English Manual Catechism

I. GOD

1. Who made you?
God made me.
2. Why did God make you?
God made me to know Him, to love Him and to serve Him, and by that means, to be happy with Him for ever in heaven.
3. What is God?
God is a spirit, eternal, infinitely good, all powerful; He sees all things.
4. Why do you say that God is a Spirit?
Because God has no body.
5. Why do you say God is eternal?
Because God ever was and ever will be.
6. Why do you say God is infinitely good?
Because all good is in God: he is supremely good above all things.
7. Why do you, say God sees all things?
Because God sees all things past, present and to come, and even what we conceal in our hearts.
8. Where is God?
God is everywhere.

II. TRINITY

9. Are there several Gods?
No, there is but one God.
10. Are there several persons in God?
Yes, there are three persons in God; the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost: this is called the Blessed Trinity.
11. What is the Blessed Trinity?
The Blessed Trinity is one God in three persons.
12. Is the Father God?
Yes, the Father is God.
13. Is the Son God?
Yes, the son is God.
14. Is the Holy Ghost God?
Yes, the Holy Ghost is God.
15. Are the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost three Gods?
No, they are three persons, but one God.
16. Why are the three Persons only one God?
Because the three Persons are equal in all things.
17. Which of the three Persons is the best, the oldest, the most powerful?
None; the three persons are equal in all things.
18. Do the three persons differ from each other?
Yes, they differ: the one is not the other.

III. JESUS CHRIST

19. Did one of the three Persons become man?
Yes, one of the three Persons became man.
20. Which of the three Persons became man?
God the Son.
21. How did God the Son become man?
God the Son became man by taking a body and Soul like ours.
22. Whence did the Son of God take his body?
The Son of God took his body from the Womb of the Virgin Mary by the operation of the Holy Ghost.
23. Did the Son of God, become man, cease to be God?
No; the Son of God is now God and man.
24. Why did the Son of God become man?
The Son of God became man to save us from evil and to give us life everlasting.
25. What is the name of the Son of God made man?
Jesus Christ is the name of the Son of God made man.
26. Who is Jesus Christ?
Jesus Christ is the Son of God made man.
27. How did Jesus Christ redeem us?
Jesus Christ redeemed us by dying on the Cross.
28. Did Jesus Christ rise again from the dead?
Yes, the third day Jesus Christ came to life again.
29. Did Jesus Christ remain long here on earth after His Resurrection?
No: He remained here on earth only forty days, and then went into Heaven.
30. Will Jesus Christ come on earth again?
Yes: Jesus Christ will come on earth again on the last day, to judge the living and the dead.
31. What will our Lord Jesus Christ then do?
He will take the good to Heaven; He will cast the wicked into everlasting fire.

IV. THE CHURCH

32. Who will teach men the doctrine of Jesus Christ and show to them the way to heaven?
Those Whom Jesus Christ elected to establish and maintain His Church.
33. What is the Church?
The Church is the society of all who believe and obey those whom Jesus Christ has elected to teach his doctrine, and show to men the way to Heaven.
34. Who are those whom Jesus Christ has elected, to preside over His Church?
They are the Pope, the Bishops and the Priests.
35. Did Jesus Christ establish several Churches?
No: Jesus Christ established only one Church, out of which there is no Salvation.
36. Which is the true Church of Christ?
The Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church.
37. Who is the head of the Church of Christ?
Jesus Christ is the head that we do not see, and the Pope is the head that we see.
38. Is the Church always right in what she teaches us?
Yes: the Church is always right in what she teaches us, because the Holy Ghost directs her that she may not err.
39. Does he commit a great sin, he who rejects the teaching of the Church?
He who rejects the teaching of the Church commits a sin of pride, which is called heresy; and which leads to Hell.

V. THE CREED

40. What must we do to go to Heaven?
We must act as good children of God.
41. Who is a good child of God?
He who is baptized, and believes and acts according to the true word of God.
42. Where is what we are to believe?
What we are to believe is in the Apostles’ Creed.
43. Say the Apostles’ Creed.
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting, Amen.
44. Do you believe all that is contained in the Apostles’ Creed?
Yes, I believe all that, is contained in the Apostles’ Creed, because in Baptism God gave me faith to believe what he has revealed.

