A group of lay collaborators and educators from the different mission areas and schools of the Hijas de Jesus Congregation in the Philippines came together to meet last March 12 – 13, 2016 at the Manresa Retreat House in Banawe, Quezon City. The meeting was focused on the initial planning for the 3rd International Encounter of the Lay which was tentatively proposed to be held in the Philippines in 2018.
In order for the group to be grounded, a brief background regarding the formation of F.I. – Lay Integration Team was traced. Moreover, a story was told on how the previous international lay encounters were presented by those who have personally experienced the said encounters. To have direction, Mr. Eleazar D. Solas, as the facilitator, determined the priority matters to be tackled, which include the possible venue, activities, itinerary, and working committees. The group had a brainstorming on the theme and objectives based on the challenges presented in the 2nd IEL, the 17th General Congregation and the Letter of Mother General to the Lay No. 7.
It was noted that the 1st International Lay Encounter was held in Salamanca, Spain in 2006 with the theme: Tracing the Footsteps of Mother Candida. Several years later, in 2012, the 2nd International Lay Encounter was held in Belo Horizonte, Brazil which focused on the theme: Charism, Life and Mission in the Style of Saint Candida Maria de Jesus. For the 3rd International Lay Encounter, the team proposed the following:
Shared Mission: Family of Mother Candida United by her Charism and Spirituality
1. To reflect and deepen our understanding and appreciation of Shared Mission in our lives as members of the family of Mother Candida (taken from the Letter of the Superior General to the Lay No. 7)
2. To heartily accept the call of the Church to be “the family of Mother Candida” in the two distinct vocations (taken from 17th GC No. 24)
3. To strengthen networks and sense of union among the members of the family of Mother Candida (taken from the Final Words of the Superior General during the 2nd IEL)
These initial theme and objectives are open for further discussion and recommendations of other lay groups who follow the charism of Mother Candida from all parts of the world. The team requests that the lay groups in other FI provinces/ countries will comment and make suggestions on the presented theme and objectives. (Comments may be sent to Mr. Eleazar D. at firstname.lastname@example.org or to the Facebook group of Laicos Leigos Lays Espiritualidad M. Cándida at https://www.facebook.com/groups/487604741274798). The suggestions of other lay groups are very significant in planning the contents and activities to be included in the said event. The team hopes to receive these suggestions before its next meeting on July 2016.
The group is facilitated by Mr. Eleazar D. Solas of Manresa School with the guidance of Sr. Emelinda C. Falsis, FI, who represents the F.I. sisters in the team. The other members of the organizing team are Beny F. Castillon, Brenda T. Garces, Christopher D. Lagong, Francis N. Esmetalda, Krisna C. Gregorios, Marites A. Bolaños, Rodilla L. Tumanda, and Yolanda N. Cruz. Other members who were not able to join the initial meeting are Noreen Yu-Tan, Dr. Linda Que, and Melissa A. Kuo.