Catholic and Christian Marriage Books and Resources

by Fr. Gary Coulter

This is a work in progress, so please e-mail your corrections and suggestions. Thanks to your suggestions the websites have moved to a separate page as the marriage resources have grown too big for one page! And see more book recommendations at ForYourMarriage.org.

Contact Fr Gary Coulter Go to Fr. Coulter's homepage Sign my Guestbook


Directory of Books

Featured Authors
John and Sheila Kippley
Kimberly and Scott Hahn
The Best of Catholic Books and Resources
Church Teaching on Marriage, Family and Theology of the Body
Enriching your Catholic Marriage
Novels about Marriage
Dating from a Catholic Perspective
Catholic Books on Parenting
Catholic Church Teaching (Popes of the 20th Century)
Other Catholic Sources
Pauline Books and Media
Ligouri Publications
Mary Beth Bonacci
Dr. Janet Smith
EWTN
Miscellaneous Sources
Catholic Wedding Planners

Directory of Catholic Websites

ForYourMarriage.org
FathersForGood.org
Author's Sites
Preparing for Marriage or Engagement
Natural Family Planning
Marriage Enrichment
Troubled Marriages
For Churches and Parishes
General Information

After work, taking care of three preschoolers and doing the cooking, housework and washing, you say you have no energy left to "work on marriage". But looking after one's marriage must be the first priority: how would you like to have three preschoolers, work part-time, do your own housework, cooking and washing, and do it all as a single parent? If you take care of everything else, and neglect your marriage, that's what can happen!
This is a page of Catholic marriage resources, if you are looking for secular (non-Catholic) marriage books and links go here.

The Best of Catholic Marriage Resources

ForYourMarriage.org, a site sponsored by the U.S. Bishops, including a Book of the Month book reviews

John and Sheila Kippley:

With the Couple to Couple League International, pioneers and educators of natural family planning.

Marriage Is For Keeps: Foundations for Christian Marriage - John F. Kippley
The ultimate marriage preparation book for discussion with engaged couples. Each chapter lays out a different topic on the meaning of the marriage commitment, NFP, children, birth control, and many other important topics; always focusing marriage on the THREE - husband, wife and GOD in the center. Also contains thought provoking questions for the couple to ponder how they are going to grow in marriage and as persons. Reminds couples that they are planning for a marriage, not just a wedding. Excellent reading for seminary or college classes on marriage and family life.

Sex and the Marriage Covenant: A Basis For Morality - John F. Kippley
Fine book on marriage and sexual morality. Discusses the meaning of sex in marriage and church teaching on contraceptives from every conceivable angle: scriptural covenant theology, the Magisterium, and from scripture directly. Dispels objections, handles the hard cases, and makes a compelling argument for Natural Family Planning.

The Art of Natural Family Planning - John F. Kippley, Sheila K. Kippley
A textbook for the Couple to Couple League International NFP course. There's an extensive section for "beginners" and even a chapter on the special charting needs of women just quitting the Pill. It explains how to use fertility awareness to avoid pregnancy, as well as how to conceive. It tells how to know you're pregnant and how to maintain infertility during breast feeding, as well as how to tell when you become fertile again. Finally, it explains how to chart all the way through menopause. There is plenty of info about the effects of nutrition and pharmaceuticals on your cycles too! Includes sections on the morality of family planning.

CCL Home Study Course for Natural Family Planning: Self-Contained Course - John & Sheila Kippley

Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing: How Natural Mothering Spaces Babies - Sheila Kippley
From years of experience, and through many additional years of scientific research, this books documents information pertinent to the effectiveness of child spacing through "ecological breastfeeding" or "natural mothering". This excellent book also touches on other aspects including night feeding, weaning and parenting among many other pages of invaluable information for new mothers.


Kimberly and Scott Hahn

Chosen and Cherished: Biblical Wisdom for Your Marriage - Kimberly Hahn
A six-part, 12-session study aimed at married couples wanting to discover the wisdom that the Bible has to offer for understanding the Sacrament of Marriage. Great for prayer and study groups, it will be a catalyst for fruitful discussion of the attributes of a godly marriage. Comes with an engaging DVD presentation.

Life-Giving Love : Embracing God's Beautiful Design for Marriage - Kimberly Hahn (with Scott Hahn) Kimberly Hahn uses real-life stories to make a beautifully clear and gentle presentation of the Catholic Church's teaching on marriage and family, including sexuality, family planning and even topics like infertility and adoption. Special emphasis on Natural Family Planning.

