We, the Lay Josephines from the National Capital District, Philippines, were graced with the presence of Sr. Lillian Ocenar, SSJ (General Coordinator) and Sr. Mariana Maqueda, SSJ (General Secretary) during our LJ meeting last February 21, 2016. Most of us LJs are already familiar with Sr. Lillian, and have also previously met Sr. Mariana during the Congregational Team’s visit last November 2012. But it was a breath of fresh air to be with them once again. And it was a happy occasion, indeed, for the newly committed LJs to meet them for the first time.
The two sisters showed great interest in reacquainting with each one of us. One by one, we introduced ourselves, shared our family and work status, related how we got to join the Lay Josephine community, and how long we have been LJs. We earnestly shared to the sisters how the Lay Josephine Spirituality changed and improved our outlook about work, how it lightened the load we carry in our daily lives. Most valuable is how the Nazareth Spirituality made us better persons, particularly in our relationships at home and in our workplace. Sr. Lillian was gladdened that the lay people in us and around us are very much animated by our living out of the SSJ charism.
Sr. Lillian then informed us that part of the congregation’s strategic plan is the forthcoming 2nd Lay Josephine International Encounter in Spain on August 15 - 28, 2016. It will be a smaller group than the 1st Encounter because there will only be one LJ and one SSJ representative from each country. We are free to choose who will be our LJ representative to the event. But unlike the previous encounter, we will have to source the airfare and pocket money of our representative this time. SSJ will provide the board and lodging for the 2 weeks in Spain. We can expect coming communications from Sr. Carmen Sotto, SSJ, regarding the encounter.
Sr. Lillian also mentioned that our responses to the Questionnaire given out to all in 2014 are contained in the released Synthesis. We informed her that unfortunately, we have not yet seen a copy of the Synthesis.
Sr. Lillian’s parting words were to thank us for continually building our Lay Josephine community, because the call to the world today is for more collaboration and lesser individualism. Our encounter with the two sisters ended with such a happy note, with much laughter especially during the riotous group picture.