Sharing: Spring 09 in Chicago

As I look back my last semester in Chicago, I am full of gratitude for all the experiences. I grow in self knowledge from good and bad feeling, success and failure experiences. As St. Paul said “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose (Rom 8: 28).
I am grateful for many simple experiences that show God’s unconditional love and companionship by getting consolation after a simple prayer, having an appreciating and understanding community, peaceful days, and rarely being sick.
I am grateful for the grace to persevere in Jesus prayer which helps me to manage my time during the day.
I am grateful for my spiritual director for his encouragement to “do it for Jesus” and “be patient.”
I am grateful for the experience of diversity in Maryknoll as I am learning to accept theological, political, and cultural differences, also the diversity of personality, hospitality, sacramental life, way of prayers, way of life and ways to express our identity as Maryknoll Sisters.
I am grateful for Genie especially for her liturgical knowledge, for Jareen especially for her creativity to make my simple ideas better, for Sr. Jean especially for her support in healing prayer ministry, for Laura especially for our common rosary as it bridges our differences, for Sr. Sue especially for her acceptance of my complaint and for so many support and prayers from Maryknoll Sisters.
I am grateful to be treated as an adult with the appreciation and acknowledgement of my talents, gifts, ways of prayer, and freedom in choosing ministries and classes. It challenges me to manage myself, not to be taken for granted, and is consistent with my values. I learn to live as simple as I can and not to collect stuffs, especially as I will leave orientation community soon.
I am grateful for our effort in making mutual decisions, even though sometimes it takes a longer time and creates a little bit of tension. I am reminded to listen in a conflict situation as we try to look for a win win decision.
I am grateful for the helping hands of my sisters, the appreciation of my personality and personal space.
I am grateful for our common prayer and meal schedules, which give me the space to maintain relationship with friends outside orientation community.
I am grateful for my ministry, official and non official, as I am not only giving but also learning from the people I have encountered. Reading a book ”Ending Abortion” by Fr. Frank Pavone, MEV and several pro-life materials led me to be a helpline volunteer at Aid for Women, a pregnancy resource center, in the Spring 2009. My passion for healing prayer encouraged the members of St. Thomas of the Apostle Charismatic Prayer Group to ask me to organize the Healing Prayer Study Group. I started a prayer team with Harriet Spieth, who is a Eucharistic Minister, and this has been my wish since my first ministry of Fall 2007.
I am grateful for my classes in spiritual companioning for ministry and religion in context especially for learning to listen attentively and forgive anyone who does not meet my unrealistic expectation.
I am grateful for my orientation as my school of knowledge, love and humility.
Thank you very much for all your support, generosity, and prayers. As Meister Eckhart said If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice.

Chicago, May 21, 2009

Linda AB, M.M.
Let's do simple things with simple love to make God's love visible

P.S. This sharing was published in Maryknoll Sisters Orientation Community Newsletter Spring Summer 09

Christmas Letter 08

Time is going so fast, it’s Christmas season again. Here are my experiences during Fall 2008 as a way to reflex how good God is. The unexamined life is not worth living (Socrates).
In Oct 2006 I started to use signature ”Let’s make God’s love visible” after reflecting on the connection between my pink habit and Maryknoll’s vision. In Sep 2008, I changed my signature to ”Let’s do simple things with simple love to make God’s love visible.” I was inspired by St. Theresa Lisiuex with her ”Little Way” and Mother Theresa, but I don’t have great love because I believe only God have great love. The simple things that I do become a channel of blessing for others; e.g. giving away my free ”kick off” dinner ticket to a friend since I could get free dinner by I helping to serve and even I brought the food home.
My sister in Indonesia sent my handbook for learning Mandarin, so I asked Deacon Xing Hao, SVD to teach me how to speak Mandarin – I study about one hour a week. My friend Clare informed me that I can borrow a CD about how to learn Mandarin for free from Chicago Public Library. The next coming day, coming from Chinatown, I saw the Public Library on my way to University of Chicago Hospital, and the next week, I applied to be member. Then I borrowed the CD on the ”Michel Thomas Method: Speak Mandarin” and also movies for free, including Lake of Fire (documentary about abortion) and Bella (about a woman who finally decided not to abort her baby).
Living without orientation directors during the GA brought several changes in our daily rhythm. With three of us in the house, we kept our community meal and prayer schedule as usual with several adjustments; e.g. we ate in the kitchen, sometimes with Sr. Gloria, MM and each one read the psalm per stance. Sometimes I ate left over rice for breakfast, and it continues till now. We were able to be self-governing.
At a Maryknoll Day, I shared about my transformation during this semester. Before sharing, Sr. Jean gave me cover of GA Proceedings, ”Awake” in pink! I had just changed the printer ink the previous week, so it was supposed to turn out blue! This reminded me of one sister who told me that I am transformed if I wear blue. What a holy coincidence!
I learned about Catholic Social Teaching from my class ”Justice, Peace, the Integrity of Creation, and Reconciliation: Living the Values of the Reign of God” by Fr. John T. Pawlikowski, OSM. My class in ”Developing Skills and Competencies for Collaborative Leadership” by Kevin McClone gave more practical knowledge e.g. Emotional Intellegence and listening ministry. I learn to listen to different opinions and other people’s objections, even though I don’t always understand the reason or am told the reasons. From this, I realize the wisdon of having two ears and one mouth - listening more than speaking.
During our silent retreat at St. Joseph Sisters La Grange, I wished to listen to the Holy Spirit and I planned to write a reflection about Second Week of Advent for an Indonesian Catholic Community; I also wanted to continue reading ”Open Mind Open Heart” by Thomas Merton. After our opening prayer of the retreat, I saw a book ”Ending Abortion” by Fr. Frank Pavone, MEV; the book was in a closed position. I decided to read this on the second and third day so I didn’t finish the reflection. I believe that reading the Pavone book was the inspiration from the Holy Spirit.
I had so many others experiences during fall 2008, including barbeque and Christmas party with all Maryknollers in Chicago; volunteering at Family Learning & Resource Center (FALREC) of Chinese American Service League; visiting Chicago Cultural Center and patients at University of Chicago Hospital; Maryknoll Days; attending Catholic Charismatic prayer meetings and liturgies for renewal of vows Scalabrinians, perpetual vows of Xaverian and SVD, diaconate ordination of SVD, Redemptorists and Scalabrinian. Also we had a workshop on Maryknoll History by Angelyn Dries, OSF; Bible Symposium; ”Transformed by Hope” Conference; public lectures and seminars including ”Consistent Ethic of Life. I watched a ”Dorothy Day” play by Lisa Wagner-Carollo; attended World Mission Sunday and International Food Festival at SVD College Epworth, and we had Thanksgiving dinner with several friends.
For all of that, I only can say ”Thank you Lord for all the experiences, all the prayers and all the persons I met.”

Have a blessed Christmas and New Year!

Ossining, Dec 24, 2008

Linda AB, M.M./ 黄莉莉
Let’s do simple things with simple love to make God’s love visible

Sharing: Vocation Discernment at Maryknoll on the Hudson

“Say Yes to the Sacred Voice Calling,” was an inspiration as well as a challenge to many of us who attended the Vocation Discernment Gathering held at Maryknoll, New York from July 31 to August 3, 2008. The 65 women and men participants came from various parts of the United States.
The gathering began Thursday evening, with an opening prayer and welcome led by the Vocation Directors from the three Maryknoll entities: Fr. Dennis Moorman, MM, Sr. Leonila Bermisa, MM, Mr. Joe Looney, MKLM. This was followed by creative introductions facilitated by Sr. Beverly Arao, MM and Br. Joe Bruener, MM. Before we retired we had a happy hour: an opportunity to relax, to meet new friends and acquaintances and renew old ones.

