Global IT outage affecting campuswide systems. Read more here.

Skip to main content

Institute for Pastoral Initiatives News

Empowering our youth to have faith

By John LeComte

Stacia Goral says she almost lost faith. That is until 2018, when a car accident changed her life. 

“Having the patrol officer tell me I was lucky to be alive taught me that I should trust God’s plan,” Goral said. “I felt like I had some sense knocked into me.”

Stacia, 24, has now shifted her focus to empower other young people to have faith through her job as the youth ministry coordinator at Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Jacksonville, Fla., in the Diocese of St. Augustine.

Stacia decided to gain more knowledge and skills for her position so she started taking online classes with the University of Dayton’s Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation (VLCFF). The asynchronous classes allow her to learn anytime, anywhere and journey with other classmates from around the world.

“The University of Dayton platform allows students to interact with each other on a deeper level,” Goral said. “Also, the facilitators (instructors) are friendly and provide detailed feedback for a rich, online experience.”

Through her continuing education with VLCFF, Stacia hopes to pass on her knowledge and exuberance throughout her parish.

“Youth ministry has been one of the most fulfilling roles for me,” Goral said. “We need to encourage our youth to fully experience their own personal and spiritual growth.” 

One of Stacia’s goals is to provide young people a sense of belonging within the Catholic Church, including a safe environment for teenagers to talk openly and honestly about their faith.

“I want to make young people feel welcomed and loved,” she said. “Watching these teenagers grow personally and spiritually has been an incredible blessing.”

Just another blessing in Stacia’s life.

The VLCFF offers year-round classes. To start your faith journey, simple create a profile and register for a course. Cycles (semesters) of VLCFF classes will begin on these dates: April 25, May 30, July 18, September 5, October 24.  See the list of courses and calendar.   The cost of a class is $50 (5-week) and $40 (3-week) for partnering dioceses and UD alumni.   University employees can enroll for free as part of the employee program.

Previous Post

Online classes a blessing for busy lifestyles

Anytime, anywhere, asynchronous learning allows adult students much needed flexibility
Read More
Next Post

The Power of Pause

There is power in our awareness that our choices do, in fact, make a difference in our life.
Read More