This presentation is intended to provide the reader with some insight to the topic of the Blessed Virgin Mary as she is presented in various catechisms that have been produced over the past two decades and are tied in to the 1992 Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) in some way or another.
A Concise Catechism for Catholics
This short book provides “a compendium of the one and enduring apostolic faith which the Church has guarded and taught through centuries.” It uses the CCC as its principle reference and follows a question answer format which “facilitates memorization of basic doctrine.” It presents its information following the same order of presentation as found in the CCC.
This book does not have any single section where the subject of Mary is discussed. Rather, it presents Marian facets in isolated question and answers. These questions specifically deal with the following Marian points: Mary’s preservation from original sin and her Immaculate Conception, the Marian dogmas, Mary as the Mother of the Church, prayer to Mary and Mary’s merits.
A Summary of the New Catholic
This small book is a presentation of a summary of the CCC with special attention to the American Catholic culture. It is comprised of the same four sections that make up the CCC; The Profession of Faith, The Celebration of the Christian Mystery, Life in Christ, and Christian Prayer.
It deals with the subject of Mary in the first section and there is an actual line in the table of contents which pertains solely to Mary. This section presents Mary as the Mother of the Church and its preeminent member. It mentions a few more titles of Mary and then briefly mentions the four Marian dogmas. It comments on the great devotion to Mary that has grown over the years and concludes with a reference to Mary as the new Eve.
The Seeker’s Catechism:
The Basics of Catholicism
Another small book, The Seeker’s Catechism, is a simplified condensation of a larger work by the same author entitled This Is Our Faith, in which the author presents a longer summary of the Catholic faith. This new book incorporates teachings of the CCC as well as some documents of Vatican II and some recent encyclicals. The book is loosely arranged according to the order of topics as found in the CCC. Its information is presented in a question answer format similar to the Baltimore Catechism.
This book addresses the topic of Mary in the chapter: The Communion of Saints and Our Blessed Mother. This chapter describes Mary’s role as a special one in salvation history and says that Mary is the greatest Christian saint of all, the perfect model of Christian faith. It mentions several of her titles and briefly discusses the Marian dogmas. The chapter finishes with a quick look at why Mary is venerated and then gives a brief exploration of the Rosary.
Exploring the Catechism
This book differs from some of the others in that it does not try to present a condensed version of the CCC. Rather, it provides a broader view. It briefly explores the development and history of catechisms to help show the roots of the CCC. It then provides general observations in the form of section overviews i.e., it offers some general summaries of each of the four sections of the CCC.
It mentions Mary only briefly when it discuss the Incarnation. It makes mention of the CCC’s discussion of Mary’s predestination as Virgin Mother and God bearer and shows how the CCC “relates Mary’s life of faith to the earthly life of Jesus.”
Living the Catechism of the
This four-volume set dedicates one volume each to the four main parts of the CCC. It is essentially a compilation of Schonborn’s weekly articles from the Vienna Catholic newspaper on “Essential Elements of the Faith” with the CCC as the main point of reference.
Mary appears explicitly in Volume One – The Creed, under the section: Mary - Mother of the Church, and again in Volume Four – Paths of Prayer, under the sections: Mary - the Woman of Prayer Who Intercedes, and, Pray with Mary; and to her also(?)
The Splendour of Doctrine:
The Catechism of the Catholic Church on Christian Believing
Nichols is principally interested in the first section of the CCC which discusses the Creed and as such, his book deals almost exclusively with this topic. A unique feature of this book, in contrast with the others mentioned in this presentation, is that the book consists of four principle chapters and is more of a discussion/commentary on the material of the CCC. Whereas the other books, for the most part, are divided into many chapters and each chapter is divided into many sections and parts, Nichols’ book is not.
The topic of Mary is found in the last two chapters as can be seen below.
Chapter V – Professing the Faith: The Creed on the Sonbring to
Chapter VI – Professing the Faith: The Creed on the Holy Spirit
This is Our Faith:
A Catholic Catechism for Adults
The author wrote this book for “those who are approaching the Catholic community for the first time.” He structured the book according to the structure of the CCC. The material is presented in a question and answer format.
Mary is covered in the section that deals with the communion of saints. It deals with Mary’s role in the Church, some of her titles, the Marian dogmas, veneration for Mary, the Rosary and some other Marian devotions. It also briefly explores what we can learn about prayer from Mary.
A Concise Catholic Catechism
This book is divided into four parts that loosely follow the CCC. It “summarizes in 450 paragraphs the key doctrines contained in the 2685 paragraphs of the CCC.” “It does not go into theological nuances or great detail, but provides a succinct outline of Catholic belief.”
Mary is found in the first part of the book that deals with the profession of faith under that portion of the creed that deals with Jesus’ conception and birth. In this section we see that Mary conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and that she is; virgin, the Mother of God, and the Immaculate Conception but there is no mention of her Assumption. She is also mentioned in part four, the section on prayer, where praying with Mary and the Hail Mary are discussed.
Compendium of the Catechism
of the Catholic Church
The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCCC) is arranged in a question and answer format and follows the CCC’s order of presentation. It relies almost exclusively on quotes from the CCC to answer each of its nearly 600 questions.
The topic of Mary arises in several places which correspond to the same sections where Mary appears in the CCC. Some of the main points it makes with regard to Mary are as follows.
United States Catholic Catechism
This is an adaptation of the CCC and is intended for adult Catholics living in the United States, whether Latin or Eastern. It is organized according to the same four part structure of the CCC although it presents its material in a different manner which includes stories, teachings, sidebars, cultural references, questions and answers, doctrine and prayer.
Mary is covered quite extensively as can be seen below.
Part I. The Creed: The Faith Professed
The Faith Pilgrimage
Chapter 9 – Receive the Holy Spirit 
Chapter 12 - Mary: The Church's First and Most Perfect Member [141-149]
“Blessed are you among Women”
Mary as Mother of the Church
Part II. The Sacraments: The Faith Celebrated
Chapter 17 – The Eucharist: Source and Summit of Christian Life 
Chapter 22 – Sacramentals and Popular Devotions
Part III. Christian Morality: The Faith Lived
Chapter 34 - The Tenth Commandment: Embrace Poverty of Spirit 
Part IV. Prayer: The Faith Prayed
–Fr. John Fletcher
A Concise Catholic Catechism
A Summary of the New Catholic Catechism
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Compendium: Catechism of the Catholic Church
Exploring the Catechism of the Catholic Church
Living the Catechism of the Catholic Church: A Brief Commentary on the Catechism for Every Week of the Year
The Seeker's Catechism: The Basics of Catholicism Presented in Light of the New Catechism of the Catholic Church
The Splendour of Doctrine: The Catechism of the Catholic Church on Christian Believing
Is Our Faith: a Catholic Catechism for Adults
United States Catholic Catechism for Adults
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