Sharing: The First Three Weeks in Hong Kong



At Surabaya airport, I should sign a passenger declaration that I would arrange the visa in Hong Kong because I had a return ticket to USA via Hong Kong and I didn’t have visa to enter USA. I could check in 2 x 50 pounds of luggage.

I arrived safely at Hong Kong International Airport on Feb 28, 2010 around 1.45 p.m on visitor visa. My sisters picked me up at airport. My uncle Yung Siu met me at airport to pick up goodies from my auntie and he gave me a handphone. I met him in Hong Kong in 2005 but I just remembered about him when my auntie asked me to bring the goodies. My sisters and I went to Maryknoll Sisters Convent at Boundary Street. There were Chinese new year decorations in my door and pink roses, cards, gifts in my table. Srs. Betty Ann, Theresa Leung, Joan Delaney were in Hong Kong.

I was warm welcomed during our Maryknoll Annual Gathering by around 40 Maryknoll fathers, brothers and sisters including Sr. Paulette Young, MM and Fr. Tim, MM who was the rector of Maryknoll Formation House in Chicago. There was another welcome from my sisters during our Regional Meeting on March 21, 2010.

On my first daily mass at St. Theresa’s Church, I gave sign of peace by shaking hand and everybody else just bowed to each other. The mass is in English at 6.45 a.m.

Sr. Joan Ling accompanied me to go to Immigration-Wan Chai to pick up my one year working visa.

After a meeting with Srs. Maureen and Annie, I went overnight to Macau with Sr. Annie by ferry, celebrated Sr. Anne’s birthday, visited Fatima Elderly Center with Sr. Annie and St. Theresa School with Srs. Arlene and Sue. I attended my first Cantonese mass at Our Lady of Fatima Church and I only understood “Amin,” “I,” “Kami,” “Damai,” and “Jesus”. I went back to Hong Kong alone on working visa. I stayed overnight at King’s Park community for mass celebrated by Fr. Joseph and supper.

Sr. Flora, RGS, an Indonesian sister who works with the Indonesian migrant workers at Catholic Center, visited our convent.

My uncle Yung Siu invited for dim sum with my cousin Siao Yu and her husband Kin Lam, it’s my first time to meet them who were born in Fujian Province-China. My uncle also invited for an Indonesian meal at Tsim Sha Tsui and I saw a pink heart decoration in front of Heritage 1881 Shopping Mall which would be removed the next day. My grand-uncle Kiem Hi, as I remember it’s my first time to see him, invited for dim sum too. I ate dim sum and use chopsticks in Indonesia once in a while.

Fr. John, SVD, my Mandarin teacher in Chicago, invited for supper at his community nearby.

Christ-Silvia-Niko-William and Fr. John, SVD picked me up for an Indonesian mass at St. Paul Chapel-Causeway Bay with around 150 Indonesian migrant workers. There were choir and dance practices for Easter after mass. Silvia invited for supper with her family, Fr. John, Sr. Flora and Rano, SVD.

I read the brochures of mandarin classes in Chinese University of Hong Kong, Dr. Sun Yat-sen University-Guangzhou and later on The Beijing Center and Nanjing University from Sr. Maureen.

I went to Immigration-Cheung Sha Wan alone by MTR to process my Hong Kong ID. I wrote my Chinese name 黄莉莉 (“Wong Lei Lei” in Cantonese or “Huang Li Li” in Mandarin). That’s why sometimes my sisters introduce me as “Wong Sau Neui” (=Sister Wong). I should write my full name in the Hong Kong ID and it will appear as Padmadewi Oei, Anastasia Birgitta L. It’s another way (again) to write my name. After taking photo and finger printing, I sat in the reception waiting area instead of interview waiting area till the interviewer looked for me as I didn’t hear when they called me many times. I will collect it on March 30, 2010. Then, I had dim sum with ai Hong, ai Yen and my uncle at Lai Chi Kok.

Salome and I accompanied Sr. Rose to go to Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital-Wong Tai Sin, which was founded by Maryknoll Sisters in 1961 and became public hospital in 1991. Salome invited for lunch at Kowloon Tong Club.

