cleveland catholic priesthood

Seminary Vocation Office

Diocese of Cleveland

28700 Euclid Avenue
Wickliffe, OH 44092

P: 440-943-7660

Books and Materials

 Pope Benedict XVI Pope Benedict XVI:Ignatius Press is the exclusive publisher for the writings of Pope Benedict’s works in the United States.  His ‘Author’s Page’ lists the available titles.  Not to be missed are his works on the Apostles and the Early ChurchSt. Paul, as well as his reflections on the face of Christ in Jesus of Nazareth
Pope John Paul II Pope John Paul II:Gift and Mystery: On the Fiftieth Anniversary of My Priestly Ordination (Image, 1999, ISBN 385493711, $10) Letters to My Brother Priests (1979-2005) (Midwest Theological Forum, 2006, ISBN 189017758X, $25) In the first work, the late Pope tells how he discerned his priestly call, and in the second, he shares his reflections on the priesthood.The Way to Christ: Spiritual Exercises (Harper, 1994, ISBN 0060642165, $12) and Prayers and Devotions: 365 Daily Meditations (Penguin Books, 1984, ISBN 0140247254, $12). In the first book, the beloved late Pope presents the spiritual exercises he used during young adult retreats in Poland, and the second book contains meditations from his talks/writings.Novo Millenio Innuente As the year 2000 ended, the Pope wrote an Apostolic letter to give guidance for Catholics on how to live life at the dawn of the third millennium. It is at Day of Vocations Messages The Vatican website has the complete texts of the Pope’s messages on these special days at
Fr Thomas Acklin  OSB Fr. Thomas Acklin, OSB:The Unchanging Heart of the Priesthood: A Faith Perspective on the Mystery and the Reality of Priesthood in the Church. (Emmaus Road Publishing, 2005, ISBN-13: 9781931018296, $11.68). Father Acklin, professor of theology and psychology at Saint Vincent College and Saint Vincent Seminary, presents an apologetic for that which is immutable—that which cannot change since it is found in the unchanging heart of Christ. Father Acklin refutes modern misconceptions and false understandings of the priesthood, while uncovering the beauty, strength, and hope that is found in God’s plan.
Discovering Your Personal Vocation Herbert Alphonso, S.J.:Discovering Your Personal Vocation (Paulist Press, 2001, ISBN 9780809140442, $8.95) is a profound reflection on identifying your personal vocation–not just discovering what you want to do, but discovering the very essence of your being. Herbert Alphonso shows how discovering this special way of being is the deepest, furthest-reaching goal of the Ignatian Exercises. Once uncovered, this reality becomes the criterion of discernment for every subsequent action.
Paths of Love Book Cover Joseph Bolin:Paths of Love: The Discernment of Vocation According to the Teaching of Aquinas, Ignatius, and Pope John Paul II (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2008, ISBN-13: 9781438228464, $8.90). This book does not oversimplify vocation, or give a mere compilation of advice, but aims to present the rich depth and wealth of the Christian understanding of vocation in a simple and accessible manner. Secondly, this book uses the different points of view of two great saints at the heart of quite different traditions on vocation, namely St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Ignatius Loyola, to convey all that belongs to a full Christian and human approach to vocation.
To Save a Thousand Souls Fr. Brett Brannen:To Save a Thousand Souls: A Guide for Discerning a Vocation to Diocesan Priesthood (Vianney Vocations, 2010, ISBN 9780615345512, $20).  Fr. Brannen is a former vocation director and currently on the formation faculty at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland.  This book brings together the lessons he has learned, which he now presents in clear, concise language.
Meditationson the Catholic Priesthood  Rev. Charles Connor:Meditations on the Catholic Priesthood. (Alba House, 2005, ISBN-13: 9780818909764, $7.50). At ordination, a priest becomes another person, commissioned not simply to act in the name of Christ, but to be another Christ, an alter Christus. This teaching was not an original insight of the Second Vatican Council. It is the traditional teaching of the Church. In this book, Father Connor helps the priest to see once again, in fresh terms, that this is truly the essence of the priesthood.