VI. THE SIGN OF THE CROSS

45. By what do we recognize the children of God?
By the sign of the Cross.
46. How do you make the Sign of the Cross?
I sign the forehead, then the breast, then the left shoulder, then the right, and say: “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.”
47. What do you remember when you make the Sign of Cross.
I remember the Blessed Trinity, and Jesus Christ dying on the Cross.
48. How do you remember the Blessed Trinity?
Because I name the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
49. How do you remember the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross?
Because I form on myself the Cross on which Jesus Christ died.
50. When shall we make the Sign of the Cross.
Always when we pray, and when we do anything, and when we are tempted to do any evil.
51. Why do we make the Sign of the Cross before we pray or do anything?
To offer our prayer and our work to God, and that He may help us to do them well.
52. Why do we make the Sign of the Cross when we are incited to do evil?
To ask God to help us not to do evil.

VII. THE COMMANDMENTS

53. Where do we find what God wants us to do?
In the Ten Commandments of God.
54. How shall we keep exactly the Ten Commandments of God?
We shall keep exactly the Ten Commandments of God if we love God with all our hearts, and our neighbor as ourselves.
55. And what about the precepts of the Church?
God wants us to obey the precepts of the Church.
56. Say the precepts of the Church.
1. You shall attend Mass on Sundays and on holy days of obligation and rest from servile labor.
2. You shall confess your sins at least once a year.
3. You shall receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season.
4. You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church.
You shall help to provide for the needs of the Church.

VIII. PRAYER

57. Are we able alone to do what God commands?
No: we must have the help of God.
58. What must we do to obtain the help of God?
We must pray and receive the Sacraments.
59. Which is the best among all prayers?
That prayer which Jesus Christ taught us, and which is called “The Lord’s Prayer.”
60. Recite this prayer.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen
61. Which is the second, prayer which we must know?
The Salutation of the Angel in which we speak to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ.
62. Recite that prayer.
Hail Mary, full of grace! the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

IX. SIN

65. What is sin?
To disobey God, that is called sin.
64. How many kinds of sin are there?
Two. One, original sin, that is in our hearts when we are born; the other, actual sin, that we commit ourselves.
65. Which is that sin that is in our hearts when we are born?
It is that sin which Adam committed when lie disobeyed God.
66. And, which is that sin which we commit ourselves?
It is that which we commit when of our own accord we disobey God.
67. How many kinds of actual sin are there?
There are two kinds of actual sin: one giving death, mortal; one not giving death, venial.
68. What does mortal sin do to us?
It separates us from God, kills our souls, and subjects them to the punishment of Hell.
69. How many mortal sins will lead us to hell?
A single mortal sin will send us to hell, if it is not forgiven before we die.
70. What does venial sin do to us?
It lessons the love of God in our hearts, and makes us less worthy of his help.
71. In how many ways do we commit sin?
In four ways; in thought, word, deed and omission.
72. How many capital sins are there?
Seven: pride, coveteousness, lust, envy, gluttony, anger and sloth.

X. BAPTISM

73. Why did Jesus Christ institute the seven sacraments?
Jesus Christ instituted the seven sacraments to sanctify our souls.
74. Name the seven sacraments?
Baptism, confirmation, holy Eucharist, penance, extreme unction, holy orders and matrimony.
75. What is Baptism?
Baptism is a sacrament which cleanses us from original sin, and from the other sins we committed before baptism; audit makes us children of God and of the Church.
76. Is baptism necessary to salvation?
Baptism is necessary to salvation, because without It we cannot enter into the kingdom of Heaven.
77. Who can administer baptism?
The priest is the ordinary minister of baptism; but in case of necessity any one who has the use of reason may baptize.
78. How is baptism given?
Whoever baptizes should pour water on the head of the person to be baptized, and say, while pouring the water, “I baptize thee, in the name of the Father, and of the Son. and of the Holy Ghost.”
79. What dispositions are required in adults for baptism?
They must know and believe what God has revealed us; they must be sorry for all their sins, and they must be determined to live forever as true Christians.
80. What do we renounce at baptism?
We renounce three things: we renounce the devil, his works and his pomps.