On the Second Day
We started with a meaningful prayer service led by Anita Klueg, MKLM. Then the skit presentation ofMaryknoll History! Fr. Dennis acted at Fr. James Anthony Walsh, Mark Zachar as Fr. Frederick Price, Sr. Leonila as Mollie Roger/Mother Mary Joseph, Br. Joe as Br. Thomas Cain, Joe Looney as Fr. Jack Sullivan, and Michelle Born as MLM applicant. Sr. Arlene was the narrator.
What moved me most was the part where Mollie Rogers, then a student at Smith College, spoke about her desire to participate in making a better world. This was triggered when she saw an excited group of Protestant women in campus who had received an assignment to do mission in China.
The role play made the presentation of the Maryknoll history more alive.
What followed was a talk entitled “Say Yes to the Sacred Voice Calling!” by Sr. Nonie Gutzler, MM, a missioner in Taiwan for almost 20 years. She said: The Sacred Voice is really heard in silence because it is in silence that the story can be heard in more depth and it is where we can see where the story is leading us.
Sr. Nonie began by sharing her experience in Taiwan when one morning she went to a restaurant for her breakfast. She ordered pancake but there was none. Feeling forlorn and hungry she slowly sipped her coffee. There was a couple with their children at the other end of the restaurant. The father approached her and gave her a bag of muffin. This reminded her of Jesus who said to the disciples: “Come and have breakfast.” (John 21:12). She then explained three types of stories: my personal story, our story (community story), and story of God with us. She asked us to think about passages from the Scriptures that touch our heart and move us into discernment on mission. She said: “One thing for sure, the voice inside of your heart if it is calling you to mission will not go away.”
Sr. Nonie said that Jesus was a good religious Jew, an ordinary person who responded to a Sacred Voice in his heart to do mission: He went to River Jordan to be baptized…Jesus listened to the Sacred Voice…Abba calling during his immersion in the water. Sr. Nonie explained that the word Abba is far beyond and much deeper in meaning than can be expressed in words. It is a deep experience of God in our heart when we know who we are and who God is. Jesus saw the face of God as compassion. Jesus came out of the water singing a song…song about the reign of God…Salvation as health, happiness and wholeness.
In discerning about mission, we can say yes or no. Saying yes could mean that everything about our life is about to change, and we know that our life will never be the same again. She asked us to reflect on two questions: “Where is your River Jordan?” and “What do you hear deep in your heart. What is it that the Sacred Voice is calling you to?”
Sr. Nonie discussed the passages of Luke 18:9–14 (Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector,) Luke 18:15-17 (Jesus Blesses Little Children), Luke18:18-28 (The Rich Ruler), Luke 18:35-42 (Jesus Heals a Blind Beggar Near Jericho), Luke 19:1-10 (Jesus and Zacchaeus, which means the clean one.) She again gave two questions to reflect on: What tree do you need to climb to see Jesus more clearly in your life right now? What does the voice of Jesus “I must stay in your house today” mean for you in your life right now? There are always obstacles, she said. The disciples’ encountered obstacles. What do we do in the face of obstacles? She then read Acts 10: 1-48, stories about Simon Peter and Cornelius and discussed it in the context of discernment. She said: “What you think is impossible, God makes possible. Discernment is letting go even if I don’t fully understand…The brick wall is always there, how much you want to keep and how much do you want to give up? “Nothing can silence the Sacred Voice within you.” She hoped that we have the courage to listen, to affirm what we are hearing in our heart and we are able to say yes to the Sacred Voice calling. She ended with a blessing called mystical experience.
In the afternoon, Maryknollers shared their mission experiences in Namibia, Tanzania and Kenya. This was followed by sharing of charisms of each Maryknoll entity. Each participant was given the option to join the entity that she or he is interested in. Since I am a Maryknoll Sister candidate I attended the discussion with the young women interested in Maryknoll Sisters. The Maryknoll Sisters and I shared what attracted us to Maryknoll.
After supper we watched a movie entitled “Station Agent.” It was about a dwarf who isolated himself but later became friendly because of the persistence of his new friends to build relationships. A discussion after the movie was facilitated by Fr. Larry Lewis, MM.

On the Third Day
We started with a meditative prayer led by Sr. Arlene Trant. After that we listened to experiences of Maryknollers who have been missioned in China, Indonesia, East Timor, Chile, Bolivia and across the Americas. Later in the day, a reflection on Maryknoll Mission was given by Br. Wayne Fitzpatrick, MM.
By 7: 30 p.m., we were all ready for the much awaited “fiesta.” Many of the participants danced, skipped and hopped, as the Andean Folk Group sang Bolivian and Peruvian songs. It was such a fun evening!

On the Last Day
Fr. Romane St. Vil, MM presided at the Sunday Eucharistic Liturgy. He reflected on his vocation story. He said that what led him to respond to the call to priesthood after a long refusal (due to his concern for his mother) was that voice within saying: “Do you think you love your mother more than I love her?”
After the Mass, we were led into a quiet and reflective time and space by Bro. Wayne and Sr. Beverly. And before we were sent off with a blessing, each participant was encouraged to write a letter (to self) stating insights, challenges, dreams or plans she/he brings home from the gathering. These letters will be kept by the Vocation Directors and will be mailed to the addressee after three months.
For me, the Gathering was very informative, reflective, and fun! The “Sacred Voice” is in it all…calling…waiting for a response. I know that once one says “Yes,” her or his life will never be the same again!

(Linda AB, M.M.)

P.S. This sharing was published in Maryknoll Sisters Vocation Newsletter Aug 08.

Sharing: Annual Retreat 08

As part of Orientation program, I attended a directed retreat on Jul 14 – 21, 2008 at Mariandale, Ossining – New York. As I decided to have spiritual director from Mariandale, I chose Fr. Ron Henery, OP as my spiritual director as he has experience in enneagram.

Spiritual Direction
I met Fr. Ron everyday at 1. 15 p.m. for 20 – 45 minutes depend on the conversation. It was a good time for me since I could have lunch at 12.30 p.m. and then meet him. I told my vocation story, community life, and prayer life on our first meeting, and I could not hold my tears when I told about my parents.
Fr. Ron gave me passage from the Scripture to be pray with every day: Psalm 139, Mat 6: 25-34, Is 43: 1-7, Mark 10: 46-52, Psalm 138, John 15: 1-9, John 20: 24-29, Psalm 27, Ef 3: 14-21, Psalm 91, 1 Tim 1: 12-17, Sir 43: 27-33. I could connect to the passage everyday because I had the experiences. It also fulfilled my wish to read the Bible during the retreat, I brought my Indonesian Bible.
He asked me what I wanted from God during the retreat, I could not answer it. Two days later, he asked me what I wanted if Jesus was right in front of me now, I could not answer it. I said that I usually only could say “Thank You” especially during Mass. He informed me that Meister Eckhart, OP said that if the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice. Finally I told him that I want to stay in the Lord’s house forever (Psalm 27).
I asked Fr. Ron, whether he always gave Scripture passages to his retreatant because it was relevant with my wish to read the Bible during the retreat. I then realized that it was mentioned in the brochure.
I used to pray that I didn’t know what to say so I asked God to give wisdom. It was not easy to answer the question how was my feeling because I felt almost the same as at home, peace and quiet even though I cried three times on the second day.

I continued to edit my translation to Indonesian language of “The Ordinary Path to Holiness” by Thomas Richard, Ph.D. Finally it finished on Jul 16, 2008.
As my plan, I read my Indonesian Bible most of the times. I read several pages of “John the Cross for Today: The Ascent” by Susan Muto while waiting at reading room. I continued to read it when I found it at our cloister during my quiet time early August 2008.
I made a ribbon pink comforter pillow at creativity room. At first I did not want to make it since I do not want to collect stuff but then I thought I could use it especially for my train trip back to Chicago.

I could not hold my tear when we had mesh potato for supper on the second day. I thought about how God prepared me to eat mesh potato when I decided to feed Sr. Ruth Evans/Sr. Barbara Hendricks and then ate whatever meal at our nursing home including mesh potato. Several times I went to dining room hungry but then I could not eat a lot when saw the meal. The foods were various. We had rice three times during the retreat and I ate cup noodle every other night.

I started to cry when reading “The Expedition” of Anthony de Mello, SJ after my last spiritual direction. I realized that religious life is over my humanity but I don’t have any reason not to continue the journey because I know how great God’s love for me through many simple things. I cried and cried while compile the passage for closing Eucharist. This experience somehow deepens my conviction about my discernment with Maryknoll.
During closing Eucharist, I shared my experiences during the retreat from choosing Fr. Ron, the food, ribbon pink comforter pillow which reminded me of comfort from God, talk of Sr. Joyce Rupp about Spiritual Transformation and compilation of the passages: I will give thanks to you, with all my heart…because of your kindness and your truth, whose power now at work in me can do immeasurably more than I ask or imagine, to lead me in the way of old, and dwell in the house of the Lord (Psalm 138: 1a, 2a, Eph 3: 20, Psalm 139: 24b, Psalm 27: 4c). I showed my pink pillow too.
On the closing prayer, the song was “We are Called,” my favorite song and the only song I knew during the retreat. I experienced again that I got the insight of the retreat on the last days of retreat.