Parish Priest Douglas Brinkley and Julie Fenster:Parish Priest: Father Michael McGivney and American Catholicism (Harper Collins Publishers, 2007, ISBN-13: 9780060776855, $12). Brinkley and Fenster present the inspiring story of Fr. Michael McGivney, a humble parish priest who founded the Knights of Columbus, and in doing so helped to transform Catholicism in America.
Vocations Anonymous Book Sister Kathleen Bryant, RSC:Vocations Anonymous: A handbook for adults discerning priesthood and religious life (National Coalition for Church Vocations, 5420 S. Cornell Ave. #105, Chicago, IL. 60615-5604, 1-800-671-NCCV, If you ever felt a gentle tugging in your heart to do more or give more, then this book can be an invaluable aid in your search for answers.
Abandonment to Divine Providence Jean-Pierre de Caussade:Abandonment to Divine Providence (Ignatius Press, 2011, ISBN-13: 9781586174712, $18.95) Short book which guides the reader to an open-hearted acceptance of God’s will.
Introduction to the Devout Life Book Cover Francis de Sales: Introduction to the Devout Life (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2002, ISBN-13: 9780375725623, $12.95) Francis’s compassionate Introduction leads the reader from an understanding of the devout life through practical ways of attaining it without renouncing the world. It also provides prayers and meditations to strengthen devotion in the face of temptation and hardship.
Priests for the Third Millenium Archbishop Timothy Dolan: Priests for the Third Millenium (Our Sunday Visitor, 2000, ISBN-13: 9781592766918, $16) A collection of conferences given while then-Monsignor Dolan was the rector the North American College in Rome, it is a balanced presentation on the living of a Christian life and on the living of a Priestly life.
 Authenticity Fr. Thomas Dubay S.M.: Authenticity: A Biblical Theology of Discernment (Ignatius, 1997, ISBN 089870619X, $17). A scripture-based guide to uncovering God’s call, written by renowned retreat master Fr. Dubay.
Could You Ever Become a Catholic Priest Christopher J. Duquin & Lorene Hanley DuquinCould You Ever Become a Catholic Priest? (Alba House, 1998, ISBN-13: 978-0818908163, $4.00) The Duquins state in the first chapter, “The purpose of this book is not to persuade or coerce you into pursuing a vocation to the priesthood. No one can do that anyway. The decision as to what you will do with your life is always a free choice, which no one—not even God—will force you to make. The purpose of this book is to allow you to explore in a safe and private way some of theissues, questions and concerns revolving around a vocation to the priesthood.”
Extraordinary Lives Fr. Francis Friedl and Rex ReynoldsExtraordinary Lives: Thirty-Four Priests Tell Their Stories (Ave Maria Press, 1998, ISBN-13: 9780877936565, $9.99) Stories of Catholic priests who are happy in their callings and their joys of those lives.
The Discernment of Spirits Timothy M. Gallagher, O.M.V.:The Discernment of Spirits: An Ignatian Guide for Everyday Living (The Crossroad Publishing Co., 2005, ISBN-13: 9780824522919, $19.51) Fr. Timothy Gallagher, a talented teacher, retreat leader, and scholar, helps readers understand the St. Ignatius’ Rules for Discernment and how their insights are essential for spiritual growth today. By integrating the Rules and the experience of contemporary people, Gallagher shows the precision, clarity, and insight of Ignatius’s Rules, as well as the relevance of his thought for spiritual life today. This book is for all who desire greater awareness of God’s action in their daily spiritual lives, and is essential reading for retreat directors, spiritual directors, priests, and counselors.
