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Monday, September 25, 2006

Official Catholic Geek

Can we get a logo over here, please?

I think it's time to declare a new category..not just Amateur Catholic, but Official Catholic Geek. That, my friends, is T-shirt worthy! OCG!

Perhaps you wonder why I have made this declaration? Well, I've come to realize I'm a Catholic Geek.

It's not about involvement in the parish...after all, that can be quite a social activity. It's not about prayer...we are all called to prayer, geeks and non-geeks alike. It's expected us all of us and is actually a pretty basic instinct.

Well, I was hit with a revelation recently, and the priest at my parish actually pronounced it to be so...I am a geek.

Why?

Well, not only am I a revert with this seemingly insatiable thirst for all things Catholic, but I have actually gone so far as to begin to read the Church Fathers by way of a wondeful book, FOUR WITNESSES The Early Church in her Own Words Clement of Rome, Ignatious of Antioch, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus of Lyons. Now, this book discusses the Didache, which is the early teaching of the Apostles...the first record of the first Catechism. It highlights the writings of these Fathers of ours and discusses the historical context at the time, including descriptions of the violent martyrdoms of themselves and other early Christians. It discusses the first "denominations", because, of course, Satan immediately sought to wreak division among the souls, thus we have Gnosticism, Docetism, Montanism, etc.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Folks, the Church is facing the EXACT same problems now as she did 2,000 years ago. The Martyrdom is different, but it's still there and has taken a different course. I really think there are many Catholics out there living lives of quiet martyrdom, and we will never recognize most of them...but the Lord does, and what He sees in secret, He rewards.

Now, back to the geekiness....I am going to begin teaching RCIA this year. As I've never really taught before, this year is likely to be more about learning than teaching, but I hope to at least get my feet wet by standing in front of the class with the Catechism in one hand and the Bible in another. (I'm not sure how holding two tomes will lead to wet feet, but I digress).

Well, this weekend, I visited an awesome Catholic store, one in which I believe the proprietors of which nearly consider me to be a stockholder... St. George's Christian store, in Blaine, MN. Well, I happened by a couple of textbooks: The Didache Series. Thest textbooks are apparently used often by homeschooling parents...those who are serious about imparting their faith to their children, are endorsed by Cardinal George, Scott Hahn, and the like...and they have GREAT pictures! I'm not talking about drawings..I'm talking about true historical art...good, in depth summaries, references to the Catechism, references to Scripture...wow!

Well, I BOUGHT two of the textbooks, and I'm actually READING them! And I intend to read them COVER TO COVER.

That's when it hit home and I realized that my parish priest really did mean what he said, and his assessment of me was correct....I'm a Geek.

So I began to take stock of my Catholic library, and here is what it contains:

* 4 Bibles: 2 NAB, 1 New Jerusalem Reader's Edition, 1 Ignatious RSV
* The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC)
* The Compendium
* The Baltimore Catechism
* Four Witnesses-The Early Church in Her Own Words ~ Rod Bennett
* Where we Got the Bible ~ Henry G. Graham
* Catholic Source Book
* The Essential Catholic Handbook
* Pope Fiction - Patrick Madrid
* Theology for Beginners - Frank Sheed
* Catholics and the New Age - Fr. Mitch Pacwa
* Forgive Me Father, for I am Frustrated - Fr. Mitch Pacwa
* Prayer Primer - Fr. Thomas Dubay
* The Fire Within - Fr. Thomas Dubay
* The Screwtape Letters - CS Lewis (I of course have Narnia as well)
* Father Brown Mysteries - GK Chesterton
* Truth and Tolerance - Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
* Catholicism and Fundamentalism - Karl Keating
* The Davinci Hoax - Sandra Meissner and Carl E. Olson
* Why Do Catholics Do That? - Kevin Orlin Johnson
* Dark Night of the Soul - St. John of the Cross
* A Story of a Soul - St. Therese of Lisieux
* Nuts and Bolts - Tim Staples
* Ungodly Rage - Donna Steichen
* Confessions - St. Augustine
* The Didache Series - The Complete Church History, and Understanding the Scriptures
* Surprised by Truth 2

Well, I think I'll just end it there. I haven't read everything on the list, although I've read bits of all of them and have consumed most of them at one time or another. I have other books not named, and of all of the above...I RECOMMEND ALL very strongly.

It might be time to constitute exactly what creates a Catholic Geek, and what, exactly, is involved in designating geekhood. I'll be taking comments and will set them out all out in a future post.

I know you're out there...come on out, Catholic Geeks...make it official! You know who you are...and you have the same books as I in your library...and more! What ELSE makes you a geek. Inquiring other geeks want to know!

8 comments:

Jason Gennaro said...

Great post! But really, what could be geekier than my Catholic Palm Pilot, complete with

Olive Tree Bible Software, including a Douay Rheims Bible, an NAB Bible, an RSV Bible, a Latin Vulgate Bible, and a Greek New Testament (all of which have copious apologetics notes)
Daily Mass Readings
Electronic Rosary
Divine Office
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Catechism of St. Pius X
Code of Canon Law - I coded this myself!
General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) - I coded this myself!
Numerous encyclicals, including Deus Caritas Est
58 apologetics articles by Fr. William Most
Thomas Aquinas's Catena Aurea: the Gospel of Mark

Order the OCG shirts! I'm in!