After Retreat
When I attended Mass at our nursing home, I just realized that the first reading was Mi 6: 1-4, 6-8. After Mass, I asked Fr. Ernest Bruenel, MM about his sermon and he closed our conversation with Mi 6: 8: This is what God asks of you: only this: to act justly, to love tenderly, and to walk humbly with your God.
I wished to have rice for my lunch two days after retreat and I got it through the kindness of Sr. Alice Vandenoever, MM and Sr. Len Montiel, MM, another experience of God’s love.

Chicago, Nov 15, 2008

Linda AB, M.M.

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

Missioner Tales of Maryknoll Magazine May/June 2008

On Samal Island in the Philippines, I taught English for the first-and second-grade children who spoke the Visayan language and only a little English. One boy named Archie spoke only Visayan. One morning, he brought a shell. I thought he wanted to show it to me so I returned it after looking at it. He talked in Visayan, but I didn’t understand. Finally, I realized he wanted to give the shell to me. He gave me another shell several days later and again spoke in Visayan, but I knew he wanted me to keep that one too.
During that time, I used to pass a newspaper stand on my way to daily Mass. I would smile or say ”good morning” to the woman running the kiosk. One morning, I went earlier than usual so I could talk with her. When I stopped, she said ”I love you, Sister.” She did not even know my name! Then I said, ”I love you too,” and asked about her family, speaking slowly so she would understand. I realized after I moved on that I too had forgotten to ask her name.
The experiences reminded me of the song ”Be Not Afraid,” which we sing at Mass and prayer services, because one of the lines of the song says, ”speak my words to foreign men and they will understand.” (Anastasia Birgitta Lindawati M.M.)

Sharing: I Learn

I learn that my relationship with God grows through many simple experiences: in consolation after a simple prayer (e.g. in facing the unpredicted weather and having good community); the coincidence of getting pink stuffs coincidencely (e.g. getting pink bunny toy during egg hunting after our easter supper); in peaceful days, and rarely sick even in the worst winter of Chicago.
I learn to manage my time during the day through setting aside a certain time for Jesus prayer in the morning.
I learn to appreciate religious persons who are in habit amidst “an increasingly secular and materialistic culture” (homily of Pope Benedict XVI at Washington Nationals Stadium). This happened when I remembered Sr. Marie Virginia, OP who was impressed when I said “God prepares all the way”, although, I still love my own pink habit.
I learn about the uniqueness of each sister in my community such as personality, talents, the way to cook even in cooking fried rice and the way to express opinion.
I learn about myself, such as accepting suggestion and feed back, in facing the differences and in expressing my opinion.
I learn to think differently by changing my bad feeling toward acceptance and even a grateful attitude.
I learn to appreciate others’ opinion by looking for a win-win decision, even though sometimes it takes longer time.
I learn not to take for granted, and being consistent with my values through appreciation and acknowledgement of my individual talents, gifts, way of prayers, freedom in choosing ministries and classes.
I learn to share responsibility, live in community with flexibility, and without loosing my personality and personal space.
I learn to listen in a conflict situation, so I will be part of the problem solver to reach a win win decision.
I learn to talk personally for a personal matter.
I learn to keep the community life as my first priority and have a good relationship with all friends outside the orientation community.
I learn to be faithful through my ministry at Bonaventure House even though the participants in the Bible Study at Bonaventure House do not grow in number.
I learn that there is hope for HIV/AIDS patients, that they are not always dying persons; there is a resurrection after the death of Jesus.
I learn from my courses in CTU (Canon Law in Pastoral Ministry and Christ, Community and Moral Life for Spring) and Inter-Community Novitiate to grow in spiritual, personal dan communal knowledge; the classes help in articulating my experiences.
I learn to be grateful in my relationship with God, community, personal, study and ministry life, as God gives me more than I ask or imagine (cf. “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us”, Eph 3:20)
I have learned that I still have a lot to learn.
Thank you very much for all your support and prayers.

Ossining – New York, May 31, 2008

Linda AB, M.M. (
Let’s make God’s love visible
P.S. This sharing was prepared for Maryknoll Sisters Orientation Community Spring 2008 Newsletter

Sharing: Fall 07 in Chicago

I always examine my transition period in a foreign country with three things: food, language and weather. Deo Gratias. God gives me graces to overcome them during my first months in Chicago.
Since all of my community members are rice eaters, we have rice for supper and dinner almost daily. Usually we have breakfast together at kitchen even though there are only four chairs. During our second Inter-Community Novitiate (ICN) workshop at Siena Center, Racine, I got a headache on the first night. It’s getting better by the next morning, then it’s worse by noon time, finally it’s getting better even though I didn’t finish my rice dinner yet. Topic for our second ICN was Enneagram by Sr. Celine Goessl, SCSC; twelve years ago, my number was six and now my number is nine. I believe it’s a fruit of my favourite phrase ”Don’t be afraid” and my Jesus prayer as my first thing in a day (with all the distractions and even back to sleep again).
There are a lot of required reading for my ”Sacramental II” by Fr. Edward Foley, OFMCap and ”The Art of Doing Theology” by Sr. Dianne Bergant, CSA and Fr. Robin Ryan, CP classes but I never got headache of it! Sometimes, I ask (simple) questions in class. I recorded all the talks that I attended.
I tried to look for room 8103 at Bernardin Building of University of Chicago Hospital for my hospital orientation as per my telephone conversation with the volunteer service administrator. After asking security and a doctor, a volunteer was willing to send me to the room that she attended the orientation because she does not know where is room 8103. And it’s room H103 instead of room 8103! I still make clarification between ”can” and ”can’t” by asking ”can or can not?”
When Fr. Roger Schroeder, SVD asked what’s the difficult part. I said weather since it’s uncontrollable. Food and language are controlablle factors. I do not loose weight (it means I have good meals) and if I can’t understand the language, I still can ask for clarification. I should really depend on God’s providence in weather. First few weeks were warm enough but later, it’s getting colder and colder. Sometimes, I felt like hold ice even though I wore gloves. I wear three till five layer of clothes and also gloves whenever going out. It’s warm inside the house since we turn on the heater. I can not drink my virgin coconut oil anymore because it is frozen. Our first snow (light) was on thanksgiving day and my first snow shoveling was on Dec 5, 2007. I like to walk in the snow. And the next day, I should walk for the first after snow to Catholic Theological Union (CTU). I wore sweater, jacket, gloves, scarf and boot. On the first half way to CTU, I started to talk to myself, that God know me more than I am, so God should help me if God want me to stay. On the second half of my way to CTU, I started to feel warm so I opened the zippers of my sweater and jacket. Later on, two Scalabrini seminarians passed by with closed thick jacket. After sharing the experience at home, I just realized that God answered my simple prayer.
I felt bad that morning, after walking 15 minutes from Church to University of Chicago Hospital and reading for one hour at hospital lobby while waiting my appointment just to hear that I could not be a prayer support for Eucharist Minister at hospital even though I have the hospital ID because it’s part of pastoral care and my bag was locked at the office for almost 30 minutes! I only need to wait visiting homebound schedule from our coordinator. I was not feel bad when the bad reaction of TB skin test happened even though I should visited hospital several times to cure the induration. My eyes were in tears when I left the hospital so I only could say ”God, I don’t understand”, ”God, I don’t understand”. After that, I felt relieve and I did not want to cry again. Even though I still do not understand what’s the meaning of my TB skin test which is not necessary but brought me to a recommendation (it’s not a mandatory) to have 9 months of INH treatment, I understand that God is with me.
When my new friend said that she felt like near Mother Mary if she near me, it reminded me that Mother Mary is with me so that my friend could feel the radiance of Her presence.
During our retreat at The Well, La Grange, I could not enter my room again at 2.00 a.m. since it’s still locked when I went to restroom and I didn’t bring the key. I decided to sleep at TV room using 2 towels as my blanket and went to Eucharist with short sleeves. I didn’t inform anybody including Sr. Jean who sat beside me during breakfast since we were in great silence retreat and I planned to look for the back up key from Sr. Marlene, CSJ after Eucharist. It’s happend again in the afternoon! We burst in laugh when we started to talk about it during our last supper. It reminded me how God take care of me by providing a pink blanket, bed cover, towel, light and garbage can in my room! I even found pink small towel at TV room so I could use it for washing my face before going to Eucharist. I also got pink bedcover during our first ICN workshop about Prayer at Siena Center, Racine. On the last night, I thought to what I should surrender my life: to medicine (INH) or to God who take care of me since the beginning? I decide not to have INH treatment since I have a BCG vaccination and no TB evidence in my lung but I know it’s not easy to argue with the doctor! I tried to minimize medicine including by not taking flu shot.
When I browse our Thanksgiving morning prayer prepared by Sr. Sue, I started to have tears so I kept quite during the prayer. I thought that I would say ”Thank you Lord for the graces in every moment in my life” as my personal thankgiving prayer in front of the tabernacle. After saying ”Thank you Lord” I started to cry and could not continue to speak. We have a Thanksgiving dinner with Sr. Jeanne, MM, Sr. Dora, MM and friends (including an Indonesian priest Fr. Andy Gunardi). We were busy since the night before. I got waist-ache so I took a nap. It’s around 22 persons in our diningroom so everybody could not move easily. I even could not eat a lot. We have spontaneous closing prayer in several languages.
We have four patients who usually attend Bibly Study at Bonaventure House but there were maximum two patients each time. One of them, who knows Bible more than I am, said ”thank you” several times when I asked about his ”12 Steps” workshop. After Bible Study, Andrzej SVD and I stayed at dining room to talk with whoever come.
I usually attend catholic charismatic prayer meetings after Sunday Mass. It’s a small group. I also help in distributing the brochure during our parish Ministry Festival.
Christmas party including exchange gift at Maryknoll Society was held in Dec 8, 2007. I am used to celebrate Christmas after Christmas eve.
I am not a good cook so I always cook simple meal e.g. stir and fry with various vegetables and meat/shrimp and ask Genie to taste it. Usually I cook fried rice for my lunch during ICN day at Techny Tower.
So many others experience during fall 07, including barbeque with all Maryknollers at Chicago, brown unleaven bread for Host during St. Lorenzo Ruis celebration with Philipino community, ice cream and soda during St. Theresa’s day, attending Call to Action National Conference: From Racisme to Reconcilition at Milwaukee, Maryknoll Days (sometimes I cried and also in other occasions e.g. watching movies), visiting Field Museum, Planetarium, Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier, workshops (Mission Theology by Fr. Anthony Gittins, CSSp, Pastoral Theological Reflection by Fr. Mark Schramm, SVD, Spiritual Direction by Sr. MaryLou, MM, Protecting God’s Children (Virtus Training) by Keiren M. O’Kelly, Financial by Sr. Imelda Bautista, MM, Prayer, The Self as an Instrument for Change by Sr. Norma Angel, MM and Small Christian Community by Fr. Joseph Healy, MM), public lectures (by Thomas Melville, George Mische, Sr. Angelyn Dries, OSF, Sr. Helen Prejean, CSJ, etc), and housekeeping.
For all of that, I only can say ”Here I am Lord to do Your will” which make me feel peace amidst all the differences.

