Baltimore Catechism No. 2

1. The #2 Is The Communion And Confirmation Catechism

The Baltimore Catechism No. 2 has all the questions from the Baltimore Catechism No. 0 and No. 1 in one booklet.

The division occurred because younger children did not need to have all of the questions available to study the sacraments.

The Baltimore Catechism No 2 also has many more catechism questions to help children to an elementary school understanding of the Catholic catechism. If you have the No. 2 you will not need the No. 1 or the 0.

Baltimore Catechism No. 2 Booklet - TAN BooksBaltimore Catechism No. 2 for Confirmation, grades 6-8 and high school.

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1.A. Baltimore Catechism No. 2 For Children

10 Commandments And First Communion

No. 0 and No. 1 are usually used for First Communion preparation while certain questions of the No. 2 are marked for memorization in preparation for Confirmation. Both First Communion and Confirmation are included in the second book.

Learn more about the 10 Commandments here.

You can see First Communion resources here.

Baltimore Catechism Confirmation

In the 1930s when my parents were confirmed, the children were confirmed almost at the same time as their First Communion. My mother's beautiful children's Missal that was given to her by her mother and aunt shows about one week between the two dates.

There were very few Confirmation questions asked at that time although they were studied in subsequent years in the larger Baltimore Catechisms. It was later when more questions were added to the Confirmation list of required knowledge to meet what The Catechism of the Council of Trent required.

See my notes about Catholic Confirmation here.

1.B. Baltimore Catechism No. 2 For Adults

Those who are new to the Catholic Faith only need the No. 2, since it includes the answers and prayers that are in the two other booklets. It covers preparing for Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, and Penance.

An adult would only need the No. 2 as it really does cover most of the questions that most adults ever face. The No. 3, or the excellent Catechism Explained  are much more comprehensive adult catechism books.

I'd skip the No. 3 and move straight to The Catechism Explained as it covers the Baltimore Catechism, and adds saint and Bible stories as well as examples from history.

2. Easiest Catechism For Religion Class

The Baltimore Catechism is especially handy for Catholic Religion class, Sunday school catechism, RCIA, and Catholic homeschool.

It is the definitive book by which most catechisms written in English are compared, at least those in the United States of America, the USA. 

The questions are plain and the answers directly correspond to the questions in a direct and concise format. The answers use the words in the question in the wording of the answer. This makes the answers easy to learn, to memorize, and to remember for life. 

TAN Books publishes a new paperback BC #2 that we have proofed to be word for word the same as their old stapled versions. I hope that the complete set is the same as it had been especially the #1, if only for reference.

TAN Books Baltimore Catechism Complete Set At Amazon

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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. :-)

3. Baltimore Catechism Comparison With The Confraternity Version

The Baltimore is the basis for many Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) catechism versions in the USA since the 1940s. Some versions were better than others, which is why many people want the 1885 reprints. It's hard to trust re-writes and paraphrases.

One of its best features of the old version is that it asks the questions with easily memorized answers. The answers, if answered completely using the words of the question in the answer, offer a concise statement of the Catholic faith. Oh, what a treasure this is!

Concise answers not only give certitude they are also more easy to use in real life through the years, thereby aiding us in final perseverance, the one thing necessary.

I am particularly glad to have used this with our children as there have been few times when they were confused and these the answers were plain and to the point.

Chart Of The Baltimore Catechism No. 2 Compared To The No. 1

What is the difference between the Baltimore Catechism No. 1 and the No. 2? How do they compare?

Comparison and Differences, No. 1 & No. 2

TAN, No. 1

Fewer than 400 Questions from the No. 2.

Generally used for First Communion (through lesson 20 plus the prayers and Ten Commandments).

TAN, No. 2

421 Questions and answers.

More questions and answers included for better preparation for Confirmation.

Similarities, Both No. 1 & No. 2 

  • Daily Prayers - Lord's Prayer, Hail Mary, Apostles' Creed, Confiteor, Acts of Faith, Hope, and Charity, Perfect Act of Contrition, Blessings Before and After Meals.
  • Phoneticized Words, and Word Meanings, pronunciation guide, and vocabulary at the beginning of each section.
  • Emergency Baptism formula.
  • Questions and Answers.
  • More Prayers - Devotions during Mass, Right Manner of Confessing, Titles of the Fifteen Mysteries of the Rosary.
  • Words to the old hymns.

