Pastor Appointments Take Effect Aug. 1 -Fr. Sebastien Sasa Nganomo Babisayone

Friday, Jul. 17, 2020
Pastor Appointments Take Effect Aug. 1 -Fr. Sebastien Sasa Nganomo Babisayone + Enlarge
Fr. Sebastien Sasa Nganomo Babisayone

On Aug. 1, six priests in the Diocese of Salt Lake City will assume their duties as either pastor or administrator of a parish to which they have been newly assigned. Following is a brief profile of one of these priests - Fr. Sebastien Sasa Nganomo Babisayone
Fr. Sebastien Sasa Nganomo Babisayone (he prefers to be called Fr. Sebastien) was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He attended the Catholic University of the Congo in Kinshasa, the Theological Institute of Kintambo, then went on to the Pontifical Urbanian University in Rome. He holds bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and theology, a master’s degree in public administration (from Guglielmo Marconi University-Rome), and a doctoral degree in missiology. During this time, he also served as a professor of philosophy and religion at a high school in Kinshasa, and as a professor of religion in Portici, Italy. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Mbutimayi/Secular Institute of St. John the Baptist on Nov. 30, 1997 by the Most Rev. Tharcisse Tshibangu Tshishiku, Bishop of Mbujimayi, Congo.
Following ordination, he served as parochial vicar of a parish in the Archdiocese of Kinshasa, the Congo, and then as parochial vicar and chaplain in the Archdiocese of Naples, Italy. He also was a collaborator at Vatican Radio in Rome for 10 years. In 2017 he came to the Diocese of Salt Lake City, where he served as parochial vicar of St. Joseph Parish in Ogden, as chaplain at the University of Utah and Primary Children’s hospitals, and as parochial vicar of St. Ambrose Parish in Salt Lake City. He then became parochial vicar at St. George Parish in St. George.
He speaks Lingala, Kikongo, French, Italian, Spanish and English.
On Aug. 1 he will begin serving as administrator of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in West Valley City.
What would you like your new parishioners to know about you
I would like to let them know that a brother is coming to join them in building up the Kingdom of God in the community, the family of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. The motto of my priestly ministry since the day of my ordination is “To the weak I became weak, to win over the weak. I have become all things to all, to save at least some. All this I do for the sake of the gospel, so that I too may have a share in it” (1 Cor 9:22-23). I will live it together with them.
What are you looking forward to most about your new assignment?
May we be united to work together in God’s vineyard in West Valley. May we pool all that we have as talents, charisms and gifts to build our community, our parish family (stewardship). May our family breathe with the two spiritual lungs: Peter and Paul. “Two brothers for a single Church, of which Peter is the foundation and Paul is the architect, the builder” (St Ambrose, De Spiritu Sancto, II, 3, 158; P.L. 16, 808).  
As a priest, what has been your greatest challenge?
The greatest challenge has always been for me to become a good shepherd according to the heart of Jesus, the “Good Shepherd” (John 10: 11-18). And like John the Baptist, I like to prepare the ways of the Lord by letting Jesus grow in me and that I make myself small: “He must increase; I must decrease” (John 3:30).
As a priest, what has been your most satisfying experience?
The most satisfying experience as a priest has been the joy of seeing the parish community of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Portici growing as “the Family of God” for 12 years, where I was as parochial vicar. Another satisfaction is the frank, sincere and fraternal collaboration with my pastor who, over time, became like a blood brother. Finally, the joy of reading, meditating, studying and contemplating the Word of God with my priest friends (10) on Monday, our day off. “How good and how pleasant it is, when brothers dwell together as one!” (Psalm 133:1).

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