Saint Anne's Helper Baltimore Catechism for children is very helpful for learning the basic Catholic beliefs.
Of the several Confraternity for Christian Doctrine versions of the Baltimore Catechism that I have used, the Living My Religion series and Our Holy Faith series have the best First Communion questions and answers and these are what we use at Saint Anne's Helper.
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.
First comes the good news. The New Saint Joseph First Communion booklet is a sweet book with many lovely ideas, but there are some items to beware in it and in the other NSJ books.
It is good that the NSJ has the singular Confession answers (as does My Jesus Comes of the Our Holy Faith series) and it tells what happens to those who die in mortal sin. Have the children memorize these answers well as the answers will be true through life.
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.
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.
You can use the Baltimore Catechism No. 1 for First Communion preparation. The No. 1 is a subset of the No. 2 so, if you already have the No. 2 you don't need to buy the No. 1 as the numbers are the same.
The CCD series that Our Lady of Victory sells, Living My Religion, and the series that Neumann Press/cum Tan Books sells, Our Holy Faith, have better First Communion questions and answers, especially in My Jesus Comes, Book 2 of the Our Holy Faith series.
The Baltimore Catechism itself has difficulties: plural Confession answers; indefinite article in the definition of some of the sacraments (a not the); and the point that we have heard that priests contend over the years, the purpose of matrimony/marriage as it can be understood to contradict the 1917 Code of Canon Law. You can ask your pastor.
The main questions and answers that were used by the Our Holy Faith series Book 2, My Jesus Comes are what are used in the Saint Anne's Helper First Communion Catechism. Saint Anne's Helper also teaches 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. Saint Anne's Helper catechisms are available as audio recordings and as worksheets (both manuscript and cursive). We also have many Catholic coloring pages.
"Momma. What can I do?"
"Run go get your Catechism Copybook!"
We made up Catechism copybooks for our youngest children so that they would have the spelling and penmanship practice they needed as well as some filler/busywork to keep them busy with real school work while the older children were 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.
Our older children have asked if they can use the copybooks, too, they like them so well. This was a magic moment because they 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, 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, yet this extra copy work exercise had given him something "easy" to do so he felt a sense of accomplishment and kept on working.
It is hard to find Catholic handwriting practice in copybooks and workbooks unless you go to the Catholic homeschool curriculum providers. These usually have complete programs for penmanship practice that edifies children in the Faith.
The Saint Anne's Helper First Communion Catechism Copybook is a printable Baltimore Catechism for children ready whenever you need it for catechism class or successive children in a family.
It and the Audio Catechism for First Communion are based on the book, Jesus Comes as published by Neumann Press. Jesus Comes is based on the Baltimore Catechism No. 0 and No. 1.
Both the Audio Catechism and the Catechism Copybook include the questions from the New Saint Joseph First Communion Catechism (it adds a very good question about what happens to those who die in mortal sin).
See them on our order page.
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.
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