they don’t have it. So, how do they get along without heat? Well,
you just get along. You know you don’t have it. You make do without it.
In the winter time they just put on more clothes. In China you have a
winter outfit and a summer outfit. And in the winter you have heavier
clothes. For example perhaps, we who are used to heat in houses we were
more susceptible to it than they were.
In the winter time when you got up in the morning you wore long
underwear, maybe a flannel shirt and a sweater and then maybe an
overcoat. If you were a Chinese, they have a Chinese robe that looks
like a cassock, padded, you might wear that all day long. You put them
on in the morning and you wear them until you go to bed at night. So you
just wear more clothes. That’s what the Chinese do in the winter time,
they just wear more clothes.
That way they get used to not having heat in their houses. And, as I
said before, once when we were talking about heating, about cooking is
because the reason that they don’t have heat is because of the expense
of the fuel. In China they do have coal in one or two places but they
don’t have transportation for it. If you are in the area where there is
coal you can use it for heating but that’s scarce.
Most of the places you don’t have anything to heat in the winter time.
It would be too expensive to try to heat the houses, and not very
practical anyway cause you’ve lost the heat. So, the winter time the
houses are not heated and you just wear more clothes and you get used to
One of the things was like this flower pot, ashes was put in the bottom
and then maybe after breakfast when the cook was done with cooking
they’d put the coals in that flower pot and then cover them over with
ashes and they’d have a handle to it and you would carry that around
with you. Well, at home you could warm your hands and so fourth, but
other than that it wasn’t very much good.
The women used those things cause they were around the home but most of
the men, they just got along without it.
Up in the north where it gets extremely cold they do have some sor of
something to heat the houses. Where, I don’t know, a kong, I think they
it. Where a kitchen stove is connected up to a chimney, but a long vent
or something to put the heat to that runs underneath the bed and then
maybe back out, and they sort of warm things up in this way. But, in the
south where we were they never had anything like that.
Certainly in China there are a lot of different customs than we have
here in America. Rudyard Kipling said, “East is east and west is west
December 5, 1989
‘twain shall meet.” You see that very much in China. There are a
lot of different customs that they have which we do not have here in
One of the customs that you see in China that we do not have here in
America, weddings. Now, there are a great deal different than they are
here. In China, in the cities where they are getting more westernized, I
guess a lot of the boys and girls keep company. They go with one
But, in the country, especially in our time, and at the present time
also, in the country this is not the case. Where weddings are made by
middle men. By that I mean the boy does not chose, I mean they don’t go
with one another and they chose one another for a husband or wife it’s
arranged by others.
The Chinese are segregated in the fact that they don’t keep company with
the men and the women stay sort of separate. They are not one-hundred
percent but they, for example, in churches the women kneel on one side
of the church and the men kneel on the other. And, the same thing about
socializing, there’s not a hundred percent but there’s a certain amount
of separation between the husband and wife.
In China, for example, at home the whole family eats together. But, at a
banquet if there are both men and women the men sit at one table and the
women sit at another. So there is a certain amount of segregation. And,
there’s the same thing the boys do, they do not go with girls, so how do
they get married then?
They get married through a middle man. For example when the son say is
getting 16-17 years old the parents start thinking about a wife for him.
Maybe they have somebody in mind that they thought of before. But, even
if they don’t have anybody in particular in mind. Well, when the boy
gets about marriageable age well, they start thinking about it. They
call a middle man and tell him to act for them. They ask around and
somebody says such and such a girl would be a good wife for him and so
fourth. And, finally the parents say well, that might be good so they
have the middle man go to this girl’s family and talk to them. Of course
they are very devious, they talk about a lot of other things and finally
they talk about the boy. They say this boy, they are related to him, and
he’s a fine man, he’s a good worker, he doesn’t waste money, and he’s a
fine upstanding man.
“How would you thing about letting your daughter marry him?” And they
argue back and fourth and they say, if for example the family of the
girl are agreeable, well, they say, “maybe they’ll think about it”, and
he’ll talk more. And maybe, say if both of them are sort of half-way
agreeable. Well, the family of the girl will say, “Well, how much dowry
is he going to have? How much
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is the girl going to get?” Because when
they get married they got to have a dowry.
The girl has to have so much dowry and the boys does. For example they
expect the girl to have a certain amount of dowry. For example, clothes.
So that means when she comes to his house she doesn’t have to be buying
clothes right away.
So, they get right down to detail. So they’ll enumerate how many sets of
clothes, winter clothes and summer clothes and so fourth. How much
clothes and things of that sort.
