Evangelization and Missions

I. Books for Converts and Inquirers

This particular sub-list includes only those texts that are specifically directed to converts, catechumens, and inquirers. It does not include other books that they might also need, especially introductions to the Faith and answers to objections/calumnies against the Faith. For these books, kindly access our list of Catechisms and Explanations of the Faith and list of ebooks on Apologetics.

  1. Answers to a Jewish Enquirer, by Rev. Théodore Ratisbonne, translated from the French (London: Catholic Truth Society, 1920). May be read online, and available in multiple formats, at Internet Archive and Open Library (Digitizing sponsor: MSN, Book contributor: Kelly Library, University of Toronto). Apologetics, Evangelization, Judaism.’
  2. Crossing the Threshold of Faith: An RCIA Manual for Use in RCIA Ministries and Religious Education Programs in the Archdiocese for the Military Services, United States of America (Paulist Media Works). Available in PDF format at the Archdiocese for the Military Services, United States of America.
  3. Early steps in the fold: instructions for converts, and enquirers by Francis M. De Zulueta (New York : P.J. Kenedy, 1910). May be read online, and may be downloaded in PDF, EPUB, Kindle, Daisy, Full Text, and DjVu formats, at Internet Archive.
  4. Guide to a Catholic Church: for non-Catholic visitors; in which the meaning of various objects of devotion is simply explained, and a short exposition given of the main points of Catholic belief, with the prayers of the chief services in Latin and English, by Fox, W. L., O’Gorman, R. A (London : R. & T. Washbourne ; New York : Benziger Bros, 1904). With Imprimatur. Available at Open Library and Internet Archive (Digitizing sponsor: MSN, Book contributor: Regis College Library, University of Toronto).
  5. The threshold of the Catholic Church: a course of plain instructions for those entering her communion, by John B Bagshawe (New York: Catholic Publication Society, 1872). With Imprimatur. Available at Open Library and Internet Archive (Digitizing sponsor: MSN, Book contributor: Kelly – University of Toronto).