Consider These Issues:

The No 1 and the No 2 have the same numeration in both books. There are some issues you will want to beware to teach well if you use these books.:

  • #1 Who made the world. (Improved by the 1959 version to "Who made you?" that shows God's direct creation of each human soul. See good Catholic answers explained.)
  • #152 ff Uses the indefinite article instead of the definite article in definition of several of the sacraments, which is not as exact or defining as saying Baptism is the sacrament, Confirmation is the sacrament.
  • #191 Plural Confession answers. (Has your pastor ever admonished the children not to confess the sins of others? Maybe this is why he had to mention it.)
  • #254 Communion fast. (TAN version inserts the 1977 rules reducing the fast to one hour.)
  • #285 Effects of the Sacrament of Matrimony. (Inverts the order given in the 1917 Code of Canon Law.)

With regard to this last consideration, it took me years to find that the answer to this issue is in the 1917 Code. It involves whether the primary purpose of matrimony is the love of the spouses for each other or for the procreation and education of children. 

If you're teaching little children, leave this question off your list. If you're teaching older children, settle the question first.

If you're studying for yourself, The Catechism Explained, which is an expansion on the BC No. 3, says:

  • On page 649, "... the principal object of marriage, [is] the right training of children."
  • On page 663, "Of all parental duties, that of training their children in the fear of God is the most important; for on the manner in which it is discharged the temporal and eternal happiness both of parents and children will depend."

There are wonderful explanations in the full chapter on Matrimony. The Catechism Explained is an excellent reference book that fills in the Baltimore Catechism blanks question by question with Bible quotes from the Douay-Rheims Bible.

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

Use the Baltimore Catechism?

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4. Published By TAN Books And Baronius Press

TAN Books and Baronius Press are major publishers of the old Baltimore Catechism books. Now there are many other publishers working to preserve this work.

TAN's 1977 version of the BC is from the original by the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore in 1885. TAN used the 1933 Benziger edition that had added word pronunciations and meanings to the top of each chapter. This must have been a huge help to catechists in our melting-pot country, especially in different regions.

It also notes new rubrics as of the 1970 calendar, as with the Communion fast, so that you know not to expect more than the Catholic Church requires.

To add spice to your research about who wrote this catechism, see the old TAN's CathTruth American History article 

[Old web address:]

The same bishops who put together the Baltimore Catechism lived at the time of Pope Leo XIII's document against Americanism. See Americanist warnings by Pope Leo XIII in Testem Benevolentiae

5. Saint Anne's Helper Baltimore Catechism For Confirmation

Some of the difficulties in the 1885 version were corrected in the 1959 edition by the good priests, nuns, and catechists who actually had to use the books in classroom settings.

  • They understood that they should be certain to teach small children about confession in the singular tense, I confess not we confess.
  • They understood that using the definite article the is more indicative of there being only one sacrament of Baptism, and one sacrament of Confirmation rather than using the indefinite article a or an.

In general, though, the questions, answers, and prayers are exactly the same long trusted versions they've been for over one hundred years.

If you would like to have help teaching the 1959 Baltimore Catechism for First Communion, Confirmation, or general religion class; you will appreciate our Saint Anne's Helper audio, PDF worksheets, PDF ebooklets in digital downloads. You'll own them immediately and forever.

You can see and copy for free the texts of these questions and answers on our audio Baltimore Catechism pages, no purchase necessary:

See more below about the Confirmation options. We have the same for First Communion.

See Seton's great defense of the Baltimore Catechism.

* Baltimore Catechism Confirmation

Confirmation Catechism Audio Book

The Baltimore Catechism No. 2 questions for Confirmation preparation frequently require a good deal of study.

St. Anne's Helper helps you learn the basic Catholic beliefs for Confirmation. They can help reduce the time and effort necessary to learn the catechism questions and answers.

  • Adults appreciate the benefit of an audio book to be able to review Confirmation catechism answers while driving or doing light chores.
  • Parents and children appreciate the benefit of ambient learning while riding to and from church, school and errands; or while coloring and doing other craft projects. 
  • Catechists appreciate having printables for catechism class.

No matter which program you use, the definitive and concise Baltimore Catechism No. 2 gives you confidence in learning the basic Catholic beliefs.

An audio recording makes it easier to review and memorize the answers and prayers.

Baltimore Catechism Confirmation Copybook

Once we realized the benefits of Catholic copywork, we made up Catechism copybooks for learning to spell the words, write the answers and for penmanship practice.

What better Catholic copywork than the Confirmation answers from the Baltimore Catechism No. 2?

It is a magic moment when a student WANTS to write beautifully, he or she then CAN write beautifully! On top of this they learn their faith and how to use and spell the vocabulary.

You can order Saint Anne's Helper Confirmation Baltimore Catechism digital downloads here.

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.

6. More Baltimore Catechism Resources