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Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith

4.5  ·  Rating details ·  1,831 Ratings  ·  179 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 th ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published September 6th 2011 by Image
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(showing 1-30)
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Julie Davis
Aug 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Webster Bull
Nov 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faith
Brilliant Father Barron, former rector of a major seminary, now a bishop in Los Angeles—I listened to the audio version and recommend the book (any version, including video) for Catholics, lapsed Catholics, and Catholic-doubters. Articulate and moving, Barron is great at explaining difficult theology and dogma, including the Immaculate Conception and Assumption of Mary; but I was moved most by his capsule summaries of certain saints, especially females: Teresa of Avila, Katherine Drexel, Therese ...more
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
May 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Algirdas Brukštus
Man, kaip nepraktikuojančiam katalikui-skeptikui, labai įdomiai ir mielai susiskaitė ši knyga. Sakyčiau, labai gerai ir tiksliai pagauta katalikybės esmė ir perteikta paprastai bei įtikinamai. Ber ar perskaitęs tapau didesniu kataliku, nežinau.
Carol Ewing
Apr 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written and very interesting synopsis of the Catholic faith and the meaning behind some of its symbolism and beliefs.
Rob Lewis
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent overview and meditation on the Catholic faith. I especially enjoyed the section on mass. In fact I wish I had read it many years ago.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
When my last book about theology proved disappointing, a book friend sent me to this one. It was an excellent recommendation and I thank you. " is what God is: love is the divine life---and the entire purpose of spirituality is to get that life in us," Robert Barron writes. "Love is not primarily a is willing the good of the other as other." The church is, Barron tells us, the mystical body of Christ, and "...shares in the very being, life, and energy of Christ." It is " ...more
May 10, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I found this book to be interspersed with a few compelling ideas yet overall it was too meandering and unfocused. Barron more effectively gets his point across on YouTube
Sep 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-list
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
Fr. Kyle
Apr 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent introduction to the basics of the Catholic church. I first heard of this book when I watched the series on EWTN a couple of years ago. They would advertise the book and video series for sale at the end of each episode, and I immediately wanted it. However, the series on DVD and Bluray is quite pricey for me to afford. I was ecstatic when I found out I could get the book as an audio book narrated by then Father Barron.

There is only one part of the book that I am unsure of. At
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
Jul 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED this book! It had one of the best explanations of the beatitudes I have ever heard. It was a very good look at not only Catholicism, but at Christianity in general. I also especially liked the author's explanation of why "Faith, Hope and Love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is Love." When we are sharing in the glory of heaven, Faith ends because we see and no longer merely believe; Hope ends because we have realized our greatest desires; but Love remains because heaven is ...more
Sep 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Ryan Moore
Feb 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An incredibly detailed but accessible look at the history, whys and wherefores of the Church.
I like Bishop Robert Barron, who runs the Word on Fire ministry and pops up from time to time in the media. In this book (based on a television series he spearheaded a few years ago), the good Bishop goes over the big picture stuff about Catholicism. Like his sermons, his Youtube videos, and his commentary, Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith is interesting and intellectual. I enjoyed reading it.

One of the points Bishop Barron reminds his reader of is the organic nature of Catholici
Maggie Macklin
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Now Bishop, Robert Barron treats us to an explanation of the most important tenants of the faith, even the ones that aren't easy to understand, never-mind explain.

" A wise teacher of mine once commented on the "grandma's attic" quality of Catholicism, by which he meant our wonderfully stubborn refusal to throw anything out."

