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Church Documents: Getting Started

Locating documents of the Roman Catholic Church.

Finding Church Documents


This guide is designed to help you find documents issued by the Roman Catholic Church, such as Papal encyclicals, Bishops' statements, and many other kinds of documents.


This guide provides a number of useful resources. Use the tabs above to explore these resources.

  • Finding Books--search for print or electronic books, located in a library or online
  • Finding Articles--good places to start when searching for journal articles
  • Websites--links to websites that may provide supplementary material

Keep in mind though that access to official documents is increasing rapidly via the Web; some cataloged in CLICnet, many found via Google and other search engines.  And, try searching Google Books as well.

Note: Many of the databases listed in this guide are limited to use by members of  The University of St. Thomas community (faculty, staff and students). If you are using the guide off-campus, it will ask for a brief login to identify yourself as a member of The University of St. Thomas community before you can use these resources.

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

Off Campus Access


Online databases and electronic journals subscribed to by the UST Libraries are licensed for use by the St. Thomas community ONLY.  Because of this restriction, we need to verify that anyone accessing these databases is a current member of the St. Thomas community.

Search Summon

Summon searches many (but not all) library resources simultaneously, including CLICnet.

For more focused searches, use databases by subject or Ask a Librarian.

Introduction to Summon Video

Learn to use Summon, UST Libraries' single search discovery that allows you to find thousands of resources using a single search box. This brief video covers the basics of Summon.

Further Sources

For further sources you may also consider using the Library Research Guides below.