Sharing: 2014 Retreat for Priests

I arrived at Maryknoll Society House Stanley with 3 priests on June 15 night, while 8 priests arrived earlier than us.  They would attend the retreat at Maryknoll Society House Stanley on June 16-21. There were 17 priests attended the retreat.
  I asked Mr. Kevin Lai of Diocesan Pastoral Centre for Marriage and Family to give a talk.  They really appreciate his talk and one package of books, booklets, etc.  They wish him to give training in their places. 
The retreat was started June 21 evening and was led by Fr. Pierre Lam, MEP, who is the Vicar General and the spiritual director of Holy Spirit Seminary Hong Kong.
I assigned every priest to a small group of 4 or 5 priests, so there were 4 groups.  Each group will take turn to be responsible for chapel (celebrants, reader, leading the song, adoration, morning and evening prayer: the office and Angelus) and for dining room (leading prayer before and after meal, helping to wash the dishes and setting up the dishes).   Each group eat at the same table during the retreat.  It’s a silent retreat with two conferences everyday, private sessions are available during the day.  I am also available as an assistant spiritual director.  One priest met me twice and I ended the session with prayer together.
Cardinal John Tong came on Thursday night. He gave a short talk and a red envelope including to me.
Fr. Pierre was the main celebrant on Friday because he should leave right after conference on Saturday.  He led the adoration and reconciliation rite followed by sacrament of reconciliation in the evening.  There is an instrumental music during meals.
During the last conference on Saturday morning, all of them do appreciate this retreat and wish there will be another retreat next year.  They formed a group chat to keep in contact. They expressed their gratitude for my help and Maryknoll during Saturday Mass. 
Sr. Joseph Lourdes found a new chasuble in one of our closet so I gave away as a prize. 
Last year Fr. Lu asked me to arrange a retreat for this year so I arranged this retreat based on his schedule.  Fr. Lu left Thursday morning as he got toothache besides a commitment in the parish on Friday.  I just wonder and thank God for leading me to arrange this retreat for more priests through the request of Fr. Lu even though he should left early.   It’s the second retreat for priests that I arranged.  Last year, there were only 4 participants including Fr. Lu.  It was also based on his request.
Most of them left Stanley on Saturday right after lunch, several of them went around Hong Kong and stayed till Sunday morning. 

Hong Kong, June 25, 2014


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

Sharing: Trip to Northeast China

Srs. Fabian, Heidy, both alumnae of Maryknoll China Priests and Sisters Program, and Anjia picked me up at Shenyang airport on June 8 late evening. It’s around 3.5 hours flight from Shenzhen. 
Sr. Heidy showed me around the building the next morning.  It’s a 5 floor building for convent of the Sisters of Immaculate Heart of Mary, retreat house, vestment production and nursing home.  I went to the Cathedral and one of the biggest wholesale stores in Shenyang before lunch and then to the Seminary in the afternoon.  It’s a 6 floor building.   
  I went to Fushun on June 10.  It takes around 1 and a half hour from Shenyang to Fushun for RMB. 12.00. Fr. Hu picked me up at Fushun bus station.  After lunch, we went to two Churches and then to the convent of the Sisters of Sacred Heart of Jesus.   Mgr. Raymond Lane, MM and Sr. Veronica, MM founded this congregation in 1941. There is a big picture of both them and statue of Our Lady of Maryknoll in the entrance.   I had a chat with Srs. Bosco (alumnae) and Teresa, both are in the Leadership Team, before joining their evening prayer, Mass and supper.  Sr. Matthias (alumnae) asked me to introduce myself to the community and then Sr. Bosco showed me around the compound: convent, retreat house and farm (vegetables, pig, and chicken for their own consumption).  We visited the recreation room of the novices and then had a chat with them including sharing my vocation story.    
I went back to Shenyang by bus on June 11 and then visited the Imperial Palace of the Qing Dynasty in the afternoon. There was Farewell Mass and Dinner for Fr. John.  There were more than 10 concelebrants besides the seminarians, sisters, and members of English community.  Archbishop Paul was the main celebrant. 
Ms. Wang and I went to Changchun by train on June 12.  It’s around 1 hour twenty minutes ride by high speed train.     
Archbishop Paul was the main celebrant for the ordination of 3 deacons of Jilin Diocese. There were more than 65 concelebrants.  The Church was full packed both the pews and aisles.  I met Sr. Martha (alumnae) during lunch. I went to Jilin seminary with the group, Cathedral and the light and water show at the river.
I met Sr. Wang of Sisters of Holy Family then went to train station to catch the train to Changchun airport as I would go back to Shenzhen.  It’s half a hour high speed train ride for RMB. 22.50.                 
I am grateful that finally I made the trip to northeast China, which was arranged by Fr. Brian. I was moved to experience how they appreciate my visit.  All of the communities wish me to stay longer.   The weather in Shenyang, Fushun and Jilin were not as hot and humid as Hong Kong; the meals are different with the southern part of China; they use Putonghua for daily conversation.  When I woke up for the first morning, it’s so bright outside, but the alarm on the table was still 4.30 a.m., I checked my cellphone and it’s 4.30 a.m!       

Hong Kong, June 20, 2014


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