XI. CONFIRMATION

81. What is confirmation?
Confirmation is a sacrament through which we receive the Holy Ghost to make us strong and perfect Christians, and soldiers of Jesus Christ.
82. Who administers confirmation?
The Bishop alone administers confirmation.
83. How does the Bishop give confirmation?
The Bishop extends his hands over those who are to be confirmed, prays that they may receive the Holy Ghost, and anoints the forehead of each with Holy Chrism in the form of a cross, and then gives a slight blow on the cheek.
84 What preparation should be made to receive confirmation?
To receive confirmation one must be in the state of grace; must know and believe in the chief mysteries of Faith, and the duties of a Christian, and must yearn for the coming of the Holy Ghost in his heart.

XII. HOLY EUCHARIST

85. What is Holy Eucharist?
Holy Eucharist is a sacrament which contains the body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ.
86. Who instituted the Holy Eucharist?
Jesus Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist at the last supper, the night before He died.
87. How did Jesus Christ institute the Holy Eucharist?
At the Last Supper, Jesus Christ took bread, blessed it, and gave it to His Apostles, saying, “Take ye and eat. This is my body; ” then he took the Chalice in which he poured some wine, blessed it, and gave it to His Apostles, saying to them, “Take and drink ye all of this. This is my blood. Do this lor a commemoration of me.”
88. What happened when Jesus Christ said, This is my body, This is my blood?
When Jesus Christ said This is my body, the substance of the bread was changed into the substance of his body; when He said, This is my blood, the substance of the wine was changed into the substance of His blood.
89. When Jesus Christ changed the substance of bread and wine into the substance of His body and blood, did the substance of bread and wine disappear?
When Jesus Christ changed the substance of bread and wine into the substance of His body and blood, there remained only the appearances, that is the figure, color and taste of bread and wine.
90. When Jesus Christ broke what he had changed into the substance of His body, was His body also broken?
When Jesus Christ broke what He had changed into the substance of His body, His body was not broken, only the appearances of bread were broken.
91. When Jesus Christ changed the bread into His body, was there only His body under the appearances of bread?
When Jesus Christ changed the bread into His body, Jesus Christ was whole and entire under the form of bread, His body. His blood, His soul and His divinity.
92. Why did Jesus Christ institute the Holy Eucharist?
Jesus Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist to continue the sacrifice of the Cross, where He atoned for our sins, and to nourish our souls.
93. Where now is the substance of bread and wine changed into the substance of the body and blood of Christ?
At Mass the priest changes the substance of bread and wine into the substance of the body and blood of Christ through the power he received from Christ.
94. Has Mass, then, a great power with God?
Yes, Mass is the most powerful of all prayers; at Mass we duly adore God, we duly thank Him, we duly satisfy for our sins, and we obtain from God all graces and blessings.
95. Does Mass help the souls in purgatory?
Yes, Mass is very profitable to the souls in purgatory.
96. Why do you say Jesus Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist to nourish our souls?
Because Jesus Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist to increase sanctifying grace and all virtues in our souls, to lesson our evil inclinations, to unite us with Himself.
97. Do all who make Holy Communion receive the same graces?
Those only who receive Holy Communion with the due dispositions receive those graces. Those who make Holy Communion without the due dispositions, do not receive those graces, and commit a great sacrilege.
98. How shall we prepare to receive Holy Communion?
To receive Holy Communion we must be well prepared in soul and body.
99. How shall we prepare our soul?
By purifying our soul from all sins in a good confession, and by kindling in our hearts an ardent love for Jesus Christ.
100. How shall we kindle in our hearts an ardent love for Jesus Christ?
By acts of a lively faith, of firm hope and ardent love: by fervent contrition and firm purpose to sin no more, and by a burning desire to receive Jesus Christ in Holy Communion.
101. How shall we prepare our body?
We must abstain from midnight from everything which is taken as food or drink, we must have our body clean and decently dressed, like persons who are invited to the presence of a great king.
102. What should we do after Holy Communion?
After Holy Communion we should solely think of Jesus Christ present in our hearts. After Mass we should not leave the church with the people who did no receive : we should remain some time to entertains Jesus Christ.
103. How shall we entertain Jesus Christ after Holy Communion?
We must adore Him present in our hearts; we must thank him for all His blessings; we must ask Him to help us to persevere in His grace; we must renew our resolution to resist all temptations, and to avoid all occasions of sin; we must offer Him our heart, body and soul, to be consecrated entirely to His service; then we pray for the living and the dead.
104. Is it good to desire to receive Holy Communion when we cannot actually receive it?
Yes, it is very good to desire to receive Holy Communion when we cannot actually receive it. Jesus Christ answers our desire by coming to us and by pouring abundant graces in our hearts.