First Comes Love: Finding Your Family in the Church and the Trinity - Scott Hahn) A view of marriage based on the Holy Trinity, where the family helps us to understand the relations of the three persons of God, and the love of God becomes a model for marriages and families.


Church Teaching on Marriage, Family and Theology of the Body

Marriage Is For Keeps: Foundations for Christian Marriage - John F. Kippley (click to go to description above)

A Catholic Handbook For Engaged and Newly Married Couples - Dr. Frederick W. Marks, III
Perhaps the most recommended book for marriage preparation after Kippley's book above, Dr. Marks covers everything from children to contraception, from conflict to the Couple to Couple League.

Good News About Sex and Marriage: Honest Questions and Answers About Catholic Teaching - Christopher West
A great job of surveying the questions about sexual morality and the meaning of marriage. He doesn't beat you over the head with teachings about topics such as chastity and contraception, but carefully explains why Christians believe what they do, and why that is so amazingly important. Insights about the nature of the human person, the nature of marriage, and God's role in that relationship - all based on Pope John Paul II's "The Theology of the Body" - look for West's tapes on the subject.

Men And Women Are From Eden: A Study Guide to John Paul II's Theology of the Body - Mary Healy
Making the theology of the body accessible to ordinary people, this book presents the biblical teaching on men, women, sex and marriage in a new and compelling way. It give doctrinal foundations and is a tool not only for studying the late Pope's teaching, but also for healing oneself and changing one's relationships. The differences between men and women are not merely accidental; they are part of God's marvelous design for humanity: our complementarity reveal our capacity for self-giving love and true, lasting marriage.
See an Interview with Mary Healy

Called to Love: Approaching John Paul II's Theology of the Body - Carl Anderson and Fr. Jose Granados
The Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus offers a profound and comprehensive explanation of Pope John Paul II's thought. From the Pontifical John Paul II Institute, JohnPaulII.edu, read a Synopsis of Called to Love by Fr. Granados (PDF), and download online a Study Guide to Called to Love (PDF), excellent discussion questions for educators and leaders.

Intimate Bedfellows: Love, Sex and the Catholic Church - Thomas and Donna Finn A simple introduction to the Church's teachings on pre-marital sex, cohabitation, and the use of contraceptives, showing how these teachings are part of recognizing the dignity of each person.

Three to Get Married - Archbishop Fulton Sheen
Download it free from EWTN
Archbishop Sheen explores the idea of the dignity of the body, explains the difference between love and sex, and teaches the triune nature of love - the need to have our Blessed Lord as part of a successful, loving marriage. A must read from one of the Church's greatest communicators of the 20th-century. An excellent moral preparation for marriage, covers the causes of and solutions to crises in marriage. Concludes with touching, real-life stories of marriage transforming lives.

Love Refined - Alice von Hildebrand
This beautiful collection of letters to a new bride is an inspiring testimony to the enduring, purifying power of love. Anyone will enjoy the insights of Alice von Hildebrand's fertile mind, but especially young women preparing for marriage or newly married.

Covenant of Love: Pope John Paul II on Sexuality, Marriage, and Family in the Modern World - Richard Hogan and John LeVoir
Everyone seems to be recommending this book for a Catholic view of marriage.

Covenanted Happiness - Cormac Burke
Msgr. Burke unfolds the "laws of happiness" as they are found and lived in Christian marriage and family life. Based on the covenant of married life, the author shows how personal happiness is achieved, deepened, matured and made permanent through the commitment of marriage.
New: Read his book Online for free
Msgr. Burke has been judge of the Roman Rota since 1986. He provides an excellent overview of marriage and family life with a good grasp of John Paul II's theology of the body and applies it to all aspects of married life.
Article interviewing Monsignor Cormac Burke: Marriage as God's Intensive School of Love: Monsignor Cormac Burke Gives Tips for a Happy Union

Love and Responsibility - Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II)
The ultimate work on authentic love and sexuality, deeply rooted in the dignity of the human person. Written before hew was elected Pope (John Paul II), addresses the topic of love with amazing precision, clarity and beauty, while defending Catholic traditions on family life and sexual morality. It isn't easy reading, not only because of the philosophical language, but especially because it is so packed. Sometimes even a paragraph or page requires stopping and digesting only that portion. For Catholics that have a hard time understanding the Church's teaching on moral issues this book may help them see why a person's choice of actions are so vital to a person's relationship with God.

