Sharing: Why will I have a "Religious Name"?



My name in my Indonesian ID was “A.B. Lindawati Padmadewi.” Since 1997, I always introduce myself as “Linda AB” because there were two “Linda” in the office.
My name was written as “Anastasia (Linda) Lindawati” in Maryknoll’s database as my name in passport is “Anastasia Birgitta Lindawati.” In my sharing “Summer 07 in New York” I wrote that “I want to be called Linda AB as previously and also as there are three “Anastasia” in Maryknoll.” Later on several sisters wrote my name “Linda Lindawati”
I always asked to be called “Linda” on the first day of classes at Catholic Theological Union Chicago, because I would be called by my first name. One of the professors on my last semester always called me “Anastasia.”
There was a police in front of the alley to our house before the election because it’s near Mr. Barack Obama’s house. We should show our ID if we wanted to pass by. The police called me “Anastasia” when he saw my ID.
Sr. Amelia told me that one of our sisters said that I should be called Anastasia because it’s my name and she said that I was asked to be called Linda. It triggered my thought to be called Anastasia after my first profession of vows.
I was baptized on March 25, 1989 and I chose “Anastasia” as my baptismal name because she is one of the martyrs (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01453a.htm). Later on I know that martyr from the Greek word martus that signifies a witness who testifies to a fact of which he has knowledge from personal observation.
I asked to remove “(Linda)” from our database in January 2009. When I received the official letter from our Leadership Team to make first profession of religious vows, I changed my signature on email to be “Anastasia B. Lindawati.” I asked our MIS staff to change my user ID to log in to our computer system to be “alindawati.” I started to introduce myself as “Anastasia Lindawati” instead of “Linda” for some occasions.
I always use “Linda AB” when I signed up in a cyber group including my blog at yahoo 360. When I signed up at Facebook, I should use my full name instead of “Linda AB.” It’s not my preference but I didn’t have any choice. And it always mentions “Anastasia.” Yahoo 360 would close on July 13, 2009 so I create a new blog http://anastasialindawatimm.blogspot.com. Is it a holy coincidence?
There is a tradition in religious life to give a religious name for the novice as part of beginning a new way of life. Many congregations don’t do it anymore as well as Maryknoll Sisters. Since I passed my novitiate so first profession day will be the best time to start to be called “Anastasia.” It will be my “religious name.”
Changing name is not a new thing for me since I changed my Chinese’s name “Li Li” to be “Anastasia Birgitta Lindawati Padmadewi” in 1989 as I became an Indonesian citizen. That’s why my family and some of my friends still call me “Li Li.”
One of my sisters introduced me as “Linda” to Srs. Rita and Valeria on our first meal at Carmelite Retreat Center. My spiritual director Fr. Michael J. Wastag, O.Carm called me “Anastasia” on our first meeting and then Sr. Rita called me “Anastasia” instead of “Linda.”
I never thought that I will have a transformation of name too. God gives me two years to do it.

Ossining-New York, Aug 5, 2009




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