viernes, 25 de diciembre de 2020


Christmas is the season of joy, peace, and love. It is a special season to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and spend to it with our loved ones. Christmas is essentially a reminder of God’s love to all of us. Through this celebration, we are reminded to share also our blessings specially with the less fortunate.

The first ever virtual LJ-SSJ Christmas party was held on December 20, 2020 via Zoom. It was hosted by LJ Malasiqui Cluster. 

In order to inspire everyone to join the event, LJ Malasiqui made a beautiful video invitation and posted it to LJ-SSJ Integration, the common chat room of all of us LJs and SSJs.

The celebration was quite different because of the pandemic. We may be distant from each other but the participants bonded together virtually like the Lay Josephines, Siervas de San Jose and the different lady Josephines from Silay Mandaluyong, Murphy, Quezon City and Malasiqui.

The virtual party started with a short program where Sr. Felma M. Ramones, SSJ, the LJ Link coordinator, inspired us with a message that despite the pandemic “Tuloy pa rin ang Pasko” (which means-pandemic cannot stop us from celebrating Christmas), coupled with God’s love and protection for all of us.

Previously we have unanimously decided to divide ourselves into clusters according to location: Quezon City Cluster, Murphy Cluster, Mandaluyong Cluster, Malasiqui Cluster, Silay cluster and the latest Iloilo Cluster. Each cluster prepared a Christmas presentation. LJ Silay Cluster was judged as the Best in Presentation. It was, indeed, a showcase of talents from the participants. 

Exciting games and a raffle were also participated by the attendees. Questions about the life of Fr. Butina were also asked to commemorate his 121st Death Anniversary. All the prizes were courtesy of the very generous Dra. Connette Sta Cruz, LJ National Coordinator.

The virtual get together ended with the messages from Dra. Connette Sta. Cruz and from Sr. Marcie Sta. Cruz, SSJ Provincial Coordinator, and with a Closing Prayer.  Every one of us left the platform with smiles on our faces having experienced the joy of celebrating the birth of Jesus as one Josephine Family. We continued the celebration together in our respective clusters.

The celebration was just simple with the aid of technology but it brought the LJs and SSJs closer and more connected despite the pandemic. This is another graceful occasion our good Lord bestowed on us so that we may continue to grow spiritually and live out the charism and mission of the SSJ within our family and in our workplace.

Written by:

Minelli R. Poquiz, LJ






LAY JOSEPHINE-PHILIPPINES: Journeying Together Towards the Future in HOPE!

viernes, 14 de agosto de 2020

Comunicación Primer encuentro virtual LJ-SSJ Provincia María de Nazaret

“Es un momento histórico”, dijo la Coordinadora General de las Siervas de San José, Lillian Ocenar Olavere, en la apertura del primer encuentro virtual de laicos/as y Siervas de San José de la Provincia “María de Nazaret, conformada por Chile, Argentina, Colombia y Cuba. Lillian Ocenar nos llevó al corazón del carisma en este día de conmemoración de la muerte de Bonifacia Rodriguez Castro. Elena Manquemilla, Coordinadora Internacional Laicos Josefinos, nos insta a lo mismo. 

Nuestro tema convocante: “Santa Bonifacia, maestra espiritual en tiempos de crisis” al cual Carmen Soto. Teóloga perteneciente a la congregación de las Siervas de San José, nos introduce en una interesante y profunda reflexión. La coordinadora SSJ de la zona de Chile. Agustina León Huerta nos contextualiza, retrospectivamente, desde el estallido social y la participación activa de SSJ y Laicos/as josefinos, hasta este tiempo de pandemia, en que la tormenta en la cual estamos todos no nos ha afectado a todos/as de la misma manera: La tormenta es la misma, pero los medios de navegación para capear el temporal y sus efectos no han sido los mismos, por eso hay que desplegar nuestras tiendas, como nos pide el profeta Isaías, para poder movernos en todas las direcciones. Es el tiempo del laicado Josefino, un laicado que se está moviendo con la brisa del Espíritu. Elena Manquemilla deja como pregunta a esta reflexión ¿Qué tipo de comunidades carismáticas y que modalidad podemos descubrir para este tiempo kairológico, este tiempo de Dios? Durante este encuentro, la vida brotó desde los distintos países, desde los coordinadores laicales de cada zona, hermanos laicos/as de diferentes regiones y ámbitos. la participación de Siervas de San José de los cuatro países, algunas de España y especialmente las hermanas del Equipo General de la Congregación de las Siervas de San José. La puerta quedó abierta para el próximo encuentro virtual en octubre.