Theology of the Body - Pope John Paul II
Here is the new translation of what you've been hearing so much about. Pope John Paul II's catechesis revealing God's plan for marriage and the family.
There are several synopsis and guides which provide good introductions: Theology of the Body Made Simple - Father Anthony Percy; Theology Of The Body For Beginners - Christopher West; and The Splendor of Love - Father Walter Schu, L.C.

Covenant of Love - John Cardinal O'Connor
One of the greatest pastoral leaders of the 20th century left the Church these beautiful reflections on the meaning of married love. It will touch the heart of every reader. This is not a marriage manual, nor a book of strict guidelines and instructions. Thoroughly pastoral, practical, and sprinkled with real-life anecdotes, it encourages a look at the spiritual, sacramental, and supernatural dimensions of marriage as God intended it to be.

Purity: The Meaning of Christian Sexuality - Dietrich von Hildebrand
Marriage: The Mystery of Faithful Love - Dietrich von Hildebrand
Von Hildebrand provides a correct understanding of love as both enduring and faithful and that marriage is an unbreakable bond. Von Hildebrand understands, and argues forcefully, that in loving your spouse you are loving Christ because your spouse is a member of the Body of Christ. Selfless love towards your spouse is to care solely for the salvation of the person meant by God for you. Once this is realized conjugal love, then romantic love and enduring love follow. Provides an insight into the Catholic understanding of marriage as a sacrament and indissoluble union.
Read it Online!

The Christian Meaning of Human Sexuality - Fr. Paul M. Quay
This book gives clear reasons for respecting our spirituality and sexuality, providing an understandable source for recognizing the beauty of how God created us. Fr. Quay also makes no apologies for the strong stands that he takes regarding today's society.

Sex, Marriage and the Chastity: Reflections of a Catholic Layman, Spouse, and Parent - Dr. William May
William May is a renowned and orthodox Catholic moral theologian. Also recommended is his book, Marriage: The Rock on Which the Family Is Built

Marriage: A Path to Sanctity - Javier Abad
A complete guidebook for married couples and those preparing for or thinking about marriage. The book aims to guide the reader to a proper hierarchy of values in regard to marriage, sanctity, heroic virtue, self-sacrifice, and the love of God.

The Catholic Family in the Modern World - Fr. John Hardon
First examines how marriage was changed and elevated by Christ as sacrament, and the world's reaction to His teaching on it's permanence and sanctity. Then, most practically, asks what means Catholic families should use to preserve their marriage, to reform, and, if necessary, to rebuild family life on the foundations of authentic Christianity.

Documents of the Marriage Liturgy - Mark Searle and Kenneth Stevenson
For anyone studying the history of marriage this book is an excellent reference. It flows smoothly and is easy to understand. It looks at marriage from an informative standpoint rather than being muddled with opinion.

The Four Loves - C.S. Lewis
The Four Loves summarizes four kinds of human love - "storge" (affection), "philia" (friendship), "eros" (sexual or romantic love) and "agape" (selfless love / love of God). Masterful without being magisterial, this book's wise, gentle, and candid reflections on the virtues and dangers of love draw on sources from Jane Austen to St. Augustine. The chapter on charity (love of God) may be the best thing Lewis ever wrote about Christianity.


Enriching your Catholic Marriage

Book of the Month from ForYourMarriage.org, a site sponsored by the U.S. Bishops.

Catholic & Newly Married: 5 Challenges and 5 Opportunities - Kathy and Steve Beirne
Affordable, digestible, easy-to-read and understand, a common-sense book that all couples should have somewhere (bedside table, bathroom) where they’ll pick it up and read it from time to time. The best way to spend $7 I can think of.

Marriage: Small Steps, Big Rewards - Dr. Ray Guarendi
A clinical psychologist and marriage / family expert, Dr. Ray offers straightforward advice for a happier, more rewarding marriage - achived through small changes, not major rearranging or new techniques.

