The new Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a 200-page synthesis of the 1992 catechism, will be available starting March 31 from the publishing office of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
USCCB Publishing will launch the compendium in English and Spanish at the 2006 Los Angeles Religious Education Congress. The annual congress gathers more than 30,000 parish and diocesan leaders in faith education, liturgy and youth ministry.
The compendium consists of 598 questions and answers, a format similar to the very popular Baltimore Catechism, which was a standard text in many Catholic parishes and schools, from 1885 to the 1960s.
Msgr. Daniel Kutys, USCCB deputy secretary for catechesis, said the compendium was initially developed for the purpose of catechizing teens and young adults. However, “the bishops on the Catechism Committee have recommended that the text be used as a standard reference companion to which teachers and catechists refer their students in much the same way that they use Bibles for instruction,” he said.
The compendium is structured in four parts, like the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The text has some direct quotes from the catechism used as sidebars, but the questions and answers are original text.
In addition to the questions and answers, the compendium also includes two appendices. The first is a list of Catholic prayers. The second appendix contains “Formulas of Catholic Doctrine,” including the Ten Commandments, Beatitudes, theological and cardinal virtues, and spiritual and corporal works of mercy. Fourteen masterpieces of Christian art are also reproduced in the text.
The paperback version is available in English for$14.95. The hardcover will be available in English and Spanish for $24.95. To order, go to: www.usccbpublishing.org.