Letter: Easter 2014


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,


The Meaning of Easter is HOPE the Spirit of Easter is LIGHT,

the Essence of Easter is LOVE, the Promise of Easter is LIFE
Happy Easter!Selamat Hari Raya Paskah!复活节快乐!

May God’s unconditional love continue to fill our heart with joy and peace!


           There was long procession from ground floor to Holy Family Church at third floor of the building on Palm Sunday morning mass.  I sat outside of the front Church as there were no more seats inside the Church.  All the statues were covered with purple garments after Sunday evening Mass.

I left a little bit early from financial literacy program at Pathfinders on Holy Thursday and arrived at Holy Family Church on time for Mass.  There were quite a lot of people at the border.  The Church was full for the Mass.  After the Mass, there was time for private adoration in the Church for a while then the Blessed Sacrament was reserved at the temporary small chapel.  It was the office which was cleared up and decorated to reserve the Blessed Sacrament.  Several parishioners, young and old, stayed till the next morning.  I left right after midnight. 

Several other parishioners come and go for adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament since early Friday morning.  It is a customs in mainland not to eat breakfast for Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.  The stations of the Cross was held at 3.00 p.m. followed by Liturgy of the Word, veneration of the Cross, and Holy Communion.  The parishioners who sat at the first six rows were kneeling when approaching the cross, then the rest started to kneel at the six rows.The Blessed Sacrament was returned to the temporary small chapel after Holy Communion and the altar was stripped again.  Several parishioners still come and go for adoration even stayed till the next early morning and it continued till afternoon.  After the liturgy, one of the parishioners treated our pastor, several of choir members and me for dinner.

I helped to move our religious articles store to first floor on Saturday afternoon and sat with the Sunday school children during Easter vigil Mass, to remind them to be quiet.  They sang two songs after Mass, which was around 11.00 pm.  16 persons, adults and babies, were baptized. Everyone got an Easter egg.  It’s a solemn celebration even though the Church was very full.  One of the children sat on my lap, and also on two other mothers’ lap, during the Mass as the reserved seats for Sunday school children was limited.  There were two big buckets of holy water as it's the time for the parishioners to replace their holy water. 

 I helped to move our religious store to 2 and a half floor on Sunday morning and then sat behind the Sunday school children during Mass.  The children are more quite that morning.  The parishioners got the stereofoam Easter eggs, which was decorated by the Sunday school children, or artificial Easter egg.  The Church: inside, outside, the stairs to 4th floor and back sections were full.    The Sunday school teacher treated one of the volunteers and me for dumpling.  During Easter vigil Mass and Sunday morning Mass, when the Fr. Lu sprinkled the holy water, the parishioners hold the snacks or fruits or candies up to get the blessing.

There was evening Mass followed by praise and worship on Easter Sunday.  The (inside) Church was full even though it may be the second or the third Mass for several parishioners. 

That’s all about my second Easter in Shenzhen.  It was a moving, peaceful and joyful Easter celebration, reminded me, again, to think outside the box amidst all the limitations that I faced.  Ms. Gigi sent an agape gift “Pondering the Word: Anawim Way” which provide a good meditation till Pentacost.

Now, short updates about the last four months of 2014.




I attended the priesthood ordination of Fr. Heribertus, SVD, Fr. Rano, SVD (both Indonesians) and Fr. Melchior, SVD at Christ the King Chapel Hong Kong on January 5.  



 Srs. Maureen, Agnes and I went to see the play “The Soongs: By Dreams Betrayed” which was written and directed by our sister, Sr. Joanna Chan on Jan 7, 2014: http://www.hkrep.com/en/press/20131129/                                                                          

Our Maryknoll Family gathering was held on February 23.  It’s an annual gathering for all Maryknoll Sisters and Society members in China region for the Lunar New Year celebration.  There were around 13 Maryknoll Society members from several missions.  

Our Sunday school organized an outing with the parents at a public park near our Church on March 1.  There was time for potluck lunch, games, and faith sharing.

Several parishioners, Fr. Lu and I visited Huidong Leprocy Center in March and then went to the beach nearby.  It’s the first time for all the parishioners.

 I helped four groups in Maryknoll House Stanley for January-March, here is the link: http://anastasialindawatimm.blogspot.hk/2014/02/article-january-and-february-programs.html and http://anastasialindawatimm.blogspot.hk/2014/04/sharing-walk-to-emmaus-61.html , and went to Yuci-Shanxi to share about Maryknoll Sisters and my vocation story (here is the link: http://anastasialindawatimm.blogspot.hk/2014/02/letter-lunar-new-year-2014.html).

Our beloved Sr. Rose D passed away last Feb 22.  Maryknoll Convent School arranged a memorial mass on March 17.  It was a tribute for a dedicated teacher, who spent most of her mission life in Hong Kong.  As we lived together for several months before she left for New York, I could witness how passion she was.    Mr. Richard and team transit in Shenzhen so I arranged a praise and worship with our parish praise and worship team.  Unfortunately, I was in Hong Kong.   

I still continue to visit inmates both in Lowu Correctional Institution and Tailam Center for Women.    I attended the annual presentation certificates for the inmates, who were graduated from public examination, on March 19.  It’s a moving ceremony especially as one of the inmates and her mother shared their stories.  One of the inmates from Kenya, whom I met, was one of the graduates so she asked me to take a picture with her.  It’s the only time for the inmates to talk with their family members without using the intercom nor separated by glasses.  Fr. John Wootherspoon, then asked me to help to edit the Indonesian version of his booklet “Doctor Jesus”, here is the link: http://www.doctorjesus.org/.

