Resources for Intellectual Formation

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

Philippians 4:8

Intellectual formation is about getting to know God by studying the teachings of His Church. It aims at forming the mind so that, by knowing God better, you can love Him more, and share Him with others. Studying the Church’s teachings will also give you wisdom for discerning God’s will in your daily life. No matter what state in life you are called to (priesthood, consecrated life, marriage, or single life), this intellectual formation will help you to grow as a disciple of Jesus. If you become a priest or a religious brother or sister, you will need to study the Catholic faith intensely, so now is a good time to start! 

VIDEO: “A Weekly Investment Worth Making,” Fr. Mark Mary Ames, CFR

Note: This video was recorded in 2023, so some of what he says is dated, but most of it is applicable, no matter what year it is.

Tools for Managing Study/Time Management 

BOOK: The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World, by John Mark Comer

BOOK: Time Management: A Catholic Approach, by Marshall J. Cook

ARTICLE: “Christian Time Management Tips”

VIDEO: “Time Management to Give God the Glory”

Getting to know God through the Bible

PODCAST: The Bible in a Year, with Fr. Mike Schmitz

Getting to Know God through the teachings of His Church

These resources are not as easy to read as a novel, but they are well worth the effort it takes to work through them.

BOOK: YouCat: Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church 

BOOK: Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

PODCAST: The Catechism in a Year Podcast, with Fr. Mike Schmitz

If you’re new to reading the Catechism, this podcast is a great guide. We recommend getting a Catechism to read along with the podcast. You can use the online version here:

ONLINE: Catechism of the Catholic Church, USCCB

Or you can purchase a hard copy here:

BOOK: Catechism of the Catholic Church

FREE COURSE: “The Rich Gift of Love,” a free online course on St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, by Sr. Jane Dominic, OP

This course is a wonderful way to get to know St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. It provides a wonderful vision of God’s plan for us and of the call to love, which He addresses to each of us personally. It also explains how to respond to that call and to overcome challenges in living it from the world around us and from within our own hearts. The course has 27 videos, which are each followed by a short quiz. Each video is 20-30 minutes long. If you want to take this course, we suggest that you break it down into bite-sized chunks. For example, you might watch one video per week for 6 months.