Foundation: October 1, 1986
Foundress: Rev. Mother Mary Therese Laxamana Vicente, HFJ (1921 – 1995)
Charism: Contemplation of the Holy Face of Jesus
Spirituality: To see God’s presence continually, with Mary
Apostolate: To Radiate the Holy Face of Jesus to God’s People
A. Promotion of a Relevant Spirituality
1. Holy Face of Jesus 2. Holy Eucharist
B. Formation of the Laity
1. Crusaders of the Holy Face of Jesus
2. Young Apostles of the Holy Face of Jesus
3. Little Friends of the Holy Face of Jesus
C. Pastoral Work
1. Parish Assistance 2. Liturgical Ministry
D. Education Apostolate
1. School Apostolate
a. Our Lady of Guadalupe School
b. Sto. Nino Catholic School
2. Christian Education
Being founded locally, all of our houses are located in the Philippines.
A charism is a vocational gift which the Holy Spirit gives to each member of a religious congregation and which coincides essentially with the gift originally received by the founder or foundress. The founder or foundress is a key figure in understanding the congregation for he or she is the person who gives the spiritual patrimony to all the members. The spirit and aim of the founder is faithfully accepted and retained as a permanent heritage by the community thus giving it a particular character. The charism encompasses history, traditions, rules, spirituality, and apostolate that are transmitted, safeguarded and developed by the institute.
The essence of the life of the Sisters of the Holy Face of Jesus is contained in the community’s Constitution, Customs and Traditions; and our declared Charism is
“Contemplation of the Holy Face of Jesus“.
It has the following characteristics:
Contemplative in Action
Our active apostolate is essentially linked to our prayer life in the sense that the fruits of our shared contemplation are imparted to the joyful and grieving world with which we are called to be in solidarity. (HFJ Constitution 60)
Contemplative Life of Devotion
The life of devotions which God inspired us to live continually nourishes our spiritual life. They are our holy entrance in seeking and contemplating the Face of God.
Contemplative Vowed Life
Recognizing the prophetic sign of our religious consecration, we continually enrich our vowed life by our awareness of our union with God, Who called and loved us first.
Contemplation in the Centrality of Common Life
It is through Community Life that we realize God’s presence and find means to achieve the perfection of love and the fulfillment of our apostolate. Living as a real family, being of “one mind and heart”, on the way to God. (HFJ Constitution 49, 50)
To see God’s presence continually, with Mary,
constitute the Spirituality of our Congregation. And the awareness and sensitivity to God’s presence, moment to moment in a world of joy and suffering, is a constant challenge for each sister.
As members of the community, different indeed in talents and character, but equal in the bond of charity and profession, we endeavor to safeguard and protect the spiritual heritage of our foundress, which is her legacy to our institute. Each sister is expected to imitate her sterling virtues as well:
The Sisters of the Holy Face of Jesus (HFJ), formerly known as the Holy Face of Jesus Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, was founded by Rev. Mother Mary Therese L. Vicente, HFJ (1921-1995) in Quiapo, Manila on October 1, 1986.
The inspiration that led to its foundation begun when a replica of the Holy Shroud from Turin, Italy was exhibited at the Manila Cathedral in August 1976 and Mo. Mary Therese, then a member of the Daughters of Mary Mother of the Church congregation, was given the task to be the Exhibit’s custodian.
Mo. Therese’ strong desire to do the will of God and to lead people to Him was consistently manifested in her acts of piety and maternal concern for all peoples. Her openness to various devotions that came her way was for her opportunities to lead people to God. That is why, when she encountered the Devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus and observed the effect of this devotion on the others’ lives; she eventually deepened her involvement in it. After passing periods of discernment and obtaining blessings from Church authorities she established a Center for the Holy Face of Jesus so that people can still visit and venerate the Holy Face even after the Exhibit. Her dedication to the devotion and to the mission led her to officially leave the Daughters of Mary and found the Sisters of the Holy Face of Jesus.
