My sister is preparing to close the sale of the house in which we grew up. Selling the house has certainly been an event full of mixed emotions. Despite the fact that our family has owned the house since 1961, nobody in the family wants the responsibility of owning the property any longer.
The attic and basement are full of clutter, mostly from my younger sister’s family, but there are still some mementos of my older sister, my parents, and me.
While sifting through the remnants, deciding what to keep and what to discard, I came across my mother’s Catechism book, dated 1932.
On the cover is handwritten:
Wed 3:00 o’clock
18 Huntington Ave.
Catechism – Katechizm
St. Mary’s School
Wear white dress if you have one and veil.
SOURCE: Faeber, Wilhelm. 1932. Catechism for the Catholic parochial schools of the United States. St. Louis: B. Herder book Co.
The book is bilingual, with Polish on the left page and English on the right.
The Catechism was designed to prepare young Polish-American Catholics for their First Communion:
1. Kto nas stworzył?
Pan Bóg nas stworzył.
1. Who made us?
God made us.
2. Poco nas Pan Bóg stworzył?
Pan Bóg stworzył nas na to, abyśmy Mu służyli a przez to do nieba się dostali.
2. Why did God make us?
God made us that we might know, love, and serve Him, and thereby gain Heaven.
The Catechism didn’t change much in the 30 years that elapsed between 1932 when my mother studied these questions and 1962 when I studied the Catechism myself.
Copyright © 2007 by Stephen J. Danko