The Baltimore Catechism For Children

The Baltimore Catechism for children is very helpful for learning the basic Catholic beliefs. These are the truths children will need through all their lives.

The Baltimore Catechism is known as the main catechism for children, especially for those who speak English because it has easy to memorize questions and answers. Its answers are complete yet concise.

The key to helping your children learn the answers and prayers is to give them time to practice.

  1. Ask the question.
  2. Model the answer.
  3. Ask the children to repeat the answer.
  4. Three times.

If you do this twice a day, your children will have a much easier time remembering for Sister's class. 

How does we make learning the Baltimore Catechism easier?

  • Use our audio downloads like a tutor. Once you show them how, children can navigate to the assigned questions.
  • Use our catechism copybooks for writing practice. Be ready for the quizzes.
  • Use our ebooklets to keep the questions and answers by the couch, in the van, in desks and book bags.

If you're homeschooling, you will love all this extra help.

Saint Anne's Helper Audio Baltimore Catechism CDs and downloads.
Catholic Coloring Pages To Print Ebook

Use the Baltimore Catechism?

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1. Children's Baltimore Catechism No. 1 & 2

Through the twentieth century the Baltimore Catechism for children was changed many times. Sometimes it was changed in different ways by different publishers. It's a lot to try to track.

I have a twenty inch stack of Baltimore Catechisms for kids and I would not be able to vouch for most of them. It would take hours for two people to go through eac edition.

Generally, the Baltimore Catechism that is considered best is the original from 1885 as promoted by the bishops in Baltimore, Maryland.

1.A. The Old Baltimore Catechism

Next is a word on The Baltimore Catechism as it was in the 1800s.

The No. 1 is a subset of the No. 2; so, if you already have a booklet of the No. 2, you don't need to buy the No. 1, as the numbers on the questions are the same.

This is the main Catholic catechism the United States used for decades before the first changes in the 1940s.

TAN Books has republished their old pamphlets in paperback format. We have compared both the old and the new TAN versions and have found them to be verbatim the same. You can buy the Baltimore Catechism Two at Amazon.

TAN Books Baltimore Catechism Complete Set At Amazon

Disclosure: I show products that I think will help you. If you use my links, I may earn ad commissions at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Small and Large Deharbe's Catechism

If you are not required to use the Baltimore, check out the old version of DeHarbe's Catechism at Amazon. The Small Catechism is for Communion preparation and The Large Catechism is for the rest of us. No Wite-Out necessary. :-)

1.B. The New Baltimore Catechism 1945

The main changes in the Baltimore Catechism Came from the Confraternity for Christian Doctrine, the CCD.

The Living My Religion Series, 1941-1951 has the same wording as the old Baltimore Catechism yet it added pictures and a story line that runs through each book.

  • Our Heavenly Father - Primer
  • Living in God's Love
  • Living in God's Law
  • Living in God's Grace
  • Living for God
  • Living through God's Gifts
  • Living in God's Church
  • Living for Triumph
  • Living for Holiness
  • Syllabus and Teacher's Manuals

The books give examples of keeping the Commandments and some Catholic Bible stories. It also added the modern method of asking other questions related to the catechism.

The books took on the graduated system though; so instead of there being the Baltimore Catechism, No. 2 and its subsets the No. 0 and No. 1, there were eight or nine books to match the age levels and sacrament levels through grades 1 through 8.

You can see the series at Our Lady of Victory School.

1.C. The Baltimore Catechism 1959

The series that Neumann Press/cum Tan Books sells, Our Holy Faith, from the 1950s as seen at Seton Home Study is being republished by the new TAN Books which has newly started its own homeschool division in 2021.

My Jesus Comes, Book 2 is the First Communion level of the Our Holy Faith series. This is the book from which Saint Anne's Helper has taken the First Communion questions and answers which has these Baltimore Catechism 1959 PDF downloads: Audio with PDF printable text file, manuscript and cursive handwriting copywork PDFs, and a PDF ebooklet of the same information.

