From the brief “penny” catechisms of the 16th century to our own late 20th-century Catechism, scores of faithful priests, bishops, popes, saints, and even Church Councils have for Catholics young and old published succinct, reliable summaries of our Church’s perennial teachings: catechisms.
In them, readers have encountered Catholic doctrine presented in refreshingly clear and even elegant language, often accompanied by handsome woodcuts on lovely pages.
Now, for the first time ever, dozens of historic catechisms are being unearthed and painstakingly restored. They are being reformatted for publication and presented to you in this gorgeous 20-volume, cross-indexed collection.
What’s in Volume IV: This volume contains three of the most significant Irish catechisms ever printed, which are similar and often compared to the Penny Catechism of England and the Baltimore Catechism of the United States. The first is The Most Rev. Dr. James Butler’s Catechism, first composed by the great Archbishop James Butler of Cashel in 1775 and approved for national use by all the bishops of Ireland. It served Irish Catholics in various editions for 150 years, both in their own nation and abroad (especially in Canada and the United States). The other two are a pair of texts “ordered” by Ireland’s famous National Synod of Maynooth: The Catechism Ordered by the National Synod of Maynooth (1884), and its simplified form for children: The Short Catechism Extracted (1891). The Catechism Ordered was frequently printed between Kelly green covers, leading to its affectionate designation as “the green book,” and both Maynooth catechisms received worldwide attention through author James Joyce, who mentioned them several times in his writings. These catechisms remained in print and regular use throughout Ireland until the eve of the Second Vatican Council, and are restored here along with their original illustrations.