He is not only idle who does nothing, but he is idle who might be better employed.  -Socrates


Rest is an important necessity for all people. Physically, mentally, and spiritually we have limitations and should have time and ways to recharge, relax, and unwind. The “need for celebration is inherent in our humanity”(Bl. John Paul II, Dies Domini 1998, 4) and with classes out and longer days ahead, you may find yourself with some extra time on your hands. This summer is the perfect opportunity to read a good book or enjoy a summer movie with friends and family. Below are a few recommendations.

Recommended Summer Reading

Great Books About the Life of Jesus Christ

  • The Life of Christ by Fulton Sheen
  • The Sacred Passion by Luis de la Palma
  • The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton
  • INRI by Fr. Miguel Fuentes (Spanish only)

Books About Mary

  • The Glories of Mary by St. Alphonsis Ligouri
  • Daughter Zion by Pope Benedict XVI (as Cardinal Ratzinger)
  • Mary and the Fathers of the Church by Luigi Gambero
  • Mary in the Middle Ages by Luigi Gambero

Get to Know the Saints


  • The Family that Overtook Christ by M. Raymond, OCSO
    • The story of St. Bernard and his family written as a novel.
  • St. Thomas Aquinas: The Dumb Oxby G.K. Chesterton
    • A good introduction to the great saint of Scholastic philosophy.
  • St. Francis by G.K. Chesterton
  • St. Francis by Julian Green
  • A Man for All Seasonsby Robert Bolt
    • A play about St Thomas Moore: a lawyer, statesman, writer, and matyr during the tumuluous years of the reign of King Henry VIII.
  • The Passion of St. Therese of Lisieux by GuyGaucher
  • Jesuit Saints & Martyrs by Joseph N. Tylenda
  • The Intimate Life of Padre Proby Fr. Antonio Dragón, S.J.
    • Bl. Miguel Pro was a priest who was martyred in 1927 during the persecution of Catholics in Mexico


  • Treasures in Clay by Fulton Sheen
  • With God in Russiaby Walter Ciszek, S.J.
    • Fr. Ciszek recounts the over twenty years he spent in a Russian prison during Communist rule.
  • He Leadeth Meby Walter Ciszek, S.J.
    • A more spiritual reflection about Fr. Ciszek’s experience in prison.
  • Memoires of a Yukon Priestby Segundo Llorente, S.J.
    • The personal account of a missionary’s adventure serving the Inuit people in Alaska.
  • The Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux

Get to Know Your Faith

  • The Catechism for Youth by Fr. Carlos Buela, IVE
  • Youth in the Third Millenium by Fr. Carlos Buela, IVE
  • Calvary and the Mass by Fulton Sheen
  • Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton
  • Redeptoris Hominis by Bl. John Paul II (Spanish)
    • Encyclical written by the Pope in 1978, focuses on Christ as the Redeemer of Mankind
  • Mulieris Dignitatem by Bl. John Paul II (Spanish)
    • Encyclical written in 1988 on the Dignity of Women

Catholic Culture

  • How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization by Thomas E. Wood
  • Life is Worth Living by Fulton Sheen
  • Peace of Soul by Fulton Sheen
  • A Brief Reader to the Virtues of the Human Heart by Josef Pieper
  • Hope and History by Josef Pieper
    • A profound refutation of the temporal promises of Communism.
  • Mystery and Manners by Flannery O’Connor
    • A collection of essays and prose work of a great 20th century Catholic Southern writer.
  • Pigrim’s Guide to America: US Catholic Shrines and Centers of Devotion by J. Anthony Moran

Fiction with a Point

  • The Complete Stories by Flannery O’Connor (The three short stories she wrote while she was dying have a special place among her works: “Revelation”, “Parker’s Back”, “Judgement Day.” These stories are not to be missed!)
  • Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
    • A 19th Century frontier novel about the founding of Santa Fe.
  • Light on the Mountains by Franz X. Weiser

Books for Parents and Teachers

  • He Made Them Male and Female by Fr. Miguel Fuentes, IVE
  • Parents and Children by Fulton Sheen
  • Character Building: A Guide for Parents and Teachers by David Isaacs

Not to Miss Movies


  • Karol: The Man who Became Pope
  • Karol: The Pope Who Remained a Man
  • Bella
  • A Man for All Seasons
  • The Misson
  • Of Gods and Men
  • Les Miserables (1998)
  • St. Teresa of Avila


Family Movies

  • Don Bosco
  • John XXIII
  • Maria Gorretti
  • Marcellino Pan de Vino


  • Into Great Silence
    • The story of Carthusian monks.
  • Interrupted Lives
    • USCCB documentary of Byzantine Catholic religious sisters during Communism
  • Blood Money
    • In-depth look at the abortion industry in America.