The Summary of Catechism of Chistian Doctrine based on Baltimore Catechism

( This summary was taken directly from the book " The Illustrated Revised Edition of Baltimore Catechism No.2" by Ellamay Horan, Ph.D and Rt. Rev. Msgr. James O'Brien, S.T.D., J.C.L., published on January 17, 1945 in New York. Nihil Obstat granted by Arthur Scanlan, S.T.D., Censor Librorum and Imprimatur by Francis Spellan, D.D., Archbishop.

I type here all the summaries of all lessons as I found them very brief but sufficient to refresh our memories on the Catholic teaching. Teach yourself and your children our Faith and we and our children shall walk the way directed by our Lord Jesus and His Church. Do not believe that everything has changed since Vatican II as the Catholic Doctrine has never changed because it is consisted of Divine Truth.

Parents, more than ever, Catholic families and children need the Church, need to listen to the Holy Father, need to learn our Faith, need to pray together especially the Rosary in order to remain loving to one another, to stay together as a family, and to withstand the demonic assault from the Devil and his cohorts. God bless.)

Lesson 1: The Purpose of Man's Existence
Lesson 2: God and His Perfections
Lesson 3: The Unity and Trinity of God
Lesson 4: Creation and The Angels
Lesson 5: The Creation and The Fall of Man
Lesson 6: Actual Sin
Lesson 7: The Incarnation
Lesson 8: The Redemption
Lesson 9: The Holy Ghost and Grace
Lesson 10: The Virtues and Gifts of The Holy Ghost
Lesson 11: The Catholic Church
Lesson 12: The Marks and Attributes of the Church
Lesson 13: The Communion of Saints - The Forgiveness of Sins
Lesson 14: The Resurrection and Life Everlasting.
Lesson 15: The Two Great Commandments.
Lesson 16: The First Commandment of God
Lesson 17: Honoring The Saints, Relics, and Images.
Lesson 18: The Second and Third Commandments of God.
Lesson 19: The Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Commandments.
Lesson 20: The Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Commandments.


God made us to show forth His goodness and to share with us His everlasting happiness in heaven. To gain the happiness of heaven we must know , love, and serve God in this world. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, teaches us how we are to know, love, and serve God. Jesus teaches us through the Catholic Church. The apostles' Creed contains the chief truths taught by Jesus Chrsit through the Catholic Church.

God is above all creatures. He does not owe His existence to any other being. He has all perfections without limit. God always was and always will be. He always remains the same. He is also all-good, all-knowing, all-present, and almighty. He is all-wise, all-holy, all-merciful, and all-just.

We know that there is a God because our reason tell us so. We know that the world we see about us could have been made only by a self-existing Being who is all-wise and almighty. We also know that there is a God from the truths which God Himself has revealed to us. These truths are found in the Bible and in the writings of the Fathers of the Church. The Fathers put into writing the truths taught by Christ and his apostles which were not in the Bible.

There is only one god. In God there are three Divine Persons - the Father, the son, and the holy Ghost. The Father is God and the first Person of the Blessed Trinity. The son is God and the second Person of the Blessed Trinity. The holy Ghost is God and the third Person of the Blessed Trinity. By the Blessed Trinity is meant one and the same God in three Divine Persons. The word trinity means the union of three in one.

The three Divine Persons are really distinct from one another. This means they are really separate from one another.  The three Divine Persons are perfectly equal to one another, because all are one and the same God. Though really distinct from one another, the three Divine Persons are one and the same God because all have the one and the same Divine nature.

We cannot fully understand how the three Divine Persons, though really distinct from one another, are the same God. This is a supernatural mystery. A supernatural mystery is a truth which we cannot fully understand, but which we firmly believe because we have God's word for it.

God, the Creator of heaven and earth, made all things from nothing by His almighty power. The chief  creatures of God are angels and men.

The angels are created spirits. They do not have bodies, but they have understanding and free will. When God created the angels, He gave them great wisdom, power, and holiness. Not all the angels remained faithful to God. Some of them sinned.

The angels who remained faithful are called good angels. They entered into the eternal happiness of heaven where they see, love, and adore God. The good angels help us by praying for us. They act also as messengers from God to us and serve as our guardian angels. Our guardian angels help us by praying for us, by protecting us from harm, and by inspiring us to do good.

