Francisco Ogbonna
Seminarian

Home City: Aba, Abia State, Nigeria

Home Parish: Our Lady of Peace Parish, Ashtabula

Education Experience:

My high school education was at Isolog College, Lagos State, Nigeria. I had my philosophical studies at Claretian Institute of Philosophy, Owerri, Nigeria and pre-theological studies at Seton Hall University, New Jersey and Providence College, Rhode Island respectively. I began my Masters in Divinity/Ministry program at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology, Hales Corners, Wisconsin and later transferred to St. Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology, Wickliffe, Ohio.

Work Experience:

Professional Tutor: Federal Trio Upward Bound Program, Seton Hall University, New Jersey—Tutored high school students in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

Office of Safety and Security: Providence College, Rhode Island.

Internship at Hebron House of Hospitality: A homeless Shelter in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Hospital Ministry Practicum: St. Mary’s Hospital, Madison, Wisconsin.

Favorite Saint:

 St. Basil the Great lived in the fourth century. He was a great intellectual, a humble advocate of excellence, a man of justice, a man of the sick and the poor-a bishop with a difference. A man of leading light, inspiration and hero whom the Church of the East and West appreciate and look up to for emulation for his creative and innovative charisma and pastoral excellence towards the sick and the poor. St. Basil the Great is my favorite saint, because he is a man whose words, deeds and love for the individual person, the poor, society, family and the Church reflected his deep pastoral theology. Feast Day is January 2nd.

 

Hobbies/Interests: Playing soccer, exercising, Reading and Watching movies.

Family Background:

My parents are convert from the Anglican Church to the Catholic faith and they both live in Nigeria. I am the fifth child of my parents. I have four older siblings; one brother and three sisters.

What led you to consider the Priesthood:

I was born and raised in the Anglican faith. I embraced the Catholic faith at the age 12, after I experienced the beauty of the Holy Mass at St. Timothy’s Parish, Ojodu, Lagos State, Nigeria when I was eleven. I would say that the solemn and beauty of the Holy Mass at my first experience led me to consider the vocation to the priesthood.

Favorite thing about the seminary:

The fraternity that the brother seminarians share in the seminary community is exceptional. It gives me joy to be with men on the same journey with you, encouraging and strengthening one another in prayer, sports, studies etc.

Advice for young guys considering the priesthood:

The Catholic priesthood is about Jesus Christ, emulating Him in simplicity and profound humility in service. Christ daily and continuously calls men to embrace the priesthood vocation, to embrace the life of humble service in Him and through Him. This call comes to reality through various ordinary ways, it could be through an encounter with a priest, a nun, a sick person or the poor, the dying or through personal payer, or visit to a Church. It could be as a result of the faith learnt from your family or an encounter in your place of work, school or social gathering etc. Dear brothers in whichever way you hear the call of God, do not be afraid to commit it to Him in prayer. Then seek guidance from the vocation director, your pastor or a priest friend they would guide you in the right path.

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