It has better First Communion questions and answers


All of the questions and answers are the same except the confession answers are given in the singular form rather than the plural form. Instead of learning to say, "We confess our sins..." the children learn to say, "I confess my sins...." 

It seems that the priests, nuns, and catechists of the late 1940s and 1950s had enough classroom wisdom and experience to teach children confessing heir own sins instead of other people's sinsDoctrinally, the singular is better as it gives less room for today's corporate confessions.

I think you will enjoy owning Jesus Comes as it has lovely images where even Adam and Eve are modest and it tells sweet Bible stories for kids. You can buy My Jesus Comes at Amazon.

Our Holy Faith Jesus Comes Book 2

This may be the only catechism for First Communion you need.

Covers all info necessary to receive the Eucharist.

Includes Bible stories, Commandments, the Mass, confession, and the Last Supper. Buy this catechism at Amazon.

1.D. Changes In The Baltimore Catechism

Nearly any catechism in the Catholic Church had been changed by the time of Vatican II in the 1960s. See the following pages to see the disasters in what was called The Baltimore Catechism.

2. St. Anne's Helper Baltimore Catechism For Children

Saint Anne's Helper First Communion Catechism and Confirmation Catechism teach children the Catholic prayers and Ten Commandments.

We used the singular confession questions and answers and added what happens to those who die in mortal sin as added to the 1950s catechisms.

Both of our Saint Anne's Helper catechisms are available as

Of the several Confraternity for Christian Doctrine versions of the Baltimore Catechism that I have used, the Living My Religion series and the Our Holy Faith series have the best First Communion questions and answers.

They have the extra explanations and stories that make teaching in a classroom or homeschool setting more complete.

These are the books we use in our Saint Anne's Helper digital downloads.

2.A. Catholic Homeschool Catechism

It is hard to find Catholic handwriting practice in copybooks and workbooks unless you go to the Catholic homeschool curriculum providers.

More and more these have complete programs for penmanship practice that will edify your children in the Faith. Our printable worksheets are an awesome addition for cursive writing practice.

We also have many Catholic coloring pages that can go with any Catholic catechism book and helps you celebrate the different saints and holy days.

* St. Anne's Helper Catholic Coloring  download has a treasure trove of traditional PDF printable coloring sheets.

* Over 200 specifically Catholic pictures.

* 300+ other fun coloring pictures of animals, seasons, patriotic, Easter and Christmas.

* All grouped into files for your convenience and all interactive.

* See coloring samples.

2.B. First Communion Baltimore Catechism

First Communion Digital Downloads

Order our First Communion Copybook.

"Momma. What can I do?"

"Run go get your Catechism Copybook!"

These Catechism copybooks will help your youngest children so that they would have spelling and penmanship practice.

They're great for filler or busywork to keep your children busy with real school work while your older children are working. 

It is easy to print our Baltimore Catechism for children.

You can use the handwriting practice sheets as penmanship practice sheets, memory aids, and busywork. They have two files:

  • Manuscript writing.
  • Cursive writing.

Our older children have asked if they can use the copybooks, too, they like them so well.

This was a magic moment because they actually "wanted" to learn to write beautifully. When they want to  write beautifully they can write beautifully! 

Being able to continue writing, even though he could not read well, kept one of our sons "write" ready for the moment when reading "clicked".

He he soon moved up to near grade level because we had kept up his explicit instruction in phonics and writing by using dictation.

This extra copy work exercise had given him something "easy" to do, so he felt a sense of accomplishment and kept on working.

Printable First Communion Baltimore Catechism

See and download free copybook samples!

The Saint Anne's Helper First Communion Catechism Copybook is a printable Baltimore Catechism for children that is ready whenever you need it.

It will be there for several children in the same catechism class, or for successive children as your family grows.

Both the Audio Catechism and the Catechism Copybook include the question about what happens to those who die in mortal sin. This was a 1950s addition to this level.

See all our First Communion downloads on our order page.

