If you’re on the hunt for Catholic books for you and your teen, here are five to choose from:
How I Stayed Catholic at Harvard by Aurora Griffin is an all-inclusive spiritual and practical guide for every young adult leaving the nest for the jungle. ‘How I Stayed Catholic’ is charmingly seasoned with the author’s personal experiences, including when she successfully spearheaded the campaign to end the scheduled black Mass on campus. Ms. Griffin packs the guide with wisdom, Catechism, and encouragement that made me ask, Seriously, where was this book when I was a graduating high school senior?!? Because I would have been a different person if I took to heart her advice and reasons for attending daily Mass, joining a Catholic group, befriending non-Catholics, finding a mentor, preparing to defend my faith and etc… If you have a budget for only one book for your soon to be adult child, get How I Stayed. Even as adult skimming through the book before wrapping it in a box, you will find yourself the recipient of sage advise for your own spiritual journey in the college of life.
A Daily Defense by Jimmy Akin is a compilation of 365 common misconceptions and accusations leveled against the Catholic Church and the solid apologetics to defend them, e.g. hot topics such as: proving God exists, the worship of statues, morality versus relativism, Judgementalism and being compassionate to homosexuals etc… A Daily Defense goes hand in hand with your daily devotional. Smart, concise and powerful, Jimmy Akin’s work will be your go to for combox and Facebook debates. Also, it will be an invaluable reference tool for your future apologist or resident debater/attorney.
Me, My Selfie and I by Teresa Tomeo. Ms. Tomeo explores the plague of selfishness of this age as evidenced by the selfie stick and self-promoting online presence. With dry wit and a critical journalist eye, Ms. Tomeo reports on news and statistics and offers her insightful commentary as she reveals the antidote to this virus is the life and teachings of Christ. Your future communications major or anyone with a social media account and humble spirit will appreciate Ms. Tomeo’s frank (sometimes sardonic) tone and seize her advise for advancement in the spiritual life.
Particles of Faith by Stacy Trasancos is an enthusiastic, intelligent exposition of why science and faith are not the polar opposites that they are portrayed to be, but organically linked like carbon and oxygen. In a rare amalgamation, Ms. Trasancos mixes theology, philosophy and scientific analysis and serves delightful memoir(ish) treats. I am not the most science loving reader so I had to scrutinize some text repeatedly. But when I did finally get it, I wished Ms. Trasancos had been my chemistry professor. She encourages young and old that the Church needs us badly to bridge the gap. “Particles of Faith” will challenge as well as deepen your understanding of faith and science. Your budding scientist and basically any inquisitive teenager will enjoy this.
Do Cat In a glossy, color-pictured spread with Q and A format, Do Cat compiles the Catholic Church’s social teaching on every contemporary issue. If you’ve ever asked any of these questions: is free market wrong; is euthanasia morally permissible; how should migrants be treated; how does the Church regard war; should the Church be separate from the state … the answers could not be any more clear and concise. You future politician, businessman, doctor, or anyone who needs further education will keep this book in their library for years to come. Pope Francis writes the foreword.
BONUS: Courage to Soar by Simone Biles is a charming memoir of the most decorated female gold medalist gymnast who captured the world with her record-breaking talent and smile in the Rio Olympics. Ms Biles writes with trademark energy and humor about her foster care history, the inspiring faith and love of her parents and her providential (almost miraculous) journey into gymnastics. This is an uplifting book that is Catholic without being preachy (she speaks of novenas and Sunday Mass like they were the most natural thing in the world) and will make you hope every teenager embraces his God-given dreams. Highly recommended for your athlete, dreamer or your talented teen.
Rarely are books appropriate for both teenager and adult, so grab these recommendations like a lifeline for you and yours.