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Institute for Pastoral Initiatives News

Always Remember to be Grateful

By Sr. Angela Ann Zukowski, D.Min, MHSH

With Thanksgiving upon us, I began to reflect on its meaning.

The word Thanksgiving means gratitude, a good feeling to someone who has helped you, a kindly or grateful thought.

Have we ever considered how infrequently we hear the words thank you?

When was the last time you sent or received a handwritten, or any note of gratitude or thanks? 

There are times when one wonders if the words lack a presence or fade in our contemporary times.  

I couldn’t help but think about where the Institute for Pastoral Initiatives would be without the generous support from individuals and foundations around the world.

Our online Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation has countless stories of generosity, donations and grants that have supported many initiatives including the design of e-courses and e-seminars that address critical questions being raised by Catholics.

We are grateful to those who have donated funds to offer scholarships for men in Permanent Deacon Formation in the United States, Caribbean and Latin America.

Through generous donations from our supporters and many foundations we have been able to offer financial assistance to adult students in Africa, the Middle East, South America and across the globe.

Contributions also help support our Catholic Hispanic Youth Ministry Leadership efforts, reaching over 300 Hispanic Catholic youth leaders ages 14-24.  

Your prayer and disposition of Thanksgiving can change how you encounter each person who enters your life today.

I still remember the homily during the first Mass upon my entrance into my religious community, the Mission Helpers of the Sacred Heart. It has stayed with me my entire life.

Mgr. Joseph Gallagher said, "always remember to be grateful."  

Thank you all.

For information on how to donate and make a difference with the University of Dayton's VLCFF online religious education program, contact me at 

Classes at the VLCFF are available November 28, 2021 and January 17, 2022.  See the 2022 course calendar.

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