The angels who did not remain faithful to God were cast into hell. They are called bad angels or devils. The chief way in which the bad angels try to harm us is by tempting us to sin.

Some temptations come from the bad angels. Other temptations come from ourselves and from the persons and things around us. We can always resist temptation because no temptation can force us into sin. God will always help us if we ask Him.

Man is a creature composed of body and soul, and made to the image and likeness of God. Man's likeness to God is chiefly in the soul. The soul is like God because it is a spirit having understanding and free will. The soul is destined to live forever.

The first man and woman were Adam and Eve. They were the first parents of the whole human race. The chief gift God bestowed on Adam and Eve was sanctifying grace. This made them children of God and gave them the right to heaven. God bestowed other gifts on Adam and Eve: happiness in the Garden of Paradise, great knowledge, control of the passions by reason, and freedom from suffering and death.

God gave Adam and Eve the commandment not to eat of the fruit of a certain tree that grew in the Garden of Paradise. However, Adam and Eve did not obey this commandment. They ate of the forbidden fruit. On account of their sin, Adam and Eve lost sanctifying grace, the right to heaven, and their special gifts. They became subject to death, to suffering, and to a strong inclination to evil. They were driven from the Garden of Paradise.

Because the sin of Adam we, his descendants, come into the world deprived of sanctifying  grace. This sin in us is called the original sin. We inherit Adam's punishment as we would inherited his gifts had he been obedient to God. The chief punishments of Adam which we inherit through original sin are: death, suffering, ignorance, and a strong inclination to sin.

Original sin is not the only kind of sin. There is another kind called actual sin which we ourselves commit. Actual sin is any willful thought, desire, word, action. or omission forbidden by the law of God. There are two kinds of actual sin: mortal sin and venial sin.

Mortal sin is a grievous offense agaisnt the law of God. It is called mortal which means deadly, because it deprives the sinner of sanctifying grace. In addition, mortal sin makes the soul an enemy of God. It takes away the merit of all its good actions. It deprives it of the right of everlasting happiness in heaven and makes it deserving of everlasting punishment in hell. To make a sin mortal three things are necessary: (1) The thought, desire, word, action, or omission must be seriously wrong or considered seriously wrong; (2) The sinner must be mindful of the serious wrong; (3) The sinner must fully consent to it.

Venial sin is a less serious offense agaisnt the law of God. It does not deprive the soul of sanctifying grace, and it can be pardoned even without sacrament of confession. A sin is venial when the evil done is not seriously wrong. It is venial when the evil done is seriously wrong but the sinner sincerely believes it is only slightly wrong, or does not give full sonsent to it. Venial sin harms us by making us less fervent in the service of God. It weakens our power to resist mortal sin. It also makes us deserving of God's punishment in this life or in purgatory.

We can keep from committing sin: (1) by praying and receiving the sacraments; (2) by remembering that God is always with us; (3) by recalling that our bodies are temples of the holy Ghost; (4) by keeping occupied with work and play; (5) by promptly resisting the sources of sin within us; (6) by avoiding the near occasion of sin.

The capital sins are the chief sources of the sins which we commit ourselves. They are: pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth. They are called capital sins because they are the chief reasons why men commit sin.

The near occasions of sin are all persons, places, or things that may easily lead us into sin.

God did not abandon man after Adam fell into sin. God promised to send into the world a Saviour to free man from his sins and to reopen to him the gates of heaven.

The Saviour of all men is Jesus Christ. The chief teaching of the Catholic Church about Jesus is that He is God made man. Jesus Christ is God because He is the only Son of God. He has the same Divine nature as His Father. Jesus Christ is man because He is the Son of the Blessed Virgin Mary and has a body and soul like ours.

Jesus Christ is only one Person, and that Person is the second Person of the Blessed Trinity. Jesus Christ has two natures: the nature of God and the nature of man.

The Son of God was not always man, but became man at the time of  the Incarnation. At this time He kept His Divine nature, but He took to Himself a human nature, a body and soul like ours. The Son of God was conceived and made man by the power of the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This took place on Annunciation Day. On that day the Angel Gabriel announced to the Blessed Virgin Mary that she was to be the Mother of God.

