THE playwright George Bernard Shaw once mused “when the heathens got bored with their steady diet of yam and taro, God sent them plump missionaries to appease their hunger. Thus, not by root crops alone would they live….”

In middle half of the last century our country was blessed with one of the finest preachers our people have ever heard. He preached the word of God with might and main. And it was a delight to see him preach what he believed in. People still remember Fr. Bernard Wrocklage, SVD.

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His mind honed in the philosophy of St. Thomas and his body hardened by hours of hard work. Fr. Wrocklage would fine tune his wiry self by cracking the bullwhip, hitting a target placed several feet away from him.

Moreover, he professed personalism [others call it existentialism] by creeping from time to time to the edge of a waterfall or standing as close as possible to a rushing train. He did these unusual acts in order to relish the beauty and importance of the fragile life God had given him.

He lived simply as many missionaries did, and committed himself to his task, for he took to heart the words of the Lord about the preachers of the word “not carrying any purse or bag.” Above all, he spent hours of study, and more hours in prayer in order to steep himself in the spirit of the Word of God he would be preaching to people.

He firmly believed in the Lord’s advise to “greet no one along the way,’ that is, concentrate on his primary task of preaching.

And preached he did, with conviction, force and flair. So well did he preach that people came from miles away just to hear Fr. Wrocklage preach the Word of God.

When the revered preacher of God’s word passed away, countless souls mourned his death. Every now and then friends and family would visit his simple grave marked with a solitary cross and fervently pray “that the Lord of the harvest will send workers to do the harvesting.”

“The Lord now chose seventy other disciples and sent them on ahead in pairs to all the towns and villages he planned to visit later. These were his instructions, ‘Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out more laborers to help you, for the harvest is so plentiful, but the laborers are few. Go now, and remember that I am sending you out as lambs among wolves. Don’t take any money with you, or a beggar’s bag, or even an extra pair of shoes. And don’t waste time along the way.” Luke 10:1-4.