Ossining-New York, 24 December 2007

Linda AB, M.M.
Let’s make God’s love visible

1. Half of this sharing was prepared for Maryknoll Sisters Orientation Community
Winter/Fall 2007 Newsletter.
2. The doctor allowed me not to have INH treatment since I am over 35 years old and

Sharing: Summer 07 in New York

My first adaptation during my orientation at the Maryknoll Sisters is the language. Upon departing from Surabaya airport on Jul 25, 2007, I should talk in English again. I only talk in English for once a while upon finishing my live in the Philippines. I stayed in Kuala Lumpur for one night, watched “The Forbidden City I and II” movie and tried to sleep during the trip.
I saw a rainbow near Newark Airport. It reminded me to Fr. Mike Bassano, MM who said “God keeps His promise…” when we were waiting a rainbow in the Philippine Eagle Center Davao–Philippine. While queue in front of the immigration desk, I said to myself that getting the visa was out of my control. The officer answered “I do not understand” when I said I would do religious functionary. Finally I informed him that I would serve Roman Catholic Church. He gave me three years permit to stay (I94) even though the Surabaya Consulate General of the USA gave a year visa only. It was a miracle! My decision to become a Candidate of Maryknoll Missioner was not only depend on the acceptance from the Congregational Leadership Team but also the visa. By getting three years I94, I realized how God prepared everything for this journey.
I was surprised since we can use credit card for paying the trolley. I should go to X-ray for agriculture product but there was no further examination. Sr. Nila, Sr. Jean, Laura and Genie wait for me at arrival hall and we arrived at Maryknoll Sisters Center around 10.00 p.m. Sr. Nila prepared three pink balloons in my door and there was a pink bedsheet in my closet. I slept around 1.30 a.m. and woke up around 4.00 a.m. after around 48 hours in trip Surabaya – Kuala Lumpur – Stockholm - Newark. I slept around two hours in the afternoon.
Sr. Beverly guided Genie, Laura and me to go around Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll Society including the office of Maryknoll Magazine and Bethany of Maryknoll Lay Missioners. Sisters Center has three buildings (Rogers building where I stay in the 2nd floor; main building for main chapel, main dining room, computer room, residential care for elderly sisters, etc; and 56 wing for the offices, main laundry, etc), around 11 stairs (stair A-K), around 200 bedrooms in 2nd and 3rd floors of Rogers building excluding in main building, several chapels and coffee shops, and also the Maryknoll Mission Institute (an educational ministry, sponsored by the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation, which provides continuing education and renewal programs for missioners and others engaged in cross-cultural ministries in their local churches). It is a very big compound including cemetery for Mother Mary Joseph–foundress-and also the sisters. For the first few days, Genie and Laura usually accompanied me to go to dining room, computer room, etc. I started to remember the sister’s name but it is not easy since there are many sisters who were so welcome.
I was touched by our conversation with Sr. Barbara Hendriks in her room (I was smiled when I read her comment regarding her earings after her election as the first President in the 1970), opening song of silver jubilee Eucharist of Sr. Leonila and Sr. Yoo Soo Kim, vesper for Sr. Rose Chin, sharing of Mrs. Lily O Halloran about Maryknoll Sisters in Hong Kong. Four first days was in tears.
Gathering of Young Women and Men at Maryknoll was so informative especially the sharing from the missioners in China, Africa, Brazil and Taiwan and Mission Spirituality talk by Fr. Larry Lewis, MM. It was also so touched especially the Divine Mercy. Fr. Romane St. Vil, MM told about “going to the root” and “If you think you love your mother, how much more I (God) love your mother”. The purpose of the ‘Gathering’ was to introduce to those discerning a missionary vocation, what it means to be a Maryknoll Sister, Lay Missioner, Brother or Priest. It was also an opportunity to get to know the Centers of the Maryknoll Sisters, Lay Missioners, Brothers and Priests.
Sr. Beverly, Sr. Arlene, Laura, Genie and I went to New York City on Aug 8, 2007 by train around one hour and have a sightseeing trip by bus. We stopped at China Town to have lunch and visited Transfiguration parish. We ended our trip by visiting St. Patrick Cathedral.
I went to grotto on Aug 9, 2007 morning and then stayed at cloister till the next day afternoon as my quiet time before our welcome ceremony.
Our welcome ceremony was a combination of Indonesian and Philippine nuances. I wore our modern national cloth in pink and move slowly to the altar. We received the Chi Rho pendant, the book “Spiritual Heritage of Mother Mary Joseph” and Orientation Hand Book. We also signed the Teresian Register. It was a nice ceremony especially the homili of Fr. Dennis Moorman, MM. Our first reading was “The Calling of Jeremiah” (Jer 1: 4-10), Abby and Genie sang “Like Cedars They Shall Stand” as the responsorial psalm, the Gospel was taken from “Mary and Marta” (Luk 10: 38-42) and “You are mine” was the communion hymn. As Mother Mary Joseph wrote in 1948, “We soon learned that a missioner must be contemplative in action; that our hearts must be on fire with the love of God, (people and all creation)…Faithfulness to times of prayer and trying to be constantly mindful of God’s presence in our hearts, were the foundation of the missionary life we had chosen to follow, a life so busy that we often wondered, as we do today, how we could live at once a life of prayer and a life of extreme activity…”
Abby, Genie, Laura and I went to the Croton Dam near the Sisters Center the afternoon after the welcome ceremony.
I was touched with the offering procession of Sr. Sarah Male during her profession of the vows together with Sr. Anastasia Lee, and Sr. Julia. It was an Eucharist in Burmese, Korean, English, Tagalog, etc.
After all activities in Center including Mass at Chalet with Maryknoll Sisters Contemplative Community or 4th floor with the elderly sisters, level of immune blood test (and I still have another blood test-the fifth since my live in-for level of polio immune), diphtheria/tetanus immunization and social security matters, Laura, Genie and I went to Watch Hill-Rhode Island. I thought it is an island! It is around three hours by car from Sisters Center. It was a nice vacation with all the activities: walking in the beach of Atlantic Ocean, visiting Piquot museum, sharing housekeeping and stories, attending Mass at St. Clare, watching movie, etc.
Our first meeting with Orientation Community was on Aug 20, 2007 to discuss about our trip to Chicago, our schedule and also choosing our bedrooms in the Orientation House Chicago.
Abby, Genie and I attended Workshop on reflexology on Aug 21 – 22, 2007 with Fr. Joseph Eugster who is a missionary in Taiwan. I used to have reflexology regularly in Surabaya but I never have a chance to learn it. It was not easy because there are so many reflexology zone in our feet.
There are several activities before leaving to Chicago: a cocktail party for Sr. Dolores Mitch who will no longer with vocation ministry, a German measles immunization, a dinner with Philippine’s meal and interviewing Sr. Terry Alexander who was in El Salvador when Sr. Ita Ford, M.M; Sr. Maura Clarke, M.M; Sr. Dorothy Kazel, OSU; Jean Donovan were killed as martyrs.
Closing sermon of Fr. Bob Galbert, MM at main chapel on Aug 22, 2007 was an affirmation for me, that God’s will finally is our will because God put the desire in our heart.
That was all about my four weeks (how fast!) at Maryknoll Sisters Center. I flew to Chicago with Sr. Jean Maloney on Aug 24, 2007. Overall, I feel well and calm, even though I got headache and stiff neck once. I try to think positively and also minimize “I should…” It’s great that the phrase “Do not be afraid” was part of the reading several times as reminder to surrender to God, to be here and now, and also to walk step by step. I can have long conversation with the sisters, sometimes I can not catch the point so I should ask it. I learn to hear more attentively including for the different vocabulary with my British English e.g. cupboard for closet (I am quiet confuse when a sister said that the vacuum cleaner is in the closet since for me, closet refer to water closet), lamp for light. I also ask how to operate equipments e.g. vacuum cleaner, washing machine and dryer. The food at Sisters Center is served in cafeteria style so I can choose and pick the food. As a sister said “You don’t have to (eat/do), if you don’t want to (eat/do)…” There is no rice daily but it is a complete menu including fruit, yoghurt, juice, and salad. It is summer time but it is quiet cold, as my liquid virgin coconut oil turn to solid and it is still bright even it is 8.00 p.m. Sometimes, I wear sweater even I am inside the building. I have many names here: Anastasia Birgitta Lindawati for my passport, Anastasia Birgitta Lindawati Padmadewi, Oei in my visa, Anastasia B L Padmadewi Oei in my social security card (later on Anastasia B Lindawati for my Catholic Theological Union ID) but I want to be called Linda AB as previously and also as there are three “Anastasia” in Maryknoll (Lott, Lee, Lindawati). My Chinese name is Oei Li Li and my Indonesian name is Anastasia Birgitta Lindawati Padmadewi, Oei. My name is so complicated now.

