This detailed version of the Baltimore Catechism can be used as a reference work, or as a teacher's manual for the original Baltimore Catechisms. Its explanations of many little known questions pertaining to the Catholic Faith are designed to reward the questioning reader.

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Preface

It must be evident to all who have had experience in the work of our Sunday schools that much time is wasted in the classes. Many teachers do little more than mark the attendance and hear the lessons; this being done, time hangs heavily on their hands till the school is dismissed. They do not or cannot explain what they are teaching, and the children have no interest in the study.

The EXPLANATION OF THE BALTIMORE CATECHISM is intended for their use. The explanations are full and simple. The examples are taken from Holy Scripture, from the parables of Our Lord, from incidents in His life, and from the customs and manners of the people of His time. These are made applicable to our daily lives in reflections and exhortations.

The plan of the book makes it very simple and handy. The Catechism is complete and distinct in itself, and may be used with or without the explanations. The teacher is supposed, after hearing the lesson, to read the explanation of the new lesson as far as time will allow. It may be read just as it is, or may be learned by the teacher and given to the children in substance.

The EXPLANATION OF THE BALTIMORE CATECHISM will be found very useful also for the instruction of adults and converts. The priest on the mission is often called upon to instruct persons who can come to him but seldom, and only for a short time; and who, moreover, are incapable of using with profit such books as The Faith of Our Fathers, Catholic Belief, or works of controversy. They are simply able to use the Child's Catechism when explained to them. If the EXPLANATION OF THE BALTIMORE CATECHISM is in their hands, they may read the explanations and study the Catechism with pleasure.

Indeed the book should do good in any Catholic family. The majority of our people are children as far as their religious knowledge goes. They may, it is true, have books on particular subjects, such as the Duties of Parents to Their Children, The Sure Way to a Happy Marriage, etc.; but a book that explains to them in the simplest manner all the truths of their religion, and applies the same to their daily lives, ought to be useful.

The chief aim of the book is to be practical, and to teach Catholics what they should know, and how these truths of their Catechism are constantly coming up in the performance of their everyday duties. It is therefore neither a book of devotion nor of controversy, though it covers the ground of both. As in this book the explanations are interrupted by the questions and answers of the Catechism proper, it will, it is hoped, be read with more pleasure than a book giving solid page after page of instructions.

Wherever a fact is mentioned as being taken from Holy Scripture, it will generally be given in substance and not in the exact text; though the reference will always be given, so that those wishing may read it as it is in the Holy Scripture. The children are not supposed to memorize the explanation as they do the Catechism itself, yet the teacher, having once read it to them, should ask questions on it. The book may be used as a textbook or catechism for the more advanced classes, and the complete list of numbered questions on the explanations—given at the end—will render it very serviceable for that purpose.

As the same subject often occurs in different parts of the Catechism, explanations already given may sometimes be repeated. This is done either to show the connection between the different parts of the Catechism, or to impress the explanation more deeply on the minds of the children, or to save the teacher the trouble of always turning back to preceding explanations. The numbering of the questions and answers throughout the Catechism, and the complete index of subjects and list of questions at the end, will, it is hoped, make these comparisons and references easy, and the book itself useful.

With the hope, then, that the EXPLANATION OF THE BALTIMORE CATECHISM may do all the good intended, I commend it to all who desire a fuller knowledge of their holy religion that they may practice it more faithfully.

REV. THOMAS L. KINKEAD

June 21, 1891, FEAST OF ST. ALOYSIUS


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Approbations

His Eminence Cardinal Gibbons:
"I thank you for the copy of The Explanation of the Baltimore Catechism which has just reached me. A Religious spoke to me in very high terms of your book. I regard the opinion as of great value."

Most Rev. M. A. Corrigan, D.D., Archbishop of New York:
"I congratulate you on the good which it is likely to do."

Most Rev. William Henry Elder, D.D., Archbishop of Cincinnati:
"I think the work will be a very serviceable one. I hope it will meet with great success."

