A “Typical” Week in Soropadan


So far, through various posts (June 1st/June 18th) we have heard from Lynne about several of her “typical” days. It can be seen from Lynne’s experience that there is no such thing as a typical day – in fact each day is unique or highly “untypical”!  In my experience the same can be said of life here in Soropadan, Yogyakarta, every day, every week, is surprisingly new and different.  Let me tell you a little about this “typical” week in Soropadan community.

The day time has tended to have a certain rhythm throughout the week as each of us has gone about her regular ministry after Mass and personal prayer.  Those of us who are professed are engaged in Sanata Dharma University in Campus Ministry and in various forms of teaching.  Meanwhile Hartini, Herlina and Meita have been taken up with the prayer, study and apostolic activity that make up their formation as novices.

Each evening this week has been quite unusual.  On Monday we travelled by motor bike to our community in Baciro to join them in celebrating Agnes Dini’s birthday.  We started with prayer which included a dance interpretation of the Gospel.  This was performed by Hartini, Herlina, Meita and Irene.  Prayer was followed by a lovely meal and several hours of good companionship.  The following evening, Tuesday, our Indonesian sisters went to a public meeting on the topic of the up coming presidential election.  When they arrived home the discussion continued till late that night.  Some of us went to a final vow ceremony at the Oblates of Mary Immaculate on Wednesday evening.  The ceremony was deeply touching and was made even more special by the presence of the OMI Superior General.  All of the neighbouring families had contributed food to the meal that followed the ceremony and students from Kalimantan entertained us with dance and song.     

I don’t think it was possible for our community to be any more busy than we were on Thursday evening when we offered hospitality to two groups simultaneously.  At 4.45pm the members of the Women’s Bible Group arrived for our weekly sharing.  We had also invited the women to eat supper with us that evening.  We were still engaged in our sharing when the leaders from our village began to assemble in a different part of the house.  Some of our sisters had called a special meeting in order to ask for permission to use the large piece of land we own at the side of our house.  This process took several hours.  The time was well spent as to our great delight the permission was granted.

Tonight, Friday night, we opened our doors once more as we welcomed ten young Jesuit scholastics for prayer and supper.  These students have only just arrived in Yogyakarta.  Six of them are from Myanmar and four from Thailand.  Some of our sisters met them on campus where they are learning Indonesian.  We were happy to offer our Jesuit brothers some FCJ hospitality.       

As our busy week draws to a close I am grateful for all that we have been able to do as companions of Jesus and of each other.  I look forward to the weekend, to having a little more time for personal prayer and to having time to spend with community.

2 Responses to “A “Typical” Week in Soropadan”

  1. Madeleine, fcJ Says:

    Thank you for sharing, Clare! For us, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA, too, there is no such thing as a “typical day”… each day brings new challenges and new opportunities…. As we meet new people or new problems, we are stretched beyond our comfort zone. That is why I think that living religious life is like being part of a never-ending adventure!

    I do thank God for the gift of life and try to live each minute of each day in the awareness that I am in companionship with Jesus, devoting all my energies to forming others to a similar companionship or supporting other companions on the journey. It occurred to me recently that the scroll that Marie Madeleine saw in a vision of what the Society would be like had two kids of directives: the first was to “etre jesuite”–to BE a woman Jesuit–a woman companion of Jesus….. That was a BEING kind of directive. The other was a “doing” directive: form others to this companionship through education, missions, and retreats….. We were founded to BE, but also to DO…..

    It is that combination of being and doing that makes life very rich, because the two of them combine and result in BECOMING!!!!! When we are genuine companions, our being and doing change us…… we become more than we were yesterday… We can ALWAYS sing a new song to the Lord, because each day we are different! There’s more to bring to prayer, more to offer in ministry, more to delight in!!!!!

  2. clarefcj Says:

    What a great insight on the distinction between being an FCJ and what we are called to be doing as FCJs! I really like that point Madeleine and I find it thought provoking and helpful! If I develop your idea a little – it suggests to me that what we actually do as FCJs is related to the context in which we find ourselves. That means we are always “contemporary”…if we stay alert to the needs of our time and seek to respond according to our spirit. There’s great freedom in that isn’t there? And the call to live anew…if we are willing to step beyond the familiar. I like your idea of becoming too…There’s real movement in that, a kind of dynamism…What a lovely thought that I am more an FCJ today than I was yesterday…and how vital it is that we look at each other with new eyes each day…and give each other the space to grow…and that we appreciate what each one of us is doing her best to become…

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