Making a Difference throughout the World

By John LeComte and Benedict Reshas Nyondo

This was the first time for most of us to take online courses. I enrolled with the Institute for Pastoral Initiatives online Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation (VLCFF.UDAYTON.EDU) by the grace of God. My name was submitted together with others from the Karonga diocese.  

The beginning looked so humble that I could hardly realize that I could reach this far. My first online class, however, gave me hope that the journey would bear fruits.

I remember very well the first five week course in Images of Jesus. The studies, reflection writing and the chat on discussion boards with fellow students from various dioceses around the world has been very helpful to my spiritual formation.

Some of the courses covered like The Sacraments were practical in nature such that I would in most of the times use them either for my daily activities or use them for my students’ lessons. I honestly found some courses quite enriching. For instance the course of Introduction to Prayer was very touching. I liked the mode of online lesson delivery with very effective and reliable facilitators.

There is no time wasted when one gets enrolled with VLCFF. The courses were so motivating that one felt like going on with learning. As a teacher, I found the courses quite helpful. The courses added more information to my old catechism classes to the extent that I was more knowledgeable than ever before.

On discussion boards, I learned a variety of experiences from other ethnic groups but with one Catholic faith. I remember very well to have enjoyed learning from the dioceses that allow their parishioners to kneel when receiving the Eucharist. I liked it because it shows our deep respect we have for Jesus Christ who is present in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

Time management is another area of achievement that I attribute to VLCFF. Being a secondary school teacher with other responsibilities attached to the profession, it was not easy to meet the due dates for the assignments. As if that was not enough, black outs in Africa were the order of the day. Above all these challenges, I had to make sure time management was respected. There are times when things went beyond my control. These are times facilitators came to my rescue with their guidance and encouragement.

My success for my spiritual growth with VLCFF is evident in many ways. My performance as a school catechist and the skills gained in planning the lessons help me in delivering catechesis as well as conducting Sunday services in communities outside the school campus during holidays. VLCFF has made it possible that I can serve other communities. Reaching out  is the diocese’s motto: “We shall go to them”. 

 The University of Dayton has not only changed my lifestyle, but has transformed my way of living.   

Classes in English & Spanish start January 20, 2019.  Check out our course catalog here: VLCFF.UADYTON.EDU 

The Institute for Pastoral Initiatives oversees many university and global projects, including the VLCFF  (Find us on Facebook too) as well as the Forum for Young Catholic Hispanics, Christian Meditation in Catholic schools, Special Needs in Faith Formation, Chaminade Scholars pilgrimage from Assisi to Rome. Catholic Schools for Tomorrow, the Forum for Young Catechetical Leaders, and the Caribbean School for Catholic Communications. 

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