Joanna, my former school mates in Guangzhou, and I visited Order of St. Clare (OSC) Portiuncula Monastery of the Blessed Sacrament at Lamma Island to have adoration and meet Sr. M. Fides, OSC then visited Fr. Frank Elsinger and enjoyed the beach on Apr 4.  

Seven sisters, who are ministering in Shenzhen from different parts of China, and I had a gathering at St. Paul’s Church-Nantou on Apr 7.  We, including Fr. Zhang, had hotpot lunch prepared by three parishioners, followed by adoration and sharing. 

I organized the first youth day at Holy Family Church on April 12, here is the link: http://anastasialindawatimm.blogspot.hk/2014/04/sharing-first-youth-day-at-holy-family.html. During our evaluation meeting, we decided to organize youth gathering every three months according to the top requested topic on survey. 

The 4th round of Financial Literacy program at Pathfinders will be finished on April 24.  It was planned for three rounds but the Women's Foundation can still get the funding and Pathfinders can still find participants so we started the 4th round. 

 

Hong Kong, April 23, 2014
with love and prayer,


Sr. Anastasia B. Lindawati, M.M.

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

Sharing: First Youth Day at Holy Family Church Shenzhen


I organized the first youth day at Holy Family Church Shenzhen last April 12, 2014.  I called for three times preparation meeting and tried to write all the details in Chinese as clear as possible because there was always somebody who couldn’t attend the meeting. It was organized for 16-35 years old, especially the single parishioners.   There were almost 40 persons attended it including the volunteers, which were divided into small group of four persons: mostly two men and two women.  Four of them are not Catholics yet, several of them are usually attend the Sunday Mass in the other Church. All the volunteers are volunteers at the usher, reader, or Sunday’s School group. 

Two young women and two young men brought forward two candles, brown color cross (the replica of world youth day cross) and the icon of Mother of God of Tenderness (as I couldn’t find a big icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in the bookstores in Hong Kong) to the altar followed by the participants by twos while singing the Chinese version of “The Beatitude”.  Our pastor Fr. Lu welcomed the participants followed by power point presentation of history of World Youth Day prepared by Ms. Lin and presented by Mr. Liu, it’s his first presentation.   Mr. Liu and Mr. Dai prepared the wooden stand to put the cross on the previous night.

Fr. Lu shared his experiences during the WYD in Sydney and Madrid and then led the opening prayer.  Mr. Wu read the message from Pope Francis for the 29th World Youth Day while showing in mute mode the video of the Mass with Pope during World Youth Day 2013 in Brazil.  This year, Pope Francis chose the theme: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Mat 5: 3)  Here is the link both the message: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/youth/documents/papa-francesco_20140121_messaggio-giovani_2014.html and the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-iZAten9MI.

The participants could watch the video (with voice) of the World Youth Day 2013 Mass with Pope during the break before going to a public park nearby.  We had potluck lunch upon arriving at the park followed by ice breaking games led by Mr. Dai.    

Ms. Xiong told the story of “The Hunter, Monkey and Peanuts,” here is the link of the story:  http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/friends-family-substance-abusers/233277-parable-hunter-monkey-peanut.html.  With the help of Ms. Xiong, I led the small group sharing.  Everyone in the group took turn to answer four questions for 3 minutes before writing/drawing their small group sharing and writing a petition prayer for the Youth Mass in the evening.  Ms. Liang found the Chinese version of the message of Pope Francis and compressed it into one page to help them to look for the sentences which impressed them.  Every small group presented their sharing to the whole group led by Mr. Dai followed by games led by Ms. Luo.

After taking group pictures, Fr. Lu shared his thought.   Our praise and worship group led the praise and worship after dinner followed by Youth Mass, which was the anticipated Palm Sunday Mass.  One of the offerings was the report of small group sharing, which was posted on the brown cross. 

Most of the participants wrote “very good” and “great” on their evaluation and wish to have an event for the youth every 1-2 month as they enjoyed the opportunity to meet new friends, share their faith experiences, learn the teachings of the Church besides play together.  It’s first youth gathering for most of the participants.

When I checked the weather in the morning, it was predicted to be raining but God answered my prayer not to give us raining and too hot weather!  We were at a very nice spot under palm trees.  Thanks be to God!



Hong Kong, April 15, 2014


      


Sr. Anastasia B. Lindawati, M.M.

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

Sharing: Walk to Emmaus 61


     Fr. Bill Galvin, MM asked me to be one of the assistant spiritual directors of Walk to Emmaus #61 on Mar 27-30, 2014.  The lay director was Mrs. Pascale Schrader while the spiritual director was Mr. Scott Lawson with three assistant spiritual directors: Fr. Bill Galvin, Mrs. Sicy Matthew and I.  The Hong Kong Walk to Emmaus is the only ecumenical Walk to Emmaus in the world.
            I am impressed by the love that the team gives before and during the walk.  There were several preparation meetings, which I missed to attend for the most of it.  Several people signed up for 72 hours prayer vigil.  Several people sponsored the pilgrims.  Several people signed up for setting up and cleaning up Maryknoll House-Stanley.  Several people prepared the talks with their personal sharing. Several people sent dishes.  Several people wrote letters.  Several people sent gifts.  Several people left their families behind as they committed to be team members.   
It has been a prayerful time, a blessing, a learning to serve as an assistant spiritual director and I am grateful to be part of WTE 61.
Here is the link about Walk to Emmaus Hong Kong: http://www.hkwalktoemmaus.org 
Hong Kong, April 3, 2014

    

Sr. Anastasia B. Lindawati, M.M.

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