Christmas Letter 2016

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
                  First of all, I want to wish all of you:

Merry Christmas
Happy New Year
May your days be filled with peace and joy
during Christmas season and throughout 2017!

How was your Christmas celebration? 
As for me, I spent Christmas in Shenzhen as you can read below.  
We distributed plastic folders for the Advent Charity Campaign on the first Sunday of Advent. An Advent wreath, with two purple candles, one pink candle and one white candle, were placed in the altar as we began the Advent season.
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 12.00 – 2.00 a.m., so they had supper at church.
Sr. Anastasia Lott, our General Secretary, is visiting China region these days so both of us left for Shenzhen on December 24, 2016 morning.  We had lunch at Mr. Liu’s house and supper Mrs. Hu’s house with Fr. Lu, Fr. Li and her friends.  
     Several volunteers set up the inspection machine, which was given by the government last year, on our Church’s door on December 24 p.m.

  Several volunteers were in charge to receive donation because the monthly collection is not enough to cover the monthly rental fee. 
There were around 800 people for the 7.00 p.m. Mass and around 500 people for 11.00 p.m. Mass besides 40 policemen.  Several of them are neither Catholics nor attend Mass regularly. The children performed after the first Mass followed by the visit of Santa Claus. There were nice Mass booklets for Masses on Dec 24, 25 and Holy Family Feast Day.  After the first Mass, there was a procession of the Infant Jesus statue from first floor to the manger followed by prayer time in front of the manger for the parishioners.  Ms. Deng led the Taize prayer before the second Mass.  The bookstore was moved to the first floor to have bigger space.  The Bible Group prepared Christmas gift: a box with candy and two Scripture passages inside for all parishioners.    
      There were around 500 people during Christmas Day Mass.  Mrs. Zeng and her son Mr. Zhao invited us for lunch and then drove us to Luo Hu train station to meet Sr. Pham, who will bring Sr. Anastasia Lott to her ministry site in Guangzhou. 
Mrs. Xiang invited Fr. Lu, Fr. Li, two parishioners and I for breakfast on December 26.  I went to Luo Hu train station to pick up Sr. Anastasia Lott, who went back from Guangzhou alone, in the afternoon and then we visited Mrs. Guo in the hospital, who would have surgery for her broken ankle on December 28.  We had dinner at Mr. Zhao’s house for his granddaughter’s birthday.
 There are three bikes in the Church so Fr. Lu, Sr. Anastasia Lott and I brought it down the road.  It’s too high for me so I just bike around to the compound.  We had pizza for lunch at Mrs. Liu’s restaurant and then Ms. Deng drove us to Mrs. Huang’s house in the farm area.  We went back to Hong Kong after stopping for a while in the Church.
     Here is the link of the pictures during Christmas celebration in Shenzhen:
     Besides visiting families either at their homes or hospitals, I still organize youth gatherings and couples gathering with the help of several volunteers at Holy Family Church.
I still continue my cyber ministry through group chatting and blog.  Total members of the group chat, who receive the information, are more than 16,000 persons (of around 40 group chats) and living in several cities.  The pageviews of my blog reached more than 139,000. 
While in Hong Kong, I am still visiting the inmates in both Lowu Correctional Institution and Tailam Center for Women.  I joined the tour to Lowu Correctional Institution, which was organized by Prisoners’ Friends’ Association and attended the certificate presentation to the inmates at Shek Pik Prison.  Several volunteers and I received the “Outstanding NGO Volunteer Award” from Hong Kong Correctional Services Department during the NGO Forum 2016.   
     Here were my several activities after returning from USA: preparing for final vows ceremony (several videos of the ceremony are available in youtube: Final Vows Ceremony of Sr. Anastasia, MM); Colloquium on Interreligious Dialogue in Cambodia, which was organized by Maryknoll Society; trip to Qianzhou-Fuzhou-Fuqing and Jiangmen; Farewell of Maryknoll Stanley House, Memorial Mass and Thanksgiving Dinner of Maryknoll Family China besides enjoying the visit of Maryknoll Srs. Joanna, Teresa, Imelda and Fr. Tim; Sr. Sue and her sister; Mrs. Rosemary; Ms. Sandra and for sure my family: mom, Liesa and Ling Ling.
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 another year with a lot of “God with us” experiences.
Hong Kong, December 28, 2016
With love and prayer,

Sr. Anastasia B. Lindawati, M.M.

Let’s do simple things with simple love to make God’s love visible

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