Jesus was born of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Christmas Day in Bethlehem, more than nineteen hundred years ago. Jesus had no human father, but St. Joseph was the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the guardian, or foster father, of Christ.

Jesus Christ is the Redeemer of the whole human race. He offered His suffering and death to God as a fitting sacrifice to make up for the sins of men. He regained for mankind the right to be children of God and heirs of heaven. This is what is meant by the Redemption.

The chief sufferings of Christ were His bitter agony of soul, His bloody sweat, His cruel scourging, His crowning with thorns, His crucifixion, and His death on the cross. Christ died on Good Friday, at a place called Golgotha, outside the city of Jerusalem. From the sufferings and death of Christ we learn God's love for man. We also learn the evil of sin for which God, who is all-just, demands such great satisfaction.

After He died the soul of Christ descended into limbo. There, the souls of the just were waiting for Him. Christ went to limbo to announce the joyful news that He had reopened heaven to mankind. While Christ's soul was in limbo, His body was in the holy sepulchre.

On Easter Sunday, the third day after His death, Christ rose from the dead, glorious and immortal. He rose from the dead to show that He is true God, and to teach us that we, too, shall rise from the dead. All men will rise from the dead, but only those who have been faithful to Christ will share in His glory.

Christ remained on earth forty days after His resurrection. He wished to prove that He had truly risen from the dead and to complete the instruction of the apostles. Christ ascended, body and soul, into heaven on Ascension Day. This was forty days after His resurrection.

The Apostles' Creed says that Christ sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty, from thence He will come to judge the living and the dead. This means that our Lord as God is equal to the Father. It means that as man He shares above all the saints in the glory of His Father and exercises for all eternity the supreme authority of a King over all creatures. It also means that on the last day our Lord will come to pronounce a sentence of eternal reward or eternal punishment on every one who had ever lived in this world.

The Holy Ghost is God and the third Person of the Blessed Trinity. He is equal to the Father and the Son because He is God. The Holy Ghost sanctifies souls through the gift of grace. He dwells in the Church as the source of its life.

Grace is a supernatural gift of God bestowed on us through the merits of Jesus Christ for our salvation. There are two kinds of grace: sanctifying grace and actual grace.

Sanctifying grace is that grace which confers on our souls a new life that is, a sharing in the life of God Himself. The chief effects of sanctifying grace are: (1) It makes us holy and pleasing to God; (2) It makes us adopted children of God; (3) It makes us temples of the Holy Ghost; (4) It gives us the right to heaven. Sanctifying grace is necessary for salvation. It is the supernatural life which alone enables us to attain the supernatural happiness of heaven.

Actual grace is a supernatural help of God which enlightens our minds and strengthens our will to do good and to avoid evil. Unfortunately, we can resist the grace of God. Our will is free, and God does not force us to accept His grace. Actual grace is necessary for all who have attained the use of reason. Without it we cannot long resist the power of temptation nor perform other actions which merit a reward in heaven.

The principal ways of obtaining grace are prayer and the sacrament especially the Holy Eucharist. We can make our most ordinary actions merit a heavenly reward by doing them for the love of God and by keeping ourselves in the state of grace.

The chief supernatural power that are bestowed on our souls with sanctifying grace are the three theological virtues and seven gifts of the Holy Ghost.

The three theological virtues are faith, hope, and charity. They are called theological virtues because they are about God. Faith is the virtue by which we firmly believe all the truths God has revealed, on the word of God revealing them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived. Hope is the virtue by which we firmly trust that God, who is all-powerful and faithful to His promises, will in His mercy give us eternal happiness and the means to obtain it. Charity is the virtue by which we love God above all things for His own sake, and our neighbors as ourselves for the love of God.

The seven gifts of the Holy Ghost are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. These gifts help us by making us more alert to discern and more ready to do the will of God. Some of the effects in us of the gifts of the Holy Ghost are the twelve fruits of the Holy Ghost ( charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, long-suffering, mildness, faith, modesty, continency, and chastity), and the eight beatitudes.

Besides the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity, there are other virtues called moral virtues. They are called moral virtues because they help us to lead moral, or good lives. They help us to treat persons and things in the right way, that is, according to the will of God. The chief moral virtues are prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. They are called cardinal virtues because they are like hinges on which hang all other moral virtues and our whole moral life. Some of the other moral virtues are: filial piety and patriotism, obedience, liberality, patience, humility, and chastity or purity.