The boy maybe he has to give something too, so how much money he would
give. So, when it’s decided it’s agreeable, well when both sides are
agreeable. They’ll set a wedding date, maybe.
And, if it’s all arranged by a middle man, does the boy never see the
girl; does the girl never see the boy? Well, it’s possible but it
usually is never the way that it works out.
The Chinese people are, what would you say, nosey. They invite other
people’s affairs, they know people even though they might not live next
door they know other people and they know one another and so, if the boy
knows the girl, well fine; if the girl knows the boy, well fine. But, if
they don’t know one another well, before things are settled too finely
the boy, he makes it his business to be around her, to go where that
girl is and talk with someone. Maybe he’s got some relatives or friends
to ask about her. How is her conduct, how is she and so fourth.
And the girl does the same thing. She might go to where the boy lives,
not purposely, but slyly and ask and hear talk about him. If they have
good reports they might go ahead.
Usually, if the boy or the girl are unwilling to go on with the marriage
they’ll drop it because both sides know there will be too many
complications if they were unwilling. And, if they were unwilling to get
married well, it might not be a happy marriage afterwards. So most of
the time even if they don’t know one another personally they know
something about them and in this. way they will go ahead with the
“Well, now you say, I wouldn’t want to get married that way.” Well,
maybe you wouldn’t. But, just because you didn’t have anything to say
about it, picking our your wife or picking out your husband that
marriage is going to fail because look at the record that we got right
here in America where the boy picks out the girl and the girl picks out
the boy and how many of the marriages are successful? Well, not very
December 5, 1989
Right now they say for the average in
America of happy marriages, well not only happy marriages exactly, that
don’t end up in divorce. About 50% of the people getting married end up
in divorce somewhere along their life.
So, picking one’s own husband and picking one’s own wife hasn’t’ such a
good record either. So, they shouldn’t complain about the Chinese. I
think on the average the Chinese is just as happy as who do pick
their own husband, pick their own wife as the Americans who pick their
own wife. So, just because you don’t know too much about them in the
beginning, that don’t mean that you are going to be happy. . .have a
broken up marriage. . .or poor marriage.
Having your parents pick our your husband or picking out your wife has a
lot more to it than you might think about it. Parents have a lot more
good things to think about a marriage. If the parents think about a wife
or they think about a husband, well their level minded. The are not
blind with love, you might say and close their minds and thoughts to
that person. They can sometimes pick out a better husband and a better
wife than the individual will do themselves.
So the average of the Americans picking out their own husband and wife
is not such a good average after all. They shouldn’t be too prone to say
that it’s wrong for China to do it that way. I am not saying that that’s
the best way but I know this that a lot of parents can pick out a better
husband, or pick out a better wife than the individual can do themselves
because they know what it’s all about.
And many of the marriages that begin, more or less unknown, when they
get married they see the good qualities of one or the other. The husband
sees the good qualities of the wife and the wife sees the good qualities
of the husband and they can get to appreciate one another. And, many of
them get along pretty well.
In talking about marriages made by middle men and so fourth, reminds of
the case that happened to me. It happened to me one day that one of the
couples that were engaged that were going to get married, well I didn’t
know them personally. I knew a little about the girl because she lived
around the residence there, but, I didn’t now about the boy. Well, they
were going to get married. We just took it for granted that everything
was settled. That they would go ahead with it and we set a date.
Before the day came up for the wedding I heard some people talking about
it.. .well.. .there was problems in that marriage and the boy didn’t
turn over all the dowry that he was supposed to, and so fourth Well,
there’s so much talk like that in China that I didn’t pay too much
attention to it so I thought
December 5, 1989
that it was just a lot of talk. So,
when it came along to the day of the wedding. they came. and since the
girls and the boys don’t associate with one another they are shy and so
fourth. They cut down the wedding ceremony, the formalities of it to the
In the wedding Mass, for example, all you do is, the priest asks the boy
if he’s willing to take this girl for his wife and if he says yes, you
ask the girl if she’s willing to take this boy for her husband and she
says yes, we go ahead and marry them. So, in this one particular one
that I heard that there was a little trouble, and as I say I didn’t
bother too much about it, cause there was so much talk and gossip along
that line that I didn’t pay too much attention. But, anyway the day of
the wedding came along and came to the time of the wedding. And, of
course the boy and the girl come separately, they don’t come together.
