I recently came across the book, What’s So Funny, Padre? in the Archives’ book collection. The book was published by Maryknoll Publications in 1965. It is full of stories from Missioners all over the world of amusing moments shared with the local people. Here are two for you to enjoy:

The Unprejudiced Bicycle Thief

Bicycle thieves do not discriminate, at least not in Chong Ju, Korea.

When a local policeman made a courtesy call one day on Father Frederick J. Krampert, the missioner happened to remark that his houseboy’s bicycle had recently been stolen. He then causally mentioned that perhaps the officer should check on his bike.

“They will never take my bike. I am an officer!” the man replied.

“You’d better check anyhow,” said the missioner, looking out the window. “There’s someone riding your bike out of the yard right now.”

Out of Breath—and Excuses!

Straining and puffing up a steep hillside on his way to a sick call in Guatemala, a Maryknoll Missioner stopped halfway to catch his breath.

Looking around at the mountains, he began to comment on the beautiful scenery.

But the young Guatemalan boy who was accompanying him wasn’t fooled one bit. “You know, Padre,” he said, “all the other padres use that same excuse when they want to catch a breath.”