II. Converts and Stories/Narratives of Conversion

  1. Apologia pro Vita Sua, by Blessed John Henry Newman, edited by Wilfrid Ward. Autobiography. May be read online on Newman Reader.
  2. The Apostles and the First Disciples, by Pope Benedict XVI (General Audiences 2006-2007). May be read online through Catechesis of the Popes. This provides a collection of the teaching addresses of Pope Benedict on the Origins of the Church; the Apostles; and the First Disciples. [N.B., According to Catechesis of the Popes: “This catechesis is available in book form from Our Sunday Visitor and Ignatius Press. Our Sunday Visitor has also published a corresponding Study Guide which is available for purchase and as a free downloadable.pdf file. OSV has also published an Illustrated Edition of The Apostles.”]
  3. The Catholic Church and Conversion, by G.K. Chesterton. Available on G. K. Chesterton’s Works on the Web. Conversion.
  4. Certain difficulties felt by Anglicans in Catholic teaching considered: in a letter addressed to the Rev. E.B. Pusey, on occasion of his Eirenicon of 1864; and in a letter addressed to the Duke of Norfolk, on occasion of Mr. Gladstone’s Expostulation of 1874, by John Henry Newman, 1801-1890 (London : Pickering, 1876). Available on Internet Archive and Open Library (Book contributor: University of Toronto).
  5. Early Ritualism in America: reminiscences of Edgar P. Wadhams, by Bishop Edgar P. Wadhams, C.A. Walworth (New York: Christian Press Association, c.1893). Available at Internet Archive (contributed by Trinity College, University of Toronto) [NB: Despite the title, which initially made me suspicious of its orthodoxy, the book seems to be the story of a convert to the Catholic Church.]
  6. Elizabeth Seton et le Commencement de l’Eglise Catholique aux Etats-Unis, 2e edition, par Mme. Barberey (Paris: Librairie Poussielgue Freres, 1869). Avec les approbations de l’Eveque de Newport et l’Eveque Auxiliare de Geneve. Peut être lu en ligne et disponible en plusieurs formats dans Internet Archive et Open Library. Tome I de la 3e edition (1872) est disponible dans Internet Archive, et Tome II est disponible dans Open Library et Internet Archive. Tome I de la 4e edition (1880) est disponible dans Internet Archive, et Tome II est disponible dans Open Library et Internet Archive.
  7. The Exercise of Faith Impossible Except in the Catholic Church, by William G. Penny (1846). Available at Internet Archive and Open Library. [NB, No Imprimatur, but the content appears to be a faithful restatement of Catholic teaching in response to Protestant objections, as well as an explanation of why the author was moved by grace to become Catholic.]
  8. The New Glories of the Catholic Church, translated from the Italian by the Fathers of the London Oratory, at the Request of, and with a Preface by, the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster [Nicholas Patrick Cardinal Wiseman] (London, Dublin, Derby: Richardson and Son, 1859). Available at Internet Archive and Open Library. [N.B., This work recounts the lives of the martyrs who suffered from the persecutions in East Asia and Oceania, especially in Korea, but also in China and modern Vietnam.]
  9. The Passion of Edith Stein—Revisited [article], by Sr. Prudence Allen, RSM, PhD. Available in PDF format at Philonoeses. (This 22-page essay provides a summary of the development of the Saint’s theological and philosophical thought in relation to her spiritual life, which was centered on the love of Christ.)
  10. Ss. Augustine Zhao Rong & Companions: Martyrs of China (Booklet), compiled and edited by George G. Christian, O.P. (August 2005). Available in PDF format at the Dominican Province of St. Joseph.
  11. Why I became a Catholic: Religio Viatoris, by Henry Edward Manning (London: Burns & Oates, 1898?). Available at Internet Archive and Open Library.
  12. The Year of St. Paul, by Pope Benedict XVI (General Audiences 2008-2009). May be read online through Catechesis of the Popes. This provides a collection of the teaching addresses of Pope Benedict on the life, teaching, and legacy of the Apostle Paul. [N.B., According to Catechesis of the Popes: “These audiences are available in book form from Ignatius Press.”]

