Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2011 10:54 pm
Re: The student's Catholic Doctrine: Hart
I have a copy of the 1961 edition of “The Student’s Catholic Doctrine” by Rev Charles Hart, B.A. with the 1953 imprimatur of E Morrogh Bernard, Vicar Capitular of Westminster.
The front matter shows that, following the first edition in 1916, the book went through 27 reprints, including a minor revision in the 1950’s. It was obviously written for use in schools at secondary-education level, and the number of reprints attests to its popularity.
The book is a step up from “The Penny Catechism”, but its 382 pages should not be beyond the comprehension of the average teenager. The text does not patronise the reader, nor is it bulked out with illustrations. An adult would find it equally useful for brushing up on essential doctrine.
The contents are arranged in five main parts:
1. Faith (covering the 12 articles of the Creed).
2. Hope (covering prayer).
3. Charity (covering the commandments (i) of God, and (ii) of the Church).
4. The Sacraments.
5. Virtues and Vices.
Below are the prefaces to the original edition and to the 1954 edition.
THE present volume has been written primarily for the use of colleges and prospective teachers, and for private instruction. It is hoped, too, that it will be found especially suitable to put into the hands of the intending convert.
The general arrangement of the book is based, as far as possible, on the division and order of the Catechism ; and the marginal notes to the various paragraphs should not only render catechetical instruction more easy, but should serve a useful purpose in aiding the memory of the student preparing for examinations.
The matter for such a work, from its very nature, has necessarily been selected and compiled from various authors ; yet the writer has been at pains so to arrange the ideas, and to explain them in such a way, that the clearness and conciseness at which he has aimed throughout will, it is trusted, enable the student readily to grasp and retain the all-important matter contained therein.
Besides consulting various well-known treatises on the subject, he has especially made use of the learned works of Cardinal Gousset, Théologie Dogmatique et Théologie Morale (four volumes), Father Schouppe’s Abridged Course of Religious Instruction, and the Abbé Gaume’s Catéchisme de Persévérance; while, for the Sacraments, considerable use has been made of Paquet’s De Sacramentis (two volumes).
Whatever value the present work may possess, it may here be stated that in all probability it would never have been written at all, had it not been for the suggestion and kindly encouragement of the late Canon Pool, Religious Inspector for the Diocese of Salford, who, up to the very time of his death, took a lively interest in its progress, and read the greater part of the MS.
The author desires to thank all those who have helped him in any way in his delicate task. Especially would he thank the Very Rev. Canon Sutcliffe, Chairman of the Diocesan Inspectors, for his kindness throughout, but particularly for reading the MS., and for his very valuable suggestions; the Very Rev. Dr. Mann, the learned author of the Lives of the Popes; the Rev. W. Dunne, B.A., Professor of Moral Theology at Ushaw College ; and the Rev. Dr. Leo Hart, all of whom have carefully read the proofs, and have rendered much useful aid to the author.
St. Cuthbert’s Grammar School, Newcastle-on-Tyne,
Feast of Our Lady's Assumption, 1916.
PREFACE TO 1954 EDITION
It has been suggested by the Publishers that I should write a Preface to the twenty-third edition of the Student’s Catholic Doctrine. It is clear that, however good a book of Doctrine may be, changes are bound to be required to meet recent Decrees, and so keep it up to date. One difficulty in this connection has been to keep the corrections and additions to a limited number, so as not unduly to disturb the structure of the book. This task has been done by Dr. Lawrence L. McReavy, D.C.L., M.A., Professor of Moral Theology at Ushaw College. He has perfectly achieved this double purpose. A necessary correction was made on p. 110 where the Doctrine of the Assumption as an article of faith is clearly stated. Another correction, since the Apostolic Constitution Christus Dominus (6th January, 1953), involved the conditions of Fasting for Holy Communion. Some slight change on p. 338 regarding the essence of the Sacrament of Holy Order has also been introduced.
It is to be hoped that with these necessary alterations the Student’s Catholic Doctrine will continue to provide a sound and useful text-book in our Catholic Schools and Colleges, as it has done for well-nigh forty years.
Feast of St. Margaret Mary, 1953.
In my view, it is worthy of shelf space.