Father Joker

By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD

PO Box 23, Nsawkaw, B/A, GHANA

Roam Sweet Rome

Nung minsan na nag-aral ako sa Rome, nakalimutan kong may klase ako. Mabuti na lang at tinawag ako ng aking kaklase. Pagpasok ko sa classroom namin halos di maipinta ang mga mukha ng aking mga kaklase. Kaya agad kong sinabi, ‘Aba, ang aga n’yo yatang dumating?’ sabay tingin ko sa aking relo. Aba, lalo silang sumimangot?!

By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD

Labang Volleyball

Inimbitahan ng Our Lady of Fatima School and aking mga altar boys na maglaro ng volleyball laban sa kanilang women’s team. Di ako makapaniwala na natalo nila kami. “Ang daya nyo,” sabi ko sa kanila. “Nanalo kayo dahil ginayuma nyo ang aking mga altar boys.” Matinding tumutol ang mga babae, “Aba, hindi ah! Huwag kayong mamimintang, Father. Anong magagawa naming eh nagdasal kami. Ang mga altar boys mo nagdasal ba? Tignang nyo sila o.”

By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD

Which is Which

Trying to welcome a group of elders who came to see me in my hometown during my last vacation I pulled out a bottle which I though was the lambanog whisky given to me by my benefactors in Baguio. Everybody was commenting that the drink was perfect. It was their first time to taste such. The following day, as I was preparing for the Mass, I discovered the bottle I had offered was the Mass wine. It was the bottle nicely covered with red Japanese paper, similar to the cover of the lambanogbottle. What a costly mistake. And no, I did not use the lambanog for the Mass.

By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD

How Blind is Blind

Mr. Daniel Ayamga, who everybody says is blind, insists that I should build him a nice, one-room house. He had been bothering me for quite sometime. However because of lack of funds, it was just impossible. One time, I was reprimanding Ali Jara, my assistant. I was shouting so angrily that I that I frightened a parishioner who was about to enter the house but then began to run away. I suddenly realized that it was indeed none other than Mr. Ayamga, my ‘blind’ friend running away without his stick. He was not so blind after all.

By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD

Portable confessional box

During confession in one of Wenchi villages where there was no confession box, an old woman whispered her many sins to my ear, so many that she got tired and began to rest her chin on my shoulder, her weight pushing me down. I was already leaning to my left as if  I a had a stiff neck. I should have brought a portable confessional box with me.

By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD


In one of the Wenchi villages, my altar boys and I were having our lunch. The food prepared by the catechist, seemed like a feast to me. I questioned the catechist, “Why did you cook so much?” “Father, your altar boys? I know them. I know their capacity,” she said with an emphatic smile.

By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD

Women: I’ll never get it right

Sr. Sheela, SSpS from India was visiting the SSpS Sisters in Sunyani. They brought her to Wenchi. Entering the house she came so beautifully dressed in Indian style, she looked like Indira Gandhi, so elegant. Without waiting, I greeted her saying, “Today you so are well-dressed.” "So, yesterday I was not well-dressed?” she countered, not looking very pleased. Maybe I should start taking lessons on 'the art of giving compliments’. Women: I’ll get it right.

By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD


Among our catechumens in Kintampo was old man. Asked what Christian name he wants, he said, “Mary.” Very politely I explained that Mary is for women but he insisted he that he likes the name very much. His classmates smiled indulgently. And why not? What more beautiful than Mary’s name for a man who has no gender hang-ups.