Father Joker

By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD

Airport Time

‘Scientific’ time is always a problem here in Ghana. It is almost next to impossible to start any activity promptly and exactly as it is scheduled . But once in Sogleboi village I was impressed that the people really agreed to have the Mass at 5:30 a.m. sharp which they did. After the Mass the men, excited, were rushing. “Why the rush?” I asked. “Father, they are going hunting,” said the Catechist. “Now I understand why you were early for the Mass,” I murmured to myself.

By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD

Made in USA

Recommended by the Holy Spirit Sisters, I went to a hair dresser’s shop owned by a certain Mrs. Mary Agyan-Gyau in Fiapre, a suburb of Sunyani. Mary spent a long time in the USA and learned her trade there.” So you are a USA-made hair dresser?” I tease which she happily acknowledges. “And your name is Mary? I supposed your husband is Joseph?” “Yes, he is Joseph-Gyau and we met in the States,” she said to my surprise. After cutting my hair, she said proudly, “Now father, do you want to look at your back?” “How can I, my eyes are I front?” I replied. Chuckling, she gave me a big mirror. After looking myself from behind, I blurted, “Ah, I never knew I look more handsome from my back.” Mary continued laughing together with her apprentices walking around like nurses in their white uniforms and head caps.

By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD

THE END OF THE WORLD

The Sunday first reading was Dan 12:1-3.

It is all about the last judgment at the end of the world. The reader who happened to be among our new recruits stumbled at the end of the reading and instead of saying, ‘This is the Word of the Lord.’ She said, “This is the end of the world.’ And the people unfazed responded, “Thanks be to God.”

By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD

Pedestrian

It was a newly painted pedestrian crossing at Sunyani junction. Children are supposed to pick up a red placard waving it to the drivers wile walking to the other side. Just when we were about to cross a child ran across without a placard and simultaneously. Sr. Brenda Guieb, SSpS an I shouted in panic, “Eh, eh, eh...while screeching to a halt. Luckily we missed the boy by just half inch. After a moment, I sighed. “What perfect collaboration between an SVD and an SSpS sister.”

By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD

The Collection

At the Parish Center, we have two collection boxes for Sunday Masses. I gave them to our carpenter to make nice covers but he cut the top too much so that the collection boxes became smaller. The parishioners were complaining and to cover up the mistake, I said gently, “It’s okay, I have been here in Kintampo for eleven years and I have been observing how much you put into the collection boxes. So I made them small for it is wasteful to have big collection boxes if they are never filled up.” They seemed satisfied through I did not notice any smile.

By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD

Father Joe would like to thank all those who sent him letters and greetings. He doesn’t always get around to answering everyone but assures you of his gratitude.

Dreaming

Joseph Kojo Baffoe, a four-year-old child, is very talkative and inquisitive. He lost his father. He was bought to Kintampo by his mother and left to his Aunt Yaa. He woke up one morning and asked, where is my father? He brought me to a far far place last night.” Knowing it was a dream, his aunt said, “Oh Joe, it means you were dreaming.” “What is dreaming Mama?” he demanded and poor Aunt Yaa was completely at a loss.

By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD

Photo Opportunity

Fr. Victor, SVD and our parish priest in Kintampo informed me that a certain Belgian, Mr. Leo took their picture to send to benefactors in Belgium. I said, “Tell Mr. Leo to send my picture instead. It will be more effective since I look thinner and more pitiful.

By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD

Vacation Talk

Sr. Bernadette Dery, first year novice of the Holy Spirit Sister in Sunyani, was in Kintampo giving a vocation talk on sisterhood. She stressed that to be a religious sister one must leave her country behind. During the open forum Sr. Bernadette was asked why she should leave her country behind. She got somewhat confused but after a while she said with authority, “Because the country is too big for the plane to carry.” The people who filled the big church laughed their hearts out.

By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD

Catholic Dog

Before every Sunday Mass in Kintampo we usually have confession. But one Sunday I had been waiting for a long time but no one came. "This is unusual,” I told myself. Then I heard someone saying, “Oh Rex is also going to confession?” I turned around and saw our big dog Rex sitting behind me. People were afraid to come to confession. "Okay, Rex, you are forgiven. Go” Obediently the dog left to the relief of the people who wanted to go to confession.

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