The seed or spiritual mandate of the mission of Lord’s Leaven was given by Our Lord Jesus on Easter Monday on April 15, 1968 in the barrio chapel of Bgy. Pundaguitan, Gov. Generoso, Davao Oriental when during Holy Communion at Mass Our Lord Jesus showed an intense flick of a second “life-size” vision of Him hanging on the Cross right in front of him with all the blood oozing throughout His Body saying, “I am suffering in the heart of every one who does not know who and where I am.” Then He gratuitously gave this mission to Bro. Joe to spread the message of Divine Indwelling:
“Now, My son, that you have found Me in your heart, go, look for Me in the hearts of the others…. Go, tell them all I love them. Tell them all I am in them.” (Our Lord Jesus crucified to Bro. Joe)
This was his moment of metanoia, a change of heart and mind, a conscious awareness and a major turning point in the life of Bro Joe. This mission was confirmed by Fr. Michael Hiegel, the American Maryknoll missionary and parish priest who offered the Mass and witnessed the event of that day. When Bro. Joe confessed to him that evening of the same day, Fr. Hiegel said, “Bro. Joe, I know what happened in the chapel this morning. You have a mission to fulfill.” Bro. Joe did not know exactly at that moment what and how the mission was to be fulfilled.
As our Lord Jesus grew in wisdom and knowledge before God and men” (Lk 2:52) so also was the development of the mission; it grew gradually in time.
Then in 1969 this mission began to sprout without Bro. Joe knowing nor intending it he received from the Holy Spirit at that time. The Archdiocese of Davao sponsored a Minda-nao-wide essay contest on ‘VOCATIONS TO THE PRIESTHOOD.” One evening after prayer and meditation Bro. Joe received from the Holy Spirit the inspiration based on Jn 14:6 and Vatican 2 Document on the Role of the Laity. What Bro. Joe wrote and the inspiration he received from the Holy Spirit has become the theological framework of the mission now called Lord’s Leaven.
His Spiritual Director in the seminary, Fr. Hubert Paradis, PME, called Bro. Joe and explained to him why he won the contest. He won not because of the many ideas on how to recruit vocations but because of the theological concept and basis of vocation and the practical integrated pastoral principles and approaches in getting vocations. That was impossible for Bro. Joe to know since he just finished his philosophy and was still in his early years in theology in St. Francis Xavier Regional Major Seminary in Davao City.
Then in February, 1974 for five consecutive dawns, Bro. Joe received directly from Our Lord Jesus the prophetic instructions of what he was to do in the Mission as a lay missionary. On April 22 of the same year he received the expressed instruction and guidance of the Blessed Mother of Fatima saying, “What my Son told you, follow Him.” In 1980 Fr. Stefano Gobbi, Founder of the Marian Movement of Priests, visited the Holy Face Center in Quiapo, Manila to bring the message of Our Lady for the Filipinos (MMP 280 and 281). Bro. Joe was conducting a Mariology Recollection at the Center on that day. When both Fr. Gobbi and Bro. Joe came out from the Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration chapel Fr. Gobbi told Bro. Joe through Fr. Tarditi, the priest in charge of the MMP in the Philippines to help spread the Marian Cenacle and to share with all Filipinos the role that Our Lady assigned to them in these days of intense Spiritual Battle between Our Lady and Satan.
In the same year, 1980, His Eminence Jaime Cardinal Sin through Msgr. Josefino S. Ramirez, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Metro Manila and the spiritual director of Bro. Joe mandated Bro. Joe to write the spiritual intent, charism and pastoral programs of the mission that would serve as a guide to the many communities and prayer groups that Bro. Joe organized in several dioceses and parishes in the country in relation to Canon Law and the Spirituality of the Mission.
Then in 1984 with the help of Sis. Lourdes Oliveros Bro. Joe submitted the Bylaws of the Lord’s Leaven Mission Foundation to the Securities and Exchange Commission in the Philippines. The Foundation got registered on October 24, 1984 in obedience to Rom 13:1-13 and Lk 20:25.
On the same year, April 9, 1984, Bro. Joe received the commission from the World Apostolate of Fatima (Blue Army) and an authentic replica-image of Our Lady of Fatima from Fatima, Portugal with the first class relics of St. Jacinta and St. Francisco, and to represent Sis. Lucia who was still alive at that time, a chip of the holm oak tree on which Our Lady stood when she appeared to the three children in May to October, 1917.
From that day on, Bro. Joe has never stopped going where Our Lady would want him to go to promote and spread the Triumph and the Peace Plan of Our Lady through the Marian Cenacle and the Basic Ecclesial Community Program of the Church. Since the approval of the Mission as a Canonical Society, Bro. Joe and all commissioned Lord’s Leaven Members promote the same mission of Our Lady and of Jesus through the Pastoral Manage-ment Institute (PMI).
Then in 1987 on his first international mission in Guam and Saipan Bro. Joe received in the sacristy of the little church in the village of Merizo a direct inspiration from the Holy Spirit to have the Constitution of the Lord’s Leaven Mission Society written in obedience to Eph 3:8-10.
“Although I am less than the least of all the LORD’s people, this grace was given me: to preach… the boundless riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created a ll things. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms.” (Eph 3:8-10)
Then in the same year of 1987 His Eminence Jaime Cardinal Sin and Msgr. Josefino S. Ramirez, mandated Bro. Joe to write the Constitution of the Lord’s Leaven Mission Society according to Canon Law, the pastoral intent of the Church and the Spirituality of the Mission as a guide to those who would aspire to join the Lord’s Leaven Mission. Through prayer, medita-tion and actual mission work Bro. Joe wrote what eventually would become the Constitution of the Lord’s Leaven Mission Society.
Finally, in September 29, 2014 the Constitution of the Lord’s Leaven Mission Foundation/Society was submitted to the Chancery of the Diocese of Cubao. Upon the study and commendation of the Board of Consultors of the Diocese Bishop Honesto Ongtioco approved and gave the Decree of Recognition to the Lord’s Leaven Mission Foundation, Inc./Society as an official ecclesial canonical congregation in the Church under its ecclesial Constitution in the Diocese of Cubao with the condition that the Society be subject to an occasional review and renewal by the ecclesial authority.
These two Constitutions fulfill the mandate of the Lord Jesus saying:
“Give to Caesar the things that are Caesars, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Mk 12:17)
knowing that the power of Caesar also comes from God. (Jn 19:11 / Rom 13:1-13).
It was the Blessed Mother, the Holy Spirit and the Ecclesial authority that inspired and showed Bro. Joe how this Divine Indwelling Mission is to be lived through contemplation and meditation in the midst of the conflicting values of the world today.
Relations of the Church and the Government
The Constitution of the Lord’s Leaven Mission Society has become the basis of operation in the mission. As citizens of a country Christians are obligated to obey the laws of the land even if the rulers are non-Christians. However, the people are not obligated to obey if the human law violates a higher Lex Divina or God‘s Law. Our supreme duty is to obey God.
Since God tells us to also obey human laws. But, when they come in conflict with God’s Law, we are to “obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29).
“His (God’s) intent was that through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 3:8-10)
LLMFI is obligated to report every year to the government based on government regulations according to the Constitution and ByLaws approved by Securities and Exchange Commission.
Both LLMFI/LLMS are obligated to report to the Church as mandated for its renewal. LLMS deals with operations and transactions that affect the Church and the People of God.