XIII. PENANCE

105. What do you do when you want to receive the Sacrament of Penance?
When I want to receive the Sacrament of Penance, I do five things;

1st. I examine my conscience;
2nd. I excite myself to contrition and firm purpose;
3rd. I confess my sins to the Priest;
4th. I receive absolution;
5th. I perform the Penance of Satisfaction imposed by the Priest.
106. What do you do when you want to examine your conscience?
When I want to examine my conscience, I repair to the Church, where I kneel down, and after making the Sign of the Cross, I pray to God to enlighten my soul that I may know my sins.
107. How do you examine your conscience?
To examine my conscience, I first re-pass in my mind all the places where I have been since my last Confession; then I examine myself on the Ten Commandments of God, the Precepts of the Church, the Seven Capital Sins, and the duties of my state; last of all I find out how many times I committed each of my sins.
108. After you have examined your conscience what do you do?
After I have examined my conscience, I excite myself to a lively contrition of my sins, and to a firm purpose to sin no more.
109. What do you do to excite yourself to a lively contrition and to a firm purpose?
To excite myself to a lively contrition of my sins, and to a firm purpose to sin no more:

1st. I pray God to grant me the grace of contrition and firm purpose;
2nd. I consider heaven which I have lost by my sins;
3rd. I consider hell, which I have deserved;
4th. I consider the goodness of God whom I have offended;
5th. I consider the sufferings of Jesus Christ, and His death upon the Cross, caused by my sins, then I say the act of contrition, and I recite the Confiteor.
110. How do you confess your sins to the Priest?
I kneel down by the side of the Priest, and after making the Sign of the Cross, I say: “Bless me Father, for I have sinned. I confess to Almighty God and to you Father.” Then I tell the Priest how long it is since my last confession, whether or not I received absolution and performed my penance, then I confess my sins.
111. After confessing all your sins what do you say?
After confessing all my sins, I say: “For these and all the other sins I do not remember, and all the sins of my past life, I am heartily sorry, and humbly ask pardon of God, and of you Father, penance and absolution.”
112. What do you do when the Priest speaks to you in confession?
I answer simply and clearly all his questions; I listen in silence, with great attention and respect to his advice and directions; I see what penance he imposes upon me, and whether or not he gives me absolution.
113. What do you do when the Priest gives you absolution?
When the priest gives me absolution I bow down my head, I recite the act of contrition, and make the Sign of the Cross.
114. What do you do when the Priest tells you “Go in peace and pray for me?”
I go and kneel down at some distance, where I return thanks to God; I renew my resolution to resist the temptations and avoid all occasions of sin; I remember what advice the Priest gave me, and how I am to conform myself to it; I ask God to Help me with His grace; then I make the penance the Priest imposed upon me; I then leave the Church, and keep myself for some time yet in recollection.
115. What in the absolution which the Priest gives at confession?
Through the power which he received from Christ, the Priest gives me absolution, by which my sins are forgiven, my soul is healed, and the grace of God is conferred upon me.
116. Does the Priest always give absolution?
The Priest cannot always give absolution; only to those whom he sees well disposed does he give absolution; but to those whom he does not consider well disposed he cannot give absolution; he dismisses them with His blessing.
117. What do you do when the Priest does not give you absolution?
When the Priest does not give me absolution, I excite myself to a greater sorrow for my sins, and I follow the advice the Priest gives me, that I may soon enter into the true dispositions required to receive absolution.
118. Is it a great sin to conceal a mortal sin in confession?
Yes, It is a great sin to conceal a mortal sin in confession; the confession becomes null, and the sins that have been confessed are not forgiven. All subsequent confessions are also null, and the sins are not forgiven, until the mortal sin which has been concealed, has been confessed, as well as the number of confessions made since the sin was concealed, which confessions must be all made over again.
119. Is it a sin to neglect to diligently examine one’s conscience before confession?
Yes, it is a sin to neglect to diligently examine one’s conscience before confession; it is a contempt of the Sacrament of Penance, it exposes one to omit sins in confession, in which case it is equal to the concealing of one’s sins in confession.
120. Is it a great sin not to excite oneself to true contrition and firm purpose of amendment?
Yes, it is a great sin not to excite one elf to contrition and to firm purpose of amendment, and to avoid the occasions of sin; it is a sin of contempt of the Sacrament of Penance. It is equal to the concealing of one’s sins in confession.
121. What do you do if you forget a sin in your confession?
If I forget a sin in confession without any fault of mine, it is forgiven with the other sins which have been told in confession, but I confess it to the Priest in my next confession.
122. Does the Priest make known to anybody what he hears in confession?
The priest can tell nobody what he hears in confession; he must keep it an inviolable secret.
123. What is that penance which the Priest gives you when you go to confession?
That penance is sacred which the Priest gives me in confession; we should not forget that it is a sin to neglect it, but we should be anxious to perform it as soon as possible, and in the manner prescribed by the Priest.
124. Why does the Priest impose a penance in confession?
The Priest imposes a penance in confession as an atonement for our sins. God wants it; it is the will of God that we should atone for all our sins.
125. What becomes after death of those who have not fully atoned for their sins in this world?
When those who have not fully atoned for their sins in this world die, they go to Purgatory, where they finish the atonement for their sins.
126. Will they remain forever in Purgatory?
They will not remain forever in Purgatory. When they will have completed the atonement for their sins they will go to Heaven.

