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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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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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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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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Private Revelation Private Revelation
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Public revelation is binding on all Christians, but private revelation is binding only on those who receive it. The Catholic Church teaches that public revelation was completed, and therefore was concluded, with the death of the last apostle (Vatican II, Dei Verbum 4), but private revelation has continued. "Throughout the ages, there have been so-called ‘private’ revelations, …


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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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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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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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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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Cohabitation: Should We Live Together? Cohabitation: Should We Live Together?
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In the  Catholic Answers Chastity Tract ,  Cohabitation: Should We Live Together?  you will learn what the Church teaches on this problem that is all too prevalent in today’s society. You will learn: Why cohabiting couples that eventually marry have higher divorce rates What to do if you are already living together What the Catechism says What other steps you should take …


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Necessity Of Baptism The Necessity Of Baptism
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Christians have always interpreted the Bible literally when it declares, "Baptism . . . now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 3:21; cf. Acts 2:38, 22:16, Rom. 6:3–4, Col. 2:11–12). Thus the early Church Fathers wrote in the Nicene Creed (A.D. 381), "We …


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Creed The Creed
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The Faith of the Church
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This DVD can only be sold in the US and Canada. A perfect film for "The Year of Faith" that beautifully communicates the richness of our Catholic faith with the most modern techniques of artistic creation. It contains 15 insightful films of 5 minutes each, examining the essential aspects of the prayer of the Apostle's Creed, probing the deeper meaning of Faith, the Trinity, …


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Resurrection Of The Body Resurrection Of The Body
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The Bible tells us that when Jesus returns to earth, he will physically raise all those who have died, giving them back the bodies they lost at death. The resurrection of the body is an essential Christian doctrine, as the apostle Paul declares: "[I]f the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your …


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