Most Rev. Thomas L. Grace, D.D., Archbishop of Siunia:
"Your book entitled An Explanation of the Baltimore Catechism supplies a want which is generally felt by the clergy and others engaged in teaching Catechism. Apart from the very satisfactory development of the answers to the questions and apt illustrations of the subjects treated, the additional questions inserted in your book give it a special value."

Most Rev. P. J. Ryan, D.D., Archbishop of Philadelphia:
"Your explanation of the Baltimore Catechism is excellent and must be of very great service to teachers of Sunday schools and to all who desire a clear exposition of Catholic doctrine, either for themselves or to communicate it to others. We give the work our cordial approval."

Most Rev. William J. Walsh, D.D., Archbishop of Dublin, Primate of Ireland:
"I have had a copy of your admirable work for some weeks past, and on several points it has been of very great use to me and to the committee [a committee of professors of theology, moral as well as dogmatic; priests of long and of wide experience in the work of instructing children in the Catechism; experienced examiners of children; accomplished scholars and writers of English; members both of religious and of secular collegiate communities; and representatives of the missionary priesthood, secular and regular, appointed to draft a new Catechism]."

Right Rev. D. M. Bradley, D.D., Bishop of Manchester:
"I am sure this 'Explanation' will be welcomed by the teachers in our schools and indeed by all whose duty it may be to instruct others in the teachings of the Church."

Right Rev. Thomas F. Brennan, D.D., Bishop of Dallas:
"I like the book very much and will not only recommend it to the priests and good sisters of my diocese, but will also use it myself at catechism every Sunday in the Cathedral. The list of questions and general index render its use very easy."

Right Rev. M. E. Burke, D.D., Bishop of Cheyenne:
"Your Explanation of the Baltimore Catechism is excellent, and it supplies a much needed means of useful and necessary catechetical instruction for our Sunday schools. It will be found an excellent textbook for Catholic schools and academies throughout the country and a most useful manual for all who are engaged in the instruction of our children."

Right Rev. L. De Goesbriand, D.D., Bishop of Burlington:
"I consider your book, the Explanation of the Baltimore Catechism, as an admirable work. Nothing can be found more clear, more satisfactory."

Right Rev. John Foley, D.D., Bishop of Detroit:
"I congratulate you upon producing a work so useful to those having charge of souls in such clear, concise, and instructive a style. I shall gladly commend it to the Rev. Clergy."

Right Rev. H. Gabriels, D.D., Bishop-elect of Ogdensburg:
"Your book will furnish solid material to priests who wish to preach at low Masses the catechetical instructions prescribed by the council of Baltimore. A rapid perusal of some of its pages has convinced me that it is just what was often looked for in vain in this important branch of the holy ministry."

Right Rev. N. A. Gallagher, D.D., Bishop of Galveston:
"Having read your Explanation of the Baltimore Catechism, I wish to say that it is in my opinion a very useful book for priests as well as for teachers; and that it is a valuable book to place in the hands of those who wish to become acquainted with the teachings of Holy Church. I have just ordered ten copies from the Publishers for my own distribution."

Right Rev. Leo Haid, O.S.B., D.D., Vicar Apostolic of North Carolina:
"I am very glad you gave us such a sensible, simple, and complete explanation of the Baltimore Catechism. I wish it were in the hands of every teacher of Christian doctrine. In this Vicariate, where priests are few, and often obliged to receive converts into the Church without that thorough instruction which resident pastors can give, your book will be hailed with joy. I will do my utmost to make it known. Please send me one dozen copies."

Right Rev. John J. Hennessy, D.D. Bishop of Wichita:
"From what I have seen of your book I am delighted with the method which you have adopted for explanation. It makes the Catechism easy and interesting to both teacher and pupil. I shall heartily recommend your book to our clergy for introduction into our schools."