Forever and a Day: An Invitation to Create a Marriage That Lasts a Lifetime - Robert and Rita Boeke
These two teachers have been married over 45 years, and presented hundreds of retreats, workshops and days of enrichment for married couples, offering practical marriage enrichment with humor and honesty.
See their blog: The Wonder of Marriage

Marriage: A Gift From God - Dr. Tom Curran
Learn the true architect of your marriage, and how you are called to formulate a plan for your marriage that will withstand any trials. Change your view of marriage, your spouse, and yourself. CD, DVD & MP3 also available from MyCatholicFaith.org

Marriage: It's a God Thing - William P. Roberts
Offering a vision of marriage, not just as a social convention but as a sacrament and vocation, William Roberts, a professor of theology, strives to help couples achieve a deeper intimacy with one another and God by seeing marriage as a means to spiritual growth.

What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About the First Five Years of Marriage - Roy Petitfils
As a spouse, father and counselor, Roy Petitfils offers firsthand, practical tips for any couple (not just newlyweds) to plan, work hard, and dedicate themselves to making their marriage work.

Real Life, Real Love: 7 Paths to a Strong, Lasting Relationship - Father Albert Cutié
Father Albert offers powerful techniques to help couples build solid foundations, respect each other, clarify expectations, be honest, communicate, learn to live with differences, and make a commitment to growth and maturity.

The Last Straw: Ways to Overcome the Stumbling Blocks in Communication Towards a Stronger and Happier Marriage - Father Michael Ryan L.C.
Many pratical tips regarding communication and conflict for a stronger and happier marriage. E.g. In a healthy relationship, positive comments should outnumber negative ones by a ration of five to one. When a negative subject must be addressed, there must be no doubt of the spouses' love for one another - a saftey net underneath the discussion.

Love in the Little Things: Tales of Family Life - Mike Aquilina
Love involves sacrifice, Mike Aquilina notes, but as he spins humorous stories from his own family, it is evident that moms, dads and kids are happier when they lay down their lives for one another. A book to lighten your spirit. Foreword by Scott Hahn.

Amazing Grace for Married Couples: 12 Life-Changing Stories of Renewed Love - Jeff Cavins, Matthew Pinto, Patti Armstrong
A collection of 12 inspirational stories about marriages that were on the brink of disaster, only to be redeemed by God's amazing grace.

Courage to Love ... When Your Marriage Hurts - Father Jerry Foley
Fr. Foley has worked for many years with Retrouvaille and Catholic Engaged Encounter. He focuses on relationship-building, and invites couples to reconciliation, rebuilding trust, learning skills necessary for healthy communication, and to growing spiritually through the lived reality of married life.
Articles by Fr. Foley:
Can the Church Help Hurting Marriages?
Retrouvaille: 'Married Couples' Spirituality
Retrouvaille - Wounded Healers

Natural Family Planning Blessed Our Marriage: 19 True Stories - Fletcher Doyle
More than just a means of regulating birth, NFP is also a means of building communication, affection, respect and a sense of joyful freedom in a couple's sexual relationship. Stories of why the benefits outweigh the challenges, and how a move from artificial means to natural regulation of births can not only plan one's family, but improve one's marriage.

For Couples with Financial Troubles
The Catholic Answers Guide to Family Finances - Philip Lenahan
Although not specifically on marriage, still recommended for helping resolve this major factor underlying many marital conflicts.

Gregory Popcak
For Better... Forever: A Catholic Guide to Lifelong Marriage - Gregory Popcak
This guide to lifelong marriage is a rich resource of down-to-earth advice for couples preparing for matrimony. Popcak seeks to combine a Catholic viewpoint with contemporary psychology. Drawing from his years of clinical practice in psychotherapy, as well as his own practical experiences as a husband and father; this book explores the characteristics that create strong relationships and helps couples determine both their strengths and weaknesses. Offers practical suggestions for keeping marriages alive and vital long after the wedding.

Holy Sex!: A Catholic Guide to Toe-Curling, Mind-Blowing, Infallible Loving - Gregory Popcak
"I can safely guarantee that all who read Holy Sex! will find something new and helpful, will laugh a lot and may even be shocked at what Dr. Popcak reveals to be compatible with Catholic teaching." - Dr. Janet E. Smith, Sacred Heart Major Seminary

A Marriage Made for Heaven : The Secrets of Heavenly Couplehood - Gregory and Lisa Popcak: Couple Workbook and Leader Guide
A parish based, 12-month enrichment program for already married couples, with DVD presentations.

