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In appearing before the public, the translator of the Paris Catechism ventures to express a hope that her labours will not be thrown away.
The work in the original appeared to her so excellent, that she has been induced to place it in the hands of those who may not be acquainted with the French language. On this account a few unimportant alterations have been made, in order to render it useful to the mere English pupil.
Whatever defects may be found in the translation, cannot be laid to the charge of the original, which is a perfect work; let its faults be imputed to the translator; she hopes to be enabled cheerfully to submit to deserved censure, supported by humility, patience, and other christian virtues, which the perusal of this admirable work has taught her to hold in the highest estimation.
This Catechism is divided into three courses of instruction, viz., the Short Catechism, the Parish Catechism, aud the Great Catechism.
The Short Catechism and the Parish Catechism are both contained in the Great Catechism; so that children, as they advance, find a new explanation. and development added to the truths which they already knew.
The pupils of those institutions where ancient languages are taught, and youths who have been at school three years, ought to know the Great Catechism before their first communion.
Other children, if they know how to read, ought to learn the Parish Catechism before their first communion, and the Great Catechism during the time they are learning the Catechism of Perseverance. Children who cannot read, need only learn the Short Catechism, to which their Priests or instructors may add
some questions on the Eucharist, Penance, and Confirmation; they may also abridge several questions even in the Short Catechism when children have but very limited capacity, and in such case it will be sufficient to teach them how to make the sign of the cross, to recite the Creed, the Commandments, the acts of Faith, Hope, and Charity, the Lord's Prayer, the Angelical Salutation, the first and second questions of chapter ii., the second, third, and fourth questions of chapter iii., the whole of chapter iv.; the first and second questions of chapter vi., the whole of chapter vii.; the first, fourth and fifth questions of chapter viii., the whole of chapter ix., and the whole of chapters xxiv. and xxv.
The Great Catechism is distinguished from the other by small asterisks. (*) The questions which have no asterisks constitute the Parish Catechism.