Previously called the Roman Catechism, The Catechism of the Council of Trent is considered by many to be the most important Catholic catechism. Although originally designed as a resource for parish priests to provide instruction, it is now used extensively by laypeople as a source of core Catholic theology. It contains the basic tenets of the Catholic faith, providing clear explanations of what is necessary for salvation. It also includes material on the Ten Commandments, the Apostles Creed, the Sacraments, and more.
The Council of Trent commissioned the first Church-wide catechism, finished in 1564. The Council dealt with the growing concern in the Church over the Protestant Reformation, and recognized the need for a document to teach the basics of the Catholic faith. The first English translation of the catechism was completed in 1839.
Every Catholic home should have this important catechism about the Holy Catholic Faith as it was reaffirmed by the present Holy Father, Benedict XVI, to be an important Catholic catechism.
Sylvester Joseph Hunter (1829-1896) was born in Bath, and his family moved to London shortly thereafter. He attended St. Paul’s School before enrolling at Trinity College, Cambridge. He graduated in 1852 and began practicing law, publishing two legal textbooks. In 1857, Hunter converted to Catholicism, following his two sisters into the church. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1861 and was ordained as a priest in 1870. Hunter quickly became a respected writer and scholar, earning a teaching post at Stonyhurst College. He also began training Jesuit priests in 1875, and was appointed as Rector of St. Beuno’s College. Sylvester Joseph Hunter died only two years after the first edition of his 3-volume Outlines of Dogmatic Theology was published.