See Gregory Popcak's Pastoral Solutions Institute (catholiccounselors.com), his Faith on the Couch blog and More2Life radio.
Note: Some say this Catholic author relies more on psychology than Catholic theology, especially in the areas of sexuality and sex education. So it is recommended, as with all authors, to read his books with care. His books include The Exceptional Seven Percent: The Nine Secrets of the World's Happiest Couples, Parenting with Grace: Catholic Parent's Guide to Raising (almost) Perfect Kids and Beyond the Birds and the Bees: The Secrets of Raising Sexually Whole (and Holy!) Kids


Novels about Marriage

A Severe Mercy - Sheldon Vanauken
A heart-rending love story described by its author as "the spiritual autobiography of a love rather than of the lovers." It addresses some of the universal questions that surround faith - the existence of God and the reasons behind tragedy. "An adventure story of intellect, faith, and ideology, a love story... filled with the reality of one relationship and one search, with questions that can't easily be ignored."

The Jeweler's Shop - Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II)
The Jeweler's Shop is a play written by Karol Wojtyla many years before he became Pope John Paul II. The story follows the lives of three couples and their children, making a meditation on the mystery of marriage in the form of a drama. It also contains a wonderful statement about the sanctity of the marital covenant.

Conceived Without Sin - Bud MacFarlane, Jr.
A FREE novel and great story about love, marriage, friendship and conversion. Supernatural graces weave in and out, as they do in our own lives the faith. Grace builds on our human relationships, which then consummate with one another and with God.
Yes, it's true Bud has divorced his wife and left his family, therefore some will not want to read his book. His divorce may reduce my recommendation, but it doesn't change the book's content.


Dating from a Christian Perspective

If You Really Loved Me: 100 Questions on Dating, Relationships and Sexual Purity - Jason Evert
Answering the questions on the hearts of teens today, Jason explains how to stay sexually pure until marriage and how fidelity to Jesus Christ will bring true happiness and fulfillment.

Couples in Love : Straight Talk on Dating, Respect, Commitment, Marriage, and Sexuality - Fr. John R. Waiss
Through the questions of young couple and the answers Catholic priest, this book uses a conversation to touch on all issues related to dating, building a relationship, and deciding on one's vocation.

I Kissed Dating Goodbye - Joshua Harris
Many single Christians feel frustrated with cultural expectations and patterns of dating, and countless teens today feel depressed or discouraged because they don't have a boyfriend or girlfriend. Offers an all-new approach to dating relationships. It calls young adults away from playing the dating game and into reality.
A somewhat controversial but refreshing approach to dating, it gives good advice (especially for teenagers) before one enters a committed relationship. He counters modern concepts and methods of dating with maturity, self-control, and sexual purity.
Read online: Chapter 2: The Seven Habits of Highly Defective Dating by Joshua Harris

The ABCs of Choosing a Good Husband: How to Find and Marry a Great Guy - Steve Wood
ABC's of Choosing a Good Wife: How to Find and Marry a Great Girl - Steve Wood
Time-tested advice for choosing a spouse, with practical, convincing wisdom and some surprising new ideas. Guaranteed to increase your chances for a successful marriage. Steve restores hope that a lasting, loving, and fulfilling marriage is possible in a divorce-prone world. Note: either gender would enjoy reading each of these books, especially parents.

Steve Wood also recommends many other great Catholic marriage products at Family Life Center, such as
Courtship and Marriage, by Fr. John O'Brien - with real answers, practical advce and solid principles, this challanges young couples to build the kind of love that will stand the test of time.
Relationships 101, CD by Steve Wood & Stephanie Wood - "How to Prepare for Lifelong Love" - a live seminar with Catholic college students on the best principles and advice to prepare for a happy, lifelong marriage in the world today.

Christian Courtship in An Oversexed World - Fr. Thomas G. Morrow
A highly recommended new guide to courtship. Includes the thought of Pope John Paul II and C. S. Lewis, Morrow emphasizes a longer, chaste courtship of "intimate friendship" which will help a person to be successful in choosing a good spouse.
Read a Sample Chapter online, or see his 6 Tape Set on the same topic

Not Ready for Marriage, Not Ready for Sex: One Couple's Return to Chastity - Chris and Linda Padgett
Wondering if you have the resolve to choose sexual purity? Wondering why you should choose it? Read the Padgetts' story for some straight talk about sex and the truth that will set you free to discover friendship, affection and the self-discipline needed for a firm foundation for marriage.