2.C. Confirmation Catechism Copybook

Order Confirmation Catechism Copybook!

The Confirmation Catechism Copybook has the same features, meaning that it is a Baltimore Catechism for children that is reproducible whenever you need it for all of your students or children through the years.

Anyway you choose, you now have good Catholic copybooks that use the Baltimore Catechism. They can also be printed as individual penmanship practice sheets.

How many times have you treasured a particular verse, or wished your student could review his assignment again?

Or perhaps there are too many erasures and Grandma is coming soon? Now you can simply print off another sheet for more practice or better effect.

See all our Confirmation downloads here.

3. Points to Know in the New Saint Joseph First Communion Catechism

3.A. Many Lovely Catechism Pictures For Children

First comes the good news.

The New Saint Joseph First Communion Catechism booklet is a sweet book with many lovely pictures and ideas. Several of the answers are better than in other versions:

  1. It is good that the NSJFC has the singular Confession answers (as does My Jesus Comes of the Our Holy Faith series above).
  2. It tells what happens to those who die in mortal sin.

If you use this booklet, have your children memorize these two answers well, as the answers will be true through life and your children may not ever study them again. 

3.B. Slippery Catechism Answers

Many schools and homeschool companies use the New Saint Joseph First Communion CCD booklet (NSJ), yet you will find that there are better questions and answers to memorize for First Communion in other Baltimore versions.

Someday I hope to take pictures inside of the several old reprints of the NSJFC that I own and add them here. You can see the increasingly removed items from the altar throughout the end of the book. [Done! See them in a three part article here.]

  • The picture on page 48 of an early version has a huge and beautiful picture of the tabernacle, candles, and Crucifix that is successively whited-out through the years. This made me sad when I first saw it.
  • Beware pages 33 and 49 as the text can infer that Jesus did not rise by His own omnipotent power as per the Catechism of the Council of Trent. This is a pivotal point of our Faith.
  • So many times the trouble in a catechism is in the fluff, the pictures and stories; and it's usually at the 2/3 to 3/4 mark. This is true with the NSJFC and continues through the higher levels. The NSJ No. 1 & 2 both expand the same Resurrection difficulty and add it to the Ascension. 
  • Also, the NSJ versions do not use the Douay-Rheims Bible to quote the Bible. After I saw these issues, I put the NSJ away.

Update: You can see the NSJ catechism changes here.

Even the earliest Baltimore Catechism has difficulties:

  • Plural Confession answers; 
  • Indefinite article in the definition of some of the sacraments (a not the);
  • The purpose of matrimony/marriage as it can be understood to contradict the 1917 Code of Canon Law.  It's a good point to ask a good priest.

I explain more comparisons between different catechisms on my Catholic answers page.

Anyway. Now you know. 

TAN Books Baltimore Catechism Complete Set At Amazon

Disclosure: I show products that I think will help you. If you use my links, I may earn ad commissions at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Small and Large Deharbe's Catechism

If you are not required to use the Baltimore, check out the old version of DeHarbe's Catechism at Amazon. The Small Catechism is for Communion preparation and The Large Catechism is for the rest of us. No Wite-Out necessary. :-)

If you use the Baltimore Catechism for children you might also like:

Audio Baltimore Catechism, Catholic Worksheets, Catholic eBooks, and Catholic Coloring Pages:

Catholic catechism resources for your Roman Catholic catechism class, Faith formation, Catholic homeschool, religious education, or Sunday school lessons. Save on bundles!

Order our Baltimore Catechism worksheets. Choose your favorite fontscolors, and SIZES on our fillable digital interactive worksheets and coloring pages. Paperless or printable.

First Communion Preparation Baltimore Catechism No. 1 For Children And Adults - Or get the bundle.

Baltimore Catechism Communion single or bundled downloads: audio, ebooklet, and digital worksheets for kids and adults. Verbatim text in all formats. 

Baltimore Catechism Confirmation Preparation: Audio, Worksheets, eBooklet - or all 3 bundled.