viernes, 15 de mayo de 2020


On April 27, 2019, the first formation session for the newly recruited Lay Josephine Youth and Kids was conducted which served as an orientation for them about the kind of life that they will embrace as Lay Josephine Kids and Lay Josephine Youth. It also set the beginning of their journey towards their human and spiritual growth as they would gradually know, learn and appreciate and apply in their own simple way the Nazareth spirituality and values that would be taught to them by the Lay Josephines .

The party itself started with the presentation of three booths: (1) Founders, (2) Holy Family and (3) LJ & SSJ. It was followed by a Eucharistic Celebration. Children coming from different family settings attended and enjoyed the party, learning at the same time the values and the Charism that the Lay Josephines have committed themselves to live.

On May 20, 2018, in Olopsville, San Mateo, Rizal, the first swimming event of the Lay Josephine Kids and Lay Josephine Youth took place. There were also boodle fights which filled the hungry stomach of every participant. This activity succeeded very well in instilling cooperation and camaraderie among the newly-recruited members.

In this once in a lifetime immersion with the poorest of the poor by the Lay Josephine Kids and the Lay Josephine Youth, they realized how lucky they are in their current situations. They were also very grateful to be given an opportunity to mingle with the children in the community of Payatas.

This powerful song was made even more powerful by the newly accepted members of the Lay Josephine Kids and Lay Josephine Youth as they sing it together with their family members, hoping that together with the global community, this pandemic which has already claimed so many lives will finally be put to end.. .Surely, this will signify the victory of the Almighty God over this covid-19 pandemic.

Finally, after a series of formation given by the Lay Josephine themselves, the Lay Josephine Youth and Lay Josephine Kids have come to the final part of their training which is just the start of their religious journey- their commitment as an LJ Kid or as an LJ Youth. This pandemic was not able to stop them from being accepted formally to the Lay Josephines. It even led them to show their creativity in making the ONLINE PLATFORM as an instrument by which they committed themselves as Lay Josephine Kids and Lay Josephine Youth.

domingo, 22 de marzo de 2020


The Lay Josephine Orientation Session held in the Receiving Room of Holy Family Home, Iloilo City, on March 7, 2020 from 2:00 to 5:00 PM, was conducted by the 8 Lay Josephines of Mary in Nazareth who came all the way form Silay City, Negros Occidental (ladies in blue). Fifteen attended the session, from different parts of Iloilo, including Gemma Cabalfin (former SSJ junior), Liza Sobrevega (former SSJ novice), Carol, the niece of Mo. Rosario Cinco, SSJ, a mother of our present dormitory resident and some former residents of our very own Holy Family Home, Iloilo. Sr. Dahlia Alcala, SSJ was also present, together with some of her former classmates and friends.

A video about our Congregation- Siervas de San José was presented by Sr. Paz Banaria, SSJ. 

Then, members of the LJ Silay Group were introduced by their group Coordinator Mary Ann Ledesma, LJ after which she presented the LJ Identity, Vision, Charism and Mission shared with the SSJ. The advocacy of the LJ was also shared. Each member gave a testimony of her life/ faith experiences as an LJ, which were all inspiring and moving. 

After this part, a video on the LJ Philippines latest General Assembly held in Manila last November 2019 was presented, followed by a video of the group's activities and involvements. 

After the Session Proper, snacks were served, including native delicacies brought by Rogielyn, LJ and the different bread products brought by Gemma Cantara Cabalfin, while the participants were asked to share their experiences, insights, or messages. All shared with enthusiasm and openness. 

