On today, the Twelfth Day of Christmas, celebrated as Epiphany in many places, I am thrilled to announce the publication of my first book: Idiot’s Guides: Catholicism. Co-authored with Julie Young, a local Catholic writer here in Indianapolis and author of one of the major biographies of St. Theodora Guerin, this book is the latest in the Idiot’s Guides series and a complete re-write from previous versions in the series. You can purchase the book beginning today for your Kindle here, or order a paper copy through Amazon here; and copies will be appearing in bookstores nationwide in the coming days.

IG Catholicism CoverHere’s a teaser from the back cover of the book: “Billions of people all over the world identify as Catholics, but for those who aren’t of this faith or have been away from it, its rites, rituals, prayers, and saints can be confusing. This helpful guide, written from the pulpit as well as the pew, offers a clear and easy-to-understand look at the history, culture, structure, values, traditions, and beliefs of the Catholic Church.” What I am most excited about is the collaboration Julie and I had in writing – as the book says, it is “written from the pulpit as well as the pew.” A lot of similar books are from one perspective or the other, but here we have brought both the experience of an everyday Catholic in the pews as well as a priest to offer an overview of our Catholic faith.

The other great thing about this new book – and what I hope will set it apart from other similar titles – is that it is really written with no assumptions about what people already know. We don’t assume that readers know who Jesus Christ is. We don’t assume that people have been to a Catholic Mass. However, most people do have some idea of what they think Catholics believe – and we take that into account as well. The primary audience is for non-Catholics or people who have fallen away from an active practice of the Catholic faith – but I think anyone and everyone will find something for them in the book. I’m also excited to be able to introduce people to some of the great Saints of the Church throughout the book – real, everyday people who took their relationship with God seriously and struggled throughout their lives to become holy. After the person of Jesus Christ and His presence in the Sacraments, the example of the Saints is one of the greatest gifts the Catholic Church has to offer.

Julie and I will be holding a Book Launch and Signing on Saturday, January 24, from 1-3 pm at Bookmama’s Book Store in Irvington (9 S. Johnson Avenue, Indianapolis). If you’re in the Indianapolis area that day, I invite you to stop by – copies of the book will be available for purchase. I hope to be able to have other opportunities to introduce and talk about the book in the coming weeks and months. And stay tuned here for some other teasers!