It’s Christmas season again. I celebrated it in Daughter of Carmel Monastery in Tumpang-Indonesia with my sister and friends. I was not recovered from my jet lag yet as I arrived Surabaya on Dec 23 evening and went to the monastery the next morning in five hours trip. It’s quiet and cool place with vegetarian meals and no internet connection. It’s a holy coincidence that Sr. Yohana, P.Karm gave reflection on Rom 8: 28 and 1 Cor 13. It’s my favourite passages especially during the last few weeks including getting chopsticks from Sr. Mary Diggins, MM with 1 Cor 13 on it.
Here are several of my activities during summer and fall in New York. I posted some of my experiences e.g. annual retreat, first profession of religious vows, vacation and orientation program Maryknoll Lay Missioners, in my blog http://anastasialindawatimm.blogspot.com.
I attended an oath ceremony of the seminarians of Maryknoll Fathers, priesthood ordination of Fr. Stephen Taluja, MM and his thanksgiving mass upon arriving from Chicago at the end of May. Eventhough I already tried not to collect stuffs, I still had 8 luggages upon moving from Chicago.
One of my summer programs was attending Maryknoll Mission Institute: "Reign of God and/or Church: Task and Methods of Christian Mission in World Christianity" by Fr. Peter Pham who mentioned that the virtues of future missionary are self limitation (a willingness to receive not only to give), intelectual humility (my way of thinking is not the best way of thinking) and imagination (create something new). I also attended "Developing Adult Faith: A Challenge for Mission & Catechesis" by Fr. Diarmuid O'Murchu, MSC who mentioned about the evolutionary story, the power shift: peace through justice and Kingdom of God: companionship of empowerment.
Several sisters shared their experiences in Circle of Wisdom on Vows, Ministry and Community which gave an idea how they live the vows, ministry and community in mission.
Upon coming back from my vacation, I helped Sr. Miedal Stone, MM in the office of the coordinator of Chi Rho community, a community of our retired sisters, for three weeks. It’s my third time to help her as I learned about community life, simplicity, generosity and gratefulness.
I had several other activities during the second semester of 2009 e.g.: volunteering at our booth at Ossining Fair; watching “In The Silence of the Heart” which was created for the inmates in Sing Sing Correctional Facility and was first produced there by Rehabilitation Through The Arts; attending Indonesian masses at Ascencion Resurrection Church New York, charismatic prayer meetings and intercession prayer meetings at Holy Rosary Church, Hawthorne-New York, Marian Conference at Catskill-New York; visiting our sisters at Maryknoll Residential Care to announce our first mission assignment and say good bye, New York Botanical Garden and Tea Town; had supper with the Filipina sisters and sisters who worked in China region.
I usually fed and had lunch with one or two sisters at Maryknoll Residential Care during the week end after attending the mass and pushing their wheel chairs. After questioning myself about it, I helped five sisters, my highest number, in pushing their wheel chairs. It’s a confirmation of my little acts.
As I was going home and China region, I should take four thypoid tablets in every other day.
I finalized my packing, slept at 2 a.m. and woke up at 5 a.m. on Dec 15, 2009. We (the newly assigned sisters) had a thanksgiving intention for the mass. I couldn’t hold my tears after communion. I said to myself that I wanted to say good bye well with these great women, all my sisters, so I would let whatever happen. After breakfast, I went to our Out Patient Clinic and kitchen to say good bye with the staffs. I couldn’t hold my tears when Edith, our baker, hugged me. I went to our main door to meet my sisters who rang our departure bells. I could only say thank you especially as I couldn’t hold my tears again.
Srs. Norie Mojado, MM and Catherine Rowe, MM accompanied us to LaGuardia airport. Unfortunately, I forgot where I placed my passport and e-ticket when I was ready to go to security line. Fortunately, Sr. Laura remembered that it’s on the back of the bag. Thanks to St. Anthony! Tommy Huang and Nila Karta met me at airport. I slept on the plane to Los Angeles. I couldn’t hold my tears when I woke up and remembered all the supports, generosity, and love of my sisters and friends.
I enjoyed my visit to Maryknoll Sisters Monrovia-California including going to Universal Studio, watching movie about Nelson Mandela “Invictus”, visiting San Juan Capistrano Mission and Cathedral. I was moved when the sisters rang the bells on our departure day. I was glad that I could bring all of my stuffs except one light jacket.
Srs. Maureen Corr, MM and Joan Ling, MM picked me up at Hong Kong airport on Dec 21 midnight. I stayed in Maryknoll Sisters Boundary Street Convent for two days, mostly for getting to know the sisters, repacking and resting. Upon arrived, I said to myself that it’s home. Sr. Susan Nchubiri, MM gave a tour around Maryknoll Convent School. Srs. Joan Ling, MM and Agnes Chou, MM accompanied me to airport on Dec 23.
Thank you very much again for all your supports, encouragements, challenges, blessings, love, gifts, monetary gift, and especially your prayers. I do appreciate it as I realized that God holds me through you.
Happy New Year
May you have the gladness of Christmas, which is HOPE
The spirit of Christmas, which is PEACE
The heart of Christmas, which is LOVE
Surabaya, 28 December 2009