Chicago, September 6, 2007

Linda AB, M.M.
Let’s make God’s love visible

Sharing: Berlibur di Filipina

Manila Balet
Saya berkesempatan melihat penampilan Manila Balet dengan judul Romeo dan Juliet di Starcity Teater bersama Genie, Analyn, MM dan Laura atas kebaikan Sr. Marisa Lichauco, MM.

Panagbenga 2007
Panagbenga 2007 adalah festival bunga tahunan di Baguio selama dua hari berupa parade kendaraan berhias bunga, marching band dan tari. Acara ini juga diramaikan oleh beberapa politikus dan aktris yang ikut parade serta helikopter yang menebar bunga. Saya berkesempatan berfoto bersama Solita Monsod, Carol Atacador dan beberapa suster setelah makan pagi di Baguio Country Club (BCC) di depan kendaraan hias BCC.

Pulau Samal, Davao
Kunjungan ke Our Lady of Victory Samal diisi dengan berjalan-jalan di laut, menikmati matahari terbenam, dan memancing bersama anak-anak meskipun tidak berhasil mendapatkan ikan.

The Philippine Eagle Center, Davao
The Philippine Eagle Center merupakan pusat konservasi Elang Filipina, yang mulai punah. Di dalamnya terdapat sangkar-sangkar besar berisi Elang Filipina dan beberapa jenis burung lain, beberapa jenis tanaman serta ditata seperti suasana hutan. Pengunjung diharuskan untuk hening. Elang Filipina ini sangat besar dan sudah mulai dikembangbiakkan dengan inseminasi buatan. Foto kiri bersama Genie dan Laura di depan pintu masuk.

Malagos Park, Davao
Malagos Park terkenal dengan pertunjukkan burung interaktif selama satu jam termasuk atraksi memisahkan sampah, dan memasukkan bola basket oleh burung. Di dalamnya juga terdapat taman bermain, taman kupu-kupu, dan taman anggrek.
Sebelum melihat pertunjukkan burung, kami termasuk Hiep dan Tawny, pasutri Vietnam berkebangsaan Amerika yang menjadi awam misionaris Maryknoll di Myanmar, mengunjungi taman kupu-kupu, menangkap, membuat permohonan dan melepaskannya.
Dalam pertunjukkan burung interaktif, juga terdapat binatang-binatang lain yang beratraksi. Setelah pertunjukkan burung interaktif, penonton bisa berfoto dengan burung-burung dan binatang-binatang yang ada. Saya berfoto dengan burung di pundak saya bersama Rm. Mike Bassano, MM yang merawat beberapa penderita AIDS di sebuah vihara di Thailand. Komentarnya ”Saya mengerti” beberapa kali ketika saya mengatakan tidak tahu bagaimana mengekspresikan pengalaman/pendapat dengan tepat dalam bahasa Inggris, tentu menjadi penghiburan tersendiri.
Setelah puas berkeliling Malagos Park, kami menikmati makan siang termasuk ”halo-halo” yang merupakan salah satu es khas Filipina, yang seperti es campur Indonesia.

Fort Santiago Intramuros

Fort Santiago adalah bekas pusat militer di masa pemerintahan Spanyol, Inggris, Amerika dan Jepang yang terletak di daerah Intermuros. Di dalamnya terdapat sel tahanan Jose Rizal, pahlawan Nasional Filipina, sebelum dihukum mati, teater, dan tempat penghormatan kepada Bunda Maria Guadalupe .
Intramuros artinya ”dalam tembok”, sebagai pusat politik, budaya, pendidikan, agama dan bisnis di masa pemerintahan Spanyol.

Luneta Park
Luneta Park adalah taman dimana jenasah Jose Rizal disemayamkan, selain itu terdapat miniatur Filipina ide dari Imelda Marcos, taman China, taman Jepang dan patung raksasa salah satu pahlawan nasional.

Manila Bay
Ketika berkunjung ke Manila Bay, cuaca sangat terik, juga bisa dilihat dari bangunan Mall of Asia yang merupakan pusat perbelanjaan yang sangat besar.

Manila American Cemetery and Memorial
Manila American Cemetery and Memorial adalah makam puluhan ribu orang militer Amerika, Filipina, dan lain lain yang tewas dalam Perang Dunia II. Makam ini merupakan makam terbesar yang dibangun dan diurus oleh Komisi Monumen Perang Amerika. Di kompleks yang sangat luas ini, tampak puluhan ribu batu nisan dari marmer putih dengan bentuk salib (Kristen) atau bintang (Yahudi). Di kompleks makam ini juga terdapat kapel.

Surabaya, 15 Juni 2007
Hari Raya Hati Kudus Yesus

Linda AB, M.M. -
Let’s make God’s love visible

Sharing: Perayaan Ekaristi di Filipina

Sebagai negara dengan mayoritas penduduk beragama Katolik, maka tidak heran kalau cukup banyak umat yang mengikuti Ekaristi harian. Di Paroki “Our Lady of Miraculous Medal (OLMM)” Quezon City, setiap hari ada lektor, komentator, koor, petugas tata tertib, seorang misdinar dan tiga orang prodiakon. Selain itu selalu Alkitab besar yang diangkat tinggi oleh lektor ketika perarakan pembukaan Ekaristi, Konsekrasi selalu dinyanyikan, dilakukan penghormatan kepada Bunda Maria dalam bahasa latin setiap hari Sabtu. Ekaristi harian di Pertapaan Santa Klara juga dihadiri cukup banyak umat. Ekaristi harian biasanya sekitar 30 sampai 40 menit termasuk kotbah.

Ekaristi Hari MingguEkaristi Hari Minggu biasanya sekitar satu jam dan umat tidak membawa buku panduan atau lagu-lagu Ekaristi. Beberapa Gereja menyediakan proyektor atau LCD atau televisi .
Di beberapa Gereja besar seperti Katedral Baguio dan Gereja Quiapo, Ekaristi hari Minggu diadakan hampir tiap jam dan jumlah umat melebihi tempat duduk. Tidaklah mengherankan harus berdesakan untuk masuk Gereja dan ketika baru sampai di tempat duduk, sudah terdengar lagu pembukaan.
Misdinar tidak selalu memakai pakaian misdinar seperti di Indonesia, ada yang memakai baju khas Filipina.

