Monday 22 March 2021

A Simple Glossary of Catholic Terms - Edited by Father Jerome Bertram and Dr Raymond Edwards - The Catholic Truth Society

A Simple Glossary of Catholic Terms
Father Jerome Bertram (Editor), 
Dr Raymond Edwards (Editor)
ISBN 9781860825743
eISBN 9781784693848
CTS Booklet DO806

A few years ago, I stumbled across the books and booklets from the Catholic Truth Society quite by accident. I was researching an author I had run across, and was trying to track down all of her works. Soon I had a long lost of books from the CTS on my Wishlist, and it seems that for everyone I read I end up with 1 or 2 more on my wish list. At the writing of this review I have read almost 200 titles from the CTS over the last 3 years and currently have over 200 either in my ‘to be read’ pile or on my wish list still. I have read many in the CTS Biographies and also Saints of the Isles Series, and the Great Saints Series. This book was originally published in 2007 with Father Jerome Bertram as the editor. It was revised in 2009 by Dr Raymond Edwards. The eBook edition was released in 2017.

The description of this booklet is:

“Like every human family, the Catholic Church has a lot of special words and phrases which have a clear and concise meaning to members, but can be very puzzling to those outside. This glossary, now considerably expanded and revised, is intended to explain some of the curious words and usages found in Catholic terminology. It is an ideal guide for all Catholics, and very suitable for giving to those entering communion with us.”

There is a chapter for each letter of the alphabet. Some with as few as one entry like Z for Zucchetto. And some like M have over 20 entries. This was not a book I could read from cover to cover. But I did read it in a few settings over several days. In the introduction it states:

“The Catholic Church uses a lot of special words and phrases which have a clear meaning to Catholics, or to most of them, but can be puzzling to others. This word-list is intended to explain some of these words and usages. It is not meant as a substitute for the Catholic Encyclopaedia, or for theological and Scriptural dictionaries, although inevitably some terms used in theology are included; but it might help clear up confusion. Words relating to the Church of the past have also been included, because even if the things they describe (like Prime or maniples) are at present not in use, readers will benefit from a degree of completeness especially if reading older books or accounts of older events. Obviously, no booklet this size can pretend to be comprehensive; but we have tried to include all the obvious words, and also some others of particular interest. It is meant to be not primarily a glossary of “hard words” but of commonly used terms. There are some words (apocrypha, attrition, chapter, fraction) which have a meaning in general usage that differs from the special sense they bear for Catholics. These too have been covered. Some Catholic expressions (devil’s advocate, moveable feast) have passed, modified, into general usage; their original meaning is given below.”

But it was an interesting book to read through. And would that would come in handy for Catholic school kids to have on hand. My son plans to read it, but I will see if her makes it all the way through. 

Of all the definitions there were only 2 or three that I was not familiar with, or that had older meanings I was unaware of. It was a fun book to work through. And would be great for creating Catholic word games such as word searches, hangman, fill in the blanks for kids, tweens or teens. 

I am glad I have worked through it. It is another good resource for all parent, teachers, and school children from the Catholic Truth Society! If you are tracking it down make sure you find the revised edition.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2021 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by Dr Raymond Edwards:
Catholic Traditionalism
Simple Glossary of Catholic Terms
Stories of World War I
The Miraculous Medal

Books by Father Jerome Bertram:
Jesus, Teach Us to Pray
Vita Communis: The Common Life of the Secular Clergy
Heresy Through the Ages
Traditions of the Oratory
Anointing: Christ's Healing Touch 
The Life Of Saint Edward, King And Confessor 

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