During the nineteenth century, there were repeated efforts in the United States to make a uniform textbook of Christian doctrine that all Catholics might be able to use. In 1829, the bishops assembled in the First Provincial Council of Baltimore to discuss the matter. They recommended using St. Bellarmine's catechism as a model. Finally, in the Third Plenary Council (1884) the Baltimore catechism in its present form took shape. In this first volume (No. 1), 33 lessons present the basics of the Catholic faith in a manner suitable for first communicants through fifth graders. There are also prayers given for suitable occasions in addition to the Rosary. The source text for this work is: A catechism of Christian doctrine: prepared and enjoined by order of the Third plenary council of Baltimore; with word meanings before each chapter, Baltimore: [PJ Kenedy], 1885, John Lancaster Spalding (1840-1916). To this text, illustrations have been added which help to illuminate the personages and topics referred to.