I went to Holy Spirit Seminary with Sr. Maureen as we would attend memorial mass for James O’Halloran at Stanley House of Maryknoll Society. I met his wife, Lily O’Halloran, during the funeral of Sr. Rose Chin, MM in New York in 2007. Fr. Bob, MM and Fr. Tony, MM drove me home through the east side of Hong Kong and visited the office of UCA News-Kwun Tong.

Sr. Joseph Lourdes accompanied me to go around Kowloon city and Mongkok. It’s easy to go around by bus, mostly double deck, or MTR in Hong Kong using Octopus card. All MTR stations are written in Chinese character and the Romanisation. Most people are speaking in Cantonese so I usually ask to say it in English but if they aren’t an English speaking person, I will look for another rescuer. I can ask “duo shao qian” (mandarin of how much it cost) in my Indonesian accent but I don’t understand their answer in Cantonese so finally they use a calculator or write it down. I know when somebody greets me “good morning” and “good bye” in Cantonese because it similar with Mandarin “zaoshang hao” and “zaijian” and their gestures. I am listening to mandarin courses in my pink laptop.

Leslie and Raymond helped me to get the wireless connection for my laptop. Later on, Fr. Armada, CM helped me to remove viruses from my laptop by sending the antivirus by email.

I am gaining weight 6 pounds in 3 weeks even though sometimes I feel tense in prayers, in immigration and in meeting.

Thank you very much for all of your warm welcome, hospitality, support, cards, gifts, red envelopes and especially your prayers during my first three weeks in Hong Kong. May God continue to bless you in your missionary journey.

New Teritory-Hong Kong, March 24, 2010

Sr. Anastasia B. Lindawati, M.M.