The girl came, and while they didn’t drag her there, but, she looked
like she was kind of reluctant. Of course sometimes that’s the way the
Chinese act. So, I didn’t pay too much attention to it. But, anyway she
came and they knelt down in front of the altar and the boy came too and
did the seine thing. So I started with the marriage ceremony. When it
came to where I asked this boy if he would take this girl for your
lawful wife, he said, “Yes.” I asked the girl if she took this boy for
her lawful husband. she said. “No!” And, she didn’t leave any doubt
about it when she said no either. She almost yelled it, she said, “No!”
Well, it took me so by surprise I asked her again, but the second time
she really said, “No?” I didn’t know what she was talking about so, I
said you just go that way and we’ll see you and we’ll talk about it
So, they left and after the Mass I went out and talked to the people and
I said, “What gives here? What’s the thing doing? What’s going on here?”
And, somebody told me the boy didn’t give all the dowry. Well,
ordinarily this would have been settled beforehand but the girl, I think
her family were all dead, and she didn’t have any too close a relatives.
And, they said. “Oh, the boy promised to give her a gold ring, silver
ring, and he was going to give her so much clothing and he didn’t do it
and so fourth so she didn’t get all the dowry and that’s the reason she
said no. I said, “Is that the only reason?” and, the people said yeah
they thought so.
So, after a while, somebody or other said well everything’s settled out
now and they are ready to get married. So, I called beforehand and I
said, “Are you going to get married? I don’t want to give this play up
here on the altar, saying yes or no.”, and they said, “Yes.” They came
together and I asked the boy if he wanted to get married to the girl and
he said, yes, and I asked
December 5, 1989
the girl if she wanted to get married
and she say, yes. So, she went ahead and married him and that was the
end of it.
But, after it was all over I asked, talked about it and I found out,
well, the fact that he had the dowry he was supposed to give and he
didn’t give. 1 think the ring was the matter. ten dollars or something
like that and the
understand tape) was seven, four or five dollars and the whole
thing amounted to about 15 or 16 dollars. But, when she got her $15 or
$16 she was willing to marry him and she went ahead.
Funerals is another custom that is strange in China. For example, if a
person, a father; a grandfather; or some big personage of some kind if
they die well, then it is expected that there will be quite a lavish
funeral put on. When I say a lavish funeral put on, well you never do
anything in China without guests, have to be invited to the wedding and
sometimes they might be. it might last a couple of days. When they 20-25
guests at a funeral. This applies particularly for the children to their
parents if the father dies or the grandfather dies well they are
expected to put on a lavish funeral.
The coffins in China are different than here in America. Most of them
are made of wooden coffins. They don’t have the metal and so fourth that
we have. They are made out of wooden coffins. The more exalted the
person being buried, the more elaborate the coffin is. In fact, many of
the people buy their coffins beforehand so to be sure to have a good
one. A large coffin for an extremely elaborate funeral, well it’s made
out of, say for example a log that would be say 8-10 feet in
circumference, no I mean in diameter. Well, that was sawed down the
middle, than the smooth side would be put inside and the rough side
outside. The rounded part of the tree would be left there. The coffin is
made that way. The lid is an enormous thickness of wood. The head,
perhaps, standing out, might be ten inch thick of wood.
So, they are very expensive and they are very heavy. When a person dies
like that their body would be put in the coffin and then they would be
sprinkled lime all around it and the lid is put on it and nailed down
and sealed up with putty and so fourth. So, no odor could get out. Then
the person is left and they do not have to bury them at the same time,
immediately, I mean. For the pagans they have to have a propitious day
and they have to have some of these guys who know what’s a good day and
what’s a bad day to bury them. So, you have to wait for a propitious day
and they bury them that day. That day might be six months away, but
that’s all right too, because the coffin is sealed shut and it can’t, no
odor can’t come out.
December 5, 1989
If it’s left for a long time the coffin
might be taken out of the house, out of the living spaces and put in the
shed or something to be put away until this day comes when it’s a good
day for burial. Then the day is set and all the guests and they have to
hire something to carry the coffin because that’s the only way that
things get moved in China. For a big coffin that’s very heavy, and so
fourth, with the body and so fourth in it, it probably may be weighing a
couple hundred pounds, maybe a thousand, I don’t know. They are heavy.
You have to hire carriers to carry this coffin to the grave and bury it.
Usually, they don’t have graveyards such as we have them. Land is so
expensive and so precious they don’t want to waste it having it for
burials. Mountainsides or hillsides are really untillable are really not
much good anyway, not much use for anything and are used for burying.
