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Institute for Pastoral Initiatives News

Sisters reflect on life-changing VLCFF

To celebrate Catholic Sisters week, we shine the spotlight on five sisters who facilitate classes for the Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation.  

Sister Marilyn Kerber, SNDdeN

Being a Catholic Sister means that I have been able to live with women of faith, sharing the same values, which supports my desire to serve God. And I am able to minister with and to wonderful people.

How can I possibly choose one favorite memory of being a facilitator for VLCFF? I love sharing my faith and helping people grow in knowledge of their faith as to better pass it on. Facilitating VLCFF courses has been a continuation of being involved in religious education, which is a ministry I cherish. It continues to define who I am.

Sr. Kathy Burton, SSJ 

Being a Catholic Sister offers me so many opportunities to build up the Body of Christ in our world today, whether it is in preparing adults for ministry in their parishes, serving in our outreach ministries or teaching  ESL ( English as a Second Language). I have so many fond memories, but my most recent is teaching ESL with a group of dedicated adults.

Accompanying so many men and women on their VLCFF journey of faith, whether it is working toward certification or just wanting to know more about the faith, has enriched my own faith and energized me in my ministry in the parish.

Sr. Janet Schaeffler, OP

I am grateful to belong to a community of religious women who are committed to Gospel values, striving to be aware of people’s needs and ministering to bring dignity, justice and peace to today’s world. I am sure that I couldn’t live my call to discipleship without the support and challenge of my community.

As a Dominican – the Order of Preachers – there are many ways to preach today. Facilitating courses through VLCFF is certainly one way. In today’s world, where there are so many people seeking and searching for a deepened faith life/spirituality, it is a privilege to walk with them through this virtual platform where there is trust, respect and shared learning.

Sr. Susan Imburgia, CSJ

Our CSJ (Congregation of St. Joseph) charism of seeking unity and reconciliation among all people fits perfectly in this University of Dayton format of welcoming and creating a community among all those who choose to participate. I am blessed to be a part of the VLCFF program and look forward to each opportunity.

The students show me how everyone, no matter their age, ethnicity or religious experience, has something very important to offer. We grow together in our faith and spirituality through sharing. Although I have been "retired" from full-time ministry since 2008, my involvement with VLCFF since then has been life-giving to me.

Sr. Angela Ann Zukowski, MHSH

The opportunity to be present with people on their spiritual journey is life-changing. While there are many special moments to remember, guiding our University of Dayton Chaminade Scholar students on our Vocation and Arts pilgrimage through Italy over the years has been a special gift. Being able to be present with the students with quality time, visiting sacred places and engaging in prayer and theological reflection with them has enriched my life.

VLCFF online facilitation enables me to journey with people from around the world and reflect on how their spiritual life has been influenced by diverse cultural religious contexts, enabling me to share that experience with others.

Other sisters facilitating classes with the VLCFF include: 

Sr. Rose Pacatte, FSP

Sr. Rita Hawk, SC

Sr. Sally Russell, SSJ

SrMargaret Mary Langer, IHM

Sr. Maria K Lai, CSJ

Sr. Maureen Shaughnessy, SC

The VLCFF online is year-round, with three-and five-week courses in English, Spanish and Arabic, plus certificate programs, diaconate courses and more. For 2023, see the schedule and list of courses.   


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