Ideal Books for Seminarians

If there were funding to buy a bunch of “essential” books for seminarians, which books should be included? Let me know what you think. Here are a few suggestions to get things going:

The Priest Is Not His Own by Fulton Sheen

Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Ludwig Ott

The Priest in Union with Christ by Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange

Which books do you suggest as “essential” for the library of a seminarian – a future priest?

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8 Responses to Ideal Books for Seminarians

  1. Magdalena says:

    Plassmann, The Priest’s Way to God.
    E.D.M., The Divine Office: How to Say it Devoutly, How to Make it a Pleasure.
    Zollner, The Pulpit Orator (6 vols).
    Remler, Outlines of Asceticism for Seminarians.
    Von den Driesch, Perfect Contrition: A Golden Key of Heaven.
    Doyle, Guidance in Spiritual Direction.
    Maturin, Self-knowledge and Self-discipline.
    Tanquerey, The Spiritual Life.
    Boylan, Difficulties in Mental Prayer.
    Pieper, Faith, Hope, Love.
    Pieper, The Cardinal Virtues.
    Remler, Why Must I Suffer?
    Duportal, How to Make Sense of Suffering.
    Bernanos, Diary of a Country Priest.

    The first four are difficult to find, as they are out of print; even still, do not omit the first.

    • Magdalena says:

      I’m taking for granted several others, but especially these two:
      St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life.
      St. Peter Julian Eymard, Eymard Library (9 vols).

  2. JDF says:

    (comment originally posted on Facebook page, copied here by Father Jerabek)

    I’m omitting theology and academic philosophy. And most literature. I guess these are just mentions that come to
    me at the moment:
    Becoming Human- Vanier
    Leisure, the basis… Pieper
    The Intellectual Life…Sertilange
    Plain and Parochial Sermons- Newman

  3. Orthodoxy – Chesterton
    Everlasting Man – Chesterton
    Eugenics and Other Evils – Chesterton

  4. Leslie says:

    Wonderful books that have been mentioned…..and I know will help them tremendously.
    I am blessed to know several seminarians and young priests….I have given each of them “Dear Seminarian” by Catherine De Hueck Doherty; and upon ordination her beautiful “Dear Priest.” It has always been important to me that seminarians and priests know how much they are both loved and needed; how much I pray for them.
    If you’ve not read them Father – please let me know. I would be honored to send them to you.

  5. “The Cloud of the Unknowing”; “Brother’s Karamazov”; “Les Miserables” ; “The Edge of Sadness”;
    “Journey of a Soul”; “The Power and the Glory”; “Imitation of Christ”; Anything written by Flannery O’Connor or Walter Percy!!!

    Of Course the “Documents of the Second Vatican Council”

  6. Phyllis Trexler says:

    This information is great! Every year we sponsor a seminarian at St. John Paul II Seminary in Washington, D.C. among the items listed are books so this gives me a wide selection.

  7. Dr. John Boulet says:

    Transformation in Christ, by Dietrich von Hildebrand. Splendid in its explication of the emotional and psychological journey.
    On Conscience, by Joseph Ratzinger. Slim volume, big question at the heart of so many problems in modern Catholicism. Priests need to tell people that their consciences can be wrong if they are not properly formed; and how to “check” one’s conscience against Magisterial teaching, whether dogmatic or not.
    Love and Responsibility, by Karol Wojtyla. Still available in paperback. Have read it several times.
    Sign of Contradiction, by Karol Wojtyla. A magnificent set of talks given as a retreat to Pope Paul VI by Cardinal Wojtyla in the 1970’s.
    The Complete Thinker, by Dale Ahlquist. Great, great “précis” of Chesterton by the President of the American Chesterton Society. Great introduction to GKC for those uninitiated.
    Crime and Punishment, by Dostoevsky. My favorite, although Karamazov is cited by many others as his greatest work.
    The Heart, by Dietrich von Hildebrand.
    Life Under Compulsion, by Anthony Esolen. Just published; I couldn’t put it down, and read it cover-to-cover in about 48 hours (in addition to all my regular activities).

    Many different works of apologetics nature, such as by these authors:
    Karl Keating, Catholicism and Fundamentalism
    Steve Ray, Upon This Rock and Crossing the Tiber
    Tim Staples, Behold Your Mother
    Henry Graham, Where We Got the Bible (100+ years old, somewhat polemical, but nonetheless a valuable resource)
    Mark Shea’s trilogy on Mary
    Scott Hahn…. many books of great interest that I have read.

    Don’t forget great websites, such as Catholic Answers:

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