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