Year 2024, Sunday, January 7, the commemoration of the Solemnity of the Three Kings or the Feast of the Manifestation coincided with the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Foundation of the Congregation in 1874.
Very early in the morning, the sisters of the Province in the Luzon Cluster headed eagerly to the Parish Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Quezon City where the opening Eucharistic celebration will be held. Along with them were members of the Josephine Family: friends, benefactors, acquaintances, collaborators from the different centers, family members and many others, who share the love for the Josephine spirituality: the JOSEPHINE CHARISM, which birth we celebrate this day!
After a motivating introduction relating the manifestation of the GIFT of the Father to the world found by the Magi in Bethlehem and the gift of our Charism discovered by Francisco Butinya and St. Bonifacia for the working world, the Eucharistic celebration began presided by the parish priest Rev. Fr. Julius Jose Coching, CMF, with his concelebrants: fellow Claretian Fr. Mauricio Ulep, CMF and Missionaries of Jesus: Fr. Eugene Cañete, MJ., Fr. Percival Bacani, MJ and Fr.Milanio Viuay, MJ.
Prayers and songs, alluding to the still vibrant but now ending season of Christmas, pervaded the full-packed church with the Lay Josephines, Collaborators and the Siervas de San Jose singing beautifully. The whole liturgy was a collaboration and participation of everybody. The homily gave special emphasis to the Gift of God of the Father, the gifts of the Three Wise Men, and the gift entrusted to the Siervas de San Jose, our special Charism: WORK and the workers.
Before the final blessing, Lillian Ocenar, Provincial Coordinator, enlightening everyone on the reason for the celebration, gave a heartwarming message of gratitude to all those who are present and and to those who, with their contribution, made the celebration of the Eucharist truly meaningful. She then, invited everyone to a simple agape at the Holy Family School covered court.
RECEPTION – Holy Family School Covered Court
The whole venue was ready with flaglets and colorfully covered tables and chairs, to accommodate 500 guests. The Family spirit pervaded the atmosphere as the SSJ, Lay Josephines, Collaborators, friends, benefactors, family members, anyone who breathes the same Charism felt at home with everyone and everybody. There were again words of welcome, greetings, acknowledgement of the presence of long missed acquaintance: co-workers, co-teachers, co-sisters, etc.
Dr. Concepcion Sta. Cruz, representing the Lay Josephine Groups in the Province of the Holy Family, added a serious note as she shared her convincing experience of the living out the Josephine Charism as a lay woman, the challenges she has to face in order to discover, respond and commit to a change of paradigm in her life.
In the middle of a simple packed lunch there were presentations of talents, songs, dances, raffles for prizes and, above all, endless clicking of cameras to remember the affair that bonded us all together.
Jennifer Uy expressed her gratitude to all for an event cooperatively made to reality by the unselfish self-giving of many people. She requested everybody to pray the prayer printed on a very simple bookmark given for the occasion.
As of January 7, 2024