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Sense of Belonging and Psychological Well-Being Among Priests in the Diocese of Dedougou, Burkina Faso

This study investigated the sense of belonging and psychological well-being of Catholic priests in the diocese of Dedougou, Burkina Faso. The main objective of this study was to establish the role of culture on the sense of belonging among the Catholic priests in the diocese of Dedougou. This study adopted the embedded mixed method research design. The target population was from the Diocesan Catholic priests of the diocese of Dedougou, amounting to 107 priests. The sampling method used was census. Questionnaires were administered to 97 priests of the diocese, while interviews were conducted among 10 priests. Data was collected through the use of questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. Findings of the study revealed that, most of the priests of the Catholic Diocese of Dedougou have moderate sense of belonging. The research also revealed that factors such as team work, learning from other priests, adaptation of communication style, learning of cultural protocols, accessibility to information of the parish, and the diocesan affairs were likely to improve priests’ sense of wellbeing. In addition, priests’ concerns and anxieties, paying attention to others, taking into consideration priests’ need, and especially how culture influences their sense of belonging was likely to enhance psycho-social well-being of the priests in the Catholic diocese of Dedougou. The study concludes that, strategies which could foster sense of belonging for the psychological well-being of priests in the Catholic Diocese of Dedougou are: self-acceptance as a multicultural Diocese, feeling as members of one family with same rights, privileges, opportunities, chances, making minimal inclinations to ethnic group, and the improvement of the bishop-priests’ relationship. This study will be beneficial to all priests in the Catholic Diocese of Dedougou.

Keywords: Sense of belonging, Psychological well-being, Catholic Priests, role of culture

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