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domingo, 30 de noviembre de 2014

LJ DIARY, Philippines, 2014

JUNE 22 (8:00am-11am)

SESSION 1: Orientation for New Lay Josephine Aspirants
Event Attendees: 7 SSJs, 17 Lay Josephines and 17 New LJ Aspirants       

This was the First Session in the Formation Program for new Lay Josephine aspirants. It was a heartening day because 17 new smiling faces came and registered for the Orientation, responding to the invitation of Sisters, friends, and Lay Josephines.

The Orientation started with the opening liturgy (Gospel reading, reflection, song) led by LJs Mercy Sinangote and Lorna Gener.

LJ Bernardita de Jesus, the Overall Lay Josephine Coordinator, welcomed everybody and introduced the Siervas de San Jose sisters and LJs present in the session. A short overview followed on how Lay Josephines in the Philippines came to be dating back from 1998, and on the present profile of the 46 currently active Lay Josephines in the Philippines:  
                      25 LJs in Metro Manila,
21 LJs in 2 Provincial Regions
42 Female, 4 Male
22 Single, 15 Married, 1 Separated, 8 Widow
Age range 36 - 82 years old
She also mentioned the different countries where other Lay Josephines are.

Sr. Cathy Canonero, the SSJ accompanying the LJs and their link person to the SSJ, then gave a backgrounder on the beginnings of the SSJ Congregation, the founders, the Sisters’ mission and apostolates, then and now.

Norberto Deligero, the Lay Josephine Assistant Coordinator, followed up with an introductory talk on the Lay Josephine Identity, stressing that being an LJ is both a calling and a vocation for the lay; sharing life with the SSJ by living out the SSJ charism in the context of lay life; being witnesses to the Nazareth Spirituality in whatever state of life he/she is. He invited the participants to a life of faith in the Nazareth spirit by joining the Lay Josephines, presenting the LJ Vision - Mission as a preview of the LJ spiritual journey:

We, the Lay Josephines, are a community of lay men and women, inspired by the Holy Spirit to follow the life of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Nazareth, according to the charism of the Siervas de San Jose; called to a way of life harmonizing prayer and work, towards sanctification of ourselves and others.
In solidarity with the poor workers especially the women, we commit ourselves to Jesus the worker in Nazareth, and to the Holy Family, as God’s responsible stewards, co-creators, and prophetic witnesses in the work place, for the integral transformation of self, families, and societies towards the Reign of God.

LJ Victoria Pogosa then outlined the Stages of Formation designed for the participants, to deepen understanding of the LJ Spirituality before deciding to become a full-pledged, committed Lay Josephine.

The participants showed encouraging interest in the discussed topics, asked questions, and made requests for the next session such as handouts on the topics. LJ Mercy Sinangote led the closing prayer, after a date was designated for next month’s meeting.

A lively sharing of snacks among LJs and the new aspirants culminated the successful Day 1 session. In the afternoon, the Lay Josephines joined Sr. Jenny Uy, SSJ, in the tour of The Heritage, to see the memorabilia of the early SSJ sisters and mission areas of the SSJ Holy Family Province.

Inspiration/Realization Gained:

Even ordinary people, in whatever stage of lay life, can find God in the midst of their daily tasks. Even the lowliest work can be sanctifying of oneself and of others, in the spirit of Nazareth. 

JULY 27 (9:00am-10:30am)

SESSION 2 for New Lay Josephine Aspirants:  Role of the Laity in the Church (Green  Book Chapters 1 – 3)
Event Attendees:  6 SSJs, 10 Lay Josephines and 14 New LJ Aspirants    

The Liturgical Team led by LJ Mercy Sinangote started the session with the opening liturgy. 

LJ Assistant Coordinator Norlito Deligero, with Sr. Cathy, SSJ, facilitated the discussion on the important role of the Laity in the Church. The laity has a double role and condition: they are members of both the Church and Society. As such, they are called by God to exercise their Christian apostolate in the midst of the world.  Living in the ordinary circumstances of family and social life, and led by the spirit of the Gospel, they can work for the sanctification of the world from within, as a leaven, to serve in concrete situations, in varied circumstances of personal, family, and social life, as witnesses to Christ in the world.  The lay Christian vocation is to find God in the ordinary conditions of life, be witness to Christ’s life according to one’s own personal gifts and duties, in the fulfillment of God’s will.

A lively question and answer ensued after LJ Norlito’s short discourse on the laity’s role in the Church. A quiet closing prayer ended the session.

Inspiration/Realization Gained:
It matters not whatever state in life or age one is in, a person can make God come alive in the ordinariness of his/her lay life. Even the lowliest chore can be transformed into something of value. Being an LJ is a way of facing this challenge of service, to the Church

AUGUST 24 (9:00am-11:40am)

SESSION 3 for New Lay Josephine Aspirants:  Lay Josephine Spirituality (Green Book Chapter 4)
Event Attendees:  3 SSJs, 13 Lay Josephines and 10 New LJ Aspirants

Bernardita de Jesus, the Overall Lay Josephine Coordinator, facilitated the day’s session. The opening prayer and “Kumustahan” (How Are You) started the day rolling, with a recap of the past 2 days’ discussions. Then the central theme for Day 3 was introduced, Lay Josephine Spirituality, which stems from the core of SSJ charism:
·         encountering God in the work of each day
·         encountering God in the ordinariness of life
·         in contemplation of Jesus of Nazareth

Spirituality is a style of Christian life, a manner of following Jesus. The Siervas de San Jose shares their charism with the lay, a way to live the lay life following Jesus of Nazareth. This is the essence of Lay Josephine Spirituality. In the ordinariness of daily life, by harmonizing prayer and work, we can find God and aspire for sanctification of self and others. Like Jesus of Nazareth, we live by the sweat of our brow and value the dignity even of manual work. We follow the Christian life proposed by the SSJ founders, Francisco Butinya and Bonifacia Rodriguez, to encounter God in the work of each day. We fulfill our apostolic service thru evangelization and development of the working class.

