The series proved so popular that Father Noll published it in book form in 1913 (the first of several editions) with the title "Father Smith Instructs Jackson." In the book, Father Smith and the young man, named Christopher Jackson, explore the relation of the Bible to the Church, the concepts of heaven and hell, Catholic devotion to the saints and much more. Here is Archbishop Noll's introduction to one edition of the book:
The course of instructions contained in this book — in dialogue form — is intended for Catholics who were deprived, during their youth, of a training in the knowledge of God, and for non-Catholics, who are interested in learning what the Catholic Church teaches officially concerning religious doctrine and practices.
But it must ever be remembered that one may have a vast store of religious knowledge gathered from study and still lack faith — because faith belongs to the supernatural order and is a gift of God (see Eph. 2:8). Catholics who are convinced that they possess the true Faith should frequently thank Almighty God that He has so blessed them and should show their gratitude by striving to interest others in their religion. The convert to the true Faith, also especially blessed by God, should show his appreciation by making an effort to share it with his non-Catholic friends.
Both the Catholic and non-Catholic, while exercising an apostolate for the cause of Christ and of souls, should pray daily that God may draw to Himself those who are near and dear to them. If they are prayed for in this way, indifferent Catholics will be best impelled by God’s grace to take a greater interest in their religion, and non-Catholics will become better disposed to hearken to the voice of God’s Church.
An inquiry into the claims of the Catholic Church, such as you are about to make, has resulted in the conversion of countless citizens of the United States every year.
Despite the prejudices in which so many have been reared, despite the stricter religious discipline under which Catholics must live, the Catholic Church grows faster than all other churches combined.
As you continue your inquiry you will learn that the Catholic religion claims to be essentially different from others — because it is divine in origin, divine in character, divine in its means of sanctification.
If you master this book, which I believe you will find extremely interesting, you will be able, in your own words, to answer practically all questions contained in the Catholic catechism.
Praying God’s blessing on all who seek, through this book, to learn Him better and to love Him more, and asking their prayers in return, I am
YOURS IN CHRIST,
JOHN FRANCIS NOLL, D.D., LL.D.
"Father Smith Instructs Jackson," which last received an update in 2008, is now considered a Catholic apologetics classic, having sold more than 3 million copies.