Catholic Faith and English Language
Thanks to the generosity of our many supporters, for more than 25 years, LCI has welcomed Catholic students from the East to Gaming, Austria. There, living and studying alongside American students from Franciscan University, they are immersed in the study of the Catholic Faith and the English language, as well as Catholic life and culture.
Over the course of one or two semesters, LCI prepares students by providing:
- Practical English-language training
- Basic theology and catechesis
- Formation in the spiritual life through prayer, Scripture study, Adoration, and other devotions
- Bridge-building opportunities between the cultures and spiritualities of the East and the West through shared experience of Christian community life and the celebration of both the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Divine Liturgy
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The primary course material for LCI students is the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Class size is always small, so the professors are able to tailor the course to the level of language and theological background of the students. Students can also choose other theology classes offered on campus, such as Scripture, Christian marriage, and Catholic moral principles.
In addition to their coursework, students are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities for daily Mass or Divine Liturgy and Eucharistic Adoration, as well as organized times for prayer and reflection on Scripture, the lives of the saints, or the liturgical season.
Everyday activities as well as weekend socializing and travel are organized so that the students can naturally integrate their faith into every aspect of their lives. Christ is at the center of all events and activities, forming the students and bringing them joy.
Total Immersion Experience
The English language program at LCI is not merely a course. It is a total immersion experience in which the students are plunged into an English-only environment. Students take five hours of class in English every day, where they quickly learn how to communicate in speaking, listening, reading and writing. Specialized classes in writing for academic and business purposes, public speaking, and drama are offered as well.
The skills students learn in class are reinforced and expanded throughout the day, as they are surrounded by native speakers in the cafeteria, in the residence hall, and in virtually every area of campus life. The more advanced students can take other classes with the American students on campus, and thus extend their knowledge of the language in specific fields related to their future work, such as theology, psychology, or business.
To recruit students, LCI works directly with the Bishops’ Offices in Eastern Europe and beyond. Based on the needs of the dioceses, bishops will recommend and request scholarships for candidates to attend LCI for various reasons. There are three basic student profiles:
- A priest, seminarian or religious sister who needs English training to work effectively in the diocese
- A young Catholic who shows leadership potential and a desire to work for the New Evangelization
- A young Catholic, perhaps newly baptized, from a post-communist, atheist culture who has never had the opportunity to learn about the Faith.
Sr. Andrea from Albania
Sr. Andrea is from the Franciscan Sisters of Immaculate Conception order in Albania. She has her postgraduate degrees in the English language and teaches English in private schools. She came to LCI with advanced English, in hopes of receiving Catechetical formation she did not have the opportunity to receive, even as a religious sister. She explains, “I am studying theology and practicing English at LCI because I want to use my English skills to promote the New Evangelization.”
Sister Andrea is loved by everyone she meets. A word everyone agrees describes her is tender. She is indeed a very gentle and tender person. She always brings a peaceful presence to the room, and does not neglect to show how much she loves others. She does everything with care and diligence and never forgets to show her gratitude.
Sister Andrea is always driven by the desire to grow closer to God. “I thought that teaching English is not enough for my mission. I wanted to deepen my knowledge and love of God by taking some catechetical courses.” When Sister returns home, she hopes to be equipped to bring her deepened faith with her and spread it with those who are not as fortunate.
Oleg from Russia
Oleg was born in Siberia, Russia, where an estimated 1% practice any faith whatsoever. He studied at university in Tomsk and is an electrical engineer. When Oleg arrived at the Kartause, he had practically no English, but his hard work and dedication has allowed him to progress significantly.
“Thanks to [my English lessons] I overcame the language barrier and the shyness to speak.” Now that Oleg has confidence in speaking, you can always expect some joke or witty remark coming from his mouth. His sweet and funny nature naturally attracted many students to be his friend. He loves spending time with people he knows, and is eager to meet more people.
Oleg came with the desire to learn English and live in a community with other believers.
Veronika from Belarus
Veronika is from Belarus, and is a professional therapist. She is passionate about her job and helping people in any way. She has the sincerest desire to deepen her faith and is overwhelmed with gratitude at the opportunity she has here to spend time in prayer and receive Catechetical formation. “For me it is a big gift to have so many opportunities for prayer, English practice, and communication with other people.”
Veronika’s hobbies include singing, writing poetry, drawing, and reading. We learned she is a spectacular actress, when we put on our annual LCI production of A Christmas Carol.
Veronika is full of zeal for the faith, and when she returns home she desires to start a bible study for children. She wants to learn English and theology side by side so that she can also counsel priests and religious.
Catholics from the East and West meet at the Kartause Gaming, where they have the opportunity to live together and share in the Life of Christ as they study, socialize, and pray in both cultures and Traditions.