There were more than 50 primary school students attended the first part of the summer school, most of them were the students during last year summer school. They were divided to the small groups. The Church was converted to classroom by pulling the curtain in front of the altar. The classes begin at 9.30 am (the students should arrive at 9.00 am for registration followed by warming up) and end at 4.50 pm with lunch break at 12.00-1.30 pm and 10 minutes break after each class. Besides Fr. Lu, there were two sisters from Handan diocese, several youth as teachers and volunteers and myself helping the summer school. The children ate lunch box inside and outside the back room, then slept at the Church or watch movie at the back room or playing in front of the Church.
They learned about catechism, the stories in the Bible, drawing and colouring, singing, dancing, etc. I taught “oral English” for 2 sessions. Several students were asking about the English class before I starting to teach. I taught Thanks be to God, Let us pray, Praise the Lord-Alleluya, The Lord be with you-And also with your spirit, The Sign of the Cross (several children learned it from the Sunday school), Glory to the Father, and Our Father, which I taught last year but I assume only they only recite the Sign of the Cross for the opening prayer of our Sunday School. During the classes, I asked several of them to say either Glory to the Father or Our Father, either alone or followed me. The volunteers helped me, and all the sisters and teachers, to keep the children quiet. Saying “Praise the Lord” and waiting their “Alleluya” response usually helped to make them quiet for a while.
It’s not easy to keep all the children to be quiet and neat including during meal. Several children were asked to stand in front if they kept noisy. Several children cried for several reasons. The children cleaned the Church at the end of the day and then should recite 4-6 items of the short catechism before going home. Fr. Lu led the meetings after the class for all the team members. More than 10 youths, mostly university students, helping as teachers and volunteers.
There was a written exam for all students except the younger students and sacrament of reconciliation for the students who would receive the First Communion on Aug 9 afternoon. Fr. Lu delivered closing remark and distributed the gifts for the best students.
The second part of the summer school was held on Aug 11 – 14. There were more than 20 primary, junior and high school students attended it, including the altar servers.
The sisters taught about knowing ourselves, God’s love, etc. I taught “oral English” for 2 sessions, gave bilingual overview of the movie “Letters to God” and game “music concert”. I taught Thanks be to God, Let us pray, Praise the Lord-Alleluya, The Lord be with you-And also with your spirit, The Sign of the Cross, Glory to the Father, and Our Father, which I taught last year. I also taught Hail Mary and Nicene Creed. During the classes, I asked several of them to say either Our Father or Hail Mary, either alone or followed me and also asked them to lead the opening and closing prayer. The volunteers helped me, and all the sisters and teachers, to keep the children quiet. Saying “Praise the Lord” and waiting their “Alleluya” response usually helped to make them quiet for a while.
The Church (including the stair to fourth floor and back room) was full for Mass on the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary. Eight children who would receive First Communion sat in front row, followed by the rest of the students. Fr. Lu, Srs. Huang, Zhao, several parishioners and I went to Peng Cheng for lunch and sightseeing at the beach. There was an evening Mass at 8.00 pm followed by preparation meeting for the next youth gathering.
In the evening, Fr. Lu, two sisters and I usually had dinner with the parishioners. I also had chances to pray with the parishioners whenever needed including with a young woman who visited our Church for the first time as she wants to know about Catholicism and then share her burden.
I was moved to see “那双看不见的手” (=Invisible Hands, http://video.baomihua.com/11190278/10738929?ab01), which was sung by the victims of the earthquake in Taiwan, and “Courageous” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLYmku9OJ6A).
I am very grateful for this opportunity to help wherever needed including cleaning up and serving the meal. Fr. Lu expressed his gratitude for our help, sisters and volunteers, during Masses.
Here is the link of the pictures: http://share.shutterfly.com/share/received/welcome.sfly?fid=f6c9d59a36b78ebc&sid=0EbuWrFm4ZM2LB
Hong Kong, August 21, 2014
Sr. Anastasia B. Lindawati, M.M.
Let’s do simple things with simple love to make God’s love visible