Let’s do simple things with simple love to make God’s love visible

Sharing: Home Visit 2009




As my Christmas letter (here is the link: http://anastasialindawatimm.blogspot.com/2009/12/christmas-letter-09.html), I arrived safely in Surabaya on Dec 23, 2009. Upon arriving at airport, I felt heavy for a moment, then I saw pink roses in the restroom, I knew it's a consolation. My parents and my youngest sister Ling Ling picked me up at airport.
I went to Carmelite Monastery in Tumpang-Malang the next morning in a 5 hours ride with Ling Ling and her friends to celebrate Christmas. I visited Widya Sasana College of Philosophy and Theology and Postulate of SVD in Malang.
Upon coming back from Tumpang, I stayed at ce Lani-ko Roni's house in Surabaya and went home on Dec 31, 2010 with Ling Ling. I found a dark pink t-shirt with a quotation "never look back" in a shoping mall in Surabaya so I bought it. I attended anticipate masses in my home town and met Fr. Djoko Noegroho, Theresia and the community.
I lost my USB in an internet cafe in Surabaya and almost lost the other one as I forgot to pick it up upon leaving. I met my Cybercell friends (Erlina, Wiwik, Djojo, Roy, Sandra, Mimi, and Luki), School of Evangelisation friends (Bu Ida, Pak Hoky, Bu Binar, Pak Handoko, Pak Adrijoko, cik Pauline, Mira, cik Felly, Bu Wahyuni, Sukandi, Surya), Peksy 89 friends (Tjiang, Novi, Adjon, David), Fr. Armada Riyanto, CM, Ayda, Irma, cik Shirley, Ninik, Harti, mbak Irawati, Bu Nining-Pak Nanang, and Deny. I visited School of Evangelisation (Bu Judy, Bu Betty, Mira, Surya, Bu Ayu) and Ritra Cargo in Surabaya. It was a surprise for my former staffs as they thought they would never see me again as I live in USA. I also visited Mgr. Vincentius Sutikno, Bishop of Surabaya Diocese as I met him in the Philippines in 2007.
I had stomach problem and coughing in the second week. I went to restroom each time I ate for almost one week. I think living in the USA for 2.5 years influenced my digest system.
I stayed in 6 bed rooms for the first 3 weeks as I also visited my extended families in Sidoarjo, Mojosari, Tulungagung and Surabaya.
I visited Linda at OCD Claket through Prigen coming over a beautiful shrine of retreat house of Griya Samadi Vinsensius (a retreat house owned by Vincentian Fathers). I also went to Madura through the new Suramadu bridge.
My parents, Ling Ling and I went to the temple in Tuban. It's in front of the sea. My parents prayed as their usual rite and I went around the compound. We celebrate my nephew Edbert's birthday in Madiun. I stayed there for several days . My youngest nephew didn't know me as I left for USA when he was 4 months old and he just learned to call me when I should leave for Hong Kong.
I stayed at Soverdi Jakarta and met Yohana, Josh, Affandi, Wina, Surya, Suyin-ko Tony, Natalia, Monica, and Pak Jeffrie. I visited Fr. Agust Surianto of OBOR, Fr. Hardjono, Arnold van der Veen-Elis-Christian-David, Hendrie, Selly-Heydik - Devita-Nico-Denan, RGS Jakarta community and Ritra Cargo. I stayed with FMM Regina Pacis Bogor and met tante Agnes-om Handoko, Peter, Fr. Ridwan, Fr. Gaib, Fr. Sudarto, Fr. Driyanto, Kak Tuty-Pak Andy, Tim Pendamping (Dyo, Wahyu, and Hung).
I accompanied my sister to go to Singapore as she would have a check up including going around in Orchard Road, Merlion Statue and Sentosa Island. We stayed at Cecilia-Sandra Karta's house and attended the Indonesians' prayer meeting. I met mas Kunto and Bu Jane. There was a big pink heart and toes of tiger at Changi airport as the decoration for valentine’s day and Chinese new year of tiger.
Chinese new year is always a big celebration in my home as my extended families would come to celebrate it. There were around 30 persons for the day. I also visited extended families to say "Gong Xi Fa Cai"
I had a chance to attend Chinese new year celebration with around 65 senior high school friends and also their family in Malang. I stayed at Herlina-Irawan's house. I couldn't hold my tears when thanked God for the chance to meet them mostly for the first time after 20 years. It's the biggest reunion for me. I went around Batu and visited Fr. Verbeek, OCarm and Fr. Anton Rosari, SVD.
I stayed overnight in Telaga Sarangan with my family, rode a boat and horse with Ling Ling. I couldn't hold my tears as I left my younger sister, brother in-law, and nephews.
Several friends and I prayed together mostly through telephone as they asked a prayer and ended up with a prayer for me including the last minute at the airport just before boarding.
According to my mom, my extended families, and friends, I am gaining weight even though I wasn't as my weight was still 121 pounds. Maybe because they remembered me before I left for Philippines as I was gaining 4 pounds in the Philippines and another 2 pounds at home before left for USA. At the end of my home visit, I am gaining weight 2 pounds.
Several friends asked how to call me so I said that they can call me whatever they want to call me (I have a Chinese name Oei Li Li and then I changed to AB Lindawati Padmadewi as I became an Indonesian citizen in 1989) but in public , I am asking to be called Sr. Anastasia to avoid confusion.
I shared my vocation story and mission of Maryknoll Sisters shortly during the Mass at Christ the King Church, Surabaya on January 16, 2010 and St. John the Baptist Church, Surabaya prior to the launching of my collaborative book (here is the link: http : / / anastasialindawatimm.blogspot.com/2010/03/sharing-book-launching-kasih-sahabat.html).
Several people asked about religious habit so I said that religious brothers and sisters are allowed not to wear religious habit since Second Vatican Council and our sign as a Maryknoll Sister is a Chi Rho ring. Several friends appreciate the decision not to wear habit. A friend reminded me to be mindful as nobody knows that I am a sister.
The last week of home visit was going so fast. I should hold my tears when I said good bye to Ling Ling as she went for retreat several days before I left.
I couldn't hold my tears on my way to Surabaya on February 27, 2010 after saying good bye to my parents. I attended an anticipate mass at St. John the Baptist Church, Surabaya. After communion, I said "God, You know I can't do it, but from my experiences, I know how You prepares everything to make me never look back "and I couldn't hold my tears.
I gratefully said no to my friend who re-offered to work in his company, an offering which was given one week after my resignation in 2006.
My brother Hero drove me to airport the next early morning. I couldn't hold my tears in the plane to remember the consequence of my decision to be a missionary in a foreign land.
Thank you very much for all of your time, support, insights, warm welcome, hospitality, cards, gifts, monetary gift and especially your prayers during my home visit. May God continue to bless you in your missionary journey.