Some expressed willingness to continue the process began while a few expressed their hesitation to commit themselves to the LJ due to busy schedules of work, family tasks, business and other reasons.  In general, the great interest and active participation shown by the group gives us SSJs and LJs a ray of hope that a new LJ group would emerge in Iloilo. The session ended with a group pictorial. The Emcee of the whole session was Rogielyn, LJ.

miércoles, 18 de diciembre de 2019


Lay Josephines of Malasiqui (Masanton Familia) started with a group of women mostly teachers and churchgoers through the invitation of Sr. Felma Ramones, SSJ way back 2003. We had sessions every 3rd Sunday of the month  facilitated by Sr Felma along with Sr. Paz, Sr. Yoly, Sr. Cleofe and some LJs like Leah who take turns in gving us Formation. They come to Malasiqui every month for four years until we, the first batch, had our First Commitment on May 1, 2007. Years after, another batch was formed.

Joining the SSJ Family as Lay Josephines was a milestone in our lives. We were inspired by the SSJ charism and the living of the Josephine spirituality harmonizing prayer and work. Individually, we share our own experiences with our families, co workers, friends, acquaintances and other people around us. LJ Malasiqui has embraced the commitment to help the poor families and their children, unemployed women, other LJ groups or anybody who needs  moral, spiritual,  financial, and  economic assistance.

Yearly, LJ Malasiqui prepares different activities like livelihood projects (with actual demonstrations), visiting the sick and the elderly Lay Josephines, leading novenas in honor of our Patron Saint and of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, Ripple Blessings/Outreach Program in the form of feeding the children, gift-giving during Christmas celebrations. Sr Azon Domantay gives Holy Communion to the sick and the elderly as well. We have been doing these varied outreach activities for four years already.

The group usually invites the children because we see in them real happiness even if they just receive simple gifts/prizes. Their sweet smiles, laughter and feeble voices saying Thank you make/complete our day. Catechism and good manners are integrated in our gatherings to educate our young guests.

Last December 15, 2019, we, the LJ Malasiqui, had Christmas Party with the kids. The first part of our party was with the children with the following activities: catechism, parlor games, sharing of food and gift-giving.

The second and last part was bonding among ourselves through shared lunch where we recounted and shared our stories, followed by a very exciting and joyful exchange of gifts.




domingo, 8 de diciembre de 2019


The 2019 Lay Josephine National Assembly was held at the SSJ Provincial House from November 30 to December 1, 2019 with this theme: FALLING IN LOVE WITH THE CHARISM. It focused on Strategic Planning and Team building facilitated by Dr. Rowena Auxillos, M.D. and attended by 31 Lay Josephines from the different LJ groups and 9 sisters from the different communities.


The Lay Josephines took to task the responsibility of organizing their first national assembly.  Dr. Connette  L. Sta. Cruz,M.D. (LJ Coordinator) met together with the leaders of each LJ group and members of the Planning/ Steering Committee on the 3rd Sunday LJ meeting with the link SSJ sister. The facilitator was given all the information about the SSJ congregation and the Lay Josephine Spirituality. The spirit of Nazareth, the inspiration of the Holy Family and of their founders Bonifacia and Butinya filled up what had been lacking in the preparations.

On the first day of the assembly, Nov. 30, 2019, the facilitator was able to pick up immediately the strengths /weaknesses of the group. She was on top of the situation as she started the ball rolling by introducing herself to the group; she being a medical doctor herself and her capability as facilitator of hospitals and other lay groups for administration/ organization. She facilitated the whole day on STRATEGIC PLANNING. Groups discussed and reported written answers in Manila paper for synthesis: “What’s inspiring?”; “What’s working?”; “What’s possible?”; “What’s missing?” Through this process, our LJ members discovered their own strengths, capabilities and weaknesses. The VISION and MISSION of the Lay Josephine Spirituality were also revisited. They were made simpler and easier to live out in their ordinary lives. Notable were the efforts to unify their understanding and doing, living the Nazareth spirituality in the different services for girls at risks and for the unemployed woman. In the revisit of the LJ Mission/ Vision Statements, tackled in the group discussions at different sessions were the following: “Where are we going?” How are we going to get there?”; “Why Change?; “Next Steps: Action Steps”. It was also a moment of realization that they are treading the same path with the SSJ towards realization of their goals. Although, still at its early stages of development, it’s showing up it’s leveling up!




