Submitted by Sr Clare fcJ, who lives in Yogyakarta
We had good reason to celebrate in Yogyakarta recently as we had the immense joy of having two vow ceremonies in June: Mei’s renewal of vows and Tyas’ celebration of final vows. It was such a joy to see both Mei and Tyas make their vows of chastity, poverty and obedience.
On the evening of Friday 4th June, Mei renewed her vows for three years. Mei completed her novitiate six years ago and since then she has twice renewed her vows, each time for three years. The simple ceremony took place in Baciro community chapel. Mei’s renewal of vows had a distinctly ‘missionary’ theme. She had chosen the Gospel account of the sending of the twelve disciples from Matthew 10:1,5a,6-8. Fr Harsanto, the celebrant, emphasised the seriousness of Mei’s commitment in his homily and encouraged her to live her vows with enthusiasm. Mei pronounced her vows with great purposefulness. After the Mass, we enjoyed a tasty evening meal which had been lovingly cooked by the members of Baciro community.
The memory of Mei’s vows was still with us as we completed our preparations for Tyas’ final vows in the following days. Tyas was accepted for final vows having completed her time of formation. On the 11th June, the evening before the vows, we gathered in Soropadan House for a prayer of thanksgiving. It was a happy occasion. Tyas was filled with delight. The prayer was lovely and the meal that followed it was delicious. It was a great introduction to the day ahead.
The final vows took place at 10am on Saturday June 12th. Despite the limitations placed on us by Covid restrictions we were able to make it a wonderful day. Both solemn and joyful, it was beautiful in every way. It was an intimate affair; with sixty people present in total. Tyas’ family were happy to be present and we FCJs were, of course, delighted to be celebrating final vows. The singing was led by a small choir of five persons plus an organist. They could have been fifty! Tyas was radiant, it was clear she was ready for whatever she was committing herself to.
The celebrant was from Ende, where Tyas is on mission. Fr Joseph Aurelius Wai Bule knows the FCJs well and he made the whole ceremony an extremely personal occasion. It was beautiful when Tyas spoke her vows, she clearly meant every word. Afra, our Area Leader received the vows on behalf of our General Superior. Irene and Clare were the witnesses. It was necessary that the lunch that followed the vows was served in boxes. We gathered in small groups to eat, we were able to relax and spend some quality time together.
Later that day we gathered for a celebration supper in Soropadan. It was good to be with Tyas as she read the cards and greetings she had received and to look back on the day and enjoy all that had happened.