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Institute for Pastoral Initiatives News

A Lesson in Faith for Children and Adults

By John LeComte

Letizia "Letty" Bartoszek celebrated her 81st birthday recently, and continues to celebrate her lifelong learning journey with

“I appreciate the challenge of these VLCFF online classes," said Bartoszek.  "I've learned so much and really enjoy the virtual interaction with other students around the world.” 

Letty says she decided to become involved in religious education back in the 70’s following a Mass one Sunday morning.

“I became distracted by a young child who was sitting in front of me,” she said.  “He was 5 or 6 years old. As I watched him fidgeting in his seat, I noticed he wasn’t really misbehaving, but he wasn’t actively participating either.”

That’s when Letty set out on a mission to teach faith to children.

“I thought something is missing for children at Mass,” Bartoszek said.

“How can I change that?”

“How can I develop a lifetime of faith in the new generation?” 

Letty began teaching religion classes in upstate New York in 1975 and hasn’t stopped. Currently, she’s the coordinator for a preschool religion program, teaching four and five year olds every Sunday.

“I want to make a difference in their spiritual lives,” Bartoszek said.

“VLCFF online classes were extremely helpful to me in my pursuit of beginning a class for Special Education students in our Religion Program.”  

Letty has completed several VLCFF classes, including Disabilities in Parish Life, ADHD in Parish Life, Fundamentals in Deaf Faith Formation, and Autism in Faith Formation, all courses part of a certificate program in Special Needs.

“My hope is to have a positive impact on the youth, with expectations of teaching them more about their faith,” she said.

Established in 2008, her preschool program at Holy Family Church in New Rochelle, NY is called Seeds of Faith. Like many of us, Letty connects with her young children remotely.     

“I want them to learn as much about Jesus as they can,” she said. 

"I incorporate Bible stories into my lessons, I choose one child each week to lead the prayers and one to lead the songs.  It's amazing to witness how their confidence grows!” 

Lessons learned. For both Letty, and her students.

“Thank you VLCFF.”  

“I look forward to completing more online classes with your instructors, so I can educate more children.” offers online faith formation classes year-round.  Next start dates: May 16, July 4, August 22, and October 10.  Cost is only $10 week for a 5-week course ($50) or $40 for a 3-week seminar. 

Click calendar to see the list of e-courses available each cycle date. 

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