Christian Vocation to Single Life

A Guide to Resources in the Mount Angel Abbey Library

Updated September, 2010

This bibliography includes material which relate to lay single vocations, as well as to the married vocation and vocations to the priesthood or religious life. Unfortunately Doohan's The Laity: A Bibliography, which might have been very helpful, does not have a chapter devoted to the single lay vocation.

It is worth noting that in 1987 the Synod on the Laity produced a work which explores the meaning of the Christian vocation. The document is entitled Christifideles laici, which translates as "Lay Members of Christ's Faithful People." It was published on a symbolic date, December 30, 1988, which was the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. This subject guide includes several books which involve that document, as well as a web-link to the entire document, via the Vatican website.


  • General Texts about Christian Vocations
  • Web-based / Internet Resources

General Texts about Christian Vocations

Catholic Church. One Body: Different Gifts, Many Roles: Reflections on the American Catholic Laity. Washington, D.C: United States Catholic Conference, 1987.

---. The Congress of Catholic Laity. Vatican City: Pontifical Council for the Laity, 2002.

---. The Vocation and the Mission of the Lay Faithful in the Church and in the World: Christifideles Laici ; Post-Synodal Exhortation December 30, 1988. Washington, D.C: Office of Publishing and Promotion Services, United States Catholic Conference, 1989.

Catholic Church, and Catholic Church. Called and Gifted: The American Catholic Laity ; Reflections of the American Bishops Commemorating the Fifteenth Anniversary of the Issuance of the Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity. National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1980.

---. Vocation and Mission of the Laity in the Church and in the World Twenty Years After the Second Vatican Council ; Lineamenta. Washington, D.C: United States Catholic Conference, Office of Publishing and Promotion Services, 1985.

Catholic Church, and United States Catholic Conference. Called and Gifted for the Third Millenium: Reflections of the U.S. Catholic Bishops on the Thirtieth Anniversary of the Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity and the Fifteenth Anniversary of Called and Gifted. Washington, DC: United States Catholic Conference, 1995.

Catholic Identity and the Laity. Maryknoll, N.Y: Orbis Books, 2009.

Challenge to the Laity. Huntington, Ind: Our Sunday visitor, 1980.

Coughlan, Peter, and Catholic Church. The Hour of the Laity: Their Expanding Role: Exploring "Christifideles Laici" the Pope's Key Document on the Laity. Newton, NSW, Australia: E.J. Dwyer, 1989.

Cruz, Joan Carroll. Saintly Men of Modern Times. Huntington, Ind: Our Sunday Visitor, 2003.

De la Bedoyere, Michael. The Layman in the Church. Chicago: H. Regnery Co, 1955.

Doohan, Leonard. Laity's Mission in the Local Church: Setting a New Direction. 1st ed. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1986.

---. The Laity: A Bibliography. Wilmington, Del: Michael Glazier, 1987.

Dwelling in the House of the Lord: Catholic Laity and Spiritual Tradition. St. Louis, Mo: Review for Religious, 2000.

Finley, James. Your Future & You: Marriage-- Priesthood, Religious Life, Single Life? Notre Dame, Ind: Ave Maria Press, 1981.

Flood, Edmund. The Laity Today and Tomorrow. New York: Paulist Press, 1987.

Foley, Gerald K. Empowering the Laity. Kansas City, Mo: Sheed and Ward, 1986.

Gornick, Thomas W, and Christian in the World. Christifideles Laici: Go and Make Disciples -- the Role of the Lay Faithful Today. St. Benedict, OR: Mount Angel Abbey, 2004.

John Paul II. John Paul II and the Laity. Le Jacq, 1984.

Kinast, Robert L. Caring for Society: A Theological Interpretation of Lay Ministry. Chicago: Thomas More Press, 1985.

Lakeland, Paul. Catholicism at the Crossroads: How the Laity Can Save the Church. New York: Continuum, 2007.

Niemann, Martha M. The Single Life: A Christian Challenge. Liguori, Mo: Liguori Publications, 1986.

Oliver, Robert W. The Vocation of the Laity to Evangelization: An Ecclesiological Inquiry into the Synod on the Laity (1987), Christifideles Laici (1989), and Documents of the NCCB (1987-1996). Roma: Editrice Pontificia Università Gregoriana, 1997.

Synod on the Laity: An Unfinished Agenda. PILLAR, 1988.

The Layman in the Church. New York: Herder and Herder, 1962.

Unger, Dominic J. The Mystery of Love for the Single. Chicago: Franciscan Herald Press, 1958.

Vatican Council. Laymen: Vatican II's Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity. Chicago: Catholic Action Federations, 1966.

Whitehead, James D. The Emerging Laity: Returning Leadership to the Community of Faith. 1st ed. Garden City, N.Y: Doubleday, 1986.

Web-based / Internet Resources