Christmas Letter 09


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

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.

Merry Christmas


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

in 2010

Surabaya, 28 December 2009

Sr. Anastasia B. Lindawati, M.M.

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

Sharing: Maryknoll Lay Missioners Orientation Program

As a newly professed sister, I joined the orientation program of Maryknoll Lay Missioners for 13 weeks during Fall 2009. All of candidates of the lay missioners lived in Bethany, the head office of Maryknoll Lay Missioners, as a community. Our general activities were daily morning prayers, workshops/presentations, retreats, and weekly Eucharist. Sometimes I joined their community meal, house meeting and social. We had a meal with Maryknoll Society or Maryknoll Sisters once a week.
I was moved during the first two weeks, either because of the songs during Eucharist or stories including during the life lines. I was burst in tears during the presentation of saying good bye well.
I will mention the title of the presentations/workshops to give the idea how was the orientation program and only write a highlight for several of the presentation/workshops. I posted the sharing about our trip to Washington DC in

There were introduction to group prayer, vaccination, Scripture Study, Conversation on Racism and White Privilege, Spirituality of Fundraising for Mission, Non Violence Communication Workshop, Mission Theology, SOA Watch, Spirituality on Mission, Faith-based Social Analysis, Cross Cultural Preparation, Occupational Hazard of Missioners: Exposure to Trauma, Holistic Health in Mission, Dialogue Education, Relationship, Intimacy and Sexuality, and Saying Goodbye Well. There were two days retreat and reflection day in the middle of the program and one day retreat at the end of the program.
We weaved ribbons of our life lines in the beginning of the program and removed it at the end of the program.

Collaborative Effort
The collaborative effort with Society for Mission in Africa and Fransiscan Mission Service was continued in Bethany for four days by sharing the community live with additional members from Comboni Lay Missioners.

Mission Statement
I had a chance to write down my own mission statement “As I experience how God has blessed and loved me in so many ways, I want to share those experiences by doing simple things with simple love to make God’s love visible in our broken world through my commitment as a Maryknoll Sister.” I couldn't hold my tears when I read it in front of the group.

Closing Retreat
It became a two days retreat as I had a Maryknoll Sisters Sunday retreat. I couldn’t hold my tears when I reflected on “Who am I, Lord” and love as 1 Cor 13 during adoration on Dec 6, 2009.
I was moved during the introduction of the closing retreat on Dec 7, 2009 and the question of “Who am I?” As Sr. Janet Hockman, MM asked to make a heart, I was burst in tears. I made a simple heart and then I wrote 1 Cor 13 on it.

Joint Mission Sending CeremonyThere was joint mission sending ceremony on Dec 12, 2009 which is a collaborative work of Maryknoll Society, Maryknol Sisters and Maryknoll Lay Missioners. Fr. Jim Noonan, MM gave the reflection. The elements of the liturgy were call forth the new missioners with the language of the mission country, blessing of the water and mission crosses, receiving the mission cross, commitment prayer by new missioners and blessing from the community. There was ringing the bell which is a tradition of Maryknoll in sending the new missioners. Here are the link of the video:,!/video/video.php?v=379544866555 and the press release:
I said to myself in the night before the ceremony that God knew how I wished that I would not cry during the ceremony. I didn’t cry during ceremony till reception. Thanks be to God! I felt light, joyful and peace. It’s a conviction (again) of my journey as a Maryknoll Sister.
I was in entrance procession with bamboo and pink rose. Sr. Marie Ann Lipetzky, MM was my caller forth and Sr. Janet Caroll, MM read the prayer in Mandarin.
I had several Indonesian guests from Virginia, Ossining and Chicago.
It’s time to say good bye with the lay missioners as all of them would leave Bethany on Dec 13, 2009 and I will leave Maryknoll Sisters Center on Dec 15, 2009.

ParticipantsThere were nine lay missioners in the beginning of the program and only seven stayed till the end of the program and three newly professed sisters including myself.
I learn a lot from the participants who have rich experiences including their mission works in another countries and so grateful for their participation in the program. I am grateful for Rena especially for her joyful spirit, for Stephen especially for his commitment for non direct-non violence action, for John especially for the holy coincidences, for Cindy especially for her motherly love, for Mary especially for her helping hands, for Nan especially for her hospitality, for Lindsay especially for her questions, for Erica especially for her easy going spirit, for Minh especially for her cooking, for Laura especially for her good eye, for Genie especially for her aviability.
I was moved during the commitment ceremony for the lay missioners as I admire their willingness to leave behind their personal life in USA for 3.5 years as a Maryknoll Lay Missioner.

ReflectionI was called to reflect on my own personal call in missionary works. I realize that how little I can do in service to the universal mission of the Church but how big I am encouraged to keep move forward because mission is not just a matter of doing things for people, it is first of all a matter of being with people, of listening to, sharing and praying with them. Missionary works became a more real thing as my mission phase is getting closer.
I learn simple things e.g. how to make the group in silent by raising our hand, how to give a feed back and how to do a non-violence communication. It’s time to practice it in my daily life.

Thank you very much for all the presentations, workshops, sharings, collaborative works, supports, love, gifts, monetary gift and especially prayers to all of the participants, presenters, staffs of Maryknoll Lay Missioners especially Joe Regotti, Joe Loney, Michelle Born and Cecilia Espinoza, guests, leadership team of three Maryknoll entities, volunteers including Fr. Mike Duggan, MM and Sr. Norie Mojado, MM and also employees of Maryknoll Sisters who helped for Joint Mission Sending Ceremony.