Kekhasan Gereja
Gereja di Quiapo terkenal dengan prosesi tahunan “Black Nazerene”, Gereja Baclaran terkenal dengan Devosi Bunda Maria Penolong Abadi (“Our Lady of Perpetual Help”) setiap hari Rabu, Pertapaan Santa Klara terkenal dengan pelayanan doa-nya dan banyak umat memberi telur sebagai ucapan terima kasih, sedangkan Gereja St. Cruz terkenal dengan Sakramen Pengampunan Dosanya.
Di beberapa Gereja, umat bertepuk tangan seusai berkat dan prodiakon memercikkan air suci sedangkan umat mengacungkan benda-benda rohani yang ingin diberkati.

BahasaKetika berada di Quezon City, saya mengikuti Ekaristi harian berbahasa Inggris di kapel Maryknoll Sisters dimana saya tinggal, atau di Biara CB (termasuk Ekaristi perpisahan dengan Bapa Uskup Surabaya Mgr. V. Soetikno) atau di Biara RGS. Semuanya dengan kotbah bahasa Inggris. Saya biasanya membawa buku “People Mass” supaya bisa menjawab. Ekaristi harian di Pertapaan Santa Klara di pagi hari juga berbahasa Inggris kecuali hari Rabu meskipun kotbah berbahasa Tagalog bercampur Inggris. Ekaristi di pagi hari di Paroki “Our Lady of Miraculous Medal” berbahasa Inggris tetapi kotbah biasanya bahasa Tagalog.
Ekaristi dalam Tagalog saya yang pertama adalah di Pertapaan Santa Klara, tentu saja saya hanya bisa terdiam sepanjang EKaristi. Setelah itu saya beberapa kali mengikuti Ekaristi berbahasa Tagalog seperti ketika Ekaristi di Gereja Baclaran.
Ketika tinggal di Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary Baguio, saya mengikuti Ekaristi harian berbahasa Inggris di kapel biara Santa Chatalina. Saya juga pernah mengikuti Ekaristi berbahasa Ilokano di Katedral Baguio, yang dinding luarnya berwarna pink dan putih. Kunjungan ke Our Lady of Victory Training Center for Youth Handicapped Davao memberi kesempatan untuk mengikuti Ekaristi berbahasa Visayas meskipun hanya sekali. Biasanya saya memilih untuk mengikuti Ekaristi berbahasa Inggris di Gereja Santo Yosef Pekerja.

Ekaristi Kaul Sementara Carolus BoromeusSaya juga berkesempatan untuk mengikuti Ekaristi profesi kaul sementara tiga suster Carolus Borromeus di Kapel CB Tagaytay. Angin bertiup sangat kencang di Tagaytay tetapi pemandangannya sangat indah.

Ekaristi “Pilgrimage of the World Youth Day Cross and the Icon of Our Lady”Keinginan untuk menghadiri World Youth Day tahun 2008 di Sydney terobati dengan kesempatan mengikuti “Pilgrimage of the World Youth Day Cross and the Icon of Our Lady” di Katedral Cubao yang megah.
Salib setinggi 3.8 m itu diletakkan di depan altar dan di sampingnya diletakkan Ikon Bunda Maria Penolong Abadi, yang telah ikut berkeliling dunia bersama sejak tahun 2003. Salib ini telah mengunjungi Gereja dan tempat berkumpul kaum muda seperti penjara, sekolah, universitas, tempat sejarah nasional, tempat perbelanjaan, taman.
Acara dibuka dengan atraksi tari dan lagu serta ditutup dengan Ekaristi yang dipimpin oleh Bapa Uskup Cubao Mgr. Nes Ongtioco.
Saya berkesempatan untuk mencium Salib, yang sudah berkeliling dunia sejak tahun 1984.

Pembaharuan Karismatik
Ketika Kamis Putih dan Jumat Agung, saya mengikuti ”Shalom Lenten Retreat” yang bernuansa karismatik. Acara dimulai sekitar pukul 14.00 sampai sekitar pukul 21.00, dengan pembicara utama Rm. Archie, OFM. Acara ini disiarkan secara langsung oleh dua stasiun televisi meskipun tidak keseluruhan. Ribuan orang memenuhi Araneta Center termasuk yang berharap mendapat penyembuhan. Terlihat juga ratusan orang yang memakai kaos merah pendukung Imelda Marcos.
Acara di hari Kamis Putih ditutup dengan Ekaristi yang disertai pembasuhan kaki, sedangkan acara di hari Jumat Suci sungguh meriah tetapi tanpa mencium salib dan penerimaan Komuni.

Ekaristi di Margaretha Home, Quezon CityDi hari Minggu Paskah, saya menghadiri Ekaristi di Margaretha Home, yang merupakan panti asuhan bagi anak-anak buta yang dikelola oleh suster SCC. Lektor, pemazmur dan organisnya adalah anak-anak, yang ketika Ekaristi selesai, sangat antusias untuk berbincang-bincang dengan umat yang hadir.

Ekaristi Pemakaman Rm. Fransiskus Madhu, SVD
Rm. Fransiskus Madhu, SVD adalah seorang misionaris muda asal Flores yang meninggal ditembak di Kalinga - Filipina ketika akan mempersembahkan Ekaristi pada hari Minggu Palem, 1 April 2007.
Saya mengikuti Ekaristi pemakaman imam, yang baru ditahbiskan pada 2004 ini, yang dihadiri oleh ratusan warga Indonesia termasuk juga oleh Duta besar Indonesia untuk Filipina dan keluarga muslim Indonesia di Filipina. Perayaan Ekaristi berlangsung di kapel SVD Christ the King, Quezon City dan dimakamkan di tempat pemakaman di kompleks yang sama.

Ekaristi Latin Tradisional
Secara tidak sengaja saya melihat Gereja “Our Lady of Victories (OLV)”, yang terletak di dekat “Institute of Formation and Religious Studies (IFRS)” dimana saya belajar “Contemporary Moral Issues” dan Inggris Dasar.
Liturgi di Gereja OLV ini mengikuti Buku Misa Pius V, yang menjadi tradisi sejak empat ratus tahun sebelum Konsili Vatikan II. Mendengar cerita dan mengalami langsung tentulah berbeda, karenanya saya memutuskan untuk mengikuti Ekaristi harian di OLV.
Saat memasuki Gereja, Laura dan saya disambut dengan pengumuman tentang cara berpakaian selama mengikuti Ekaristi, diantaranya tidak boleh memakai celana panjang dan harus memakai penutup kepala untuk wanita. Saya jadi teringat beberapa orang wanita yang memakai baju terusan selutut berwarna coklat dan kerudung berenda ketika mengikuti Ekaristi di OLMM. Meskipun memakai celana jeans, Laura dan saya memutuskan untuk masuk ke Gereja. Tidak lama kemudian, seorang ibu datang memberi dua buah penutup kepala berenda. Saya mendapat penutup kepala lingkaran dengan sebuah jepit, yang membuat saya kebingungan bagaimana cara memakainya, akhirnya saya jepitkan di telinga saya meskipun penutup kepala itu harus sering saya benahi supaya tidak jatuh. Suasana sangat hening dan tangan saya bergetar terus menerus. Hanya beberapa orang tua yang mengikuti Ekaristi. Akhirnya dimulailah Ekaristi di depan tabernakel kanan oleh seorang imam (ternyata Rm. Roy Dolotina, SSPX seorang imam Filipino yang baru ditahbiskan di Australia pada 2005) didampingi seorang misdinar. Tidak lama kemudian, masuklah imam lain didampingi seorang misdinar dan merayakan Ekaristi di depan tabernakel tengah. Di kanan kiri tabernakel tengah ada beberapa orang frater berjubah putih yang mengikuti Ekaristi. Sepanjang Ekaristi, saya hanya memperhatikan apa yang dilakukan oleh kedua imam sambil beberapa kali membuat tanda salib seperti yang dilakukan umat lain. Tidak ada kotbah ataupun lagu pada Ekaristi harian (disebut ”Low Mass”). Akhirnya saya memutuskan untuk maju ke depan altar untuk menerima Komuni, apalagi seorang imam pengajar ”Inter Religious Studies” di IFRS mengatakan bahwa Ekaristi tradisional dengan bahasa latin adalah valid.
Di depan altar, sebagaimana di Pertapaan Santa Klara, ada pagar pendek. Saya berlutut di bangku yang sudah disediakan dan mendekatkan kain putih yang menutupi pagar tersebut ke dagu. Imam yang merayakan Ekaristi di tabernakel tengah mulai membagikan Komuni di lidah. Untuk pertama kalinya saya menerima Komuni di lidah.
Setelah Ekaristi, Laura dan saya berbincang-bincang dengan Rm. Roy Dolotina, SSPX tentang beberapa hal sehubungan dengan Gereja OLV. Perbincangan saya lanjutkan selama dua hari ketika jam istirahat makan siang di pastoran OLV, yang memasang foto Paus Benediktus XVI dan Uskup Quezon City. Dari perbincangan ini, membuat saya mengerti makna simbolik dari beberapa sikap imam ketika Ekaristi mulai dari berlutut di depan altar, konsekrasi hosti dan anggur yang terpisah, pengangkatan Tubuh atau Piala setelah kata-kata Konsekrasi, dan pemindahan Alkitab dari sebelah kanan ke kiri ketika pembacaan Injil. Selain itu ternyata ada beberapa tarekat yang masih merayakan Ekaristi latin tradisional.
Para imam SSPX (Society of Sint Pius X) menghayati ketiga kaul secara spiritual tetapi tidak mengucapkannya, sehingga seperti perpaduan antara imam biarawan dan diosesan. Meskipun begitu mereka memakai jubah putih dengan ikat pinggang hitam sepanjang hari sebagai tanda kesiapan melayani umat setiap waktu, lengkap dengan hem lengan panjang putih padahal saat itu sedang musim panas.
Rm. Roy berjanji untuk meminjami rok ketika mengundang saya untuk mengikuti ”Sung Mass” pada hari Minggu, dimana ada nyanyiannya. Saya tidak membawa satupun rok ketika berangkat ke Filipina. Ternyata Gereja OLV menyediakan penutup kepala dan rok yang bisa dipinjam.