Then the coffin is taken out to this spot that has been prepared for it
on the mountain or the hill and the coffin is placed there and buried.
It’s not so much dug in the ground, buried in the ground and so fourth
as a shallow tomb you might say and the coffin is put there and the dirt
is piled up around it. Rather than buried in the ground it is buried
above the ground and dirt is piled up around it and the tombs are high,
The of course all the guests that have been invited have to have a big
meal that day and maybe two meals. And, sometimes they might even have
the next day. But at least one day all the guests have to be fed. And,
of course that costs a lot of money, so sometimes, too, when the father
dies the son is strapped for money. don’t have the money. . .so he puts
the coffin aside to wait until he gets some more money for the coffin.
And, in a funeral or something like that, that comes along women cry.
When I say cry, I mean cry, they just wail. They seem to be able to just
turn on this crying at will for the burial and leaving the home, and the
burial along the graveyard, going to the grave and so fourth. And at the
grave, well, the women are just crying, you’d think that they were going
to die. But, they all do that. they can turn it on at will, it seems.
In fact, it’s expected. If a woman would not be crying at her
father-in-law’s funeral well, she would be causing a scandal, almost.
They expect it. They expect her to be crying and all the women folks do
the same thing. They can cry at the snap of a finger.
When there is something calamitous comes along or a death or somebody is
sick or something of that sort the women can just cry. They just cry and
moan and wail to the height of their voices and this is expected during
December 5, 1989
In China the family place is a great
part in life. It is somewhat breaking down, well maybe, a little bit in
the cities but in the country it is held very strong. believed in very
strongly. The father is the head of the family and the children under
him. For example the oldest son, when the father dies, and the oldest
son takes over. If they have a farm the oldest son is the boss in his
family and the mother also has a lot of authority. particularly in
regards to the children.
If the older son gets married he brings his wife home to his mother and
father’s home and he keeps on working as ever. But except the girl, the
wife, is a mother and daughter-in-law and sometimes the mother-in-law
gets kind of strict and they have a lot of friction between them, the
mother-in-law and the daughter-in-law. Sometimes it’s the fault of the
mother-in-law and sometimes it’s the fault of the daughter-in-law. This
is seen so often.
And, when the children get married, the oldest son gets married he
brings his wife home to his family. And the second wife, if they have
two sons and the second son gets married he brings his wife home and
they are all under one household with the father as the head.
The Chinese want to have sons. They prize the son very much and they
look down upon a daughter. This has always been the case and it still
is. The son is the big deal! He’s going to be the eventual heir of
course. But the reason they want sons is because this son stays at home
and works the family, works the farm, and he takes care of the parents.
When the parents get old well, then the sons have to take care of them.
They don’t have old age pensions and all the kinds of insurance that we
have. In Chinese the son is the old age policy.
He takes care of the parents when they get old so that’s the reason the
Chinese admire and want a son so much because he will take care of them
when they get old
But, when they have daughters, when she grows up she gets married and
goes away and becomes a member of her husband’s family and she doesn’t
have any obligation of taking care of the parents. So, the Chinese
always want sons and that’s it because they take care of them in their
And in the past, probably it might be true, I don’t know, but the sons
are looked up to, upon, and sometimes the girls are given away because
they say the son if for yourself, the daughters are for somebody else.
If the family does not have a son. A couple does not have any children
at all or if they die or if they don’t have a son then they don’t have
anybody to be heir to the family to inherit the family and to carry on
December 5, 1989
name and so fourth. That’s the reason
they like sons. A son carries on the family name.
If the family does not have a son or if the son dies they try to adopt
one so that when the father dies to take care, and to carry on the
family name, and to inherit the property. Since sons are so precious
over there you don’t find anyone willing to give a son for adoption
because, even thought they might have two sons, for example, they
wouldn’t want to give one away to be adopted by somebody else because
they always look on so precious.
If a parent gets old and they don’t have any sons to carry on their name
the try to adopt one but, as I said it’s a difficult deal because
there’s no one, no sons to adopt. So, they adopt a son if there are two
sons in the family and the second son has two sons. Well, he might let
his older brother adopt his second son because they are the same family
but, if they weren’t related he wouldn’t allow his son to be adopted.
But if he had a son he might allow his second son to be adopted but in
this way the adopted son becomes the heir to the older person’s property
and he carries on the family name.
It gets so desperate sometimes that if they don’t have a son, and no
other relatives has a son willing to let them adopt them they might be
willing to let them adopt a second son. For example, if there were two
brothers and the older one doesn’t have any sons and the second has Just
one. Well, then he won’t give his son for adoption because he’d be left
with out an heir. So, he might let his older adopt his son, he adopts a
half of a son. You can’t adopt a whole one, you adopt a half of a one.
