In 2019, FCJ sisters across Asia organized groups of young people for a year-long formation program that was supposed to culminate in an Asia-wide Youth Leadership Camp (YLC) to be held in Indonesia during the FCJ Bicentenary (1820-2020). The COVID-19 pandemic meant that the culmination event could not happen, but the friendships and growth experienced by the participants over the course of the YLC program in their own home countries still bore fruit in many ways.
Read this reflection of a YLC participant in Manila on the experience of the monthly formation sessions and the three-day camp in March 2021.
My FCJ YLC Journey
By Jacquelyn Vicente
Being chosen as one of the participants in the FCJ YLC was already a great opportunity for me to be grateful. All throughout the FCJ YLC program, I learned a lot and gained many insights that I can also share with others.
First, I was inspired by the life story of Mary Madeleine. From her life story, I was struck by the words she heard from the crucifix, “I thirst.” At first, I thought that that thirst was only a physical thirst, but there is a deeper meaning of that word. I learned that there is spiritual thirst and that was the thirst that Mary Madeleine responded to. She was able to offer her life to the Lord’s thirst and we can witness the fruits of her sacrifices.
Second, everything that we have is God’s gift to us. God gave us these gifts for us to acknowledge and love Him as we also develop ourselves to be more loving persons. Here, I learned to put things in balance, that I should not fix my desires on wealth or poverty, health or sickness, success or failure, a long life or a short life. It must be put in balance.
Third, making decision plays an important role in our daily life. In making decisions, I should consider the four stances necessary to discern: seeking God; seeking freedom; gathering information; and listening to the movements of the Spirit. I learnt that I should not make decisions based on my emotional status because once I finalize my decision without considering the four stances, then I should be ready for the possible consequences.
Fourth, I was struck by the word companionship. Like the lyrics from the song Companionship on the Journey, “[we are] no longer strangers to each other. [We are] no longer strangers in God’s house. We are companions on the journey… [because] we believe in the love of our God.” We [the YLC participants] came from different statuses in life, with different backgrounds and different perspectives in life, but God brought us together to share with each other the greatest gift that God gave us – LOVE.
May the COMPANIONSHIP that we built together as members of the FCJ YLC remain with us as we ENCOUNTER God in our daily lives, in our LEADERSHIP and LOVING SERVICE. May we always remain in the LOVE of God that binds us.