Ekaristi di Biara ”Pink Sisters”Saya mengikuti Ekaristi di Biara ”Pink Sisters” di hari Minggu terakhir karena sudah lama ingin mengunjungi. Tentu jauh lebih murah daripada harus ke Flores karena saya cukup naik jeepney satu kali sekitar Rp. 6000 pulang pergi. Ternyata saat itu ada dua orang suster yang akan mengucapkan kaul kekal sehingga Ekaristi cukup meriah dan penuh dengan suasana pink.

Seusai Ekaristi, saya memberi ucapan selamat kepada selebran dari balik pembatas berjeruji, salah satunya adalah Sr. Christa Maria, SsPSAP yang pernah bekerja di Jakarta sebelum menjadi biarawati.

Kunjungan ke Gereja
Saya juga berkesempatan untuk mengunjungi beberapa Gereja dan kapel biara meskipun tidak mengikuti Ekaristi seperti Katedral Manila, Gereja St. Agustinus di Manila, dan Gereja St. Joseph di Quezon City.

Surabaya, 24 Juni 2007
Hari Raya Kelahiran St. Yohanes Pembaptis

Linda AB, M.M. -
Let’s make God’s love visible

Sharing: Kegiatan "Live in" di Filipina

Setelah transit semalam di Kuala Lumpur akhirnya sampailah saya di bandara Clark, Filipina. Saya menuju terminal bis Dau dengan taxi karena ketinggalan bis bandara. Kondektur bis menurunkan saya di terminal bis Pasay padahal saya sudah menunjukkan petunjuk lokasi tertulis dari Sr. Nenita Tapia, MM, dimana saya seharusnya turun di EDSA Megamall. Akhirnya dengan taxi saya menuju biara Maryknoll (

Upacara Penerimaan
Acara perdana adalah upacara penerimaan Genie, Laura dan saya sebagai peserta “live in” Maryknoll. Acara dibuka dengan pengantar dari Sr. Nenita selaku ”Admissions Contact Person”, dilanjutkan dengan penyalaan lilin, lagu ”Companions in the Journey”, sharing dari tiap peserta, pengalungan rangkaian bunga melati. Setelah pembacaan dari Konstitusi Maryknoll Sisters, Roma 10: 13 – 17 dan Mazmur 139, acara dilanjutkan dengan doa dan lagu penutup. Upacara penerimaan ditutup dengan makan bersama.

Ada beberapa kuliah yang saya ikuti, yaitu kuliah terbuka di Institute of Formation and Religious Studies (IFRS) oleh Prof. Reimund Bieringer dari Universitas Katolik Leuwen Belgia dengan topik ”Mary Magdalene: One Person Many Images” dan ”When Love is Not Enough: A Theo-Ethic of Justice”. Selain itu juga kuliah terbuka di East Asian Pastoral Institute (EAPI) dengan topik “Phoebe, Prisca and Junia: Leading Women in the Letters of St. Paul” dari pembicara yang sama.
Kuliah terbuka berikutnya dengan topik “Doing Theology of Mission with Contemporary Adequacy” oleh Prof. Brendan Lovett, SSC bertempat di IFRS.
Saya juga mengikuti Kelas Pengantar Hidup Religius oleh Rm. Carlos Ronquillo, CsSR dan Pengantar Kitab Suci oleh Rm. Mer Viuya, MJ di Rumah Seminar CB.
Kelas selanjutnya yang saya ikuti adalah ”Contemporary Moral Issues” oleh Rm. Carlos Ronquillo, CsSR selama enam hari dan Inggris Dasar selama satu bulan di IFRS.
Saya juga mendapat pelajaran singkat tidak resmi mengenai Feminisme dari Sr. Virginia, MM yang juga menjadi pengajar di IFRS dan Shibashi (semacam Tai-chi) dari Sr. Marisa, MM.

KunjunganTempat pertama yang saya kunjungi adalah Miriam College, sekolah milik Maryknoll Sisters yang sudah diserahkan sepenuhnya kepada awam pada 1978.
Sebelum mengikuti upacara kaul sementara di kapel CB Tagaytay, saya mengunjungi biara RGS di Tagaytay, yang menjual selai, makanan kecil dan lain-lain.
Kunjungan berikutnya adalah kepada ibu-ibu muda di Jala-jala yang menjadi responden disertasi Sr. Teresa Dagdag, MM. Kami mengunjungi empat rumah tetapi bertemu dengan lebih dari sepuluh ibu-ibu muda. Foto kiri di samping rumah salah satu ibu muda, yang digunakan untuk tempat menjahit, terbuat dari anyaman bambu berlantai tanah. Kami sempat dijamu sup makaroni. Rumah “Maryknoll by The Lake” Jala-jala, yang terbuka bagi mereka yang ingin mengadakan retret atau pertemuan, lokasinya menghadap ke danau Laguna.
Bersama Sr. Mary Clare, MM saya mengunjungi tempat rehabilitasi untuk orang buta yang dikelola pemerintah serta ke perkampungan kumuh di dekat biara.
Kunjungan ke biara CB di sebelah rumah untuk mencari Rm. Anton Galih membuat saya berkenalan dengan Sr. Neriza, IJ, yang sedang menjalani tahun sabatikal setelah menjadi misionaris di Nigeria. Beliau merupakan satu-satunya Filipina di tarekatnya
Kunjungan ke Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary Baguio diisi dengan beberapa kegiatan, yaitu: melakukan perjalanan kosmis sebanyak empat belas perhentian, yaitu: terciptanya alam semesta, bumi, air, dinosaurus, mamalia, burung, tanaman, primata, manusia pertama, kehidupan di gua, kehidupan berburu, sampai munculnya agama-agama termasuk Islam dan perhentian terakhir adalah Maryknoll Sisters Bio-Shelter. Selain itu saya juga melukis gerabah, melihat pameran seni, kunjungan ke Atok bersama staf Yayasan Igorota dan melihat koor Maryknoll Sanctuary yang mengkhususkan untuk pendidikan bumi dan kegiatan lingkungan.
Kunjungan ke Atok menjadi sangat berkesan karena saya harus mendaki bukit sepanjang 4 km pulang pergi. Semula saya mendaki sekitar 400m untuk mengikuti presentasi dan praktek cara pembuatan tungku dari tanah liat, setelah makan siang, saya turun ke jalan raya dan mulai mendaki 1600m. Sepanjang perjalanan dan bahkan sewaktu masih di Baguio, saya hanya bisa memohon kepada Tuhan supaya saya bisa menyelesaikan perjalanan ini meskipun saya tahu saya tidak sanggup. Ketika akan pulang, kami masih dibekali kentang satu dus yang dibawakan turun ke jalan raya oleh ibu pekerja kesehatan (yang bekerja tanpa digaji) di atas kepalanya padahal saya sempat berpikir membawa badan saja sudah tidak sanggup apalagi harus membawa satu dus kentang. Selain itu masih ditambah satu dus sayuran yang sudah disiapkan di jalan raya. Keesokan harinya saya tidak merasakan kelelahan maupun keletihan, sehingga saya sungguh merasakan doa saya dijawab.
Dalam rangka memperingati Hari Wanita Sedunia, saya menghadiri ”Ecumenical International Women’s Day 2007” bersama Sr. Alma, MM dan Sr. Tereret, MM.
Saya juga mengunjungi biara suster SS.CC dan biara frater Camillians di Quezon City dan bertemu dengan beberapa orang suster dan frater dari Indonesia.
Kegiatan selanjutnya adalah berkunjung ke Our Lady of Victory Training Center for Youth Handicapped (OLV) di Davao. Saya sempat berfoto bersama calon senator di airport Davao.
Acara pertama setiba di Davao adalah menghadiri penganugerahan Datu Bago Awards 2007 untuk Sr. Virgeen Healey, MM. Acara ini diliput oleh media cetak dan elektronik jadi saya sempat masuk koran dan televisi.
Sehubungan dengan ”open house” Pusat Pengembangan Kesehatan Davao, maka saya berkesempatan makan babi panggang, yang biasanya merupakan makanan untuk pesta karena mahal harganya.
Kunjungan ke pulau Samal, dengan naik ferry dari Davao, diisi dengan mengajar anak-anak kebanyakan dengan cacat tubuh dan hanya mengerti bahasa Visayas. Saya bertugas mengajar anak kelas I dan II dengan buku bahasa Inggris yang sudah disiapkan oleh Genie, tidak lama kemudian, saya merasa membosankan. Akhirnya saya memberi soal matematika dan meminta anak-anak untuk membaca soal dan jawabannya dengan bahasa Inggris. Ternyata anak-anak antusias dengan acara ini.
Wisuda mahasiswa Myanmar yang mendapat beasiswa untuk kuliah di Ateneo de Davao menjadi kegiatan selanjutnya. Saya mendapat kesempatan untuk mendengar langsung kondisi Myanmar, yang menutup diri terhadap dunia luar sejak berpuluh-puluh tahun lalu, baik dari mahasiswa maupun dari Sr. Mary Grenough, MM yang menjadi misionaris di Myanmar.

