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in Africa, January-February 2007
That Sunday, the gospel reading was about the cure of the demoniac. During the homily, a fearful noise was created by a flock of small bats flying from the ceiling of the church as if the roof was falling down. Looking up I screamed, ‘Those are the evil spirits running away.’ The adults and children laughed as the catechist interpreted what I said.
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Sister Julie Salinas RVM was on home leave in the Philippines. The novices wanted to see her right away when she arrived at the convent but her Superior blocked them at the door and said, ‘Later, na lang. She’s not yet fit for viewing. She’s still undergoing “rehabilitation.”’ The Superior thought they might be discouraged to go on mission.
At our school, I loaded the back of the car with several big, ripe jackfruits. No one knew they were edible. The trees had been planted by the Filipino RVM Sisters. At the office of the District Education Supervisor, the teachers saw the fruits and asked, ‘Father, what kind of fruits do you have in your car? Octopus?’
As we were repairing our radiator that kept overheating, many curious villagers crowded around peering at it with grim intensity and remarking, ‘Ah-hah...all holes?’ ‘Where did they get the idea of making holes in the radiator?’ I asked, but no one answered. ‘Try closing your nostrils and don’t let air come in and see what happens,’ I continued with everyone shrieking and laughing. Then I concluded, ‘So, as nostrils are to the nose, holes are to the radiator.’