"I am able to do all things through the One who strengthens me" (Phil. 4:13).

Hong Kong, March 19, 2010


Sr. Anastasia B. Lindawati, M.M.
Let's do simple things with simple love to make God's love visible

Sharing: Book Launching "Kasih Sahabat"






It's my collaborative book with Fr. Lukas Batmomolin, SVD. It's about friendship that has its origin in God's relationship with us through Jesus; and how we live this friendship among us. I contribute with my own life's sharing to the reflection based on Jesus' experience of suffering and resurrection.
Fr. Lukas did the final editing as I already went home and couldn't have access to the internet easily. The book was published by Yayasan Pustaka Nusatama in January 2010.
Fr. Lukas and I agreed on the date of the book launching on Feb 21, 2010 for this was the only available Sunday for both of us, since Fr. Lukas arrived from Chicago on Feb 11, 2010 and I would have to leave for Hong Kong on Feb 28, 2010.
We are very grateful to Fr. Sarto Mitakda, SVD and Fr. Dominikus Kefi, SVD, together with the Youth group of the St. John the Baptist Church, Wonokromo, Surabaya as the organizer of the book launching. Fr. Armada Riyanto, CM, the speaker, and I attended the preparatory meeting on Feb 17, 2010. I asked for pink and blue colors for the decoration.
I shared my vocation story and mission of Maryknoll Sisters at the Mass concelebrated by Fr. Armada, CM, Fr. Sarto, SVD and Fr. Lukas, SVD at St. John the Baptist Church on Feb 21, 2010 prior to the launching.
There were around 30 people attending the event at SDK St. Joseph, Surabaya. Ochie and Shandy were the MCs. Fr. Sarto, SVD gave an opening talk and led the opening prayer. There was a video presentation entitled "My True Friend" after reading the curriculum vitae of Fr. Lukas and myself.
Prof. Dr. E. Armada Riyanto, CM, rector of Widya Sasana College of Philosophy and Theology-Malang gave the presentation about the book. He underlined the fact that the book is rich in reflections and experiences about Jesus as the model of friendship and ourselves as His friends. The book is written in the spirit of prayer and reflection enriched by real life experience. He also emphasized that the book can be read from whatever page, from the beginning, as from the middle or at the end as well.
There were several questions following the presentation and a wish to Fr. Armada, Fr. Lukas and I to publish a book about friendship for the wider community.
Fr. Lukas and I gave a book to Ms. Erna as the principal of SDK St. Joseph, and Fr. Armada gave a book to one of the participants Mrs. Misnah.
The MCs invited to sing one of my favourite songs "JanjiMu Seperti Fajar" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AT1JWhDOJos). I led the closing prayer and Fr. Lukas closed with the blessing.
There was book signing by Fr. Lukas and myself. Everybody received a book as a gift from us to appreciate their presence.
The book can be bought at the following book stores: OBOR Jakarta, Dioma Malang, Varia Santa Surabaya, Rhema Surabaya, Gunung Agung and Karisma. Any comments about the book can be sent to kasihsahabat2010@gmail.com Here is the link of the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=he_Sh4LJ5d0
Many thanks to Fr. Sarto, SVD, Fr. Domi, SVD, Fr. Armada, CM, the youth group of St. John the Baptist Church, SDK St. Joseph, Hero Art Studio, Ninik, cik Fanny, Anton, and all participants for attending this book launching.
Hong Kong, March 11, 2010


Sr. Anastasia B. Lindawati, M.M.
Let's do simple things with simple love to make God's love visible