Sharing 2014: Holy Family Feast Day at Holy Family Church

I went back to Shenzhen on Dec 27.   After the anticipated Sunday Mass, I had a preparation meeting for New Year celebration for the youth.  
There were 9.00 a.m. and 3.30 p.m. Masses on Dec 28.  The later was the parish celebration of the Feast of the Holy Family.  We invited other the priests, sisters and parishioners from other Churches to attend the Mass and dinner at the nearby restaurant.      
With the help of my Putonghua tutor, I edited the renewal of marriage vow ceremony booklet of St. Theresa’s Church Hong Kong for our wedding anniversary blessing ceremony and added two persons three legs activity.  It was for the couples who celebrate their 5th, 10th, 15th,…wedding anniversary.  There were seven couples who are celebrating their wedding anniversary according to abovementioned criteria but only six couples could participate the ceremony.  Fr. Lu announced the blessing ceremony after the homily.  The  couples walked with three legs from the main door to the altar with the music of “Here Comes the Bride.” When they arrived at the front of the altar, Fr. Lu explained the meaning of two persons three legs activity and read the renewal of Marriage vows for both the husband and wife because he heard that it is not convenience for them (or one couple, I am not sure) to say it in public.   A parishioner said that the marriage vow is once for a lifetime so we can’t pronounce it again.  I explained that it’s not my own plan but it’s done in other Churches.  Then, Fr. Lu invited all the priests to lay their hands on the six couples while he said the blessings.  I prepared a card “Virgin of the Covenant (Icon of the Married Couple), Pastoral Letter of Cardinal John Tong on Proclaiming and Living the "Gospel of the Family" and booklet "Starting a Happy Marriage" from Hong Kong Diocesan Pastoral Centre for Marriage and Family as their gift. 
The six couples were responsible to brought forward the offerings after the collection.  There were performances from our choir and our guitarists after the Mass.
Fr. Lu mentioned that the blessing ceremony was prepared by our sister. One of the parishioners asked whether I prepared the two persons three legs activity and said that it’s a very good idea because the two person become one at marriage ceremony. 

Hong Kong, 31 December 2014

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

Christmas Letter 2014

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
              First of all, I want to wish all of you:
 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
May your days be filled with peace and joy during Christmas season
and throughout 2015!

How was your Christmas celebration? 
I am still volunteering at Holy Family Church Shenzhen on Saturdays till Tuesdays except if there are community activities or workshops in Hong Kong so I spent Christmas in Shenzhen.  Besides regular activities, I also organize youth gatherings, couples gathering and altar server gathering with the help of several volunteers at Holy Family Church.
       An Advent wreath, with two purple candles, one pink candle and two white candles, was placed in the altar as we began the Advent season.
       Fr. Lu, several parishioners and I attended Mass for the feast of Immaculate Conception at the Immaculate Conception Church, followed by dinner.  There was reserved seat during Mass and reserved dinner table for the sisters.
       Starting third Sunday of Advent, several parishioners decorated the church in the evening.  Several of them went directly from work without having supper and stayed till around 1.30 a.m., so they had supper at church.  One of the parishioners and I decorate both the front and back stairs.  I sent Christmas gift from Fr. Lu to one of the families who are on financial difficulties. 
       There were so many people wanted to attend the 7.30 p.m. Mass on Dec 24 so the ushers should work hard to make sure that the Mass would be as solemn as possible.  The front and back of church and also the stair to the fourth floor were full packed.  There was a TV at the first floor to show lively the Mass.  Several of them are neither Catholics nor attend Mass regularly. The choir sang beautifully and there were nice Mass booklets for Masses on Dec 24, 25 and Holy Family Feast Day.  After evening Mass, there was a procession of statue Baby Jesus from first floor to the altar and then it was placed in the manger in front of the church.  The church was also full packed for the performance show, in between the evening and vigil Masses.  The children, Bible Study Group, Praise and Worship Group, Choir and one of the laywoman sang several songs.  The bookstore was moved to the first floor to have bigger space.   The Santa Claus threw candies after performance show.  I was responsible to give away the bread to the children before the Mass, sat with the children at the last row to keep them as quiet as possible and gave away their Christmas gifts.   The church, inside and outside, was full for the vigil Mass.  I sat at the back church with several persons for the vigil Mass.     
       The church, inside and outside, was full packed on Christmas Day Mass even though it’s not public holiday.  Forty mostly non-Catholic men and women sang three Christmas songs after closing prayer. A parishioner invited Fr. Lu, several volunteers, and me for lunch.   The inside church was full during Christmas Day evening Mass, even though it’s not the first Mass for most of them at this Christmas season.    Once in awhile, the parishioners will go to the manger to pray. 
       Here is the link of the pictures during Christmas celebration in Shenzhen :
            I start a new cyber ministry through group chatting.  I ask three of the youth to send Youth Catechism, Canon Law, letter of Pope Benedict XVI to the Chinese in 2007 and the explanation of that letter by Cardinal Zen to our Shenzhen Catholic Youth group chat, one number each day and then I forward it to eleven group chats.  Total members who receive this information are more than 1,200 persons (of 12 group chats) and living in several cities.  I realize that only small number of them may have time and interest read it but at least they know there are these materials.  A person asked what is the different of catechism and canon law and then just realized that she has a book of canon law in her book shelf.  Two persons asked me to join their group chat and become one of the resource persons.   I assume both of them didn’t know my state of life because they knew me from a group chat.  Several persons are grateful for this cyber ministry and ask to forward it to their friends.  One of the priests called me “网络导师“ (=cyber teacher).  One of the group chat member start to forward catechism to his group chat, one number each day.  Now, I join 21 group chats with membership range from more than 10 members up to more than 400 members and different age range.  I form three group chats: youth group volunteers, priests, and sisters. For sure, I didn’t read all their conversation and also only forward the information to eleven group chat because of there is membership duplication and the nature of the group chat.   I still continue to share my life and ministry to my blog and the pageviews reached more than 74,000. 
       While in Hong Kong, I am still visiting the inmates in both Lowu Correctional Institution and Tailam Center for Women and helping the Putonghua workshops at Maryknoll Society House besides being one of the financial team members of our region.  The Financial Literacy Program at Pathfinders ended last April.
       Here were my several activities after Easter while I was not in Shenzhen: Colloquium on Confucius organized by Maryknoll Society including trip to Qufu-China, trip to Shenyang, Jilin and Fushun to visit several communities and attend the farewell of Fr. John Vessey, Maryknoll Convent School Speech Day, National Election of Indonesia, Study Day on Aggiornamento in the Church and Vatican Council II, Feedback from our General Assembly delegates, Golden Jubilee of Sr. Joanna Chan, Annual General Meeting of Prisoners’ Friends’ Association, International Conference on Ignatian Spirituality, Memorial Mass for our China Region deceased sisters, Maryknoll Society Thanksgiving Day,  Briefing Session on the Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization, besides enjoying the visit of Mrs. Selly and her family, Mr. Achun and his family, Mrs. Sharon, Mrs. Eliza, Mrs. Im, Mrs. Grace Kelly and her family, Sr. Joanna, Ms. Vivien Ng, Fr. Elmer and Mrs. Alice and also went home for vacation and retreat.