II. Evangelization, Missiology, and Methods of Evangelizing

  1. “Conciliar Rhetoric: An Integrated Model of Catholic Defense”, by Glenn B. Siniscalchi. Heythrop Journal, Vol. LII (2011), pp. 1–18. Available in PDF format on this page of Duquesne University. [N.B., This essay provides a perspective of Catholic Christian apologetics that appears to be consistent with the hermeneutic of continuity and reform outlined by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. It explains how the modes of apologetics before and after the Second Vatican Council can be integrated in the service of evangelization.]
  2. Disciples Called to Witness: The New Evangelization, by the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis (Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2012). Available in PDF format (on this page) of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
  3. An Essay in aid of a Grammar of Assent, by Blessed John Henry Newman. May be read online on Newman Reader (The National Institute for Newman Studies, 2007).
  4. “Evangelistic Preaching in the Catholic Tradition”, by Colleen Reiss Vermeulen. Available in PDF format (on this page) at the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy.
  5. Exhortación Apostólica “Evangelii Nuntiandi” acerca de la Evangelización en el Mundo Contemporáneo, por el Papa Pablo VI (8 de Diciembre 1975). Disponible en La Santa Sede y Congregacion para el Clero. Con resumen en Catholic.net.
  6. Friends Forever: St. Augustine, Friendship, and Catholic Evangelism, by Brother André Marie, M.I.C.M. Available in PDF format at Catholicism.org. [N.B., The canonical and doctrinal status of the association behind the website remains uncertain. Please exercise prayerful caution in reading the other texts thereon.]
  7. Handing on the Faith, by Rev. Fr. T. White (1964). Australian Catholic Truth Society No. 1423. May be read online and available in PDF format at Catholic Truth Society Pamphletsavailable in PDF format on this page of Catholic Pamphlets.net; and may be read online at e-Catholic 2000. [This useful pamphlet suggests ways by which Catholic Christians may, through God’s grace, bring non-Catholics to the one true Church.]
  8. Lettre aux Catholiques de France: « Proposer la Foi dans la Société Actuelle », par les Évêques de France, le 9 novembre 1996. Disponible en format pdf (sur cette page) sur l‘Eglise Catholique en France.
  9. “A New Door of Faith: Catholic Identity, Evangelization, and Renewal through Social Media”, by Amy Bonnacorso, Seat of Wisdom: A Theological and Pastoral Journal, Issue 6 (Winter 2013): 15-41. Available in pdf format on this page of Seat of Wisdom.
  10. Nota Doutrinal Sobre Alguns Aspectos da Evangelização, pela Congregação para a Doutrina da Fé (3 Dezembro 2007). Disponível em Santa Se.
  11. Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation “Ecclesia in Asia” on Jesus Christ the Saviour and His Mission of Love and Service in Asia, by Pope St. John Paul II (November 6, 1999). May be read online (on this page) of the Holy See.
  12. Seven Ways to Win Converts (tract), by Rev. John A. O’Brien, Ph.D. Available in PDF format on this page of Catholic Pamphlets.net.
  13. The Workers are Few; Reflections upon Vocation to the Foreign Missions, by Rev. Paolo Manna, translated by Rev. Joseph F. McGlinchey (Boston, Mass.: Society for the Propagation of the Faith, 1911). With the apostolic benediction of Pope St. Pius X for the original Italian text, and Imprimatur for the translation. Available in various formats at Internet Archive and Open Library, with a second copy at Internet Archive and Open Library.
  14. You Will Be My Witnesses: A Pastoral Letter to the People of God of San Antonio on the Christian Mission to Evangelize and Proclaim Jesus Christ, by Archbishop José H. Gomez (February 15, 2010). Available in PDF format (on this page) at the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, at Internet Archive (the  29 April 2013 snapshot of the relevant webpage of the Archdiocese of San Antonio), at Hitpages, at My Illinois State, and at Yumpu (which requires registration to access).
  15. You Shall Be My Witnesses: Hebrew Catholics and the Mission of the Church (Saint Louis, MO.: Association of Hebrew Catholics, 2010, 2012). Available in PDF format on this page of the Association of Hebrew Catholics.

