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Institute for Pastoral Initiatives News

A Faith Journey from Peru

My name is José Remigio Leonarte Maradiegue. I am 74-years old. People call me "Pepe."

This is my University of Dayton VLCFF online story.

I was born and raised in a humble, lower middle class neighborhood of Lima, Peru.  I completed my elementary and high school at the Catholic School, Our Lady of Mercy. (Nuestra Señora de la Merced ) It was the desire of my parents for me to study at a Catholic School despite it being very expensive as it is today.

In 1996 I made my first trip to Boston in order to explore my emigration to the United States, preferably Boston, because of family who lived there.

I became an American citizen by naturalization in 2004.

Today, I live with my wife Irene in Malden, Massachusetts.  We have two children, Miguel and Lucila, and two grandchildren.  My favorite anecdote is when I attended Mass with my grandchildren who were very young, we prayed the Lord's Prayer aloud together, my grandchildren in English and I in Spanish. This meant a lot to me.

I found out about the online courses at the Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation by accident while searching the internet. I completed my first course with Dayton when I was 68 years old, and did so while still working at the New England coffee company.   

It was a five week course!  From my perspective, motivation and self-discipline are keys to the online learning success at VLCFF.

I confess, I enjoyed the experience and would recommend many courses. For those who have ministerial roles, I suggest taking “Our Hearts were Burning.”

I like to express, there is a notable difference between virtual and face-to-face. Despite my old school academic training, thanks to God, my adaptability was strong.  Together with my values and modestly connected ideas, I did not miss this opportunity to complete virtual courses with Dayton.

The experience has been remarkable and enriching.

En paz (in peace) 


VLCFF Online offers year-round classes with start dates:  May 16, July 4, August 22, and Oct. 10 in 2021.

UD alumni pay the reduced fee of $40 for a 3-week e-seminar and $50 for a 5-week e-course. UD Human Resources covers the cost for faculty & staff. You can learn more about VLCFF online classes at



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