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Book Review: ‘All Things Catholic – A Guide from A to Z’ by Shaun McAfee…

Many years ago, when I was the Director of Adult Evangelization and Catechesis, at a parish in Gilbert, AZ, my pastor and I spoke about the need for books that help Catholics understand their faith in simple ways. We always floated the idea of writing a book that was like an encyclopedia on Catholicism, minus the frightening appearance of an old encyclopedia. Of course, we never got around to writing such a text, but I can say with all confidence the latest book by Shaun McAfee titled, All Things Catholic – A Guide from A to Z, is exactly what we were thinking ten years ago.

Shaun McAfee is one of the great young Catholic writers of the 21st-century American church. He is the founder and editor of He writes for the National Catholic Register and other Catholic publications including Catholic Answers and Catholic Exchange.

Just like his book, I’m Catholic, Now What?, this is a book that every Catholic must own and have in their library, better yet, on their coffee table where everyone can see it and read it. This is one of the best books I have seen in recent years that explains and teaches many topics within and outside of Catholicism. As I stated previously, it reads like an encyclopedia, but without the big scary appearance of one.

What is great about McAfee’s book is that it’s not a text you need to read cover to cover, but you can find topics that interest you at the moment. Like an encyclopedia, it reads from A to Z, hence the title. This is not a theology book per se, but will give insight into the theology and history of Catholicism. There are so many great topics, it’s hard to choose which were my favorite. As someone who holds an MA in Theology, I love anything on the heresies, the sacraments, sacred scriptures, and of course, Mama Mary. I first found myself flipping through the pages looking for these topics but also found so many more topics that interest me.

Three things grabbed my attention other than the general information on the topics. First, there are many images of sacred art within the pages. The Catholic Church knows her art! Second, throughout the book, McAfee gives us a “Catholic Tip” which opens the reader to learn more about the topic on that page. Third, he provides “further reading” options if you are looking to dive deeper into a particular topic.

I cannot recommend this book and other books by Shaun McAfee enough. He has a gift for taking complex topics and explaining them in simple and readable ways. I highly encourage you to purchase a copy of this book. If you work for a Catholic parish or diocese, this book is a must-have for your ministry.

To purchase, “All Things Catholic – A Guide from A to Z” by Shaun McAfee, please visit Sophia Institute Press or

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Peace : a lesson from greek mythology.