By Michelle Dayrit Soliven | HS 1979

The Community of Lay Assumption (fondly called CLAY) is alive with Sisters, lay partners, old girls and friends who bond together on a journey to grow their spiritual life guided by the teachings of our dear Mother foundress St. Marie Eugenie. The fruit of Assumption spirituality is joyfully spreading the love of God everywhere they can. May it be in families, communities, workplaces or anywhere God calls them to be.

Many of my batchmates, including myself, are currently enjoying CLAY for various reasons and each has their own story to tell.

Tina Cruz Mateo began joining CLAY prayer circles in Cebu way back 2010. Now in Manila she shared that “CLAY has brought her back home, to happily reconnect with her schoolmates and friends, this time with the blessing of getting to know and love St. Marie Eugenie and Assumption spirituality.”

Reena Melo Arnaldo says, “for the past 5 years, I always look forward to being with the group whenever I can. The prayer support and sisterhood are commendable.”

Teesa Alzate Daluz marks her 6th year in CLAY this year. “In our prayer circles, we help each other deepen our knowledge and love of God as we experience a oneness in the spirit. It’s a joy to feel the Holy Spirit move in our hearts individually and as a group,” she said

Risa Baltazar Nepomuceno loves CLAY because she feels at home in a community formed by the charism of St Marie Eugenie. She enjoys the continuing spiritual formation and journey together through recollections, prayer circles, rosaries, charitable activities and precious fellowship. 

For Lizette Banzon Cojuangco, “CLAY has been a wonderful haven especially during lockdown. Being part of a group that prays together, for each other and for the country is always comforting. One is always reminded to put our faith in HIM which somehow diminishes our anxieties. CLAY also helps us understand St. Marie Eugenie’s teachings, enabling us to love her more and appreciate her values.  I can attest to how beautiful and piercing the words of St. Marie Eugenie are. Praying with her is a sure fire in leading us to the loving embrace of Jesus.”

What Arlina Arrozal de Jesus appreciates most about CLAY in her past 8 years is that it brings individuals together to deepen their spirituality. She said, “ CLAY gives us opportunity to share  insights from life experiences based on reflections from gospel readings. Opportunities that assure us that we are never alone in our struggles, fears, anxieties and challenges encountered in different phases of life. The assurance that we have a community that will pray for us and accompany us in our journey toward oneness with Christ.”

Three things led Tina Casas Nakpil to CLAY 7 years ago: A way to deepen her prayer life, a structured group that is regular but not too rigid. A loving community. She happily found all three in CLAY.

Cynthia Tinsay Gonzalez shared the gifts she received from CLAY in the past 10 years.. The feeling of well-being, the graces received by praying for others and the feeling of community growing together in faith.

Nina Huab Cruz joined CLAY in 2014.  CLAY keeps me connected with MME, loving friends and most of all with God. “All from Jesus. All for Jesus, All is Jesus” became my guide since one of the retreats.

When Lizette Abella Peralta joined us she said, “CLAY gave me the chance to re-connect with classmates, teachers, and others I met in school. I also made new friends. By praying together we not only strengthen our faith but we forge a bond that connects us on a spiritual level. What I cherish the most is the unwavering support.  I felt that I could call on anyone in CLAY for guidance. I felt reassured that I belong to such a community especially in the most difficult 2 years of my life.”

All I can say, says Agnes Enano is that “I love the company and camaraderie of CLAY. I look forward to more face to face activities.”

Tweety Quintero Olivares says, “I love CLAY because it taught me that life does not have to be all perfect before God comes into my heart.  For the first time, I learned that God meets us at whatever stage or state of life we’re in now.  So growing our spiritual life doesn’t have to be a goal for the future when all is well & perfect.  It starts now, with our circle of friends with whom we grow in faith and love.”

Our CLAY head, Ave Yaptinchay Ignacio, shares, “my 14 years in CLAY has helped greatly in my growth, not just spiritually but as a person living in a very confusing world. It has taught me to go beyond my comfort zone, navigate the challenges that I have to face as a wife, mother, friend, sister in community and other roles I’ve had to take.”

Need more proof of the fun and joy that CLAY can bring?

Soon we will be conducting Orientation talks for those interested to join  CLAY. Please call or text Ave Ignacio 0918-9103290 or Rosie Yu 0917-1573066. You may also reach out to any CLAY member.

We urge you to please join us on this fun and heavenly journey. The Community of Lay Assumption is waiting for you!

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