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07.06.2024 18:33:32 90x read.
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Personal Profile of Brother Paul Sabogu, FIC (Secretary to the General Council)

Personal Profile of Brother Paul Sabogu, FIC

(Secretary to the General Council)

 

Family Background and Involvement in the Local Church

I come from Nadowli-Kalsegra, located in the Upper Region of Ghana. My parents, Mr. Joseph Baraazie Sabogu (late) and Mrs. Simona Sabogu are my proud lineage. Unfortunately, we lost two of my siblings, leaving a total of nine of us still alive - five females and four males. Within this family structure, I hold the position of the second-born child, but I am the first male.

My father worked as an errand boy for the Missionaries of Africa priests in Daffiama in the early years. However, his role shifted when the FIC Brothers arrived in Kaleo. From 1965 to 1990, he dedicated himself to being their cook. During this time, I primarily grew up in Kaleo, which I now consider my second home. Presently, my mother resides in Kalsegra alongside one of my younger brothers. The remaining siblings are involved in various apostolates in Wa, the regional capital.

 

Growing up, I was raised in a devout Catholic family. My parents played a significant role in instilling the teachings of the Catholic faith within us. Despite their limited formal education, they emphasized providing us with a proper education. We were fortunate enough to attend school without facing any financial constraints.

Educational Background

At the age of seven, I commenced my formal education at Egala Primary School in Tumu, followed by St. Louis Primary School in Kaleo. From 1977 to 1981, I attended St. Dominic Middle Day School in Kaleo and successfully obtained the Middle School Leaving Certificate (MSLC). In September 1981, I enrolled at Kanton Secondary School in Tumu, but later transferred to Nandom Secondary School in June 1984. At Nandom Secondary School, I obtained my Ordinary Level Certificate (O' Level) in June 1987 and an advanced-level certificate in June 1989. Following this, I dedicated two years to national service before enrolling in Nustra Jahan Ahmadiyya (NJA) Teacher Training College, where I completed the program in May 1995. I later pursued undergraduate and postgraduate programs at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) from August 2003 to August 2008. Throughout this period, I received valuable support from the Brothers FIC.

My Vocation Story

At the age of nine, I experienced a solid inclination to join the FIC Brotherhood while assisting my father in the kitchen. The guidance and influence of Brothers Maarten Bouw, Alfred Fest, Wim Luiten, and ex-brother Jocelyne Debpuur played a pivotal role in nurturing and shaping my aspirations. Although my interest momentarily shifted towards priesthood when I encountered a Missionary of Africa priest at Nandom Secondary School, fate later redirected me towards my original desire to become an FIC Brother. Eventually, I began my initial formation in this congregation in October 1997 and took my first vows in September 2000.

 

Community Life

Pope Francis emphasizes living for others as a fundamental aspect of human nature. Similar to how natural elements such as rivers, trees, the sun, and flowers exist for the well-being of others, it is our duty to live in a way that brings help and happiness to those around us. This understanding of community life profoundly resonates with me. Throughout the past twenty-three years, I have been fortunate enough to reside in seven different communities, where I have shared the joys and challenges with my fellow brothers. Each transition from one community to another transforms a part of me, as no two communities are identical. These experiences have taught me the significance of resilience when confronted with adversity, as every obstacle catalyzes personal growth. Sometimes, we must endure the lowest of lows to reach unimaginable heights. I am now a member of the Emmaus Community in the Netherlands.

Apostolate

I worked at CAS (Catholic Action for Street Children) during my Apostolic Year of Noviciate. In addition, I had the opportunity to teach at St. Paul's R/C Primary School and Nandom Senior High School in Nandom. I also taught at St. Cecilia's RC Primary School, St. Francis Xavier Minor Seminary, Bishops RC Junior High School, and Louis Rutten Senior High School in Wa. From February 2013 to December 2015, I served as a Secretary to the Provincial Council of Ghana. Furthermore, I became a local bursar in the Provincial House, Mt. Sion, and Avellinus Janssens communities. While at Nandom Senior High School, I actively participated in the Guidance and Counselling Unit.

In January 2023, I received an email from the General Superior appointing me as the General Secretary to the General Council. This appointment officially commenced on 1 June 2023. The immigration process delayed my assumption of this duty until October 2023.

Life in the Netherlands

On 23 October 2023, I arrived at Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands. Br. Wim Luiten warmly welcomed me at the Schiphol airport. We arrived at the Emmaus Community in Maastricht, where I received a heartfelt reception from the brothers. Similarly, I was warmly welcomed to PBS, my primary apostolate location. This experience has been truly remarkable.

Despite the amiable nature of the individuals (fellow Brothers, coworkers and neighbours), the weather condition is unfriendly towards me. Unlike my home country, Maastricht has greeted me with chilly and freezing temperatures. The heating system in my room has not been beneficial either since it is automatically turned off at the time I need it most. Consequently, I have resorted to using as many as three blankets to keep me warm at night. I also do not understand the Dutch language. These and others are the challenges before me. However, I am steadily, yet surely adjusting to my present reality with each passing day. I am confident in getting maximum blessings from God and the support of my fellow brothers and coworkers.

Conclusion

I prayed to God, asking for everything to enjoy life, and God responded, "I have given you life to enjoy everything." I am immensely grateful to God for the privilege of embracing a religious vocation and becoming an FIC Brother in a unique way. Equally, I express my gratitude to God for the lives of my fellow brothers, who provide unwavering support and inspire me to grow in my spiritual journey.

 








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