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Confessions of St Augustine – Book Club Pick

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The Confessions of St Augustine (Week 1 of 15)

Please join us in reading one of the greatest spiritual works of all time!  Written by a Doctor of the Church who is one of the most intellectual and spiritual  giants in all of history, The Confessions of St Augustine promises to be, not just a fantastic read, but a transformational experience.  The following was found on the back of my copy:

By common consent the work known as the Confessions of St Augustine has a special place among the world's great books.  Autobiographical in character, it is not an attempt to tell the story of all the years of the writer's life, least of all of  the outward events of those years.  But no writer ever went deeper into his own character and deeds, passed keener judgements upon himself, or revealed himself more fully and more humbly to others…His book is not only a most penetrating psychological study and a unique document for understanding the spiritual and ascetical life, but it is also a storehouse of thought for the philosopher and the theologian, and for others as well.  

Because of such things it is not to be wondered that this unique book should immediately have found many readers and that more than 1500 years after its publication it still attracts countless readers and affects them deeply.  It is assuredly a great book, one of the greatest indeed, great in authorship, great in its diverse but unified subject matter, great in the form into which that subject matter has been cast, great in the end for which it was written, and great in the good effects that it has unfailingly produced…To become familiar with St. Augustine's Confessions is to make one's own, to some extent at least, an inexhaustible source of intellectual stimulation, of esthetic delight, of moral help, and of spiritual enlightenment. –– Translator's Introduction

The Confessions of St Augustine is a book I've always wanted to read, so I am really excited that I finally have a reason to wipe the dust from my copy and dig in! (This book has been waiting, unopened, on my shelf for years.) Saint Monica is one of my closest confidants, so I'm anxious to finally meet her son! I have no doubt this will be a great spiritual adventure.

Below is our prospective reading schedule:


5/26  Week One: Book One: Childhood

6/2    Week Two: Book Two – Book Three

6/9    Week Three: Book Four

6/16   Week Four: Book Five

6/23  Week Five: Book Six

6/30  Week Six: Book Seven

7/7     Week Seven: Book Eight

7/14   Week Eight: Book Nine

7/21   Week Nine: Book Ten: Ch. 1-22

7/28  Week Ten: Book 10: Ch. 23-43

8/4    Week Eleven: Book Eleven

8/11   Week Twelve: Book Twelve

8/18  Week Thirteen:  Book 13: Ch. 1-20

8/25  Week Fourteen:  Book 13: Ch. 21-38

9/1     Week Fifteen:  No Assignment


We look forward to a stimulating few months! Please make sure to pick up your copy soon and join us for next week's discussion!


Reading Assignment:


Book One: Childhood


Discussion Questions:


1. Have you read The Confessions of Saint Augustine, or have you seen the movie?  If so, is there anything you would like to share about your experience with this saint?

2. As a mother, I often pray to Saint Monica.  Do you have any experience with her?  If so, what kind of impression does that experience leave regarding her son, if any?


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About Vicki Burbach

Vicki Burbach is a wife and homeschooling mother of six children ages four to sixteen years who relishes the calm inspiration of spiritual reading amidst the roller coaster of life. A passionate convert to the Faith, Vicki is an avid reader who started the book club so she could embark with like-minded bibliophiles on a spiritual journey through some of the greatest Catholic books ever written. She is author of the new book How to Read Your Way to Heaven - A Spiritual Reading Program for the Worst of Sinners, the Greatest of Saints, and Everyone in Between. You can also find her at

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  • Camila

    Every time I read Confessions I find something new, as though I was reading it for the first time. I look forward to the conversations.

  • Liz M

    I too have had a copy of “Confessions” on my bookshelf for a long time, so I welcome reading it with everyone!
    I have had a special devotion to St. Monica for several years now. I am convinced she helped resolve my husband’s alcoholism. I hope to visit her shrine the next time I visit Italy.

  • Diana Marie Winkler

    I have a copy of “Confessions” by my reading chair, the DVD and Augustine- Day by Day.I have my own Augustine, the once wayward son. St. Monica and I were “soul” sisters for a good 10 yrs.Although I prayed to the Blessed Mother to show me how to be the mother I needed to be for my son, but also I kept the hope of St. Monica and her life of prayers at the forefront so that I would not get discouraged. Unless one walks in your shoes, they don’t understand what you are going through.Also, unless one has a strong faith they do not understand why you are doing what you are doing without throwing in the towel.Thankfully,I knew the power of prayer and mostly,His Promises. I would actually, at times of my distress, hold open my Bible, point to a verse and say to the Lord, “You have said this, I am holding you to do!” I knew with the many, many tears shed I was not alone and there were at least 3 people who understood…the Lord, the Blessed Mother and St. Monica.
    My Augustine is living a life of sobriety, has love in his life with his family and prays everyday! So, hang in there everyone who has their own Augustine. I will be praying right along with you!! God bless to all.

