The traditional catechisms included in our multi-volume Index are selected for their historical significance and doctrinal orthodoxy, in the interest of demonstrating to contemporary readers the remarkable continuity of Catholic doctrine across time and space. Long regarded as reliable summaries of Church teaching on matters of faith and morals, we are proud to recover, remaster, and faithfully reproduce these approved catechetical works of centuries past, composed and endorsed by countless priests, bishops, and popes devoted to “giving voice to Tradition.”
VOLUME 2: Along with a Foreword from Bishop Athanasius Schneider, three important catechisms are reproduced in this volume. The first is the copiously illustrated A Shorte Catechisme of the renowned Doctor of the Church and celebrated patron of catechists, St. Robert Cardinal Bellarmine (1614). It features beautifully restored woodcuts alongside a brilliant pedagogical method once considered for universal use in the Church. Second is the famous "Douay Catechism," properly titled An Abridgment of the Christian Doctrine by Fr. Henry Turberville (1649), which includes hundreds of Scripture references, several thorough explanations in response to various Protestant errors of the time, and a striking catechesis on the prayers of the ancient Roman Mass. The third is The Childes Catechism of Fr. Thomas Vincent Sadler (1678), a lovely little work offering a touching glimpse of the parental art of conversational religious instruction of children in the 17th century. 6" x 9" hardcover sewn binding in black linen, glossy dustjacket, cream interior paper, gold foil stamping. 350 pages.
Our Catholic Catechism Index series generally retains only the doctrinal content of those catechisms it seeks to reproduce, as well as that front matter most essential to establishing the credibility of each work as an authentic expression of the Church’s common doctrine, e.g., any episcopal endorsement, nihil obstat, or imprimatur. However, it should be noted that especially prior to the 18th century, a number of catechisms were so immediately and universally received as reliably orthodox texts (often simply by the reputation of the author or publisher), that they received no such “official” approval; or if they did, it was often years later and in subsequent editions. We therefore include both the original printing date in our Table of Contents, and further edition information in the Preface of each volume for further reference.
Our primary goal has been to bring these historical texts back into publication in readable English copy. We have therefore made a number of edits not touching upon the content (e.g., new typesetting, more consistent textual divisions, updated formats and annotations) to allow for easier navigation and cross-reference throughout the series, rendering each volume a unique derivative work. Where any original notations are obscure, we reproduce them without alteration. We have likewise remedied a number of typographical errors and certain anachronistic spelling and grammatical practices of centuries past, in order to facilitate easier reading.
At the same time, in deepest respect for the age and subject matter of these works, we have been at pains to adhere as closely as possible to the original text: retaining archaisms such as “doth” and “hallowed,” and avoiding any alterations that might affect the original content or authorial voice. We have restored original artwork wherever possible, and where the rare explanatory note has been deemed necessary, it is not made in the text itself, but only in a marginal note. In some cases, our editorial refusal to “modernize” the content of these classical works may require a higher degree of attention from today’s reader, whom we trust will be richly rewarded by the effort.
Hear these eminent Catholic teachers of the past speak for themselves; this is the Faith!
Volume 2: Tradivox Catholic Catechism Index
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