The Church is the congregation of all baptized persons united in the same true faith, the same sacrifice, and the same sacraments, under the authority of the Sovereign Pontiff and the bishops in communion with him. Jesus Christ founded the Church to bring all men to eternal salvation.

The Church leads men to salvation by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost who gives it life. The Holy Ghost began to dwell in the Church on Pentecost Sunday. This was the day on which He came down upon the apostles in the form of tongues of fire. The Holy Ghost will dwell in the Church until the end of time. God the Father and God the Son sent the Holy Ghost to dwell in the Church. The indwelling of the Holy Ghost enables the Church to teach, to sanctify, and to rule the faithful in the name of Christ, its Divine Founder, who remains forever the invisible head of the Church.

Christ gave the power to teach, to sanctify, and to rule the members of His Church to the apostles, the first bishops of the Church. Christ intended that this power should be exercised also by their successors, the bishops of the Church. Christ made Saint Peter the head of the apostles and the chief teacher and ruler of the entire Church. Christ did not intend that the special power of chief teacher and ruler of the entire Church should be exercised by Saint Peter alone. He intended that this power should be passed down to his successor, the Bishop of Rome, who is the Vicar of Christ on earth and the visible head of the Church.

The priests, especially parish priests, assist the bishops in the care of souls. The laity of the Church are all its members who do not belong to the clerical or to the religious state. The laity can help the Church in her care for souls by leading lives that will reflect credit on the Church, and by cooperating with their bishops and priests.

The one true Church established by Christ is the Catholic Church. It alone has the marks of the true Church. Those marks of the Church are certain clear signs by which all men can recognize it as the true Church founded by Jesus Christ. The chief marks of the Church are four: It is one, holy, catholic or universal, and apostolic. We know that no other church has these four marks.

The chief attributes, or characteristics, of the Catholic Church are authority, infallibility, and indefectibility.

The members of the Catholic Church are united by supernatural bonds with one another and with Christ, their Head. In this way the Church resembles the members and head of the living human body and is called  the Mystical Body of Christ.

The union of the faithful on earth, the blessed in heaven, and the souls in purgatory, with Christ as their Head, is known as "the communion of saints." Through the communion of saints the blessed in heaven can help the souls in purgatory and the faithful on earth. They do this by praying for them. The faithful on earth, through the communion of saints, should honor the blessed in heaven and pray to them. The blessed in heaven are worthy of honor and, as friends of God, will help the faithful on earth. The faithful on earth, as members of the Mystical Body of Christ, can help one another. They can do so by practicing supernatural charity, especially by performing the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.
God has given to the Church, through Jesus Christ, the power to forgive sins, no matter how great or how many they are, if sinners truly repent. This is what is meant by the phrase "the forgiveness of sins" in the Apostle Creed.
" I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven ..."
" whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them ..."
At the end of the world the bodies of all men will rise from the earth. They will be united to their souls, and they will never be seperated again. The bodies of the just will share forever in the glory of their souls. The bodies of the dammed will share in the eternal punishment of their souls.

The body of the Blessed Virgin Mary was preserved from corruption. It was raised from the dead and taken into heaven. This is called the special privilege of her Assumption.

The judgment which will be passed on each one of us immediately after death is called the particular judgment. The rewards or punishments appointed for men after the particular judgment are heaven, purgatory, and hell.

The judgment which will be passed on all men immediately after the general resurrection is called the general judgment. The general judgment is passed that the justice, wisdom, and mercy of God may be glorified in the presence of all.

To be saved we must believe what God has revealed, and we must keep God's law. The two great commandments that contain the whole law of God are: (1) Thou shall love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and with thy whole strength; (2) Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself.

We lvoe God, our neighbor, and ourselves: (1) by keeping the commandments of God and the Church; (2) by performing the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. There are ten commandments of God, seven chief corporal works of mercy and seven chief spiritual works of mercy. We should not be sastified merely in keeping the commadments of God, but we should always be ready to do good deeds, even when they are not commanded. Everyone, however, is obliged to perform the works of mercy, according to his own ability and the need of his neighbor.


