During the 19th century, there were repeated efforts in the United States to make a uniform textbook of Christian doctrine in English that all Catholics might be able to use. In 1829, the bishops assembled the First Provincial Council of Baltimore to discuss the matter. They recommended using St. Bellarmine's short 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, with the addition of prayers and hymns given for suitable occasions.