Early steps in the fold: instructions for converts, and enquirers by Francis M. De Zulueta, as its title indicates, is written primarily for adult converts who have just been received into the Catholic Church, as well as those who are contemplating the possibility of full conversion. However, I believe it is also eminently useful even to the merely curious who, though not feeling any desire to become Catholic, would like to know more about what the Church is like from the inside.

In it, De Zulueta introduces the convert or enquirer to the life of a Catholic Christian. Aware of the bewilderment some “immigrants” have in their true spiritual motherland, de Zulueta explains the meaning of Catholic essentials like confession and holy communion against the misconceptions possessed by non-Catholics and new Catholics. He also points out the spiritual path of Catholics, discussing the temptations they will face as they pursue a life of holiness, their duties as Christians of God’s true Church, and the help they are given through the sacraments. He also explains the role of ancillary practices like the use of devotional prayers and scapulars, and of associations (like those confraternities and sodalities that make the sociology of the Church so fascinating) that express the piety of like-minded Catholics.

Francis De Zulueta’s work is a lucid, friendly, and candid introduction to the spirituality of Catholic Christianity.

Early steps in the fold: instructions for converts, and enquirers by Francis M. De Zulueta (New York : P.J. Kenedy, 1910) is available online, legally and for free, at <http://www.archive.org/details/earlystepsinfold00dezuuoft>. It may be downloaded in PDF, EPUB, Kindle, Daisy, Full Text, DjVu formats, and may also be read online.