The JOSEFA spirit: Migration and perception

November 29, 2012. Our project, no more or no less, aims to help build a better world with men and women, families, partners, businesses of all sizes, with people just about everywhere, who think that the world is not so bad, but that it could probably be better…

It is therefore a matter of cooperation, sharing and acting together. Together with those who will choose to walk with us, we will build the Josefa House. That strength that lives in us, we want to share it with refugees who, for a time, have been made vulnerable.

"We are convinced that a force springs from everyone, especially from those who have had to embark on the path of migration against their will."

March 17, 2013. As the days go by, have I thought enough about the meaning of my journey? Who am I? Myself or another?... What did I really feel called to on a particular day of my life? It is possible that my desire to "participate" in some work of public interest, for the common good, did not go so far as to call into question my relationship with the world. But then, why now? It is potentially so. Reading this passage might cause me to sense that another world is possible, to the point that I might ask myself how I could participate in the creation of a better world. This better world will be small, then bigger, in accordance with my desire to be part of it.

July 15, 2013. Josefa, like an echo, gives a voice, in the context of our migrant Humanity, to people made vulnerable by migration and rooted in a particular tradition, in the image of Joseph, an important biblical figure, who experienced a time of exile with his family, just like his ancestor the patriarch.

Josefa, like a gesture, finally, with its feminine-sounding name, a radical expression of hospitality.

December 18, 2013. Promoting peace, in our world, is to build a peaceful living together, between refugees and hosts, all of them residents, within the same house, the Josefa House…

December 18, 2013. While solidarity and commitment shape one’s being, the resulting transformation leads one to see that the only rule that is radically important to implement is the attention we give to others; it leads one to understand the essential character of acts of interpersonal proximity. In the "getting together", the commitment between "vulnerable people" then exposes one to the risk of an ever more vivid transformation... It is then appropriate to articulate in the best possible way the ethical commitment, which is a matter of deliberative procedure at the very heart of the world, and a conversion action, which is an act that is internal, like an act of trust, of abandon. This inner displacement combines activity and passivity of action, commitment and conversion. This movement, by which a being feels called to commit oneself, takes the form of a transformation: this destiny played out as an event is indeed an advent. In fact, encountering the vulnerability of others, and, in oneself, of one's own vulnerability, favours, on the way, a real human experience, towards a disruption of pre-conceived ideals, towards a new joy, a sign of the presence of a meaning received and shared.

March 17, 2014. What if man’s greatest challenge was to make his economic steps paths of spirituality?... What if the fruit of the work in itself, in its economy, became perennial and durable, ethical, because spiritual? Not as a development to be achieved, as an objective or a result, measurable by some indexes or indicators previously well thought out. But, rather, as a journey, to be lived out as a migration from oneself to oneself, through an open economy.

The economy then becomes a relationship, an encounter, the heart of otherness. The economy is simply a "being with", whose fruits are good because they are spiritually profitable to a market economy: the issue is no longer the profit to be made or to be received, but the profit is in oneself.

The "philanthropic" spirit of some is thus a beneficiary of the migration of others, and, in this, already, it is an economic gesture.

A society which views labour or capital in the light of a spiritually-minded economy, making the migrant man the host of himself, can only live on its shared resources. Our challenge could be summarized as follows: migration and spirituality, two realities to serve our economic present, in the sense that they are "profitable" for future generations.

September 21, 2014. The Josefa Foundation invites everyone to a conversion of their perception and behaviour: convinced that encountering and welcoming in perfect reciprocity, however asymmetrical they may be, enrich both the host and the guest, Josefa offers shelter to refugees who, after leaving their property and their families, have come to "our homeland", through an often painful and heart-breaking migration, and to European citizens who wish to share their lives and vulnerabilities.

September 22, 2014. How do I see others, how do I see myself? Who do I see in the one who wants to join me on "my lands"? It is possible that I feel, to tell the truth, little or not concerned. I probably try to avoid eye contact with this new person. But, if I pause for a little while in my daily routine, am I not invited, is it not in my interest, to "go along" with the one who crosses my path?

December 18, 2014. Who am I, to dare to speak, think, object..., about "migration" and "exile"? I can certainly try to look at, to scrutinize my own "migration", but beyond that, is it still possible? Indeed, how can one talk about the migration of another person, who is exiled, a stranger, displaced, to himself, to yourself, to his land, to your family?

Admittedly, our migrations inter-act, face each other, look at each other, but always singularly, from eye to eye, and not beyond. I am not a statistic, and neither are you, and my migration remains personal, even within a group of "migrants". "All of us, migrants", together, in the name of our migrations, singular, sometimes particular, but always personally "human".

March 17, 2015. And, in this path, the space of prayer and meditation is designed, of course, as an invitation to pause, to make "silence", to collect one’s thoughts, to meditate, to pray, but above all as a form of respect for each person's freedom in his or her faith-based or personal expression. Before thinking about or emphasizing a confessional or religious affiliation, it is first of all about honouring our humanities in their interiority capacity, according to the first Josefa pillar: the ethical dimension expressing the path trod together.

Another essential, and even fundamental, point for Josefa is the aesthetic aspect. The "Beautiful" sees itself as a vector of Hope. The Other is telling us about itself. Admittedly, the nuances are numerous when it comes to appreciating Beauty, but a common background should call for a consensus (a communion).

The third pillar of the Josefa House is the economic dimension in the sense that the house is the radiant heart of the city, the "living law". The heart of the Josefa House, a happy space of meditation, of prayer, shared or not, wants to vibrate according to the same fundamental harmonics.

September 19, 2018. Migration and spirituality: what does the current history of our migrations offer, among other constraints? Undoubtedly, at least, to question a migratory dialectic that cannot escape, over time, a permanent tension between disruption and continuity within an inevitable human hospitality. A hospitality to be lived, to be built, freely, everyone being seen in his or her uniqueness and, certainly, for the benefit of all: man serves man on the basis of this foundation: you and me, we are all migrants!