As part of a normal pastoral transfer process, Father Stephen Folorunsa will be taking his talents to the Mott-Regent area after four years leading the parishioners of Hettinger, Reeder and Scranton. Folorunsa will also be serving the parish in New Leipzig.
“It’s going to be a new life,” Folorunsa told The Herald during an interview.
He told the Herald that a typical length of time at a parish is about six years, unless you’re needed at another place.
“But that doesn’t mean if you are needed somewhere else, or if they feel a need to move you, then they move you,” Folorunsa said. “That’s the whole process of discipleship, you go where you are needed.”
The Nigerian-born priest came had come to North Dakota in 1992 and attended North Dakota State University. Before arriving back in the northern plains, Folorunsa was pastoring in Illinois.
“I was glad I was asked to come back,” he said. “And I was very much glad I [was] coming back to North Dakota.”
Folorunsa is hard to miss, even in a large crowd. The man is as joyful and boisterous as the next person, maybe more so.
“You have to be joyful,” he said. “You know, you have to have joy to share joy.”
The priest said he is going to the new area with an open mind, and plans on just being himself, he’ll be joyful, and he’ll be loud, he said. laughing.
“Not loud in a negative sense,” Folorunsa said with a smile.
When asked if he had planned on adding anything to his new churches, he cited an old African proverb, paraphrased to say “when a chicken gets to new ground, it stands on one foot right away, to get a feel for it before putting both feet down.”
So he’ll wait to get experience in his new parishes before he implements anything new with the churches.
“A house is like a cross, you carry it forever,” Folorunsa said. “It’s never finished, it’s an open ended book.”