So, then this one adoptee could be an heir to both of the families, his
brother and his father.
The reason why they look on sons so much is because they take care of
them in their old age, they take care of the older people and carry on
the family name.
One of the things that you look upon in China is their idea of
politeness. It’s hard to explain except in a general rule. What we go
by- in politeness except they carry to the extreme. They, for example,
they don’t bow like the Japanese, if you see on television sometimes the
Japanese bowing one after the other but the Chinese have that much,
bowing is a sign of respect. If for example, a younger person meets and
older person when they leave they bow to one another more instead of
Sometimes they might shake hands but, it’s more often bowing. The two of
them bow, particularly in leaving, they bow when they come and they bow
when they leave. It’s more important even than a handshake.
December 5, 1989
Many of the customs in China, they are
very polite especially to your face. They are polite many times just for
politeness sake but, it is necessary that you are very polite. In many
respects the Chinese are similar in what you hear about in the new
testament about the Jews in the old time. In the new testament talk
about the politeness and so fourth. The parable in the new testament our
Lord says if you go to a marriage the priest says don’t sit in the front
seat first, but sit in the lower seat because if you sit in the upper
seat, maybe somebody will come along and the guest will ask you to go
down and you lose face because you went down. Sit in the lowest place
and then when the person giving the wedding feast invites you, he’d tell
you to go up. Well, you see in banquets for example everybody tries to
sit at the last place. That’s just like our Lord said but it’s still
carried out in China in the same way.
If you are at a banquet or something and you are sitting around talking
then they sit down, well then everybody want to sit at the lowest place
and nobody wants to sit at the upper place, for the same reason Christ
said you sit in the upper place maybe somebody else more higher than you
may come along and you’ll have to go down. So, He said sit in the lowest
place end then maybe the person giving the feast will tell you to go up.
You’ll get face. That’s just what they do in China. They sit at the
lowest place and then when the host tells you to get up, sit up higher,
you are getting face in that way.
As I’ve said before if it ever happened that if somebody wanted to get a
degree in sacred scripture and couldn’t go to Rome or someplace like
that to study customs, and so fourth, it would be very profitable for
them to go to China because there are so many of the Chinese customs
that are exactly the same as we see in the new testament. Same as in
So, if they went to China they would have an example that was talked
about in the New Testament. You see one thing is in China you see
people, rather not in China, but in the new testament called about
brothers of Christ. Well now, a lot of the people, particularly the
protestants, say well that means that Christ had brothers and sisters
and that Mary and Joseph had other children. Well, that is not the
Catholic Religion. Mary was always a virgin and she did not have these
other children. Well, what it means, in the bible when they talk about
the brothers of Christ, the brothers and sisters of Christ, well, you
see that very clearly in China.
To be a brother, for a person to be called a brother does not
necessarily mean that you have to be from the same father and mother.
Relatives and cousins are also called brother. Many times in the family
you talk about brothers and they are really cousins they are not
brothers. And, it doesn’t mean.
December 5, 1989
that they are from the same father and
mother at all they are just cousins of one kind or another.
I remember that, I learned that so clearly. When I first went over to
China. I wasn’t there very long. One of the earlier lessons in the
Chinese book that we were studying it had a chapter on relatives and so
fourth. It had the Chinese name for father, mother and brother and
sister and cousin and all that kind of thing. All the different names
for family names. And, we learned the names for these individuals,
father, mother, brother and sister and so on. We was talking about the
names, how to say father, mother, brother, and sister. and so on and so
fourth and things like that. And, during the course of the explanation
the teacher was telling about the brothers and sisters and so fourth and
he said Father Steve Dunker was my brother. You see Father Steve Dunker
was my cousin. He went to China a year before I did. But, we were second
cousins but, we did have the same Chinese name. The Chinese called us
the same name.
