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Along the Way
A User's Guide to the Catholic Church
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Making sense of confusing aspects of the Catholic Church 

Almost everyone has strong views about the Catholic Church, even those who aren't Catholic. Something as close to the heart for so many people as their Church is bound to stir up strong emotions to fuel the strong views. Conflict can arise from these differences of view. Often what contributes to the conflict is a sad lack of facts and background information on the topic in question. The purpose of this part of the Along the Way website is to provide the visitor with a simple but sufficiently detailed resource for many questions related to the Catholic Church.
The links listed below will take you to separate pages on this website where you can download columns, articles and ebooks by this author and others on the topic in question.

A User's Guide to Annulments in the Catholic Church -- This is an ebook that answers most questions about what an annulment is and how to go about applying for an annulment. It is available to buy on line as an ebook at
A User's Guide to Pastoral Planning -- This is a downloadable file of the Master of Pastoral Theology thesis written by me and approved in 1993. Since it is a case study, the practical details of the plan described may be dated. However, the theory and theology behind the planning process are as valid as ever.

The material provided as "User Guides" represent a significant amount of time and energy on the part of the author. They are provided for your information and benefit as a service. Please respect my rights as an author to the intellectual material I post and observe all copyright restrictions with the use and duplication of the material offered here. Citations may be made with reference to this website according to recent changes in the major style manuals.
While the material is made available without the necessity of payment by those who download the material, if you find the material useful some payment for the service rendered to you is appropriate. One way you can make payment is simply by emailing me at and letting me know what you downloaded and how it was of service. Any differing opinions, suggestions for additional guides or even questions are quite welcome.

All documents available through this website are the property of the author (Deacon Richard Shewman). They may be downloaded for personal use but may not be copied for distribution without the permission of the author. Any use of this material must be properly cited. 

Also read A Course in Christian Spirituality by Deacon Shewman that is available through this link.

(c) 1997-2008. Richard Shewman. All stories, articles, reflections and other written material contained in this website are the creative fruit and property of Richard Shewman. All rights are reserved. The written material contained in this website may not be reproduced or published in any form, except for the individual and personal use of the reader, without the express consent of the author.