Sharing: Easter Letter 2012



Dear all,

Happy Easter!
May the Risen Lord fill you with peace and love

This is an Easter Wednesday and here are my experiences during Holy Week 2012 as my Easter letter.
I attended Mandarin Ash Wednesday Mass in Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel Shamian. The chapel was full with parishioners including several Indonesian students.
As there was school break on Mar 31 till Apr 4 due to sweeping the tomb festival (清(qīng)明(míng)节(jié) ), I went to Hong Kong and attended the Indonesian Palm Sunday Mass at Christ the King Chapel. There were around 260 Indonesians attended the Mass.
One of my friends wrote in her facebook that she was in Hong Kong so we met the next morning and then I went back to Guangzhou. It’s a moving moment as we prayed together with her families. It’s a holy coincidence as I seldom read status of my friends in facebook due to limited time outside mainland China.
After having lunch with several friends from Vietnam, Italy, Madagascar, and Spain on Apr 4, we attended Mandarin Chrism Mass in Cathedral. The priests renewed their priesthood promises and Bishop Joseph Gan consecrated the chrism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrism.
I attended the Indonesian Holy Thursday Mass in Indonesian Consulate General. The hall was full with the Indonesians. Later on, there was a Eucharistic Adoration.
As I had afternoon classes, I attended Mandarin Good Friday Liturgy in Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel Shamian with two Indonesians and two Mexicans students. Three of us skipped our writing classes. We started with Mandarin Way of the Cross, Liturgy of the Word, Veneration of the Cross and Holy Communion. Later on, there were Indonesian Good Friday Liturgy, English Way of the Cross and Mandarin Way of the Cross.
Four Indonesians and I visited and prayed with several Indonesians and Filipino patients and their families at Fuda hospital on Saturday morning. One of them was in ICU after a surgery so two of us went to the ICU after negotiating with the nurse that we would be with the patient only for ten minutes. I attended Mandarin Easter Vigil Mass in Cathedral with three students from Colombia and Mexico. After Mass, I met several friends from Italy, Vietnam and Spain. The Cathedral was full till the back side, many parishioners should stand during the Mass. Fr. Tom hold the Easter candle walked to the back of the Cathedral and then went back to the altar with around 100 baptismal candidates. It’s a moving moment even though I only could see from afar. After the baptismal ceremony, the newly baptized wore the white gown, were anointed with the oil and then received Holy Communion. Before Mass, one of my Chinese friends in RCIA classes asked whether I would be baptized so I said I was baptized long time ago. While waiting the green light to cross the street, a young woman asked me whether I just attended the Mass. As I said yes, she shared her life stories, how God answered her prayers through the intercession of Mother Mary. She said several times “很(hěn)奇(qí)妙(miào)” Later on, I know it means “wonderful/fantastic”. She was baptized last year even though she used to go to Protestant church. She gave me her business card and continued to talk until we arrived in the platform of subway. A new Chinese friend in Easter. I enjoyed the Easter boiled egg and cake from friends upon arriving dormitory.
My friend and I attended English Easter Sunday Mass in St. Francis of Assisi Chapel, which was re-opened last Feb. The Chapel was built in 1909 and closed during Cultural Revolution till 1996. Last year, the diocese renovated the Chapel after being used as a hostel. The majority of the parishioners are Filipino and the first Mandarin Sunday Mass would be started in the afternoon. After Mass, we had lunch in a restaurant nearby and desert in the evening. I had a chance to meet several Indonesians in the afternoon.
Holy week this year was colourful in languages and experiences. I gave a short reflection on suffering and kenosis based on Palm Sunday readings for St. Theresia’s prayer cell and then listened to the suffering of the people I met during Holy week. I tried to reflect on the redemptive suffering of Christ http://www.catholica.com.au/peregrinus/015_pere_130906.php. I know I only can pray for all of their suffering so that they still can see hope amidst their suffering, hope to the Risen Lord who suffered and died on the cross.
In this time of Easter season, I recalled the quotation of Anthony T. Padavano, Christmas to Calvary, p. 15 (1): When we begin a life journey with Jesus we must go all the way with him if we would find ourselves. We need not only Christmas but the cross in order to understand Christmas and in order to be given Easter. We are companions of this child and the crucified savior. If we feel unworthly, we must remember that Jesus, in his birth and in his burial, in the virgin’s womb and Calvary’s tomb, reverses all expectations. Easter is a return of Christ to those who felt unworthy but who did not stop loving. We come as wise men and women to the manger, as disciples to the cross, as an Easter people to the empty tomb.

Guangzhou, 11 Apr, 2012



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