This teacher was telling us that Father Steve Dunker was my brother and
I said, “No, no, he’s not my brother, he’s my cousin.”, and I couldn’t
explain it very clearly to him because I was just beginning the lessons,
I didn’t know, I couldn’t speak. But when the teacher said he was my
brother, I said, “No, no, he’s not my brother, he’s my cousin.” And, he
said, “Oh, no, no, he’s your brother.” Well, as I said I didn’t know
enough Chinese to explain it to him, how it was happened so I took a
pencil and a piece of paper and drew it. I took a pencil and a piece of
paper and drew it. I drew a circle and said, “See that’s me and I drew
another circle and said. “That’s Father Bunker. Do you understand
that?”, and the teacher said, “Yeah.” Then I drew a line up from each of
us from me up to the other circle and said, “That’s my father.” and then
I drew for Steve another line to another circle and said, “That’s Father
Steve’s father. See, this is Father Steve and this is me. This is my
father and that’s Father Steve’s father. You understand that?” And, he
The I drew a line over up to a grandfather and I said, “Not. see that?,
that’s a grandfather.” But, I said, “His father and Steve’s father are
different we’re not the same, so we are not brothers and I said, do you
understand that and he said yeah I understand that.. .you are brothers!
Well,. I felt like taking a book and hitting him over the head. After
talking about a half hour talking about how we were cousins and not
brothers but he still insisted that we were brothers.
Well, I didn’t know at that time but I found out later on that that’s
the way that they talk. He was only my cousin but he was called my
brother and in China they do that frequently. Your relatives,
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same name, the same family name, your
first cousin or second cousin you are called brothers or you are called
sisters. So that’s another thing like in Christ’s time. When they talk
about Christ’s brothers and sisters that doesn’t mean that they are of
the same parent from Mary and Joseph, they could have been cousins.
One of the big works in China was making missions particularly in the
country, Nihwang, where I was. The last ten years that I was in China
there weren’t too many Catholics in the town, the county seat. But,
there were a lot of them out in the country and each year we would try
to go out and visit these places. We called them making missions. We’d
go out into the countryside and make missions. Sometimes they were many
missions and sometimes fewer but, in Nihwang, where I was we had about a
dozen of these missions scattered all out in the country. And, most of
this was all mountainous country and every year you’d what we called
make the missions. You would go out to these missions and visit with
them and stay there with them.
The reasons there were missions in China was the fact that
transportation was so poor. Practically no transportation for those
living far away it was hard to get to the central place. Men could get
around pretty well, but if you lived 10, 20 30 miles away, well and your
only transportation was walking. So it was pretty hard for them to get
into town, for example, get to church into town. So they were called
missions they were in villages where you had a number of them, well
maybe where there were only one or two Catholics we didn’t call them
Most of the missions you’d have all the way from 10 to 50 or 100 souls
there in this mission and they were located in these towns scattered out
over the country. And so, the reason why we had these missions was the
transportation, the people couldn’t get in. Sometimes the men would get
into town and so fourth, but the women, they never got into town. In
their whole life they never got to town cause the transportation was so
The reason I’ve said before in our time the women binding their feet was
rather dying out, but some of the older ones had some of it and it was
not the custom for the women to travel around a great deal. So, since
they lived out in the country and they couldn’t come in to see the
priest, the priest went out to the country to make the missions. When
you went out to make a mission you went out to the county, and we tried
to make these missions in the slack time as much as possible as we could
where the people had time to go. And, that would be most of the time in
the fall after the rice was cut and that was the main occupation of the
Chinese, the rice. And so, during the summer and the early
December 5, 1989
fall wasn’t too convenient because the
men had to be working. So, we tried to make the missions in the fall
about November, November or October that was the time that most of the
rice was cut and the people had time to go to the missions.
They couldn’t be distracted or held away by other works. So, if we were
going to make a mission we would send word beforehand. Of course you
didn’t call up and telephone or even write a letter because out in the
country they didn’t have telephones.. .they didn’t have post offices out
there. So, you sent word, what day you would be there. Usually the first
mission on the first town on the line where you were going to start
making the mission would either send or one of the men would come in or
you would hire somebody to go along with you to take your things out
there. And when you were going to make a mission you had to take
everything with you that you needed while you were gone because you
might be away for a long time.
So, you prepared the day before you were going to make a mission. They
had some of these big baskets that were made out of bamboo and they had
lids on them and they were more or less waterproof. So, you would pack
all the things that you needed for the mission in these baskets and they
would be. . .when you went somebody would carry them. Now, when you took
everything along with you, you would have to take everything for the
mass, vestments, the linens, the wine and the water and the chalice and
everything else. . . everything that you needed. And, you would have to
take clothes that you would need for the mission that you would need
because you might be gone for a long time. Put some clothes in there and
books and anything that you needed for this mission. Put them in there
and earlier the next day and the carrier who was going to carry all your
stuff along with you would be there and we’d all start out together.
Sometimes I’d go on my bicycle but the roads were so bad that they
December 5, 1989