Sharing: First Easter in Guangzhou

As my Easter letter, I attended Ash Wednesday in Cathedral. The Cathedral was not as full as English Sunday Mass.
I decided to celebrate Easter in Guangzhou as we had midterm and regular classes during Holy Week.
Two students and I planned to attend English Palm Sunday Mass at Shamian Catholic Church. It was our first time so we asked the direction to several people and we went into the first Church we found. We went around the compound as the liturgy was still going on and finally entered the Church. I felt a little bit strange as I didn’t see people hold a palm, no tabernacle near the altar, no Corpus on the Cross and finally I realized that is the Christ Church of Shamian! Thanks God, we could find the Catholic Church without being late. The English community gave out a bookmark with palm. Later on, I went to Cathedral for a confession in English. English confession is available every week before the English mass.
Three Indonesians and I visited and prayed with several Indonesian patients and their families at Fuda hospital on Wednesday. Then, I went directly to school for my ten minutes conversation midterm exam and regular reading-writing class. Last year, I was visiting a patient in ICU one day before my listening midterm exam, is it the way God teach me to put priority on the need of the people above the preparation for my midterm exam?
I had listening midterm exam and reading-writing class on Thursday morning. Later on, I attended the Mandarin Holy Thursday Mass in Cathedral. The Cathedral was not as full as English Sunday Mass. I offered my Lent observance during my opening prayer. The apostles for the washing of the feet were Chinese and Africans with colorfull cloths. I still couldn’t understand the language but I know God is always accompanying me including through the presence of one of my Chinese friends.
As I had the conversation midterm exam on Wednesday so I only had reading-writing class on Friday morning. I attended the Indonesian Holy Friday Liturgy at Indonesian Consulate. There were more than 80 persons. Eleven Indonesians and I visited Indonesian and Filipino patients and families at Fuda hospital after the liturgy. Only four of us could enter the rooms to pray with them.
I attended the Indonesian Easter Vigil Mass at Indonesian Consulate. We lit a new fire, renewed our Baptismal Promises and were sprinkled by Easter water.
I read the second reading on the Indonesian Easter Sunday Mass at Indonesian Consulate. There was rosary and apologetics after the Mass. I ended the Easter Sunday with an Indonesian meal and preparation for the reading-writing midterm on Monday afternoon.
Easter Sunday last year in Hong Kong, I didn’t know yet where would I study Mandarin but I met several Indonesian students who were studying in Guangzhou. And now, I am studying Mandarin in Guangzhou and working collaboratively with the Indonesian students: visiting patients in hospital, mentally disabled people and people with Hansen’s desease. I never thought that I would celebrate my first Easter in Guangzhou in Indonesian which is very well prepared (mostly) by the students. It’s our first Indonesian Easter Triduum celebration.
I know I was not ready for the midterm, so I only could say “God, You know I am not ready for the exam.” Thanks God, I got 96 for listening class, 85 for conversation class and 95 for reading writing class .
In this time of Easter, I recalled the quotation of our foundress: “There is nothing more astonishing than life, just as it is, nothing more miraculous than growth and change, just as revealed to us. And as happens so often when we stop to regard God’s work, there is nothing to do but wonder and thank God.” (Mother Mary Joseph, 1936).

Guangzhou, 29 Apr, 2011

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