IT isn't only for sick calls that missionaries are summoned on perilous journeys.
The call came to Fr. Kevan Grogan, a newly-arrived Australian Jesuit missionary in India, from a village many miles from his headquarters. He was wanted rather urgently.
Fr. Grogan organised a party and set out. Monsoon rain drove them back and they had to make a fresh start the next morning.
They crossed the raging Sunk River in a donga—a hollowed-out log— but reached land only after the current had swept them downstream for a quarter of a mile.
After much tramping through the countryside and the jungle they did eventually arrive at their destination and met the man they were looking for.
He was slightly tipsy. having spent' some of the long time waiting by drinking daru, the local jungle juice. He was sitting by a homemade cage, Inside it was a leopard.
It was for the leopard that Mr. Grogan had been called out. The villagers who caught it thought the missionary would like to send it to the zoo back in Melbourne.
Fr. Grogan gratefully accepted delivery of his leopard and. carrying the cage and its prize, his party began the journey hack. On the way, two more calls came to Fr. Grogan.
Answering the first, he baptised a new-born baby.
Answering the second, he took a wedding picture of a young couple who had been waiting four months for someone to turn up with a camera.