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The Essential Catholic Handbook: A Summary of Beliefs, Practices, and Prayers (Essential (Liguori)) Paperback – April, 1997

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Product Details

  • Series: Essential (Liguori)
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Liguori Publications; Rev&Expand edition (April 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892439106
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892439102
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,449,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 88 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 6, 1999
This book is very informative and easy to read! I am a baptized Catholic who never received further sacraments, and I wanted to join RCIA. This book gave me all the knowledge I needed to start my journey. The first section gives you the basic background and beliefs of Catholicism. The second part gives you the everyday knowledge of Catholics, prayers, rosarys, saints, the order of mass. The third part is a glossary of sorts that gives the layperson definitions of Catholic terms. Altogether, this was a fantastic book. My personal copy is worn out, and has been passed from person to person in my RCIA group!
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66 of 68 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 5, 2001
As an Evangelical all of my life and a former Bob Jones University student, I knew nothing about Catholicism except what I was told by Evangelical pastors--and that usually was negative, well always. When I found that the Evangelical way of life was not meeting my spiritual needs, I began to search for another way. After a serious suicide attempt, I knew that I needed a faith that would sustain me through much more than what the Evangelical churches had provided. I had lost my daughter and there was not as much as a card from my church of over 2500. I needed ot know that God loved me and I wasn't finding that in my church.
In my search I read Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic--an excellent book which lead to believe that the Catholic Church is really the true Church of Christ. I had many questions about terminolgy and why Catholics did this or that in a service. This book answered many of those questions. It also helped to dispell many of the negativities that I was lead to believe in the Evangelical churches. It seemed to talk about everything. The prayers, the Saints, the Holy Days, the Rosary, and has a wonderful dictionary in the back that has been very useful to me in reading other books.
I am glad that I purchased this book and recommend to everyone. It is a wonderful handbook to the new and the old Catholic.
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78 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Charles Wesolowski on March 8, 2000
This book is very handy to have around as a quick reference. Precepts, commandments, overview of Vatican II documents, common prayers, the sacraments, it's all there. Need to know how to prepare for a sick call? Check out page 56!
The Dictionary of Essential Catholic Terms section is like a mini-Catholic encyclopedia: from "abba" to "zuchetta," with references to scripture and the catechism when necessary.
Ok -- a zuchetta is the little beanie worn by bishops and prelates. White for the Pope, red for a cardinal, purple for a bishop, etc. Dates from the 13th century. See it's a great book!
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By "bridgettemsu" on June 28, 2001
I enjoyed this book and found it's section on beliefs especially informative. I did however, find the book hard at times to understand and felt that some things could have been explained more in depth. I find it hard to find what exactly I'm looking for if I have a question. I do recommend that if you are Catholic, or thinking about going through RCIA, that you purchase this book. It is good, but it wasn't exactly what I was looking for. I found what I was wanting in "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Catholicism". It described little tidbits that some books must think too basic level to include. It also explained things in a more understandable way. For prayers, I higly recommend "A Prayer Book for Catholic Families", it is fanstastic. I did not like "The Essential Catholic Handbook's" prayer section. It did not include alot of the ones that I was looking for, and some of those included were different than the way I learned them.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 5, 2002
The Essential Catholic Handbook is an excellent starter book for all of those unfamiliar with the Catholic church and/or catholic doctrine. The premise of catholic theology is presented in a very simple and brief format. Then it is followed up with an excellent description of each of the seven sacraments. Included in this book is a lovely catholic prayer guide and an immensely useful dictionary of catholic terms. Finally, this book is made even more useful by being extensively referenced to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
My only complaint about this book is that in one place, where catholic obligations are covered, it is said that parents are obligated to have their children attend parochial school. That is untrue. Parents are required to provide education, academic and religious, to their children, but in whatever form they choose.
Because this is a beginners book, long time catholics may find little useful. A fresh copy of the catechism would probably suit them better. Teachers of religious education will find much usefulness in this volume. Certainly this work will do much to dispel the many myths about the official teaching of the church that are prevalent both outside of the church and within our own religious ed. programs. I urge RCIA directors to give or at least suggest this book to all in your program.
Some reviewers have complained that this book is too conservative. It should be pointed out that there is not really such a thing as being conservative or not. The church has it's beliefs and teachings. There is a set of proscriptions about how the faithful should live their lives. Because someone does not agree with them does not change anything. Failing to abide the teachings of the church does not create something called liberal or new catholicism. It simply means that you are failing to behave as a catholic in accordance with the teachings of the church.
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