How should Catholics respond to such ignorance and prejudice? I think we can all take cues from Blessed John Paul II, who once said “Faced with this abyss of evil, I can only respond with an abyss of love.”
One quiet way I’ve been responding over the past several years is suggesting good Catholic books for purchase by my local public library system. A Catholic librarian explains on her blog why libraries have an important role to play in the New Evangelization.
You do need to have borrowing privileges at the library you suggest in order to recommend it. The form will ask for information, such as the title, author, publisher, ISBN, and retail price, which you can easily find on a website like Amazon.com. Once the form is submitted, if the library orders the item they will usually place it on hold for you. Thus, not only will you be getting quality Catholic books into your college or public library’s collection, you will also likely be among the first people to read those books!
If it can be done here in Minnesota, then it can be done across the country, and so I highly recommend that my fellow Catholics utilize a similar strategy to get quality Catholic books into your college and local library systems. The libraries probably won’t order everything you suggest, but I’ve gotten a fair amount of the books I’ve suggested into the public libraries in my area.
Below are some titles that I think every public library should have about Catholicism. I think this list is a good starting point for suggestions for purchase by public libraries.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church
The Ignatius Catholic Bible, 2nd Edition
Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration by Pope Benedict XVI
Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: From the Entrance Into Jerusalem To The Resurrection by Pope Benedict XVI
Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives by Pope Benedict XVI
Introduction to Christianity by Pope Benedict XVI
The Spirit of the Liturgy by Pope Benedict XVI
Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton
Lumen Fidei by Pope Francis
Evangelii Gaudium by Pope Francis
Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections On Following Christ by Pope Francis
Catholicism by Father Robert Barron
Come Be My Light by Mother Teresa
The Long Loneliness by Dorothy Day
The Difference God Makes by Cardinal Francis George
The Mass: The Glory, the Mystery, the Tradition by Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Mike Aquilina
The Church: Unlocking the Secrets to the Places Catholics Call Home by Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Mike Aquilina
Michael Blissenbach holds a bachelor’s degree in Catholic Studies and Philosophy from the University of St. Thomas and he is currently studying law at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. Michael’s interests include meteorology, social ethics, bioethics, constitutional law, religious liberty law and applying Catholic social teaching to law and public policy.