Vanspec has been a wonderful program for our daughter, Mary. She has been involved since she began Grade 1 in 1995. Sister Beth Ann welcomed us so warmly and I never minded all those years of driving over to Vancouver to the Vanspec Centre to take Mary for her lesson.
I’ve been with Vanspec since 2013, and I simply thought at the time that I will only study at Vanspec for 2 Years to prep for Confirmation. After my 2 years as a student, I received the Sacrament of Confirmation at St. Jude’s & began to realize that Vanspec turned out to be WAY MORE than that!
Every Saturday morning, I drive from Surrey to Vancouver for Bela. I’m just an aide, though, and only recently learned about Vanspec. Bela’s teacher has been commuting that same distance for the past two years. What wakes us up with a smile each Saturday is knowing that Bela is growing in love for our Lord.
“I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart, where !?” was on the lips of each beaming student as they danced their way out of Our Lady of Sorrows Church, making their way to Vanspec Summer Camp. What an exciting adventure!
I have had the great pleasure of meeting many wonderful families and their amazing kids. I have numerous great memories, but one stands out above all others. In 2014, “D”, a young teen with Down Syndrome, was preparing for his First Communion.
A chance encounter at a catechist workshop was where I first learned of Vanspec, at the time administered by the Daughters of St Mary of Providence fostering faith enrichment to individuals with special needs.
Isabela (Bela) my daughter has been going to Vanspec for six years now. She absolutely loves it there. Vanspec is truly a wonderful, special place. You feel at home from the moment you walk in. They really do have special volunteers and staff there. Their approach is that every child learns at his/her own pace and that every child has potential to grow and learn.
Vanspec is run by a group of dedicated and professional leaders, admin staff and volunteers whose primary focus is teaching their students and whose secondary focus is supporting each other as needed. The expectation is that every student will grow in self-esteem, spirituality, faith and the knowledge of the love of God.
I have accomplished so many achievements overall as a student. Receiving 3 sacraments with Vanspec was the greatest accomplishment I have ever done. Receiving my very first confession and first communion at Our Lady of Sorrows and receiving my holy confirmation at St. Helen’s. On top of that, I have 9 full Vanspec Camp appearances under my belt.