Deacon Larry's Recommendations

List of Readings and References

On this page I am providing my top resources; the ones that I found most fruitful in my personal journey: a cradle Catholic's journey spanning some six decades and consisting of reading several hundred books en-route to Masters in Theology and Ordination as a Permanent Deacon.

The purpose is to help all who visit this page to find resources that they can start with, or use to supplement your own reading plan.

The goal is to provide a manageable set of just one dozen key resources to focus on:


  • It is easy to get overwhelmed by the 1000s of Catholics books out there, with all the hype, author "popularity"  and the marketing from which much confusion can ensue.

While there are many others I have read and have been truly inspired by and of which it was hard to leave off this list, these are the books I return to, time and time again, to help me navigate my journey.


  • When reading books that you are depending on for proper advice regarding your salvation and eternal soul, check to ensure it carries the "nihil obstat and imprimatur" declarations.



These are in the order I would read them:

  • Pope Benedict helps us understand who Jesus Christ is and hence lays a solid foundation for our Faith.

  • Saint Francis De Sales walks us through the day-to-day living out the Christ centered life.

    • His books are quite long because he gives ample examples and details, details and instructions not found in many of the shorter or fluffy books produced by others.

    • Hence, they can be used as a manual for life -- no matter what your age or level of spirituality.

  • Saint Louis De Montfort show us the way to Jesus through Mary, and provides both simple and easy to read materials as well as the advanced works as one prepares to go deeper into this mystery.

  • Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Then ties all these lessons together in his work "Life is Worth Living", "Going to Heaven" and "The Worlds First Love".

    • These will help integrate what we've learned from the previous readings.

  • With this foundation, the "Imitation of Christ" is then ingested, providing deeper integration and understanding.  

May God richly bless you on your journey!


Pope Benedict XVI

  • In this book series, you will learn about Jesus Chirst, our Lord and Savior:

    • Jesus of Nazareth (The 3 Book series)

Saint Francis De Sales

  • In this set of books, you will learn how to live the Christian life from a very practical and implementable viewpoint:

    • An Introduction to a Devout Life

    • Treatise on the Love of God

    • Consoling Thoughts On Trials of an Interior Life (Consoling Thoughts of St. Francis De Sales)

    • The Art of Loving God: Simple Virtues for the Christian Life

    • Finding God's Will for You


Saint Louis de Montfort

  • In this set of books, you will learn how to live the Christian life through the eyes, life and experiences of, and help from, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus:

    • The Secret of the Rosary & the Secret of Mary

    • True Devotion to Mary: With Preparation for Total Consecration


Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

  • In this set of books, you will learn how to resiliently live the Christian life through the challenges we all face; learning and experiencing how the love of God can and will help you through all difficulties:

    • Live is Worth Living (Parts 1 and 2) - audio series and book

    • Go to Heaven - A Spiritual Road Map to Eternity

    • Worlds First Love

Thomas à Kempis

  • As you grow stronger and delve deeper in your faith journey, this book can serve as the bridge into the more mystical readings and experiences of the Catholic Faith:

    • The Imitation of Christ



Father John A. Hardon S.J.

  • These references are very helpful to have on hand as they provide supplimental information and clear definitions that help with understanding the material as well as recommendations for addition reading via a "lifetime reading plan":

    • The Catholic lifetime reading plan (1998)

    • The Pocket Catholic Catechism (1989)

    • The Catholic Catechism (1981)

    • The Question and Answer Catholic Catechism (1981)

    • The Catholic Dictionary (1980)