Ray from MN said...

Here ya go; we match up with a few, Adoro:


Theology and Sanity, F.J. Sheed
The Confessions, The City of God, On Christian Doctrine, Saint Augustine
St Luke, The Navarre Bible, Text and Commentaries
The Gospel of John, Ignatius Study Bible, Commentary, Notes & Study Questions
The Gospel of Matthew, Ignatius Study Bible, Commentary, Notes & Study Questions
Story of a Soul, the Autobiography of St Therese of Lisieux, John Clarke, O.C.D.
Catechism of the Catholic Church, First Edition
The Gift of Faith, A Question and Answer Version of The Teaching of Christ, Wuerl, Lawler, Lawler, eds.
Introduction to the New Testament, Raymond F. Collins
Jerusalem Bible
The Bible Designed to be Read as Living Literature, King James Version (No verse numbers)
Family Guide to the Bible, a Concordance and Reference Companion (KJV)
The Catholic Mind Through Fifty Years, 1903-1953, Benjamin L. Masse, S.J.
The Cloud of Unknowing
The Seven Storey Mountain, Thomas Merton
The Way of a Pilgrim and The Pilgrim Continues His Way, French, trans.
Breakthrough, Meister Eckhart’s Creation Spirituality in New Translation
Encyclopedia of Saints, Clemens Joeckle
We Tell It To Our Children, The Story of Passover, A Haggadah for Seders with Young Children, Wark
The Story of the Inquisition
The Imitation of Christ, Thomas a Kempis
Miracles, a Preliminary Study, C.S. Lewis
The Way, Monsignor Jose m. Escriva
Life is Worth Living, Fulton J. Sheen
Treasury in Clay, the Autobiography of Fulton J. Sheen
Pope John Paul II, the life of Karol Wojtyla
Mother Angelica’s Answers, Not Promises, Mothere M. Angelica with Christine Allison
Seed of Doubt, Ralph McInerny
Abracadaver, a Father Dowling Mystery, Ralph McInerny
Getting a Way with Murder, a Father Dowling Mystery, Ralph McInerny
The Song of Bernadette, Franz Werfel
In the Heart of the City, the Story of St Olaf Catholic Church, Mpls, Pauline Lambert
The Catholic Church in Nineteenth Century Ireland, Keenan
Dancing a Polka to Heaven, Story of Father Frank Perkovich, the Polka Mass Priest, as told by his friends, Betty Vos, ed. [GR My Homeboy]

Theocoid said...

If you can get ahold of anything by Henri Daniel-Rhops, by it. His Chrch histories are excellent. And for those times when you can't afford a new volume from the early Church fathers, you can always refer to http://www.ccel.org/.

Angela Messenger said...

Hi, my name is Angela and I am a Catholic Geek....

Abba Larry said...

I love Catholic Geeks. It's a divine madness...or is it sanity?
Any way I have a Catholic T-Sirt On Line Store so I will work on an official "Catholic Geek" t-sirt. Do You want royalties? The site is www.Pope-Pourri.com. Its filled with weird and wonderful orginal (my own) designs.
BTW don't forget the 4 Volumn set of "The Faith of the Early Fathers" Their great!
Larry Leopold

mgibson said...

As I read your list, it dawns on me, title by title, that our bookshelves look suspiciously alike. You confirmed what I had secretly been thinking all along, I am a Total Catholic Geek.

And face it, I was in BOTH St. Patrick's Guild and Leaflet yesterday (ostensibily on parish business - translation: one for me, one for my church, one for me, one for...) and ending up dragging home a few bags of books. BTW, check out St. Patrick's Guild - they've got a pretty good 1/2 off sale going on right now for a good selection of books. I don't think I wiped it out entirely yesterday. LOL! There's a lot of junk in the pile too though, so hunt carefully.

I am attempting to be a COOL geek these days, as I now find myself as Director of Faith Formation to a whole lot of kids, including those cool-conscious teenagers.

Adoro Te Devote said...

LOL< great comments!

Abba Larry --Royalties? Sure...will it help pay for my MA in Catholic Studies? Charity? My parish? All those are good things. Have you marketed your site to Catholic stores? Just wondering. And thanks for the reminder...you cited one book I KNOW I need to check out!


Veritas--It would not surprise me that you have similar books..it seems we have other similarities. Are you my long lost unknown sister? Cathy_of_Alex is...why not join the "family"?

* HI ANGELA! :-)

* Theocoid...thanks for the link!

* Ray - that's quite the library. Welcome to the OCG club!

* Jason - if I had a palm pilot, I'd want one like yours. I'm too broke to be THAT much of a geek, though...do you teach classes on this? :-)

Is that everyone? I KNOW there are more geeks out there!

Apparently I need to get the word out to other geeks...hmmm....

causa nostra laetitiae said...

Sounds a lot like my Catholic library, which I haven't finished reading yet.
What, no catechism of the Council of Trent?! To truly qualify as a Catholic geek you must quote from this on a regular basis!