Very inspiring, indeed, was the 100 % attendance of the LJ Group from Silay City, Negros Occidental. 

They facilitated the activities before supper. One of them presented a PowerPoint presentation on Sharing, one of the most important Nazareth values. 

Their coordinator shared the summary of their experiences as LJs. They are a very solid group living out the 4 dimensions of formation in the different stages (Life, Goods, Spirituality and Mission). They meet regularly every 2nd Sunday of the month for their formation and sharing of faith-life experiences. They have their outreach program with the economically challenged people in Hacienda Maquina every 4th Sunday of the month. They have their own funds that come from their regular monthly contributions and their income from Arts/ Crafts. Their coordinator is an artist who facilitates their Arts/Crafts Fund-Raising Project.           

The Boodle Fight Dinner and fellowship Night that ended the day’s activities was not only nourishing for their bodies but for the relationships they are developing with one another and with the SSJs!

The second day, December 1, started with the 1st Advent Sunday Mass. Several activities for team building caught their attention: they realized that their group has to be built on a strong foundation so as to be able to endure the tests of time; how “communication” affected their group proceedings and relationships, how important the trust they have to give to each other and how “committed” they can be in living the charism.

A “change” has come upon them. They are falling in love with the “charism”! This was clearly manifested during their last activity- Evaluation and Recommitment. As each one painted her right hand, she shared what has been her most significant experience during the last two days. They were all very positive and encouraging. Then, they expressed their renewed commitment as Lay Josephine as they imprinted their painted hands on the white Illustration Board. It was a very meaningful and touching experience! 

They felt in their heart a very deep conviction to be a Lay Josephine forever. They expressed their heartfelt gratitude to to the SSJs for their presence and support and most especially to their facilitator for her efficient and effective facilitation skills and very gentle and loving presence.
In the afternoon, the LJ Silay under the facilitation of their coordinator-Maryann Ledesma, LJ, shared with the KBB and YBB their Arts/Crafts. KBB means Kids for Bonifacia and Butinya while YBB means Youth for Bonifacia and Butinya.



The LJs of Mandaluyong group started them on April 27, 2019. Two LJs are taking charge of their formation. Being the Year of the Youth, the Lay Josephines decided to celebrate the Christmas party of the KBB and YBB after the LJ Assembly so that the LJs and the SSJs could join them in their celebration.

At the start of the Christmas Party, it was really a delight to see the kids and youth for Bonifacia and Butinya choreographing the songs about Bonifacia and Butinya and performing a short drama in order to present the short life history of the two SSJ founders through the two youths dressed as Bonifacia and as Fr. Butinya. 

There’s, indeed, a great hope for the LJs to flourish at the service of the Kingdom in the poor working world with the coming of our youths and kids for Bonifacia and Butinya! Their parents were there to support them and hopefully, they, too, will be future Lay Josephines.



The sense of being one big Josephine family pervaded as they partook together the Christmas Party Meal.


"Our 2 days Strategic Planning and Team building provided by Dr. Bonette was an eye opener to all of us.  Especially when we had to re.-visit our LJ Mission and Vision, we realized the importance and essence of why we are called Lay Josephines.

This activities also brought about the LJs closer together. Kudos to Dr. Bonette for her generosity in sharing her Time, Talent and Treasure and we look up to her as an inspiration to the LJs because she facilitated in opening our hearts and minds to new learnings." Hellivi Hormillosa, LJ

"This activity opened our mind that we should not only give, but we should share and sharing must come from our heart so that others will be inspired also to share God's blessings." Rogielyn Acquiat Lasafin, LJ

"For me, these two days of our assembly had been very fruitful to all of us. We learned how to be open to many possibilities that may come our way. We came to know what we really want and how we can be better Lay Josephines; that it is not the quantity of projects that really matters but the quality of living out the charism bequeathed to us by our Founders: St. Bonifacia and Fr. Butinya... and our witnessing of the value of harmonized prayer and work based on the life of the  Holy Family, Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Nazareth." Cecilia Lagaya, LJ