On Saturday, six young men professed vows with the Society of the Divine Word. This week, we invite you to get to know them. Today, we introduce Baruch Zinthe Maoudjlo Zinsou.
Hometown: Parakou, Benin
Languages: English, Fon, French, Gun, Latin and Mahi
Ministry: Minister to the SVDs in retirement at the residence
Favorite book: The Bible
When did you first feel the call to be a missionary?
My desire to be a missionary started during my childhood. I used to say that I would be a missionary, traveling around the world to spread the Good News of God. During my childhood, one of my favorite pastimes was to pretend that I was saying Mass and acting like a missionary priest, visiting parishioners and the poor living on the streets. However, as an adult, I have long resisted the desire to be a missionary. By the grace of God, in 2013, I decided after a long period of discernment to start my journey with the SVD community. My decision to be a missionary is based on my experience of religious missionaries I met when I was a kid and the formation I received from my biological family and from the youth and young adults group called Feu Nouveau (in English “New Fire”) in which I was an active member and leader.
How has living with the SVD brothers and priests at Techny inspired you?
Living with the SVD brothers and priests at Techny has been very inspiring. Listening to their experiences from their first day of formation to this year, especially their mission experiences, I have learned a lot, and I think I am ready to continue my journey with the community with great enthusiasm, courage and confidence.
What was the biggest challenge during this past year?
My biggest challenge over the past year has to do with the number of deaths that we had here in the Techny community. It is the first time that I have experienced the death of many people I know in a very short time.
How did the early experience of novitiate change after the COVID-19 pandemic?
My early experience of novitiate did not change much after we got the vaccine against the COVID-19 virus. It is true that I was able to go out for shopping or to have dinner, but unfortunately, I was not able to go out for ministry.
What are your hopes for the coming year?
For the coming year, I look forward to joining the Theologate community and continue my religious and missionary formation.