Catholic Culture Liturgical Living
Catholic Culture Liturgical Living

Episode 2—The How & Why of Studying the Fathers

By Mike Aquilina ( bio - articles - email ) | Oct 30, 2019 | In Way of the Fathers (Podcast)

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In this episode we examine the history of the study of the Fathers since the Reformation. The field has enjoyed explosive growth since then. We live in a time when so many works by the Fathers (and about the Fathers) are freely available online.

What drives people to read the Fathers?

Well, they’re apologetically useful. The Fathers returned to vogue after the 16th century because both Catholics and Protestants believed the documents of the early Church would be useful in apologetics.

And they are! They have inspired many conversions. But they’re more than that. They’re delightful to read. They fill us with hard-won wisdom. They tell riveting, dramatic stories. They show us how to keep a good sense of humor in the midst of great challenges.

Best of all, they draw us closer to Jesus Christ.

One of the exemplary students of the Fathers was St. John Henry Newman, and in this episode we examine the lessons he drew from their work.


Buy Johannes Quasten’s four-volume set, Patrology

Read St. John Henry Newman’s An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine

Read “Newman and the Fathers,” by Mike Aquilina

Works of the Fathers online

More Works by the Fathers

Mike Aquilina’s Website

Theme music: Gaudeamus (Introit for the Feast of All Saints), sung by Jeff Ostrowski. Courtesy of

Mike Aquilina is a popular author working in the area of Church history, especially patristics. He is executive vice-president and trustee of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, a contributing editor of Angelus (magazine) and general editor of the Reclaiming Catholic History Series from Ave Maria Press. See full bio.

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