On Sunday,September 1, 2019, we heard the Batak drumbeat, rhythms of guitars, the sound of the organ and the piano filled the Chapel of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, as the dawning light dispels the darkness. Today’s Eucharistic celebration was sodifferent from usual. This Mass was intended for the three Sisters who were celebrating their special moment in their lives – Sr. Marie Theresa celebrates her silver jubilee, Sr. Magdalena, 40th jubilee in her religious life and 75th birthday of Sr. Alice Drewek.
The Eucharistic celebration was crafted neatly and animatedbeautifully by the FCJM Novices. Father Warsito, the music teacher of the Novices was also present there to make today’s liturgy more alive. In his homily, Fr. Ivo Manullang, a Capuchin Priest touched on today’s celebration as wearegrateful for the faithfulness of the three FCJM Sisters inliving out their Religious Vocation. We must be thankful for the joy and sorrow and struggles, be thankful even through the rain and storm of life, and for everything that becomes part of our mission and calling and for being able to participate in God’s salvific mission.
Group Sharing from Each Country
Precisely at 2.30 pm local time, the FCJM Sisters of the Indonesian Province whose community in Pematangsiantar and in nearbycommunities gathered in the FCJM Provincial House “Monteluco”. There were about 130 Sisters attended the gathering which was held in the FCJM Hall. Upon entering the hall, each Sister received a piece of paper with the number on it. The number received became the group number. They looked happy yet curious about what they would do with the number.
Shortly, after all Sisters received the small paper, Sr. Theodosia Tinambunan FCJM, as the present Provincial Superior of the Indonesian Province, welcomed all the Sisters, especially the guests Sisters and Interpreters from abroad. She conveyed warm welcome on behalf of the Indonesian Province. She greetedthe plenary council participants particularlyfor those who are here for their first time. She also told that Indonesia has a tropical climate that is quite distinct from the climate in other countries. There is a time which is so warm during the day and cool at night. We hope our guests can enjoy the nature of Indonesia and have a wonderful time here, Sr. Theodosia added.
Then after hearing the instructions from the FCJM General Council, the Sisters went to their respective groups. The Sisters who come from other areas of Indonesia were divided into 5 groups. Each of them visited all groups ranging from groups one to five. The Sisters from Germany, Rumania, Brazil, the Netherlands, the USA shared their experiences and the present situation to each group and gave times to the Sisters for questions and clarifications.
This method is a unique way for the FCJM Sisters as an international congregation. It was a helpful method so that the sisters get to know each other, the situations, joys, sorrows and hopes of the Sisters in their respective countries. The sisters felt the closeness with each other as they share the same struggle in this so-calledFCJM boats. Sisters in each countryattempt to live out the spirituality of the Congregation according to the needs of the times in their own countries.
Pinnacle of the Thanksgiving of the Three FCJM Sisters
Around 7pm, all the Sisters gathered again in the hall to continue the climax of the celebration of the three Sisters, namely Sr. Marie Therese, Sr. Magdalena Schmitz and Sr. Alice Drewek. The FCJM Hall “Monteluco”, suddenly filled with noiseof hand-clapping, accompanied by even cheers of the Sisters who crammed into the room when the 25-year candle was blown by Sr. Marie Therese. However, the room became silentfor a minutewhen Sr. Magdalena Schmitz was called to blow the 40-year-old party candle andquickly, the sound of cheers could be heard again and once again the roomwas roared with uncontrolled cheers as Sr. Alice Drewek blew a 75-year-old party candle.
Finding the meaning of this event, may the dim light of the evening sun will not dazzle the eyes although it looks so elegant and charming. The orange twilight in the western skyline, depicts theserenityfor those watching it. The joyful evening filled with thankfulness andappreciations for having enjoyed the abundance of grace. Numbers 25, 40 and 75 years are the blessed numbers for these three Sisters. They said that today’s surprise was the biggest surprise experienced this year, “the number 75 has been a blessing number for me, throughout my life, this is the most festive birthday I have ever experienced,” said Sr. Alice Drewek from the USA Province.
To top up this party, studentsselected fromAssisi Elementary School, Junior and Senior High School and Vocational Schoolperformed some interesting attractions. The FCJM Novices and aspirants were performing wonderful and creative dances that spoiled the eyes and kept thesight of the guests on the stage.
Finally, the three Sisters who celebrated theirspecial event today expressed their deepest gratitude to the Sisters of the Indonesian Province for the joy and the surprise they experienced. Today’s happinessadded a story in our life journey as the International Congregation. We are one in the Spirit, the Spirit of our Foundress, Mother Maria Clara Pfander. Therefore, the Sisters of the Indonesian Province provided this surprise as the loveliest gift for the three Sisters.
Written by Sr. Angela Siallagan FCJM
Translated by Sr. Evifania Sinaga FCJM