This week for our Thomas Team Tuesday, we welcome Father Godwin, Director of Pastoral Care to Thomas Health.
Name: Godwin Segun-George Olugbami
Job: Director, Pastoral Care Department
Years of service: 2 months
Hometown: Abuja, Nigeria
Superpower: Ok I don’t know if I will call this a superpower, but someone once said I was “mindful and very cognizant of things not said, not obvious, or taken for granted“. I think that comes from what I consider my greatest gift- empathy. It can be so palpable that I could feel your visceral pain corporally to the degree that I focus on the perceived emotions. This comes with its blessings and challenges I must confess. Strange right?
Q: What are you most proud of?
A: A few things. First, that I am Relatable because I am a broken jar privileged to be used by God to journey with people, especially through their pain and not so proud moments, because I have been through shame, pain and defeat as well. The beauty we make out of these ashes is what defines us. Second, my audacity to hold the light of hope for others and myself through empathy and compassion. Lastly, that I seek daily to embody humility and kindness in the person of Christ who gave himself up to death for our sakes ( (Philippians 2: 6-11). I like to think that I can stand in the gap for you and give you some reason to smile despite the beleaguering adversities that surround us each day.
Q: What one word would your friends use to describe you?
A: Just before I left St Luke’s Hospital Chesterfield, MO in April of this year, my colleagues were asked to describe me in one word. Among so many superlatives that were mentioned (which I feel have nothing to do with me) the word “Beloved” stood out in the biggest font. I just thought that was very humbling and I am privileged to feel that loved.
Q: How would you like to be remembered?
A: This is a hard one, but if I can be remembered as someone who made you feel genuinely loved, valued and personify the creed of humanity in its optimal sense, that would be time well spent. In a few words – Christlike! If that is what I can offer every day to patients, families and staff I encounter each day, then that’s a beautiful day -stuff dreams are made of. I do and will not take that grace for granted.
Q: What does diversity and inclusion mean to you?
A: I come from very humble African roots, with so little to live on or possess. I am deeply aware and thankful for the overlooked luxuries we take for granted and the gift of each day of hope, especially in these unprecedented times. Above all, I value the sense of family and community. This relates to friendship, support, presence and understanding that the ties that unite us is much stronger than differences that separate us (Pope John Paul II –Ut unum sint). In Christ, there is no East or West, Jews or Gentiles, but the one body (Galatians 3: 28). Being a melting pot of a global variety of languages, ethnicities, creed and heritage, our society is all the richer for what each culture and person brings to the table. And indeed, the table is truly a large one, with room for everyone because we are all unique, inimitable and irreplaceable. I believe in the dictum “the more the merrier” and truly understand the strength in unity and numbers. Our stories and narratives define us and bring veritable enrichment to our collective purpose in the light of the communities we are privileged to serve. Our tenacious commitment to this imperative is the core value of diversity and inclusivity to me.