The Catechism of the Catholic Church: A Reference Document or Must-Read Book?

Many Catholics have read the Bible, or at least part of it, at some point during their lives. And this is to be expected. After all, it is the most important book in the Catholic Church! It contains the story of our salvation and reveals the life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

However, there is another remarkable book that often goes unnoticed—the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Though it is the 2nd most important book in the Church, many Catholics have never read it and see it more as a reference book than something they should sit down and read. Is this a fair assumption or are many Catholics missing out on an invaluable gift from God?

30 years ago, St. John Paul II approved a book containing the newest official presentation of the Catholic Church’s teachings in more than 400 years. Drawing from 2,000 years of Church history, the writings of over 50 saints, and almost every book of the Bible, a group of Cardinals and bishops spent 5 years ensuring that it faithfully recorded God's Divine Revelation while presenting all Catholics with a single text to understand what the Universal Church believes.

This book was the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

The Catechism is a magnificent work of the Catholic Church that draws all of its wisdom from the Word of God and Sacred Tradition. By reading it, Catholics gain access to the key truths of the Catholic Faith, the essentials of Catholic belief, all in one place.

Understanding what we believe and why has the power to transform our lives as we no longer go through the motions but discover how to live out God’s plan of sheer goodness for our lives.


This is treasure

“I was a lapsed Catholic, feeling confused about what I believed. For the past two months I've been faithfully listening/reading the Catechism, and it has guided me back to full communion with the Catholic Church, and to a full appreciation of what a TREASURE the Catholic Faith is. I feel like the man who found a treasure in the field and bought the whole field for joy. I get it now!

—Ellen O.


A Must Read for All Christians

“I am very pleased with the Catechism. I have been remiss in reading the second most important book to our Faith. It is so important to understand the proper context and an accurate account of the history offered by the Holy Fathers responsible for proceeding with the teachings of Christ. My only regret is waiting so long to seek a more wholesome understanding!”

—John M.


Spectacular book on our Faith

“I have used the Catechism on occasion to look up information about my Catholic beliefs but have never read it from beginning to end. I didn't know quite what to expect but reading it along with the CIY podcast has been amazing, enlightening, beautiful, fulfilling, reassuring, and so much more! The book itself is beautiful, easy to read and use, and will be a volume I will treasure forever.”


The Catechism is organized according to 4 pillars, or parts, that each answer foundational questions about the Catholic Faith and human existence. They present what the Catholic Church believes and how individual Catholics are called to live, worship, and pray on earth to spend eternity with God in heaven.

Click to expand the 4 pillars below to discover what wisdom they contain and why this timeless knowledge is essential for Catholics to read and understand.

Pillar 1: What We Believe

Part 1: The Profession of Faith

The first part, What We Believe, leads Catholics through divine revelation and the Creed, explaining what the Catholic Church teaches and how these teachings have been revealed over time.

Understanding what we believe as Catholics helps all believers integrate the Catholic Faith more fully into their daily lives and share the truth and beauty of this Faith with others.

Pillar 2: How We Worship

Part 2: The Celebration of the Christian Mystery

The second part, How We Worship, shows us how the sacraments and the Mass praise God and how he has asked us to worship him.

Understanding how we worship as Catholics helps all believers participate more fully in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the 7 sacraments of Initiation, Healing, and Service.

Pillar 3: How We Live

Part 3: Life in Christ

The third part, How We Live, presents the Ten Commandments, human dignity, faithful community, and salvation, showing us how to live to attain the glory of heaven.

Understanding how we are called to live as Catholics helps all believers live according to their divine purpose and answer the most fundamental human questions: Where did I come from? What is my purpose? Where am I going?

Pillar 4: How We Pray

Part 4: Christian Prayer

The fourth part, How We Pray, expands on the other three parts by teaching us how to enter into a relationship with God through prayer.

Understanding how we pray as Catholics helps all believers cultivate a personal relationship with God that sustains them through the ups and downs of daily life.

Despite the potential that this foundational document has to transform the depth of our Faith, many Catholics have never been encouraged to uncover the truth and beauty contained in the Catechism. Consider this your gentle nudge to check it out!

Maybe you attended Catholic school as a child but feel like something is missing.

Maybe you've tried to read the Catechism on your own but found it overwhelming to sit down and read.

Maybe you want a refresher on what you learned in RCIA to reignite the passion for your Catholic Faith that you had then.

Maybe you’ve been asked questions about your Faith by others and want to share it confidently with those you love.

The Catechism is truly a gift from God that conveys the truth and beauty of the Catholic Faith to believers. It was written for you! Let the wisdom of the Catholic Church transform your life as you come to understand and more fully live out the faith that you profess.



“This edition of the Catechism took my breath away. It is beautifully laid out, and the layout makes it easier to read. The ribbons and color system help me know exactly where I am, and what I’m reading about. A lot of care and thought went into this arrangement, and I could not love it more.”

—Ann-Marie U.


Simply Amazing...

“This is what I have been looking for all my life. Born and raised Catholic and went to parochial grade school. All my life I have been searching for something to help me understand my Faith, the cornerstone of Catholicism so to say. I am THRILLED beyond words that this is filling the "void" I have had in my faith. Feeling blessed beyond words.”

—Monica C.


This Book Helps me Focus

“Aside from its excellent layout, presentation, and information, the book as a whole is an artistic work. Taking the box off of its shelf and removing the Catechism brings a moment of pause to my mind before I listen to The Catechism in a Year podcast.”

—Liam W.

If You Want to Read the Catechism of the Catholic Church But Aren't Sure How, We Can Help!

We recognize that the Catechism can be intimidating to sit down and read. After all, it has almost 3,000 paragraphs. Just thinking about it can be enough to make your head spin!

This is exactly why we created the groundbreaking Catechism of the Catholic Church, Ascension Edition.

Featuring built-in tools that have never been included in an edition of the Catechism before, this version makes the wisdom of the Catholic Church easy for Catholics to understand. It helps them truly encounter the truth and beauty of the Catholic Faith in a way that can transform their lives.

Key Features

Color Coding

The entire Catechism is color coded using the Foundations of Faith approach so readers can easily understand how every single paragraph fits into the big picture of their Catholic Faith.

Source Callouts

Each chapter begins with a list of key sources from Scripture and Tradition so readers are able to see the truth and consistency of divine revelation throughout the Church’s history.

Clear Guidance

Never-before-seen labels and charts, written in everyday language, lead Catholics through the Catechism and show how each teaching contributes to the fullness of our Faith.

Don’t miss out on this invaluable gift from God and his Church any longer.

Make the Catechism of the Catholic Church an essential part of your spiritual life.

Dive into its teachings, meditate on its wisdom, and let its truths transform you.

By doing so, you will not only enhance your understanding of the Catholic Faith but also deepen your relationship with God and live out your faith more authentically.

The Ascension Edition of the Catechism is award-winning!

The prestigious 1st place award in the Popular Presentation of the Catholic Faith category recognizes the outstanding quality and innovation that sets this Catechism apart.

Our team is so blessed to have received this award and have this resource be recognized as one that makes "the Truth of the Faith accessible and available to all."

Join the countless individuals who have already experienced the transformative power of its pages and embark on a remarkable journey of faith today!