-Gott
For the "Catholic" spirit in all believers

I recommend this book and the companion television series for its breadth of appreciation and the depth of its insight into the varieties of testimony, expression, and witness to faith and love. Feel the Spirit alive in the world, in spite of everything, in the communion of God and humanity. I describe this in general terms, but this book is wonderfully specific with its abundant examples that so often warm the heart or bring light of new understanding.
This book is best read as a companion to the 10-part documentary of the same name. It's basically a more filled-out version of the documentary's script, and the additions do add more depth to what you learn watching the series.

Catholicism provides a good high-level view of the faith, and by "high level," I mean 30,000 feet high. Father Barron explains the essential teachings of the Church, illustrating his points with examples from history, art, literature, and architecture. The book and the doc
My mother-in-law gave me book this last Christmas, when I asked for a book about Catholicism for a non-Catholic. As someone who has spent the last few years reading various books on and about Christianity trying to learn more, I can say it is really really difficult to find something quality that is written for the purpose of the outsider looking in.

Father Barron does a pretty great job here, not glossing over the basic tenants of the Church, which is very important for someone like me with 100
Fr. Kyle
The book reads like one of Fr. Barrron's YouTube videos. It is clear, deep, insightful, and still down to earth. He makes reference to Max Scheler and John Lennon touching the student, the scholar, and the layman. His depth of language allows fro him to write clearly without extending a topic farther than is necessary for his goal. I would suggest this book to anyone because of its ease of prose and its clarity of doctrine.

As I began to move through the book, I realized that Fr. Barron has put i
Father Barron has done the faith a great service with this book. A great overview of the faith - Barron has a knack for explaining key doctrines in ways that make them seem simple and eminently understandable. He also has a great ability to integrate the faith so that what sometimes seems like a long list of "rules" becomes an integrated whole centered on an encounter with a person - Jesus Christ. The best part of this book is Barron's explanation of the Beatitudes - simply incredible, and shed ...more
This one is a keeper. This is one, that if it didn't go completely against my grain to highlight books (I didn't even like doing it when I was in college--I don't even highlight or put notes in my Bible) would be highlighted all over. It is a very readable book but one that has a lot of information. I'd like to share a few of my bookmarks with you.
p. 50: Regarding turning the other cheek: "To turn the other cheeck is to prevent him from hitting you in the same way again. It is not to run or to a
Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith is a solid introduction to many of the things Catholics believe. However, the ideas are not just presented as a list of beliefs. Instead, Robert Barron attempts to provide a solid and secure theological basis for the ideas and concepts he presents.

On the whole, I do believe Barron was successful in his endeavor. There were sections which I yearned for a more thorough explanation of a concept or a better response to known criticisms, but one can n
Josh Mcdonald
Aristotle said that the best activities are the most useless. This is because such things are not simply means to a further end, but are done entirely for their own sake. Thus watching a baseball game is more important than getting a haircut, and cultivating a friendship is more valuable than making money The game and the friendship are goods that are excellent in themselves, while getting a haircut and making money are in service of something beyond themselves. This is also why the most importa
A clear and concise evaluation of real Catholic beliefs. The author, Fr. Robert Barron, is a proponent of the new evangelization to reach out to the broader culture through Youtube,, and his 10 DVD series of Catholicism which is the essence of this book. Having watched all DVDs of Catholicism and having read the book, I'd recommend both. The DVDs of course have the audio-visual component which no book can match. The book, of course, has a more detailed treatment of the different t ...more
David Withun
Although Fr. Barron clearly, as the title itself indicates, intended this book to be an introduction to Catholicism, I think that what he has written here is an excellent introduction to Christianity as a whole. And I say that in spite of the two swipes (on pages 3 and 164) he takes at the Orthodox Church, of which I myself am a member. Other than perhaps his understanding of the interrelations of the three divine persons in the Trinity, which seems to be based largely around the filioque, and, ...more
Matthew Connolly
I'm not sure that there's much more to say about Father Barron's work that hasn't already been said in countless other reviews. _Catholicism_ — both the book and the TV series on which the book is based —is a fantastic exploration of the major facets of the Catholic faith, with a particular emphasis on its spiritual and cultural riches. Father Barron has a gift for illustrating theologically complex material with useful practical examples, and when examples won't do, he can explain a philosophic ...more
May 28, 2015 Margaret rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Margaret by: Cindy Brovsky
This is an absolutely awesome book. It is a FIRST Tour book which usually means that I post about it, but do not quite have time to read it all. Yesterday I started reading and had serious trouble putting it down. I'm about half way through and plan to finish it today if possible. (We've already had a late start, so we'll see...) Last night I found myself trying to tell the Enginerd about this book and why I like it so much. Honestly it is hard to put it into intelligible words outside of Margar ...more
James Andersen
This book is one of the core books that both those outside the faith ought to read and those who were born, raised, but fell away from the faith ought to read!

This book is an amazing book, originally I was still a bit taken back that the author stayed simply within the confines of the Latin Rite of Catholicism, hoping that he would have gone to describe that Catholicism is more then just the popularized Roman Catholic Outlook. However, toward the end of the book I felt that it was good that he
Quincy Miller
I bought this from audible to listen to when I'm driving, jogging, or just not in a place where I can read a book. (Yes, I'm totally just new to the joys of audiobooks.) I would recommend this book to anyone wanting an introduction to the catholic faith. I can't imagine anyone better to write and narrate such a book than Father Barron. I plan to revisit this book if for no other reason than the pleasure of hearing his lyrical prose.
As someone who truly enjoys Father Barron's homilies from Word On Fire, I was somewhat disappointed with this book. Initially, I wasn't sure what the goal of the book was. It seemed to be a broad (very broad) overview of some pieces of the Roman Catholic faith. He touched on the Mass, the Eucharist, the communion of saints, life after death, and, of course, Jesus Christ. I would say he introduced the tenants of the faith, but I found myself wishing he would go into more theological detail.

As fa
Marjorie Romeyn-Sanabria
A terrific introduction for non-Catholics who want the nitty-gritty answer to the question, "What's Catholicism all about?" It's equally useful if you want to learn more about religion or if you're seriously thinking of converting yourself. Priests often don't have time for one-on-ones over coffee to answer Catholic FAQs, but this does just that.
Michael Boerm
As a Protestant, I found this book helpful in explaining just what Catholics believe. Easy-to-read, lively writing style, and interesting. Best chapter: the symbolism in the architecture of cathedrals. Weakest chapter: trying to justify Mary's role in Catholicism. Flimsy at best, but not the author's fault, it's just an indefensible doctrine.
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Catholic Readers: Catholicism by Fr. Robert Barron 10 72 Apr 20, 2012 05:31AM  
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  • Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life
  • 33 Days to Morning Glory
  • Triumph: The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church
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  • Death On A Friday Afternoon: Meditations On The Last Words Of Jesus From The Cross
Father Robert E. Barron is an acclaimed author, speaker, and theologian. He is the Francis Cardinal George Professor of Faith and Culture at Mundelein Seminary near Chicago and also is the founder of Word On Fire (

Fr. Barron is the creator and host of CATHOLICISM, a groundbreaking ten-part documentary series and study program about the Catholic faith. He is a passionate student
More about Robert E. Barron...
STRANGEST WAY: Walking the Christian Path And Now I See . . .: A Theology of Transformation Eucharist Heaven in Stone and Glass: Experiencing the Spirituality of the Great Cathedrals Word on Fire: Proclaiming the Power of Christ

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