Catechisms for Children and Young Adults

 

The word “catechism” is derived from an ancient Greek word meaning a “document or text which summarizes and explains doctrine.” It is traditionally used for teaching and reference. The Catechism of the Catholic Church summarizes and explains the doctrine of the Catholic Church.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that “Catechesis is an education in the faith of children, young people, and adults which includes especially the teaching of Christian doctrine imparted, generally speaking, in an organic and systematic way, with a view to initiating the hearers into the fullness of Christian life.”

Since the adult generation of the Catholic Church has a duty and obligation to catechize – teach the Faith to – children properly so that they may carry forth throughout their own lives, it is only fitting that there are many Catholic catechisms available for children of every age.

Baltimore Catechism

The Baltimore Catechism is likely the most familiar children’s catechism to many Catholics. Many adult Catholics remember studying the Baltimore Catechism as children. There are two distinct sets or series bearing the name of Baltimore Catechism: the original Baltimore Catechism and the New St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism.

  • The Original Baltimore Catechism – The Baltimore Catechism was first published in the late 1800s. The books simply titled “Baltimore Catechism” are reprints of the books available in the 1800s. They are divided into topics or “lessons” in a simple, straightforward question and answer format. A selection of basic, core Catholic prayers is also included. There are three books: the Baltimore Catechism Number 1, Number 2, and Number 3. No. 1 is a simplified version intended for grades 4-7, No. 2 is the main edition and is intended for grades 6-9, and No. 3 is an expanded edition intended for grades 10-12.

  • The New St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism – This series was based on the original Baltimore Catechisms and was written in the 1960s. The subject matter is the same, however it is presented along with explanations in updated language and a different format to create a strong teaching tool. The questions and answers of the Baltimore Catechism are still used, however they are presented along with explanations in more modern language, a relevant Scripture passage, and questions to answer and discuss to help the child apply the teachings. There are 3 books within this line as well; however, the numbering system is different. The New St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism No. 0 (also called the First Communion Catechism) is for 1st and 2nd grade, No. 1 is for grades 3-5, and No. 2 is for grades 6-9.

New American Catechism

The St. Joseph New American Catechism is similar in form to the New St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism, combining questions and answers about Catholic doctrine with Bible verses, and questions to answer and discuss. However the “Q and A” portions are not based only on the Baltimore Catechism of the late 1800s but also on the “Basic Teachings for Catholic Religious Education” from 1973. In this line No. 0 is again directed at students at the 1st to 2nd grade level, No. 1 is for grades 3-5, No. 2 is for grades 6-8 and No. 3 is for grades 9-12 and beyond.

Illustrated Catechisms

Aquinas and More is also pleased to carry a selection of illustrated catechisms, ideal for introducing children to the catechism. Some can be used even before children are ready to study books like the Baltimore Catechisms, and can also be used to supplement and encourage interest once they do reach that stage of study. The Illustrated Catechism for Little Children and My First Catechism are ideal first catechisms for children. Both use the question and answer format but are simplified – a great introduction to studying the faith – and include rich illustrations. The book An Illustrated Catechism is a resource that does not use the question and answer format but direct, easy-to-grasp explanations paired with vividly colored pictures.

Mother Mary, a Marian Catechism

Mother Mary is a specialized Marian Catechism. It is directed towards teaching the sometimes difficult to understand Marian doctrines in a way that is accessible and engaging to children. It is full of bright colors and images and is very discussion- and activity-driven to engage a child in studying thoroughly.

St. Patrick’s Summer: A Children’s Adventure Catechism

St. Patrick’s Summer: A Children’s Adventure Catechism is an innovate catechism. It is written in a story/novel format and teaches about the history of the Faith, from the Old Testament through the New Testament of the Bible.

Teen Catechisms

As mentioned above, the Baltimore Catechism No. 3 and the St. Joseph New American Catechism No. 3 are both intended for high school use. Also available is Fr. McBride’s Teen Catechism, which is based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Depending on the teen’s age and what he or she has already studied of the Catechism, he or she may also be interested in the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

 

View all of our youth catechisms by clicking here.

