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We are Octavio and Maricela and we live in Aguascalientes – Mexico. We know the Sisters of St. Ann since 2003, i.e. from the time Maricela began working with the Sisters in the School. In 2004, however, this relationship became stronger, because the Sisters invited us, along with other lay people, to form a group with the aim of getting to know more closely their Founders, Carlo Tancredi and Giulia of Barolo and to live the Charism of the Institute together with them, witnessing the love of the Triune God, provident and merciful, in our family, in the ecclesial community and in the society. Immediately and with joy we said yes. They told us that even in other countries these groups were being formed. Together with the knowledge of the Marquises of Barolo, of their lives and their writings, we also started classes to deepen our knowledge of the Bible and of activities related to catechesis, liturgy and other branches of the pastoral ministry, always alongside the Sisters. Openness to missionary experiences Then we also began to participate in missionary experiences together with them.

Often we, lay people, want to do something to help in the Church, but we do not know how. Instead, with the Sisters of St. Ann at our side this becomes easier, because they guide us, they show us how to carry on mission work, they help us to learn what is necessary, and motivate us in everything. Later, we also organized missionary activities in communities far away, during the Holy Week and in the month of December. Pope Francis said that the main mission of the family is to “make room for Jesus who comes” (General Audience, 17-Dec-2014). We feel that this dimension has been realized in our family, with the passing of the years and through the closeness, support and formation that the Sisters have given with great joy to each one of us. As a family, we have gathered much fruit through this participation. Above all it gives us joy to see our two children involved in this journey. Our eldest daughter, Paulina, got herself involved and freely wanted to participate in the activities of the apostolate with the Sisters, in places where one can experience a true mission in the face of both, human and spiritual needs of so many of our brothers and sisters. We see that they have grown in sensitiveness and in love of neighbour. It gave us great joy to hear even our little son, Abraham, right from an early age, expressing the desire to respond to God’s call to the priestly vocation.

As a couple, we consider everything as a blessing from God who encourages us to continue to nourish our family with prayer, in constant dialogue with Jesus and with our beloved Lady of Guadalupe. Nazional Congresses Currently in Mexico there are 5 LASA groups: Aguascalientes, Tepatitlán, Puerto Escondido, Chimalhuacán and Nogales. Each group has more or less 15 members. In the year 2005 we had in Aguascalientes, in the Seat of the Delegation, the 1st National Congress of LASA, followed by other three. These encounters have specific objectives: Formation: they help us to deepen our mission as lay people in the Church, lived according to the spirit of the Sisters of St. Ann. Sharing: we come to know the new members and share our experiences as families engaged in living the Gospel authentically and as presence in the Local Churches. Latin American Congress A very enriching moment in the life of our Groups was the 1st Latin American Encounter of LASA in Londrina – Brazil, from 2nd to 4th May 2014. We had the joy of participating as representatives of the LASA Groups of Mexico, together with our brothers and sisters of Brazil, Peru and Argentina. It was a great wealth to share the journey of each group, which then permitted us to draw up a unified plan of life, or the “PROJECT OF LIFE FOR THE MEMBERS OF THE LASA GROUP” and also to create a single LOGO that represents us.

Our Lord has blessed us by calling us to work for His Kingdom through this proximity with the Sisters of St. Ann, which at the same time is a big responsibility. Carlo Tancredi in his book “Called to Happiness”, constantly reminds us that we all come into the world to be happy and therefore we must commit ourselves so that other persons, both the members of our family, as well as our co-workers, schoolmates, all… can lead an honest, comfortable, happy and dignified life. To do this, we as members of LASA count on the proximity and the advice of the Sisters, who help us to be attentive, to give quality service to others, always and everywhere. This service can be given only if we have Jesus in our hearts, and for this, nothing is better than prayer, frequenting the sacraments, the experience of the works of mercy and the practice of forgiveness… towards everyone! We are very grateful to the Sisters, who offer us the possibility of approaching the books concerning the life of the Marquises Carlo and Giulia, who help us to look in a new way at today’s society, which as Pope Francis says is affected in its dignity and in its roots. Following their example, we hope to be a sign of hope for the families whom we come across on our journey.
Octavio and Maricela