The first commandment of God is: I am the Lord thy God; thou shall not have strange gods before Me.

The first commandment requires us to offer to God alone the supreme worship that is due Him. We worship God by acts of faith, hope, and charity, and by adoring Him and praying to Him.

Faith obliges us: (1) to make efforts to find out what God has revealed; (2) to believe firmly what God has revealed; (3) to profess our faith openely whenever necessary. A Catholic sins against faith by infidelity, apostasy, heresy, indifferentism, and by taking part in non-Catholic worship.

Hope obliges us to trust firmly that God will give us eternal life and the means to obtain it. The sins against hope are presumption and despair.

Charity obliges us to love God above all things because He is infinitely good, and to love our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God. The chief sins against charity are hatred of God and of our neighbor, sloth, envy, and scandal.

In addition to sins against faith, hope, and charity, the first commandment forbids all superstition and sacrilege.

Apostasy: Complete rejection of the truths of the Catholic faith; heresy: rejection of one or more truths of the Catholic religion; indifferentism: a heresy which teaches that all religions are equally good; infidelity: lack of faith or disbelief in divinely revealed truths; sloth: laziness.

We honor our Mother. We honor the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God.

We honor the saints in heaven because they practiced great virtue when they were on earth. In honoring those who are the chosen friends of God, we honor God Himself.

We honor the saints (1) by imitating their holy lives; (2) by praying to them; (3) by showing respect to their relics and images. When we pray to the saints we ask them to offer their prayers to God for us. We know that the saints will pray for us because they are with God and have great love for us. We honor relics because they are the bodies of the saints or objects connected with the saints or with our Lord.

The first commandment forbids us to give honor to the saints that belongs to God alone. The first commandment forbids the making or the use of statues and pictures when they promote false worship. We should show respect to the pictures of those whom we honor or love on earth. We honor Christ and the saints when we pray before the crucifix, relics, and sacred images. We are honoring the persons they represent. We adore Christ, and we venerate the saints. We never pray to the crucifix or to the images and relics of the saints but to the persons they represent.

The second commandment requires us always to speak with reverence of God, of the saints, and of holy things. It also commands us to be truthful in our oaths and faithful to them and to our vows.

The third commandment requires us to worship God in a special manner on Sunday, the Lord's day. The Church commands us to worship God on Sunday by assisting at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. By the third commandment of God we are forbidden to do any unecessary servile Work on Sunday. Servile work is allowed on Sunday when the honor of God, our own need, or that of our neighbor requires it.

By the fourth commandment we are commanded to respect and love our parents, to obey them in all that is not sinful, and to help them when they are in need. Besides our parents the fourth commandment obliges us to respect and to obey all our lawful superiors. By this same commandment, parents and superiors are required to provide for the spiritual and bodily welfare of those under their care. The fourth commandment requires of us certain duties as citizens. A citizen must love his country, be sincerely interested in its welfare, and respect and obey its lawful authority.

By the fifth commandment we are commanded to take proper care of the spiritual and bodily well-being of ourselves and of our neighbor. This commandment forbids murder and suicide, and also fighting, anger, hatred, revenge, drunkenness, and bad example.

By the sixth commandment we are commanded to be pure and modest in our outward behavior. This commandment forbids all impurity in words, looks, and actions, wheter alone or with others.

The seventh commandment requires us to respect what belongs to others, to live up to our business agreements, and to pay our just debts. This commandment forbids all dishonesty such as: (1) stealing, (2) cheating, (3) unjust keeping of what belongs to others, (4) unjust damages to the property of others, and (5) the accepting of bribes by public officials.

The eighth commandment requires us to speak the truth in all things, but especially in what concerns the good name and honor of others. The eighth commandment forbids: (1) lies, (2) rash judgment, (3) detraction, (4) calumny, and (5) the telling of secrets we are bound to keep. A person who has sinned by distraction or calumny, or has told a secret he is bound to keep, must repair the harm he has done to his neighbor, as far as he is able.

The ninth commandment requires us to be pure in thought and in desire. Mere thoughts about impure things are not always sinful in themselves, but such thoughts are dangerous.

The tenth commandment forbids all desire to take or to keep unjustly what belongs to others. This commandment also forbids envy at the success of others.

( Still under construction. Thanks for your patience.)