Franciscan Spirit Blog

Christmas Gift Guide: Books for Future Priests and Aspiring Saints

In other posts we’ve offered ideas for Catholic books for children and teens; now here are some great ideas for Catholic books to give as gifts for adults!


For the aspiring saint:

Treasury of Women SaintsTreasury of Women Saints: A Devotional Companion, by Ronda Chervin

If you want to be a saint, follow the saints who have come before! This book collects the histories of over 200 holy women, including life lessons and prayers for intercession. Discover the saintly lives of mothers, martyrs, prophets, and more.

Also try: The Franciscan Saints, by Robert Ellsberg

Sparkling accounts of 101 saints, blesseds, venerables, and more, all embodying the Franciscan spirit.



Prayer in the Catholic TradtionFor the future priest or theology scholar:

Prayer in the Catholic Tradition: A Handbook of Practical Approaches, edited by Robert J. Wicks

Wicks collects over 40 essential modern Catholic voices into one volume offering the most comprehensive view of Catholic prayer ever published. Includes thoughtful reflections on many different types of prayer, praying through different situations, and much more. A must for the reference shelf.

Also try: Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps, by Richard Rohr

A perennial bestseller, this spiritual approach to addiction is an essential read for anyone with a career or calling that includes counseling.



For the budding world traveler:

101 Places to Pray before you die101 Places to Pray Before You Die: A Roamin’ Catholic’s Guide, by Thomas J. Craughwell

Sacred sites are everywhere, and this breezy visitors’ guide to holy locations throughout the United States can turn any road trip into a pilgrimage. Organized by state, this guide is designed for the reader to discover nearby sports to pray and reflect, wherever they may be.

Also try: Saint Junipero Serra’s Camino: A Pilgrimage Guide to the California Missions, by Stephen J. Binz

Binz offers details about each of the 21 Spanish missions of California, with visitor information, photos, and prayers.



For devotees of Saint Francis:

Surrounded by LoveSurrounded by Love: Seven Teachings from Saint Francis, by Murray Bodo, OFM

Bodo deftly outlines seven lessons drawn from the life and work of Saint Francis, showing why these teachings still carry weight 800 years after the fact.

Also try: Called: What Happens After Saying Yes to God, by Casey Cole, OFM

Br. Casey describes his path after saying yes to God’s call, discovering lessons that are relatable to anyone trying to live their faith.



For the home cook:

Saints at the dinner tableSaints at the Dinner Table, by Amy Heyd

More than just a cookbook! Heyd looks to the saints as her inspiration for planning a delicious dinner, complete with prayers, conversation prompts, and reflections to consider while the food cooks. Each chapter includes facts and stories about the saint that inspired the meal.

Also try: Table of Plenty: Good Food for Body and Spirit, by Susan Muto

Perfectly paired with soul-nourishing stories and reflections, the recipes in this book describe not just how to prepare food, but how to do so with grace and mindfulness.



For non-Catholics:

Eight Whopping LiesEight Whopping Lies and Other Stories of Bruised Grace, by Brian Doyle

We mentioned this book in our guide for teens, but this collection of essays will also delight adults of any faith. Doyle writes with a meandering, lyrical style about love, family, and the profundity of life’s little moments, with a perspective informed (but never overwhelmed) by his Catholic faith.

Also try: Wendell Berry and the Given Life, by Ragan Sutterfield

All Christians and all fans of Wendell Berry will enjoy Sutterfield’s poetic exploration of the Christian themes in the work of the prolific writer and activist.


Find all these books and more in our online Catholic bookstore!


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