A few LJs shared their own concrete life experiences on how the LJ Spirituality gave direction to their family, community, work, and spiritual life. Four new LJ aspirants also shared instances in life where they did find God in their midst.

The LJ logo was shown to the participants, and its significance explained. The closing prayer concluded the session. 

Inspiration/Realization Gained:
God is so generous with His presence and love. In even the most ordinary, simple day-to-day tasks, in all our responsibilities in our daily life, He is waiting for us to acknowledge and welcome Him. Finding Him in all that we do gives a deeper meaning to work. Work becomes a beautiful prayer.

SEPTEMBER 28 (9:00am-10:30am)

SESSION 4 for New Lay Josephine Aspirants: Christological Foundation of Lay Josephine               Spirituality; Jesus in Nazareth(Green Book Chapters 5 - 7)
Event Attendees:  2 SSJs, 9 Lay Josephines and 17 New LJ Aspirants

Sr. Cecille Belleza, SSJ, facilitated a beautiful session on Day 4. The opening prayer-song, “We Are Called”, aptly prepared the participants to the topic of the day: the Christological Foundation of the Lay Josephine Spirituality.

We are all called to a life mission. To be an LJ is a call, and a response to the call, to follow Jesus the Worker; exemplifying the virtues and values of His hidden life in Nazareth, how He lived and worked with Joseph and Mary, a poor family of artisans who lived by the sweat of their brows. Jesus chose to be poor to reach out to the poor. He assumed the most ordinary condition of mankind, a life of family and work, like ours today. Joseph plays a special place in the Lay Josephine Spirituality. He converted a work shop into a home of God, and his work into a special place of God’s presence.

Sr Cecille engaged the participants in a question-answer activity, LJs and LJ aspirants alike, to reflect and give concrete examples of how Jesus’ life examples find similarity to ours now.Then she guided the participants to a Prayer in Silence, simulating by imagination a virtual visit to Nazareth, conversing with the Holy Family. Then sharing the experience to the whole body. A closing video, The Carpenter, wrapped up the morning’s session.

Inspiration/Realization Gained:    
To follow Jesus in Nazareth, we don’t need to follow all that Jesus did. We just have to ensure that in everything we do, in every moment we live, God is there.

OCTOBER 26, 2014 (9:00am-11:30am)

SESSION 5 for New Lay Josephine Aspirants:  Human and Christian Value of Work (Green Book Chapters 8 – 11)
Event Attendees:  3 SSJs, 14 Lay Josephines and 12 New LJ Aspirants

Sr. Marcie Sta. Cruz, SSJ, facilitated this day’s session. The opening liturgy and readings from the book of Genesis so appropriately introduced the day’s topic - value of work. The first man and woman, Adam and Eve, though already in paradise, were made to “work”. They were commanded “to subdue the earth, rule over the fish of the sea and birds of the sky, over every living creature that moves on the ground….” So even then, work was not meant to be a punishment but a means of continuing the creation of God.

To strike a point, Sr. Marcie divided the participants into 3 small groups for an SLE (significant learning experience). Each group was given materials for the exercise – all sorts of junk and trash – used bottles, cartons, old newspapers, straw, soft drink cans, tissue roll, etc. Each group was asked to make something, anything, out of the trash given them. Then each group presented their work and output to the whole body. Thoughts and impressions about what they did were shared, serving as the springboard for the discussion: that just like at creation, from nothing something can come forth to being, something beautiful, useful, a self-expression of its creator. Work has this essence. From what a person has – intellect, talents, elements of the earth – he/she brings forth through work something fruitful and self-fulfilling. Work differentiates him/her from other creatures as it enables a person to leave his/her mark on earth, thus humanizes a person,  leads to a transformation - of himself/herself, others, and his/her environ. This is the human dimension and human value of work.

The Holy Trinity is also manifested through work, so work gives man/woman dignity, a holy dignity. God the Father, the creator, invites man/woman to be with Him in creation, in perfecting and completing it. God the Son shares His redemptive task with man/woman through work. Jesus saved us not just by dying on the cross. By offering the effort, fatigue and pain that comes with work, by doing it with love as Jesus did, man/woman becomes co-redeemer in the way of salvation and renewal of humanity. God the Holy Spirit works in each of us and makes us agents of change. All who work are co-creator, co-redemptor, co-transformative agents. We unite with God who creates, redeems, transforms. This is the Christian value of work.

Inspiration/Realization Gained:

Everything I do can be a furtherance of God’s creation. In everything I do, I do a work of God, a work for God.

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