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A CATECHISM STUDY GUIDE FOR STUDENTS PREPARING FOR THEIR FIRST HOLY COMMUNION

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This catechetical aid is a proposed formative study guide to be used by the catechism students aspiring to receive their First Holy Communion in Iraq.   They will be prepared for 25-30 days before receiving the sacrament of the Eucharist. Therefore, the study guide (itinerary): “Jesus my Teacher” serves in that context and other similar contexts where catechism students are being prepared for receiving the first Holy Communion. This is because, in Iraq, the catechetical formation of children precedes this specific formation and it continues after receiving the Holy Communion.

For this reason, our study guide (itinerary) is a simple process to assist catechism students to remember what they have learned and at the same time learn other things about the reality of faith. Its main purpose is to help the aspirants to familiarize themselves with the Word of God and to create a communion with their group; for this reason, almost all of the meetings are developed around the “words of Jesus.”

In conclusion, we must note that the original text of this study guide, which is written in Arabic, has a printed guide, also in Arabic, prepared by the same author. This guide includes prayers, games, activities and explanations important for the catechism students. And again, from the same author there is also a book in Arabic regarding the spirituality of the Catechist, “The Eucharist: School of Love.”

The present book contains 21 meetings that begin with the knowledge of God, who created the world in His wisdom and then guided people in the course of their lives. Even after the fall of man into sin, God did not turn away from him. People were directed and guided by His teachings through the prophets and finally redeemed by His son, Jesus Christ.

Other meetings in the book tell of the miracles, parables and teachings of Jesus until the end of His earthly life and His death on the cross, followed by His resurrection from the dead and His ascension into heaven. He does not leave us alone but sends His Holy Spirit to stay with us until the end of the world. He is present in His body and in His blood, through the Holy Spirit and in His Holy Church. He is in our hearts and accompanies us with His divine teachings in our earthy life to live a life of witness so that we may be, after our death, resurrected finally in the heavenly house of our Father.

A special thanks to Ms. Lisa Landes who edited the English translation generously amidst her busy schedule in Baghdad.

The biblical quotations are taken from the New Revised Standard Version of the National Council of the Churches of Christ and the texts from the Catechism of the Catholic Church are taken from the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops http://www.usccb.org:80/catechism/index.shtml.

Congregation of the Daughters of Immaculate Mary