 

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Columna de Fuego, Columna de la Verdad Columna de Fuego, Columna de la Verdad
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Looking for the perfect tool to help you evangelize non-Catholics? Columna de Fuego, Columna de la Verdad  is the Spanish translation of the popular  Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth .  It's a powerful, yet concise booklet that clearly defines the core beliefs of the Catholic faith! Each topic is easy to read and easy to understand. And everything is cross-referenced to …


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Starting Out As An Apologist Starting Out As An Apologist
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People often ask, "How should I begin to train myself to defend my faith? How do I prepare for the inevitable knock on the door? I don’t want to have to stand there open-mouthed. This tract offers some pointers to get started using the Bible and the Catechism as well as providing tips on answering common objections from non-Catholics. Need a bunch for your parish? Order in packs of …


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Salvation Outside The Church Salvation Outside The Church
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The Catechism of the Catholic Church, following historic Christian theology since the time of the early Church Fathers, refers to the Catholic Church as "the universal sacrament of salvation" (CCC 774–776), and states: "The Church in this world is the sacrament of salvation, the sign and the instrument of the communion of God and men" (CCC 780). Many people …


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Starting Out As An Apologist Starting Out As An Apologist
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People often ask, "How should I begin to train myself to defend my faith? How do I prepare for the inevitable knock on the door? I don’t want to have to stand there open-mouthed. This tract offers some pointers to get started using the Bible and the Catechism as well as providing tips on answering common objections from non-Catholics. Also available individually. Click here .


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Our Moral Life in Christ Teacher's Manual Complete Course Edition Our Moral Life in Christ Teacher's Manual Complete
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This is a second edition copy of Our Moral Life in Christ. This Teacher's Manual is an aid to the instructor to help present to students the material in the textbook. Resources in this manual: Chapter goals, Summary of the principles addressed in each section, References to the Catechism of the Catholic Church , Lesson plans, Vocabulary reviews, Practical exercises, and more. Each section …


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Religion of the Plain Man The Religion of the Plain Man
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From the Foreword by Scott Richert, Executive Editor, Chronicles Magazine & Catholicism Expert - About.com This book, [Benson] writes, “is intended for the ‘man in the street,’ who, after all, has a certain claim on our consideration, since Jesus Christ came to save his soul.” And for the man in the street, the greatest obstacle to accepting the truth of the …


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Common Catholic Prayers Common Catholic Prayers
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Prayer, the lifting of the mind and heart to God, plays an essential role in the life of a devout Catholic. Without a life of prayer, we risk losing the life of grace in our souls, grace that comes to us first in baptism and later chiefly through the other sacraments and through prayer itself (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2565). Through prayer we enter into the presence of the Godhead …


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Astrology Astrology
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The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to ‘unveil’ the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, …


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Pornography: What's The Problem? Pornography: What's The Problem?
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Millions of men have become entranced by the allure of pornography. At first, the habit may seem to only be harmless entertainment. But once the damaging effects of lust emerge, these men feel unable to break the habit and erase the memories. The Catholic Answers Chastity Tract, Pornography: What’s The Problem? will help to examine the problem of pornography and how it relates to the …


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Pornography: What's The Problem? Pornography: What's The Problem?
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Millions of men have become entranced by the allure of pornography. At first, the habit may seem to only be harmless entertainment. But once the damaging effects of lust emerge, these men feel unable to break the habit and erase the memories. The Catholic Answers Chastity Tract, Pornography: What’s The Problem? will help to examine the problem of pornography and how it relates to the …


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Knowing Gods Love Knowing Gods Love
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8 Essential Truths Every Catholic Should
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If you are confused by the array of conflicting teachings that claim to be Catholic, or have found the Catechism too difficult to read, then this book will give you clear, concise, and readable explanations of the foundational truths for living the Catholic faith. Organized by topic, LaBarbara has pulled from countless Church documents to present a timely and compelling synthesis of not only …


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Creation Out Of Nothing Creation Out Of Nothing
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Believe it or not, there are some people claiming to be Christians who deny that God created everything—and even deny that he created out of nothing. Mormons, for example, claim that God at one time lived near another star, named Kolob, and after achieving a celestial power base, he went on to fashion this world. In recent years, this error has found advocates in the Word Faith Movement …


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