This vocation of ours is a precious, priceless gift freely given us by God to help make God’s Kingdom come, and we should definitely be marked by it, so that no one may take us for anything but missioners (Mother Mary Joseph, 1943)
Monrovia- Los Angeles, Dec 19, 2009

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

Sharing: Trip to Chicago

There was a break on my orientation program with Maryknoll Lay Missioner during the Thanksgiving week, so I accepted Fr. Lukas Batmomolin, SVD’s invitation to visit Chicago. We needed to work on the final draft of our collaborative book “Kasih Sahabat” (Love of Friends).
I went to Chicago Nov 20, 2009 morning and stayed at St. Arnold Hall, Techny. I started to work on the (draft of) book, right away. The book is 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. I had supper with SVD novitiate community and several priests.
The next day, I attended farewell party for Indonesian Ambassador at Indonesian Consulate General’s house and then went to an Indonesian gathering at SVD Theologate in Chicago. There I met some friends, including Fr. Roger Schroeder, SVD.
I moved from Techny to Lisa Arman-Mira Halim-Irene Wicaksana’s apartment on Sunday afternoon. Lisa and I went to downtown to have ice cream at Ghirardeli. We, unexpectedly, met Mbak Wigati and Pak Budi, who are doing their studies at Loyola University, so we went to Chinatown for supper.
On Monday, after attending mass at St. Therese, where I helped as Eucharistic Minister, Fr. Anniello, SX invited to have breakfast then I met with Sr. Dora, MM. I went to Truman College to meet Elizabeth Li and then Br. Tom. There, I couldn’t hold my tears. Before leaving New York, I suddenly felt sad imagining I would have to say good bye again to my friends in Chicago. That kind of feeling made me asking myself whether visiting Chicago again was a right decision, for I didn’t have the same experience when I left Chicago last May. Later that day, I met Fr. Leo Tinkatumire and then had meat ball and siomay Bandung at drg. Budi-drg Rina-Vivian’s house.
After attending mass and having breakfast at SVD Theologate on Tuesday, I visited Greg-Charito and then went to Catholic Theological Union. I met several friends including Fr. Robin Ryan, CP and then went to library for some more work on the book as we plan to submit it to the publisher on Nov 24, 2009. Fr. Eddie, SVD, Fr. Abdon, SVD and I had lunch together. Fulan offered Indonesian soup and peanut sauce salad and then I went to Harriet’s apartment to have supper with charismatic prayer group of St. Thomas of the Apostle Church. I moved to our Orientation House, where I had lived for 16 months.
On Wednesday, Sr. Genie, MM and I visited Scalabrinian Theologate, our neighbour. After that, Harno, SX and I went to Chinatown for lunch and visited Edy-Dimitri-Connor, then went to Indonesian Consulate in downtown. Later, while walking in front of the old building of CTU, I remembered that I didn’t informed Sr. Julia, FSPA about my visit. When I looked at the new building of CTU, I saw her. What a holy coincidence! She moved to the old building of CTU last Sept. I also met Carmela at CTU before the mass and both of us served as Eucharistic Ministers. Sr. Genie, MM and I had supper with Maryknoll Society Formation and Promotion. Mark, MM invited us to have ice cream at north side of Chicago around 9.00 p.m. and then stayed for a while at Maryknoll Society’s house.
On Thanksgiving day, I attended Mass at St. Thomas of the Apostle Church where I met several friends. Back home, I helped in preparing the turkey. I had a very nice thanksgiving day celebration with orientation community, Sr. Sue, MM, Sr. Jeanne, MM, Sr. Genie, MM and several Filipina friends. It’s my third time to celebrate thanksgiving day in our orientation house.
On Friday, after attending Mass at St. Thomas of the Apostle Church, Tita Mildred invited Sr. Genie, MM and I for breakfast and then I visited Br. Daryl, O.Carm. He was in the parking lot, when I saw him. A holy coincidence as I was not sure that he was home because I didn’t inform him that I was in Chicago. Tita Mildred came to our house with pink gifts for my mission in China. That morning, I couldn’t hold my tears when saying good bye to Jareen and praying with Isabel. When Sr. Hedwig, CSCM and Fr. Tibur, SVD visited our house, I burst into tears again. I decided to pray in our chapel while waiting for Fr. Lukas to pick me up. I already calmed down when I said good bye to my sisters before leaving our orientation house. We visited Arlene at the nursing home and then went to Pak Budi’s apartment to taste his Magelang fried rice with mbak Wigati who prepared Indonesian chicken soup and ice. I moved back to St. Arnold Hall, Techny and went on to sleep early since my eyes were tired of crying.
On Saturday, Sr. Lia, SSpS visited me. We chatted during the whole morning and we had lunch with Fr. Lukas, and then I had some video recording sessions about my vocation story.
I left for Newark early morning of Nov 29 and then attended mass at St. John the Baptist Church in front of Penn Station New York. I went around with my small luggage and then met Rudy before going home in the evening.
I am so grateful that I could visit Chicago before leaving for my mission in China region even with doubt and tears.
Thank you very much to all of you for all your warm welcome, hospitality, time, stories, wishes, gifts, monetary gift, and especially your prayers and friendships. May God continue to bless all of you in your life and missionary journey.

No love or friendship can ever cross our path without affecting us in some way forever. (Mauriac)

Ossining-New York, Dec 10, 2009

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