By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD

 

Beaming from ear to new Bishop Dominic Nyarko Yeboah of Techiman, with whom I had spent my pastoral year, was giving me the sign of peace. ‘You are lucky I refused or else you would never have become a bishop,’ I whispered and that sent him thundering in laughter.

 

At the Benedictine Monastery in Techiman, Ghana, I was digging up the flowers when the bell for the Angelus rang. I froze to a stop and prayed the Angelus while a worker, not a Catholic, watching in rapt attention, was really impressed. I was narrating the incident later in the monastery and concluded proudly, ‘If that worker is converted to Catholicism, I am responsible’. ‘He was not impressed; he was scandalized to see you praying while stealing the flowers,’ said Father Giles, a monk from England, in disagreement.

 

At Kintampo Waterfalls, which I converted into a prayer park, I used stone for the walls, rock gardens, tables and seats. While the people were praising the unique artifact, Fr Victor Leones SVD from Abra, the only remaining Filipino SVD pioneer missionary to Ghana, chimed in, ‘Hey, his and my ancestors built the famous Banaue Rice Terraces in the Philippines – one of the wonders of the world’.

 

One morning only a ten-year-old boy, Eric Tettey, attended my daily Mass at the center here in Osonson. He sang a beautiful entrance song so soulfully and since it was in Krobo, a dialect of the Krobo people in Eastern Ghana, I could only hum. I was touched and felt that an angel had come down to attend the Mass.