XIV. EXTREME UNCTION

127. What is Extreme Unction?
Extreme Unction is a sacrament instituted for the spiritual and corporal relief of the sick in danger of death.
128. What are the effects of Extreme Unction on the soul?
Extreme Unction cleanses the soul from the effects of sin, and strengthens it against the last assaults of the devil.
129. What are the effects of Extreme Unction on the body?
It soothes the pain of the patients, and restores them to health, if it be expedient for their salvation.
130. How should we prepare for Extreme Unction?
We should be truly sorry for our sins, and make a good confession, if it be possible.
131. How does the Priest administer Extreme Unction?
The Priest anoints with the Holy Oil of the Sick, the eyes, ears, nostrils, mouth, hands and feet of the person in danger of death, asking God to remit him the sins which he may have committed through each of those senses.

XV. HOLY ORDERS

132. What is Holy Orders?
Holy Orders is a Sacrament by which Priests are ordained, and receive the power and grace to dispense the Word of God and administer the Sacraments, and perform their other sacred duties.
133. When did Jesus Christ institute Holy Orders?
When He instituted the Holy Eucharist, Jesus Christ instituted, also, Holy Orders when He said, “Do this in commemoration of We.”
134. Who confers the Sacrament of Holy Orders?
Only the Pope and Bishops confer the Sacrament of Holy Orders.
135. How does a man become a Priest?
He receives the Sacrament of Holy Orders at the hands of the Bishop; there he receives the power and grace to dispense the Word of God and administer the Sacraments.

XVI. MATRIMONY

136. What is Matrimony?
Matrimony is a Sacrament which sanctifies the union of man and woman.
137. What are the effects of the Sacrament of Matrimony?
The effects of the Sacrament of Matrimony are –

1st. To sanctify the love of husband and wife;
2nd. To give them grace to bear with each other’s weaknesses;
3rd. To enable them to bring up their children in the fear and love of God.
138. What should young people do in order to make a good marriage?
They should first pray to God to find their proper consorts; they should also consult their parents.
139. How should parents act when they know their children’s intentions?
They should consult the will of God and advise their children in accordance with that divine will.
140. What does God forbid to parents in regard to their children’s marriage?
God expressly forbids parents to sell their children in Matrimony; to prevent them, unreasonably, from marrying the party they have chosen, and to compel them to marry another party against their will.
141. When a couple have agreed to get married, what shall they do?
They must not live together until they are married before the Priest; their banns should be published on three consecutive Sundays; they should duly prepare for marriage by learning all their prayers and the Catechism.
142. Does the Church forbid marriage between certain persons?
Yes; the Church forbids marriage between certain person who are prevented from marrying by some impediments.

– taken from the book English Manual, or Prayers and Catechism in English Typography; it has the Imprimatur of Bishop Pierre-Paul Durieu, D.D., O.M.I., Diocese of New Westminster, British Columbia, 30 November 1896