Passion and Purity (Rules for Christian Singles!) - Elisabeth Elliot
Popular seminar speaker Elisabeth Elliot has written a book about bringing one's love life under the authority of Jesus Christ. She gives direction in such areas as singleness or marriage, putting God's desires ahead of personal desires, what men look for in a woman, virginity and chastity and the man's role in relationships.
Note: Not catholic, but strongly biblical.

Smart Sex: Finding Life-long Love In A Hook-up World - Jennifer Roback Morse
A book on the nature and meaning of sex and marriage for the ordinary person who wants to get married and stay married. A proper understanding of marriage and sexuality are the remedy for the contemporary social ills of casual sex, cohabitation, divorce and heartbreak. The modern world completely misunderstands the meaning of human sexuality, and has created a culture in which it is socially acceptable to use people ("hook-up" is widely used in America to mean a casual sexual encounter). Yet true love is about self-giving, not the sexual revolution's fraudulent promise of freedom. A delightful book on the importance of marriage, the problems with consumer sex (written by an economist!), and the need for self-giving. Great for couple contemplating or already married.
Note: Although the foreword is by Chuck Colson (thus non-Catholic), Morse lays out fairly Catholic values about sex and chastity, while writing a particularly religious book.

Date or Soul Mate?: How to Know if Someone is Worth Pursuing in Two Dates or Less - Niel Clark Warren, PhD
Note: Dr. Warren writes solely from a secular perspective, but is very close to Catholic teaching in the area of sexuality and cohabitation.
Tired of dating one wrong person after another? Learn how to identify the person of your dreams quickly (in 2 dates or less) so you don't waste time with dead-ends. This book can help reduce confusion and heartache and teach you how to become maximally attractive to a prospective spouse.
Recommended by Steve Wood to help save single men and women a lot of unnecessary suffering and pain, by helping them identify a dead-end / flawed relationship and end it efficiently and kindly. It helps one to gain important self knowledge that is the first step in the process of mate selection. A good companion to Steve's own book (above).

Finding the Love of Your Life [Ten Principles for Choosing the Right Marriage Partner] - Niel Clark Warrren, PhD
Falling in Love for All the Right Reasons [How to Find Your Soul Mate] - Niel Clark Warrren, PhD
Here Dr. Warren claims that marriages most often fail because people simply choose the wrong person to marry. He shares 10 principles for finding the perfect mate. He also sponsors an online dating service Eharmony.com (together with Les and Leslie Parrott).
Note: some rightly disagree with his "soul mate" premise and his method - instead of finding 'similarities', couples need to be taught how to manage their inevitable differences - therefore see his book Learning To Live With the Love Of Your Life instead.

10 Commandments of Dating - Ben Young
Biblical, practical guidelines that address your questions and frustrations about dating. Clear, common-sense explanations of what does, and does not work in a successful relationship.
Note: Not-Catholic (Baptist) - but has two chapters ('commandments') that coincide with the church's teaching on premarital sex and cohabitation.


Catholic Books on Parenting

Discipline That Lasts a Lifetime: The Best Gift You Can Give Your Kids - Dr. Ray Guarendi
"Dr. Ray Answers Your Frequently Asked Questions" giving parents practical advice about disciplining children to form their children's character and to teach them the basics of living, moral responsibility. A father of 10 children, a clinical psychologist, author, public speaker and national radio host ("The Doctor Is In") DrRay.com.

Good Discipline, Great Teens - Dr. Ray Guarendi
With a lively question-and-answer format, Dr. Guarendi considers issues from curfew to drugs to backtalk and equips parents to give their teens a safer, more stable adolescence, and character and virtues for a lifetime. Don't just navigate the teen years but also to enjoy them.

Also see Dr. Ray's other books, You're a Better Parent Than You Think!, Back to the Family and Adoption: Choosing It, Living It, Loving It; Straight Answers to Hearfelt Questions (From the man with 10 adopted children!)

Outnumbered! Raising 13 Kids with Humor and Prayer - Mary Ann Kuharski
A heartwarming and funny account of life in a large family, partly a how-to manual with practical and philosophical advice. Through prayer and common sense, chaotic family life can become an oasis of love. Perfect for couples hesitant about having another child, an antidote to the materialism of our age that values things more than a houseful of living, laughing children.

Keeping Your Kids Catholic: It May Seem Impossible but It Can Be Done - Bert Ghezzi
Collection of practical articles that cover nearly every aspect of Catholic family life. From sharing your faith with small children to loving adult children who leave the Church, here is tested pastoral wisdom from parents, religious educators and family counselors for raising your kids Catholic.