    • Cathy

      Powerful sharing,Deep insight Thank You

    • Ann

      Thank you for sharing your story. I have my own Augustine, who is only 21 and needs many prayers. I am looking forward to reading this book and growing closer to St. Monica, as well.

      • Vicki

        Will pray! God bless you!

    • Vicki

      Thank you so much for sharing your story! Your faith is inspiring!

  • Debbie C

    My husband and I are reading a chapter of “Confessions” each morning and are on Book 7. It’s a slow process but well worth the time. St. Augustine has a way with words. I am looking forward to this book study!

  • Cathy

    You may be able to find the book on the computer,I found Dialogue St Catherine of Sienna yesterday there may help in the interim

  • jcsmitty

    I think I tried to read this book before, but it was like trying to read the Canterbury tales or one of those books with hard-to-understand language. Are there different or modern translations available? Also, I just bought “Restless Heart”, a DVD on St. Augustine, from Ignatius Press. I’ll give you a report as soon as I watch it.

  • Jennifer_RS

    I have the Ignatius Critical Edition, which my homeschooled children will be reading in the near future. I am looking forward to reading this, as this has been one I haven’t found the time or been motivated enough to read. It is with some anticipation to read this story from St. Augustine’s perspective, as I always think of Fr. Groeschel’s description of him, “…St. Augustine was, well, a BRAT!”
    St. Monica always reminds me to keep the faith, to keep hoping, to persist in praying.

  • Aileen S Osias

    I’ve been wanting read this for awhile! Thank you!!

  • jcdean1010

    Loaned out my copy… need to get it back ASAP!

  • Willie

    What a blessing! About a month ago, my parish priest recommended reading the Confessions of St. Augustine, and I purchased a Kindle version earlier this month. I stumbled upon this month’s book club posting today, and I purchased the very version recommended! I’ll dive into it this evening, so I can read along.

  • Gloria Deleon

    A friend of mine gave me this book about a 1 1/2 yr. ago and now I get to read it! I’ve seen the movie called “Restless” and it was very touching. I’ve prayed novenas to him and St. Monica since I am a mother who homeschools and my kids have reached teenage yrs. I started reading this book but didn’t get to finish so I’m delighted that I get to start from the beginning again. I have some association with both Saints. My Mother’s b-day lands on St. Monica’s feast day!

  • Patti Knudsen

    I have a copy of a really old printing (1949) translated by Edward B. Pussey, D.D. and an introduction by The Most Reverend Fulton Sheen, D.D. The introduction is incredible. I did purchase the version recommended for the book club, so I will be reading that one. But really….the intro by Fulton Sheen is enough to make a person want to drop everything and READ THIS BOOK!! I am very excited about reading it with a group. I have tried in the past, and as someone earlier said…it can be tough going. But I’m sure I am going to love it. If Augustine can become a saint….there is hope for all of us!!!

    • GemmaStar

      I am currently reading Fulton Sheen’s LIFE OF CHRIST. I had no idea what a good writer — and thinker — Bishop Sheen was. I’m trying to find the Pussey translation with Bishop Sheen’s introduction. There is another edition with a different person writing the introduction; still looking for the Bishop Sheen introduction.

      • LizEst

        Sheen’s “Life of Christ” is one I mean to read. Thanks for the encouragement!

        • Vicki

          We will be reading it through the book club next year!

          • LizEst

            That’s terrific. I have it already. If my schedule permits, I may join you…

  • CatholicKath

    I bought the book last year, and have been recently thinking of how to dive deeper in my summer break. As for Saint Monica, I have only gone to her once–for a period of teen rebellion in my older boys. But she has a soft place in my heart as a convert.

  • I have never read the book but know the story of St. Augustine from reading the Saint of the Day to my kids. I’ve used St. Monica as an example of patience and prayer.

    I’m reading the Confessions (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) that has a beefy 50+ page introduction. I’m not sure if this is a feature of this publisher or not, but the intro has helped build my anticipation to get to book 1.

  • Nick Alexander

    There’s a movie?

    I read the book years ago, the audiobook, that is. Can’t wait to revisit an old friend.

  • Anne Archer

    I have ordered the book however I went on line to get a review and printed out the contents – chapter I-18. Each of these chapters is just a paragraph or two – is that it? It isn’t until chapter VI that I see anything about his childhood.

  • L vL

    I am so confused b/c I was sure I’d signed up for the book club somehow/somewhere but I have yet to receive any emails, and now I do not see anywhere on this site where I can sign up, though I am trying to keep up with the readings based on the original schedule posted during Week One ( I started mid week). Thanks for your help in getting signed up for emails in my inbox!

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