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