Raising Kids in the Media Age - Jay Dunlap
Parents must understand communications media in order to be effective educators of their children, because of its influence on our ability to communicate and build meaningful relationships (not to mention its content). A realistic and constructive approach that parents will find enlightening and practical.
Read more on the same topic at ParentFurther.com


Documents of the Catholic Church (Popes)

Casti Connubii: On Chastity in Christian Marriage - Pope Pius XI
Download it from the Vatican Web Site
Some great insights on the beauty of marriage and sexuality written in 1930 which today apply more than ever.
Read a Commentary article on Casti Connubii - John Kipley

Humanae Vitae: On Human Life and the Regulation of Birth - Pope Paul VI
Download it from the Vatican Web Site
The infamous encyclical of 1968 explains beautifully the reasons why artificial means of birth control are contrary to God's plan for marriage. His predictions of the consequences of its use have completely come true.

The Truth of the Encyclical "HUMANAE VITAE" - Cardinal Karol Wojtyla

Familiaris Consortio: On the Role of the Christian Family - Pope John Paul II
Download it from the Vatican Web Site
1981 exhortation on the role of marriage and family in the modern world, and God's plan for the family (especially needed in our culture today).

Mulieris Dignitatem: On the Dignity and Vocation of Women - Pope John Paul II
Download it from the Vatican Web Site
1998 letter answers the questions: what makes women unique? Why do we need true women today? What is the role of motherhood?

Letter To Families - Pope John Paul II
Download it from EWTN
Engaged couples should pay special attention to the sections "The Marital Covenant" and "The Unity of the Two".

The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality - The Pontifical Council for the Family
Download it from the Vatican
The Church's document on teaching about love and sexuality to children as they grow toward adulthood - Read a brief summary here


Pauline Books and Media

Webstore: Books on Theology of the Body and Marriage
They also recommended:


Ligouri Publications

Books on Marriage Preparation: - liguori.org/showproducts.cfm?FullCat=596

A Daring Promise: A Spirituality of Christian Marriage - Richard R. Gaillardetz 144 pages
How to Survive Being Married to a Catholic: A Frank and Honest Guide to Catholic Attitudes, Beliefs, and Practices - Michael Henesy, Rosemary Gallagher 192 pages
Making a Marriage: How Two Become One - Elsie Hainz McGrath 64 pages
The Two Shall Be One: Preparing Your Church Wedding - Peter Schavitz, Kathleen McAnany 78 pages
With This Ring (Revised): A Practical Guide for Newlyweds - Renee Bartkowski 128 pages


Mary Beth Bonacci

RealLove.net
Books: We're on a Mission from God and Real Love - Read the Introduction to "Real Love"
Videos: Sex and Love; What's a Teenager to Do? (Netflix; Pureflix) - Youtube clip


Dr. Janet Smith

Recommended are her books: Humanae Vitae: A Generation Later and Humanae Vitae: A Reader, plus her many articles, talks and resources on various topics, including Humanae Vitae, Bioethics, Feminism, Women, the Family, and many other Catholic and Philosophy topics which are available from Sacred Heart Seminary

A number of Janet Smith books and talks on Contraception and Abortion are available from: One More Soul, 1846 North Main St, Dayton OH 45405, 1-800-307-768; OneMoreSoul.com
Also from One More Soul, see the FREE CD: Why Contraception Matters by Stephen Patton


EWTN - Eternal Word Television Network

EWTN Recommends the following titles for Family, Marriage, and Parenting (I will try to update with more information later)

Full Of Grace: Women & Abundant Life - Johnette Benkovich
Holiness For Housewives
Boys To Men: The Transforming Power Of Virtue
Building Catholic Family Traditions
Caring For Your Aging Parents
Lifeline - James Stenson
Upbringing: A Discussion Handbook
By Grief Refined Letters To A Widow

Catholic Family: Vol. 1 & 2
A Mother's Ordeal
Catholic Family Handbook
Listen My Son
By Love Refined
Grief Unveiled
Christian Fatherhood
For Better... Forever: A Catholic Guide to Lifelong Marriage - Gregory Popcak
Parenting With Grace - Gregory Popcak
Purity: Mystery


Other Sources

LoveMatters.com
Dating, Sex, Love, and You - How to survive and find true love! Great articles for teens and adults on chastity, modesty, dating (courtship), sex, marriage, and abortion. Also publishes excellent magazines for distribution to youth.