IV. Histories of Missions

  1. “Anglicanism, Catholicism and the Negro Slave”, by Herbert S. Klein, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Volume 8, Issue 3 (April 1966): pp. 295-327. Available in pdf format (on this page) of Stanford University.
  2. Annals of the Propagation of the Faith: A Periodical Collection of Letters from the Bishops and Missionaries Engaged in the Missions of the Old and New World, and of All the Documents Relating to Those Missions, and to the Institution of the Propagation of the Faith, Volume 66 (Baltimore, Society for the Propagation of the Faith, 1903). Available at Internet Archive.
  3. Annals of the Propagation of the Faith: A Periodical Collection of Letters from the Bishops and Missionaries Engaged in the Missions of the Old and New World, and of All the Documents Relating to Those Missions, and to the Institution of the Propagation of the Faith, Volume 67 (Baltimore, Society for the Propagation of the Faith, 1904). Available at Internet Archive.
  4. Annals of the Propagation of the Faith: A Periodical Collection of Letters from the Bishops and Missionaries Engaged in the Missions of the Old and New World, and of All the Documents Relating to Those Missions, and to the Institution of the Propagation of the Faith, Volume 69 (Baltimore, Society for the Propagation of the Faith, 1906). Available at Internet Archive.
  5. The Catholic Church in China from 1860 to 1907, by Rev. Bertram Wolferstan, S.J. (London, Edinburgh: Sands & Company; St. Louis, Mo.: B. Herder, 1909). Available in multiple formats at Internet Archive and Open Library, with a second copy at Internet Archive.
  6. The Civilizers of the Philippines. Subtitled on the first contents page as “Statements concerning the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippine Islands”. Available in various formats as Internet Archive and Open Library. [N.B., This is a history of the religious orders in Spanish Philippines, and an explanation of their role in its evangelization, education, and socio-economic life.]
  7. Early History of the Catholic Church in Oceania, by the Rt. Rev. Jean Baptiste François Pompallier, with Introduction by the Rt. Rev. John Edmund Luck, Bishop of Auckland (Auckland, N.Z.: H. Brett, Printer, 1888). Available in multiple formats at Internet Archive and Open Library.
  8. History of the Missions in Japan and Paraguay, by Cecilia Mary Caddell (New York, Boston, Montreal: D. and J. Sadlier & Co.). Available in Internet Archive and Open Library, with a second copy at Internet Archive and Open Library.
  9. In God’s army: I. Commanders-in-Chief: St. Ignatius Loyola, St. Francis Xavier, by Cyril Charlie Martindale (London: R. & T. Washbourne, 1915). With Imprimatur. Available at Open Library and Internet Archive (Digitizing sponsor: MSN, Book contributor: Regis College Library, University of Toronto).
  10. Japan‘s Martyr Church, by Sister Mary Bernard (Exeter: Catholic Records Press, [1920]). With Imprimi Potest. Available in multiple formats at Internet Archive and Open Library. For other legally free ebooks, you may access the List of Free eBooks (Arranged by Title) and the List of Free eBooks (Grouped by Subject).
  11. The Jesuit Missions: A Chronicle of the Cross in the Wilderness, by Thomas Guthrie Marquis (Toronto, 1916). Volume 4 of 32 of Chronicles of Canada, edited by George M. Wrong and H. H. Langton. Available in various formats at ManyBooks.net and Project Gutenberg. Audiobook available at Project Gutenberg and LibriVox.org.
  12. “Mystical Theology in the Early Jesuit Mission to Colonial Paraguay: Contemplation and Action at the Hispanic-American Frontier”, by Juan Miguel Marin, The Way Vol. 47, No. 8 (2008), pp. 77-94. Available in PDF format at The Way.
  13. The New Glories of the Catholic Church, translated from the Italian by the Fathers of the London Oratory, at the Request of, and with a Preface by, the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster [Nicholas Patrick Cardinal Wiseman] (London, Dublin, Derby: Richardson and Son, 1859). Available at Internet Archive and Open Library. [N.B., This work recounts the lives of the martyrs who suffered from the persecutions in East Asia and Oceania, especially in Korea, but also in China and modern Vietnam.]
  14. Observations in the Orient: The Account of a Journey to Catholic Mission Fields in Japan, Korea, Manchuria, China, Indo-China, and the Philippines, by Rev. James A. Walsh (Ossining, New York: Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America, 1919). With Imprimatur. Available in various formats at Internet Archive and Open Library, with a 2nd copy at Internet Archive and Open Library and a 3rd copy at Internet Archive and Open Library.
  15. Sermons and Lectures on the Missions: A Collection of Sermons, Lectures, and Sketches on the Catholic Missions, Volume 1, edited by Anton Huonder, adapted from the German by Cornelius Pekari (Techny, IL: Mission Press, 1918). With Imprimatur. Available in various formats at Internet Archive and Open Library.
  16. Verdadeira Informação das Terra do Preste João das Indias, nova ed., pelo Padre Francisco Alvares (Lisboa: Imprensa Nacional, 1889). Disponível em Internet Library e Open Library.
  17. Witnesses of the Faith in the Orient: Dominican Martyrs of Japan, China, and Vietnam, 2nd edition, by a team of Dominican Fathers under the direction of Ceferino Puebla Pedrosa, O.P., translated by Sister Maria Maez, O.P., revised and updated by George G. Christian, O.P. (Hong Kong: Provincial Secretariat of Missions, Dominican Province of Our Lady of the Rosary, 1989, 2006). Available in PDF format on this page of the Dominican Province of St. Joseph, USA.

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