The Catholic Catechism

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (2nd ed. New York: Doubleday, 2003), produced by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). They have also made available an online e-book.

A Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church was published in 2005, with an introduction by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, shortly before he became pope.

Papal Writings on Catechesis

Pope John Paul II, On Catechesis in Our Time (Catechesis Tradendae) – the pope's Apostolic Exhortation on catechesis, delivered in October 1979. 

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI), Gospel, Catechesis, Catechism: Sidelights on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Ignatius, 1995). 

  • "The main purpose of this book is to offer an invitation to this changed approach to the Catechism. He wants people to see, as he shows here, how the Catechism is an excellent teaching tool that responds to man's deepest questions about the meaning of life, how to live a good life, and how to attain happiness in this life and in eternal life. He shows how the Catechism affirms that man's happiness is love, and that the essence of true love has been manifested in the Person of Jesus Christ." Publisher description.

Additional Resources and Writings

The Archdiocese of New York has a helpful list of catechetical resources around the Web.

More information and texts on catechesis can be found on USCCB's website.

The National Conference for Catechetical Leadership is a ministry devoted to resourcing Roman Catholic catechesis. 

Timothy O'Malley of the McGrath Institute at Notre Dame has posted a theological defense of why we need to learn how to teach catechesis. As he puts it: "An introduction to catechetical theology is thus forming burgeoning leaders in the field of catechesis in a theological-pedagogical aesthetics and dramatics." 

TeamRCIA is an online community of catechists, which gathers resources for catechesis and provides a platform for connecting with other catechists.

The Catechetical Review is an international quarterly catechetical journal primarily written for Directors of Religious Education, catechetical leaders, religious educators, youth ministers, RCIA coordinators and anyone involved in faith formation. 

Catechist Magazine is issued seven times per year and offers resources, articles, tips, and teaching ideas for parish catechists.


A small sampling of many Roman Catholic works include:

The Catechetical Instructions of St. Thomas Aquinas, trans. Joseph P. Collins (Veritatis Splendor, 2012)

The Companion to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Ignatius, 1994).

Martin Connell, The Catechetical Documents: A Parish Resource (Liturgy Training, 2007).

Pierre de Cointet, Barbara Morgan, and Petroc Willey,  The Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Craft of Catechesis (Ignatius, 2008).

Liam Kelly, Catechesis Revisited: Handing on Faith Today (New York: Paulist Press, 2000).

USCCB Congregation for the Clergy, General Directory for Catechesis (Washington, DC, 1998).

USCCB Congregation for the Clergy, the National Directory for Catechesis (Washington, DC, 2005). 

Nick Wagner, Field Hospital Catechesis : The Core Content for RCIA Formation Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2018).