Discerning the Will of God Discerning the Will of God: An Ignatian Guide to Christian Decision Making (The Crossroad Publishing Co., 2009, ISBN-13: 9780824524890, $16) Drawing from the methods of Ignatius Loyola and richly illustrated with examples and stories, this book offers practical wisdom for aligning one’s will to God’s will. Fr. Gallagher takes the reader through each step of the process, including opening one’s heart to whatever God wants; making use of silence, the Eucharist, Scripture, and spiritual direction; and finding clarity (and what to do when one lacks clarity). Fr. Gallagher’s clear style makes this book an important resource for all who want to discover where God is leading them.
Meditation and Contemplation Meditation and Contemplation: An Ignatian Guide to Praying with Scripture (The Crossroad Publishing Co., 2008, ISBN-13: 9780824524883, $12.63) The cornerstones of Ignatius of Loyola’s spiritual practice—meditation and contemplation—are clearly explained in this simple guide to the Ignatian method with examples from the experience of practitioners and quotations from Catholic spiritual teachers. In the process, the deeper structure of the spiritual practice is illuminated, and advice about adapting it to individual needs is offered.
Personal Vocation Dr. Germain Grisez and Russell Shaw:Personal Vocation: God Calls Everyone by Name (Our Sunday Visitor, 2003, ISBN-13: 9781592760213, $11) This book helps to show you how to discover the elements of your vocation, commit yourself to that mission, and remain faithful to your personal call from God.
Priests Book Cover Fr. John P. Mack, Jr.:Priests: An Inside Look (St. Mary’s Press, 2002, ISBN-13: 9780884897200, $7.65) The story of one Roman Catholic priest living out his call to ordained life. Fr. Mack reflects on his ministerial journey in the light of the sacrament of Holy Orders and the rite of Ordination. He describes the requirements, the opportunities, the work, the rewards, and the challenges of the priesthood.
Christ The Ideal of the Priest Fr. Columba Marmion: Christ: The Ideal of the Priest (Ignatius, 2005, ISBN 1586170147, $16). Fr. Columba Marmion wrote this classic on the priesthood to show the holiness priests are called to, and how it can only be attained through union with, and imitation of, Christ.
A Priest’s Life The Calling the Cost the Joy Patricia Mitchell, with a foreword by Archbishop Edwin O’Brien:A Priest’s Life: The Calling, the Cost, the Joy (The Word Among Us Press, 2010, ISBN 9781593251680, $10).  A fruit of the ‘Year for Priests,’ this booklet contains short essays by priestson their calling to the priesthood.
Called by Name The Inspiring Stories of 12 Men Who Became Catholic Priests Christine Mugridge:Called by Name: The Inspiring Stories of 12 Men Who Became Catholic Priests (Ascension Press, 2008, ISBN-13: 9781934217368, $17) In this intriguing look at the awesome call to the priesthood, you will experience firsthand the joys, the struggles, and the extraordinary grace needed, and given by a dozen different priests.
Radical Surrender Fr. Michael J. Najim:Radical Surrender: Letters to Seminarians (The Institute for Priestly Formation, 2009, ISBN-13: 9780980045581, $12.72). Seminary formation must be interiorly appropriated; in other words, formation will be fruitful only if the seminarian allows Christ to transform his heart. This book is a unique resource for all interested in the spiritual and human formation of the next generation of priests and will also be of great assistance to the seminarian’s experience of ongoing spiritual direction.
Common Sense for Priests Fr. James Perling:Common Sense for Priests (Our Sunday Visitor, Publishing Division, ISBN-13: 9780879737320, 1978, $7.95). Based on certain vocation stages all priests encounter, this perceptive and insightful book gives penny portraits of men who react to the demands of pastoral life with the common sense priorities Christ set for himself.
Our Priests Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk:Our Priests: Who They Are and What They Do (Our Sunday Visitor, Publishing Division, 1995, ISBN-13: 9780879736613, $1.99). Archbishop Pilarczyk explains the nature of priesthood, vocation, celibacy and other topics related to life as a priest.
