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Our Associate Pastor

Fr. Sébastien Sasa Nganomo Babisayone (Fr. Sebastien)

 

Our Associate Pastor, Fr. Sébastien Sasa Nganomo Babisayone, or Fr. Sebastien, as he prefers to be called, speaks several languages, including French, English, Spanish, Italian and his native African languages.

He heard a call to the priesthood when he was 9 years old. “I said to my mom, ‘I will become priest,’ he said “and my mom said, ‘OK, but you have to study a lot; you have to pray, too.’ … So I began to serve Fr. Sebastien was ordained a priest on Nov. 30, 1997 in the Diocese of Mbujimayi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  He has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, a PhD in missiology, and a master’s degree in public administration. His work in pastoral ministry in Italy prepared him for the demands of a missionary diocese.

In 2013 Fr. Sebastien came to Utah for the first time to visit his brother, Richard, who was studying at Snow College.  In 2016, he returned for his brother’s graduation, and shortly thereafter received an invitation to join the Diocese of Salt Lake City.

Fr. Sebastien ministers as hospital chaplain at the University of Utah Medical Center, Primary Children’s Hospital and Huntsman Cancer Institute.  “To work in the world of the sick is very interesting because you have to grow spiritually in your heart.  This is another opportunity to give my life for our friends, for our sisters and our brothers.  Now I am here.  God sent me here and I will give my life,” said Fr. Sebastien, who despite all his joy has a pain in his heart.

“The situation of my country of the Democratic Republic of Congo, that for 21 years has been at war, is very sad and painful for me,” he said. “There have been thousands and thousands of deaths. Every day I pray for the situation in my country. It makes my heart hurt, and I hope people can join me with their prayers.”