Right Rev. A. Junger, D.D., Bishop of Nesqually:
"I am sure your work will not fail to obtain its object. There is not the least doubt that it will be of the greatest and best use for Sunday school teachers and advanced classes who will make use of it, and to whom we highly recommend it. Such a work was needed, as our Baltimore Catechism does not and cannot contain all the necessary explanations."

Right Rev. John J. Keane, D.D., Rector of the Catholic University, Washington:
"The character of the work speaks for itself."

Right Rev. W. G. McCloskey, D.D., Bishop of Louisville:
"What I have already seen of it gives me the impression that it is a meritorious work which ought to be encouraged."

Right Rev. James McGolrick, D.D., Bishop of Duluth:
"I think you have prepared a thoroughly practical work in your Explanation of the Baltimore Catechism. You have in well selected and plain English enabled teachers to give useful lessons from the text itself without the need of resort to other books. Your book will find its way to the desk of every Catholic teacher, and we hope to the home of every Catholic family. I am glad you marked the Scripture references, for the higher classes after Confirmation can unite their Scripture lessons with such study of your book as to prepare themselves for teaching. Your series of questions and good index are certainly very useful."

Right Rev. Camillus P. Maes, D.D., Bishop of Covington:
"I have examined your Explanation of the Baltimore Catechism on some of the most important points of doctrine and morals. I find its teachings sound, and the manner of presenting them practical. I take pleasure in commending your book to priests and teachers, and in congratulating you for having bestowed so much time on the greatest of all pastoral work, viz: giving children a thorough and sound knowledge of Holy Church and of her divine teachings."

Right Rev. C. E. McDonnell, D.D., Bishop-elect of Brooklyn:
"I beg you to accept my hearty congratulations."

Right Rev. R. Manogue, D.D., Bishop of Sacramento:
"We have ponderous works from distinguished authors on the Catechism in general, but yours—An Explanation of the Baltimore Catechism—is the simplest, most concise, most natural and instructive I have yet encountered. It is good not only for advanced pupils, teachers, preachers and priests, but also for the sacred precincts of every Catholic family."

Right Rev. Tobias Mullen, D.D., Bishop of Erie:
"Your book appears to me a very meritorious production. In your preface you observe it has been designed for the use of Sunday school teachers and that it 'should do good in any Catholic family' I think you might have added that any clergyman having the care of souls, whether giving private instructions or preparing for the pulpit, would derive great benefits from its perusal."

Right Rev. H. P. Northrop, D.D., Bishop of Charleston:
"The Explanation of the Baltimore Catechism, plain and practical, clear and comprehensive, was a work very much needed. From a general examination, I think you have done your work well, and you deserve the thanks of all teachers of catechism and those who have charge of our schools. You have simplified the work of the teacher by putting in his hand such a ready handbook and commentary on the text he is supposed to explain. If they do what they expect their pupils to do—study the lesson—with such a help as you have furnished them, the work of the Sunday school will be much more satisfactory. I hope the hearty appreciation of those for whom you have labored will crown your work with abundant success."

Right Rev. Henry Joseph Richter, D.D., Bishop of Grand Rapids:
"The aim of your book is excellent. To judge from the portions which I have read, your labor has been successful. I recommend the book to all Catholic adults, but especially to teachers and converts, as a convenient handbook of appropriate, plain, and solid instructions on the doctrine of the Catholic Church."

Right Rev. S. V. Ryan, D.D., Bishop of Buffalo:
"I think your work fully meets all you claim for it. It will serve as a good textbook for an advanced catechism class, and a very useful handbook for catechists in instructing converts or our own people what they should know and what they are bound to believe in regard to our holy faith. The book will, I think, do good in any Catholic family."

Right Rev. L. Scanlan, D.D., Bishop of Salt Lake:
"I consider it a most useful if not necessary book, not only for Sunday school teachers and for advanced classes, but for all who may desire to have a clear, definite knowledge of Christian doctrine."