"Saint John of the Cross compared the soul to a pane of glass. When it is facing away from the light, its smudges and imperfections are barely noticeable, but when it is dir
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: catholicism
I have been attending Catholic Mass for the past year. It started out as the only church that Pamela and I could both agree on, but it has since transformed into an abiding place of faith for me. Many things in my life are nebulous, true of everyone but perhaps to a greater degree for me due to my emotionalism, but I hope to find a home here.
This book is an overview of the theology and beliefs of the Catholic Church. As you would expect, there is a lot of overlap with the Protestant beliefs I
David Clary
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Barron, a bishop in Los Angeles, is a one-man multimedia empire of the Catholic Church, producing DVDs, books, CDs and TV shows via his Word on Fire ministry. This book is a companion to his TV series on Catholicism and contains lots of photos from famous churches and works of art to illustrate his points. The book is fairly accessible to the lay reader, though he does at times delve into arcane details and technical terminology that would challenge a regular churchgoer. He also takes on a defen ...more
Sara Orozco
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favoritos
Brilliant! So enlightening on the structure, basis, doctrine and heart of the catholic history and faith. Father Barron explains with great logic and eloquence the significance of God, the incarnation, the role of the Virgin Mary, the life of saints... even Dante's Divine Comedy role on Catholicism! I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a very understanding explanation of what the Catholic Church is about.
Ian Hammond
Robert Barron does not set out to defend the Catholic faith, rather paint an attractive picture of it. He does, however, discuss the things Protestants find most objectionable ("theosis," the veneration of Mary and her immaculate conception, assumption, and "Dormition." He discusses the claim to be the "one" true Church, the centrality of Rome, the apostolic succession, Papal infallibility, and transubstantiation).
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! What a great depiction of the Catholic faith. I had to restrain myself or entire book would be underlined. Very deep but very very readable. Bishop Barron has that gift of making deep truths completely understandable. He was not "preaching to the choir". This book is for everyone from cradle Catholic to Atheist who wants a panoramic view of Catholicism. A book I will be revisiting often.
Hailey Morgan
Dec 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Father Barron uses history, poetry, art, biography, Scripture, and other sources to explore the beauty of Catholic thought and the Church. Barron engages the intellect and touches the soul without becoming lofty or overemotional. Very enjoyable.
Isabella Doxon
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Loved it! Great to read on its own or even better in conjunction with the Catholicism series videos. The last couple chapters were especially powerful. We are very fortunate to have such a great Catholic speaker, teacher, theologian in Bisbop Robert Barron. I highly recommend his works.
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This gives such a wonderful overview of what it means to be a Christian in general and a Catholic in particular. It is intellectual but so very accessible and vivid. I learned a lot and I was also moved to tears.
Jun 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inspirational
This book aims to explain some of the basic teachings of Catholicism. I am a livelong Catholic who knows a lot about the faith and the book taught me a few things. I found the author's discussion of
God to be particularly thought provoking.
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Barron approaches Catholicism with a tremendous amount of affection for the positive contributions of the Catholic faith. By combining history, biography, art, architecture and theology, Barron has written an accessible and extremely interesting introduction to Catholic teaching and thought. His fluid writing style and the way that he integrates beautiful images and stories into his history is a model for the writing I want to pursue in my own religious studies career.

However, some of the pitfal
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Catholic Readers: Catholicism by Fr. Robert Barron 10 74 Apr 20, 2012 05:31AM  
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  • Catholic Christianity: A Complete Catechism of Catholic Beliefs Based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church
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  • Compendium: Catechism of the Catholic Church
  • Death On A Friday Afternoon: Meditations On The Last Words Of Jesus From The Cross
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Bishop Robert Emmet Barron is an acclaimed author, speaker, and theologian. He is the former Francis Cardinal George Professor of Faith and Culture at Mundelein Seminary near Chicago and also is the founder of Word On Fire (

Bishop Barron is the creator and host of CATHOLICISM, a groundbreaking ten-part documentary series and study program about the Catholic faith. He is a passi
More about Robert E. Barron...

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“Essential to the Catholic mind is what I would characterize as a keen sense of the prolongation of the Incarnation throughout space and time, an extension that is made possible through the mystery of the church.” 2 likes
“The twentieth-century theologian Karl Rahner commented that “God” is the last sound we should make before falling silent, and Saint Augustine, long ago, said, “si comprehendis, non est Deus” (if you understand, that isn’t God). All of this formal theologizing is but commentary on that elusive and confounding voice from the burning bush: “I am who am.” 1 likes
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