Acara selanjutnya adalah wisuda anak-anak SD dan pemberian penghargaan untuk siswa berprestasi termasuk anak-anak yang tinggal di OLV Samal.
Salah satu kegiatan yang dilakukan oleh ”Philippine Agency for Community and Family” (PACAF) Mindanao adalah terlibat adalah kompetisi tukang bangunan dalam membangun dapur di Riverdrive Gawad Kalinga (GK) hasil kerjasama pemerintah dan salah satu produsen semen. GK adalah program pengadaan perumahan yang diorganisir oleh Couple for Christ (sudah ada GK di Jakarta), dimana penduduk yang ingin mendapatkan rumah harus menyediakan tenaga kerja (biasanya istri dan anak-anak karena suami harus tetap bekerja untuk mencukupi kebutuhan rumah tangga) sejumlah jam tertentu sedangkan material dan tanah disediakan oleh GK bekerjasama dengan pemerintah dan donatur.
Acara bersama PACAF yang lain adalah wisuda PACAF Technical Training Program bekerjasama dengan ”Holy Cross of Davao College” dan berkunjung ke peternakan bebek bersama tiga orang suster tarekat SMRA dari Bangladesh, yang sedang libur dari kuliah di Universitas St. Thomas Manila.
Selain mempunyai pusat pelatihan untuk anak muda yang cacat, OLV yang dimotori oleh Sr. Cecilia Wood, MM juga memiliki klinik fisioterapi, peternakan burung puyuh, tanaman hias dan anggrek, sawah di Magsaysay, kerajinan tangan, pembuatan kursi roda dan kaki palsu.
Keinginan untuk mengikuti acara bernuansa karismatik terpenuhi ketika ”The Loved Flock” mengadakan Seminar Hidup baru dalam Roh meskipun mayoritas berbicara dalam bahasa Tagalog, yang diterjemahkan oleh Genie.

Saya juga mengikuti rekoleksi yang diadakan oleh muda mudi OLV, yang dihadiri oleh muda mudi OLV Samal, OLV airport dan OLV Sasa sendiri.
Saya kembali ke Quezon City dari Davao setelah Minggu Palem sehingga saya berkesempatan mengikuti “Araneta Lenten Recollection” di Araneta Center pada hari Kamis Putih, Jumat Agung dan Sabtu Suci pagi sampai siang hari. Acara ini diikuti oleh ribuan umat dan diorganisir oleh Paroki Maria Bunda Penolong Abadi, yang terbuka untuk keluarga-keluarga di luar paroki juga.
Kunjungan ke Jala-jala untuk kedua kalinya sewaktu rapat regional Maryknoll Sisters Filipina, dimana saya juga ikut mendengarkan jalannya rapat dari pagi sampai sore selama dua hari dan mensharingkan pengalaman selama live in.
Pemilu di Filipina sangat berbeda dengan di Indonesia, karena mereka memilih langsung para senator dan partai dengan menuliskan namamya satu per satu. Salah satu bentuk konret partisipasi Gereja Katolik Filipina dalam Pemilu adalah berdirinya Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), yang diakui keberadaannya oleh Komisi Pemilihan Umum (Comelec).
Keinginan untuk mengetahui tentang energi dan ”healing” terpenuhi ketika saya berkesempatan untuk bertemu dengan Rm. Bolaatao, SJ, yang mengajar ”Hypnotherapy and Hypnosys” di Ateneo. Saya mendengar nama Rm. Bu untuk pertama kalinya ketika bertemu Rm. Anton Rosari, SVD dalam Ekaristi pemakaman Rm. Fransiskus Madhu, SVD. Meskipun hanya bertemu sekitar tiga puluh menit karena Rm. Bu sudah lelah, saya sempat diajarkan cara menyembuhkan seorang mahasiswinya yang sedang sakit kepala.

Ibadat Perpisahan
Ada pertemuan ada pula perpisahan. Tidak terasa empat bulan telah berlalu, saya harus pulang ke Indonesia karena masa berlaku visa sudah habis. Setelah makan malam, diadakan ibadat perpisahan di kapel Maryknoll Sisters Quezon City tidak lupa dengan lagu ”Don’t be Afraid”, yang merupakan salah satu penghiburan untuk saya karena salah satu liriknya adalah ”speak my words to foreign men and they will understand” .
Archie, salah seorang murid yang sangat antusias dengan soal yang saya berikan ketika mengajar di OLV Samal dan tidak bisa berbahasa Inggris, memberi kulit kerang suatu pagi. Semula saya pikir, dia bermaksud menunjukkan kulit kerang tersebut tetapi akhirnya saya mengerti bahwa kulit kerang itu untuk saya. Ditegaskannya niatnya itu kepada Genie sehingga Genie pun meminta saya untuk menyimpan kulit kerang itu karena merupakan hadiah. Archie kembali memberikan kulit kerang beberapa hari kemudian dan mencoba untuk bercakap-cakap dengan saya dalam beberapa kesempatan meskipun saya selalu bertanya ”What do you mean?” dan pembicaraan menjadi tidak menyambung karena dia tetap berbicara dengan bahasa Visayas.
Setiap kali melewati kios korannya, saya selalu tersenyum atau mengucapkan ”Good Morning” dan segera berlalu menuju Gereja Paroki untuk mengikuti Ekaristi harian. Tetapi hari itu saya berangkat agak pagi sehingga terpikir untuk mengajaknya bercakap-cakap. Dia langsung berkata ”I Love You, Sister” ketika melihat saya. Saya terdiam sesaat, tidak tahu harus mengucapkan apa. Dia bahkan tidak tahu nama saya! Akhirnya kami pun bercakap-cakap tentang keluarganya setelah saya juga mengatakan ”I Love You too” dengan lirih. Saya bahkan baru menanyakan namanya sepulang dari Gereja.
Dua pengalaman yang sulit dimengerti tetapi sungguh menjadi bukti penyelenggaraan Ilahi, sebagaimana pengalaman-pengalaman, yang lebih dari yang saya harapkan ketika saya berani mengatakan ”Here I am Lord to do Your Will”.

Surabaya, 29 Juni 2007
Hari Raya St. Petrus dan Paulus

Linda AB, M.M. -
Let’s make God’s love visible