St. Augustine Province of Africa

Hospitaller Order of Saint John of God

Bro. Etienne Mbad Sene

Br Etienne SENE (Provincial Coucillor)I was born on August 11, 1974 in a village in the heart of Senegal to Catholic parents, in a large family. I grew up in this family circle and at the age of 6 I went to primary school. I was recruited at the age of 12 to join the juniorate of the Brothers of St Gabriel to continue my studies with the intention of becoming a consecrated Religious.

That is how my vocation came into being. After spending three years in the school with the Brothers I asked for permission to leave to reflect on my life, because not only was I not happy with the environment which we lived in the juniorate, but I was not particularly drawn to the teaching profession. I was now in high school and I continued my studies right to the end. Throughout this time I must admit that the Lord demonstrated His love for me and supported me enormously because I continued to nurture this desire to become a Brother. But this time, in another Congregation: the one I belong to today.

And so it was just after leaving high school that I went to the Brothers of St John of with whom I had previously been in contact and I began the Postulancy in 1997, making my first profession three years later, followed by my professional nursing studies for three successive years. And it was after completing my nursing studies that my Superior, the General Delegate of Senegal and Mozambique, asked me to make preparations to go to Rome to train to serve in the field of Formation. After a further three years studying Education Science I was sent to the Novitiate at Lomé, Togo, to accompany the young candidates undergoing formation. I am now in my sixth year as Formation Master.

On the subject of my Hospitaller work, I must admit that I have no practical experience of working in a hospital apart from my period of Formation as a young postulant and then as a student nurse. My life and my hospital experience is consists of handing on the values, ethos and principles of the Religious Life in general and of the Order of St John of God, in particular. Living in constant contact with our own specific environment, a considerable amount of time is taken up simply listening to, assisting and supporting people in need. This daily experience gives me the sensation that wherever we may be working for the cause of Christ we can always fully perform our Hospitaller apostolate because the poor are everywhere. I therefore feel fulfilled in this Hospitaller life which I am experiencing by accompanying young Brothers under formation but also through my contact with the world of suffering to which we are dedicated and to which we have a particular sensitivity.