As fruits of this devotion, lay religious organizations were also established: the Crusaders of the Holy Face of Jesus (CHFJ) in 1977, and then the Young Apostles of the Holy Face of Jesus (YAHFJ) and the Little Friends of the Holy Face of Jesus (LFHFJ) in 1990 and 1994, respectively.
Withstanding the various crises which accompanied the foundation of the sisters and in pursuing its stability, the Congregation continued their services in the Archdiocese of Manila and its mission expanded to other places in the Philippines as well. Relying primarily on God Providence, the mission continues even after the death of the foundress on June 7, 1995.
MEDITATION AND CONTEMPLATION
“The life of sisters proper to each institute, by which all members are united together like a special family in Christ, is to be determined in such a way that it becomes a mutual support for all in fulfilling the vocation of each member.” Eminently, it is through community life that we realize His presence and find means to achieve perfection of love and the fulfillment of our charism in our apostolate. Likewise, through community life, we bound ourselves together, like the first Christians “of one heart and one mind.” (cf. Constitution No. 49)
Our Foundress adapted the Rule of St. Augustine for it greatly stresses on community life; a rule that is characterized as a call to an evangelical equality motivated by love for one another. That is why the guiding principles of superiors and all members in our community are: service in the name of Christ, responsibility, obedience and respect.
Recognizing that we have been gathered into one so that the glory of God maybe proclaimed, we shall do our best to live as real family: trustful and open, prudent in fraternal correction, sensitive to the needs of each other, cooperative in all undertakings, and disposed to use our talents for common good. (cf. Constitution No.50)
Our regular schedule constitutes the regular observances of our daily schedule whose practice enables us to follow Christ more closely in our lives and to make our apostolate more effective. Hence, these practices are of vital importance which we should love wholeheartedly and carry out willingly.
Regular observance consists of all elements, which make up our life and regulate it by a common discipline. Chief among these are the Eucharistic and the Holy Face of Jesus’ Devotions, the celebration of the liturgy and other prayers, common life, study and apostolic work.
The contemplative framework of our daily life is a consecration of our entire being to the total Christ bringing the message that even amidst the hectic pace of modern living, personal and communal sanctification can be achieved.
Great emphasis has been given to the animation of our liturgical life from the very beginning. Recognizing its significance, liturgical renewal demands that we incorporate worship within the totality of our lives.
Awakening on Sundays is 5:30 a.m.
A 15 minutes of private meditation after reading the Gospel of the day is made before the Holy Mass.
A 15 minute time is allotted to a reparative prayers for the respect of human life.
All communities, especially the formation houses, observe the above daily time table in common. However, depending on the demands of study and apostolate, adjustments are made by local communities for its communal or private celebration.
Love for the Church prompt us to pledge our cooperation with the hierarchy in our apostolic endeavors and in communion and dialogue with all other sectors of the Church that we may share with them the richness of our charism.
Our apostolate is discharged in different ways, according to varying circumstances. However, it must always be in accordance with our institute’s Christian identity and befitting our charism. We commit ourselves to a kingly, apostolic and prophetic charism by sharing the fruits of our contemplation through the promotion of a relevant spirituality, the formation of the laity, pastoral works and educational apostolate. (cf. Constitution Nos. 61, 62)
LOCALITIES IN THE PHILIPPINES
The Holy Face Center & Convent in 1111 R. Hidalgo St., Quiapo, Manila has long been established for the Devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus. It started when in 1976 the replica of the Holy Shroud of Turin from Turin, Italy was brought to the Philippines for exhibit at the Manila Cathedral. As many were touched by this devotion to the suffering Christ, Mo. Mary Therese L. Vicente, HFJ, the foundress of the Sisters of the Holy Face of Jesus, looked for a place to cater for the spiritual needs of the people.
The secured old house, a century-old two storey wooden building, forlorn and unoccupied since the time it was purchased by the Gregorio Araneta Foundation to a businessman named Carlos Praisely, and considered as haunted house by passerby was renovated and preserved up to this day.