       And, last but not least, I want to thank you for all your support, love, hospitality, gifts and especially your prayers during this year.  It’s been a year of lot of “God with us” experiences.
Hong Kong, December 26, 2014
With love and prayer,


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

Sharing: The Fourth Youth Gathering of Holy Family Church

With the help of several volunteers especially Ms. Liang who is the contact person with another 3 youth groups in Guangzhou, I organized the fourth youth gathering of Holy Family Church on November 22. The Shenzhen Catholic Youth chat group, which was formed after the first youth gathering at Holy Family Church, helped to spread the news as it has more than 270 members from Shenzhen and neighboring cities.  
The registration for the participants of Holy Family Church was begun at 7:00 a.m. and we left around 8:00 a.m. in a bus.  Another bus left from St. Francis Xavier Church Shenzhen led by Sr. Huang.
Mr. Liu was the MC during the day.  Fr. Lu gave a short talk and then led the prayer and ice breaking games.  The praise and worship team taught and led to sing several songs.  We arrived at Cathedral Guangzhou around 10:30 a.m.  The pastor Fr. Yu gave introduction about the Cathedral and Guangzhou Diocese and then Fr. Lu led us to sing several songs before we took group pictures in front of the Cathedral.
We, more than 90 of us, walked to Our Lady of Lourdes Church - Shamian Island in 3 big groups.  It took around 30 minutes.  The Guangzhou Mustard Seed group (16 university students), Indonesian Catholic Charismatic Renewal Group (more than 35 youths) and Fr. Chen welcome us. Fr. Lu led the grace before the potluck lunch prepared by the parishioners of Shamian Church and Indonesian youth group.    
Due to limited time, everyone was asked to seat according to the sitting arrangement so they no need to move around to look for their small group for the small group sharing.  The small groups sat in each pew and consist of several group members.  There were 19 small groups of 6 persons while the rest of the Indonesians who should leave early for preparing the Indonesian Mass sat on the side pews.
After the group pictures of more than 140 persons, Ms. Nana gave introduction about the Indonesian group and then their choir sang beautifully “Jadikan Hati-ku Istana Cintamu” and “Arbab“ Fr. Peter Chen gave introduction about the Church and gave souvenirs to Fr. Lu, Sr. Huang of St. Francis of Xavier Church, the 5 youth groups and me.   Guangzhou Mustard Seed and St. Francis Xavier Youth Group then gave introduction about their groups followed by introduction by representative of Cathedral Youth Group because their members were on a day retreat at Cathedral.  Guangzhou Mustard Seed then led us to sing an action song 爱使我们相聚在一起 (=Love makes us want to be together).  Mr. Wu gave introduction about the Holy Family Youth Group.  Ms. Xiong gave away bookmarks from Holy Family Bible Group to all the groups followed by singing Holy Family Song, which was written as Holy Family Church Shenzhen Song, led by Fr. Lu.
Ms. Zhao read the message of Pope Francis for World Mission Sunday 2014 followed by small group discussion on their pews. 
Fr. Lu led a song and gave blessings as we, the Holy Family Youth Group, should walk to Cathedral as soon as possible.  We left Cathedral around 5.00 p.m. After an hour of resting, Mr. Wu led the sharing on the seat and the invited anybody who wanted to share to the group.  Ms. Xiong gave short talk on Bible and gave away the bookmarks to all participants. 
Several agenda couldn’t be done e.g. group sharing at Shamian Church and games on the way back to Shenzhen, because of time limitation.
We arrived at Holy Family Church dinner around 7: 20 just in time for dinner before attending the anticipated Sunday Mass.  Several youth attended the Mass by sitting together on the front rows, several youth were volunteering for the Mass, and several youth went home especially the ones from other Churches. 

Here is the link of the pictures: 39 participants from Holy Family Church returned the evaluation and wrote “非常好” (great) and “很好” (=very good) and they wish to have more and longer pilgrimages.  Here are sharing from three participants, please use to translate it:



Hong  Kong, December 9, 2014

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