The most popular Catholic catechism in the United States is the easily memorized Baltimore Catechism which is based on the Catechism of the Council of Trent. It is also very similar to the Penney Catechism and Fr. Deharbe’s Catechism of England and Germany. The reason that these catechism answers are easy to memorize is that the questions are answered concisely. Once you know the basic truths of the Catholic Faith, you are set to handle most of the moral difficulties in life since one of the main sections in it is the Ten Commandments. The Apostles’ Creed, the prayers of the Rosary, and the Act of Contrition cover most of the rest of it.
These truths are well covered in most any child’s catechism as for First Communion. Teaching the Catholic catechism for the Holy Eucharist is easy with little booklets and CDs to teach the basic truths, the Catholic prayers, and the Catholic saints that are related. It is very good to have several little booklets since they teach different aspects of the Catholic catechism and add different saints and Bible stories. Truly, a child’s catechism is an easy outline for adult converts, too!
Many teachers, parents and students are relieved to realize that the answers learned in the Catholic catechism are the same forever! Through the years, we study different aspects of the Faith more closely, and we learn more prayers as time goes. The Apostles’ Creed, the Catholic Ten Commandments, the seven sacraments and the Catholic prayers remain the same.
For Catholic Baptism we study Creation and Original Sin with Bible stories.
For the sacrament of Penance we study the Catholic Ten Commandments and prayers like the Act of Contrition and the Our Father prayer.
For the Holy Eucharist we study the Life of Jesus and His Death, institution of the Holy Eucharist and the Resurrection. Children love to learn that the Last Supper was the Apostles’ First Communion. Adults are often surprised to learn it, too.
These three are covered in a good First Communion catechism.
During the Catholic Confirmation preparation we study more about the Trinity and the Holy Ghost and the prayers related to them like the Confiteor and the Come Holy Ghost prayer.
For those new to the Faith, be encouraged that it does not take twelve to sixteen years to learn how to be Catholic, even though one could study the Catholic Faith his whole life. One semester’s study is usually plenty if you have good resources. The Faith is simple enough for the little ones and comprehensive enough for great saints like St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas!
Before the First Communion year with little ones, teach the prayers of the Rosary and the Ten Commandments. This is very easy to do if you say the Rosary daily once you teach the correct pronunciation of the words and phrases. Saying the Rosary everyday reviews and reinforces the prayers as well as increases grace without increasing “homework”. The Ten Commandments and the list of the seven sacraments are easy to learn with repetition, too.
Receiving the sacrament of Penance before the First Communion prepares one’s soul to be perfect for receiving Jesus. You need to know the Act of Contrition in the confessional and you need to know the Hail Mary and the Our Father for the penance afterward, even if your penance is a decade of the Rosary (one Our Father and ten Hail Marys). Give little ones a tour of the confessional at a time when they are free to turn the light on and see what the confessional looks like. Practice the words of confession as you act out the part of the priest to make it easy to remember what to do. Advise children to keep their sins for the priest, though, not for play.
You can practice receiving Holy Communion, too. Learning the answers to the Catholic catechism questions and the Catholic prayers are important; but practicing the procession and receiving Holy Communion make the event easy. It is a good idea to take your little ones to receive ashes on Ash Wednesday, to receive the blessing of throats on the feast of St. Blasé, and to kiss the foot of the Cross on Good Friday so that they are used to walking in procession before the First Communion day.
Add other Roman Catholic books and activities like treasure charts and coloring pages throughout the year and they’ll become treasured keepsakes in the years to come. May God grant you many little saints! Please keep us all in your prayers.
St. Anne’s Helper Audio catholic catechism uses the best Catholic answers to teach the Catholic beliefs about Catholic Baptism, Catholic Confirmation, and Catholic Eucharist. For more information please visit our website www.roman-catholic-catechism.com