Marriage Magazine
Marriage magazine provides couples with advice, resources and information to build better marriages and stronger relationships. Free sample issue.

NewCatholicVideo.org
The Diocese of Rockville Center offers DVDs for preparing for Marriage and Baptism, Natural Family Planning and more.

Living Together and Christian Commitment: A Guide for Preparing Engaged Couples who are Living Together - Dr. James Healy
RootedInLove.org
Couples who are living together and who approach the Church for marriage can present a prudent pastoral minister with some challenging issues. Reflecting on the social sciences, Church teaching and pastoral experience, Dr. Healy has a number of presentatition available, and has a way of working with these couples that is both welcoming and honest. Has an audiotape and leaders-guide for the priest, and a booklet to give to cohabiting couples. See also his audio CD for newly-weds: When the Cake is Gone.

Our Sunday Visitor - OSV.com offers the following for marriage preparation and enrichment.
Together In God's Love
A Catholic Marriage Preparation Program, featuring a workbook, facilitators guide, DVD, and mentor couple's guide. Help prepare couples with current, relevant, scientific research about healthy marriages in areas like geneder differences, cultural issues, faith, communication, sexuality and stewardship. And help them incorporate Theology of the Body and Catholic sacramental theology into their marriage.
For Better. . . Forever! A Catholic Guide to Lifelong Marriage - Gregory K. Popcak
The Catholic Marriage Wisdom Book - Donna Marie Cedar-Southworth
Is Cohabitation Wrong? - Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan (pamphlet) - read his Pastor Letter on Cohabitation online


Catholic Wedding Planners

Marriage Is For Keeps: Foundations for Christian Marriage (Wedding Edition) - John F. Kippley
Besides an excellent presentation of the Church's teaching on Marriage and Family, this book also contains all the readings, prayers, and other selections a couple needs to customize their marriage ceremony.

Together for Life - Joseph M. Champlin
Designed to help couples plan the marriage rite by choosing the variant prayers, blessings, and scripture texts. It also includes brief commentaries on each of the scripture readings with insights into different aspects of Catholic teaching. A supplement to other premarital instructions.

Your Catholic Wedding: A Complete Plan-Book - Fr. Chris Aridas
A resource for the Catholic couple planning their wedding but also a pastoral resource, offering meditations on each of the posisble readings, and explaining the Sacrament of Marriage in very understandable terms. It also contains practical advice on how to plan your wedding, including many new and old traditions (and explanations why), yet remain focused on the event in a prayerful way.

Partners in Life and Love: A Preparation Handbook for the Celebration of Catholic Marriage - Joseph R. Giandurco, John S. Bonnici
This booklet is designed to give couples an introduction to the Catholic Church's teaching on the sacrament of Marriage based on the new Catechism of the Catholic Church, and to help them prepare their wedding liturgy.

I Do and Beyond: Planning the Catholic Wedding Ceremony - Rev. Charles M. Wible
Fr. Wilbe provides a comprehensive guide for couples organizing their Catholic wedding plans, including scripture texts, commentary for discussion, and planning worksheets.

A Catholic Bride's Wedding Planner - Tracy Becker
Mass planning pages, budgeting worksheets, and more.

Perspectives on Marriage: With Catholic Wedding Ceremony - Gregory Pierce
Mainly a workbook with exercises for couples to complete and discuss on various topics and issues. The wedding ceremony section is more of an afterthought.

Other books with Scripture readings and reflections / meditations:
Prayer Book for Engaged Couples - Austin Fleming (a nice gift)
Celebrating Marriage - Paul Covino

The Catholic Wedding Book - Molly K. Stein, William C. Graham
This book is inappropriate for anyone in a serious search to bring Catholicism into their wedding. The book intends to be a very lighthearted and humorous guide to organizing your wedding in a Catholic church. Includes selection of possible readings, and some of the ideas on how to organize the ceremony.


Special thanks to Ave Maria Singles and National Catholic Register for several ideas and recommendations for this page. Read an interview with the founder: Where Catholics Can Look for a Spouse Online: How Ave Maria Singles Works.
Sometimes people ask me about online dating sites. I don't know anything about them, but this site, that reviews the various CatholicDatingSites.net, is run by Catholics

Listmania: Catholic Love, Marriage, and Sexuality


This is a page of Catholic marriage resources, if you are looking for secular (non-Catholic) marriage books and links go here.

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