Is Jesus Calling You To Be A Catholic Priest Fr. Thomas Richter:Is Jesus Calling You To Be A Catholic Priest? A Helpful Guide (NCDVD, $4.50) This booklet contains ten spiritual lessons for men to pray about their vocations. It helps men to encounter Christ, overcome fear, find peace, and ultimately, to entrust their lives entirely to God.
The Joy of Priesthood Fr. Stephen Rosetti:The Joy of Priesthood (Ave Maria Press, 2005, ISBN-13: 9781594710667, $14.74). Fr. Rossetti invites priests to recognize the dignity of their calling through honest and psychologically based self-assessment because happiness in the priesthood flows from both wholeness and holiness.
What Does God Want Book Fr. Michael Scanlan:What Does God Want? (Our Sunday Visitor, 1996, ISBN-13: 978-0879735845, from $2.38) offers a five part process for decision making that can help you choose the right course of action in matters large and small.
Priests for the New Millennium Secretariat for Priestly Life and Ministry:Priests for the New Millennium: A Series of Essays on the Ministerial Priesthood by the Catholic Bishops of the United States. (Secretariat for Priestly Life and Ministry, U.S. C. 2000, ISBN-13: 978-1574553673, from $5.50) This collection of 12 essays addresses themes including the priest in communio; acting in persona Christi; priestly fraternity; and the role of the priest as catechist and chief evangelist.
The Priest is Not His Own Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen:The Priest is Not His Own (Ignatius Press, 2004, ISBN-13: 978-1586170448, $14.02) Archbishop Sheen delves deeply into what he considers the main character of the priesthood, and one not often discussed, that of being, like Christ, a “holy victim.” To be like Christ, Sheen emphasizes that the priest must imitate Christ in His example of sacrifice, offering himself as a victim to make His Incarnation continually present in the world.
Those Mysterious Priests Book Those Mysterious Priests (St. Pauls/Alba House, 2005, ISBN-13: 9780818909788, $17.99) Written five years before his death, this book explores this duality inherent in the vocation of the modern-day priest: his need, like that of Christ, to feel the holiness of God that binds him to the Father; and at the same time his need to become a victim, like Christ, for the world’s sins, assuming its guilt and poverty in union with the Lord.
The Case for Clerical Celibacy Book Cover Alfons Maria Cardinal Stickler:The Case for Clerical Celibacy: Its Historical Development & Theological Foundations (Ignatius, 1995, ISBN 0898705339, $9.87). In this brief work, Cardinal Stickler traces the origins of Priestly celibacy back to the norms of Old Testament priesthood, the teachings of Christ & St. Paul, the 4th century Councils and papal decrees. He demonstrates that the Latin Rite tradition precedes the Greek Orthodox and presents the weaknesses of recent challenges.
Confessions St. Augustine:Confessions (Image, 1960, ISBN-13: 978-0385029551, $10.76). St. Augustine bluntly presents his slow transformation during adolescence/young adulthood from a life of self-indulgence to one of holiness.
The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola St. Ignatius of Loyola:The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola (CreateSpace Publishing, 2012, ISBN-13: 9781478338208, $13.66) Society of Jesus Founder St. Ignatius of Loyola presents his interesting approach to orienting one’s soul to God and eternal salvation.
Reclaiming our Priestly Character Fr. David Toups: Reclaiming our Priestly Character (IPF Publications, 2010, ISBN-13: 9780984379217, $16.37).  A review of the current challenges faced by today’s priests and seminarians, Fr. Toups lays out a clear path for renewal in the priesthood.
Tuning in to God’s Call Fr. Andrew Carl Wisdom and Sr. Christine Kiley:Tuning in to God’s Call (Liguori, 2012, ISBN-13: 978-0764821400, $9.89) Through a series of practical reflections, this book introduces five stages of the discernment process. Though one’s life purpose may not be understood all at once as doubts and fears may still persist, this book will assist in making time to discern God’s direction.
Religious Life and You The best of Vision Magazine:Religious Life & You (Berry, 1996, ASIN: B0028NP4BM, $8.00)