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Celebrating Fr. John Kim

Congratulations Father Kim!

Sunday Marks the 30th Anniversary of The Rev. John Kim’s  Ordination to the Priesthood.

On Sunday mornings you can almost always see one slightly arched and skinny priest with disheveled hair, in his vestments, and most times running this way and that, preparing for three Sunday services.

Once Bishop Diane Bruce declared, “Father John Kim, an angel of the Lord” when she visited Seoul Korea many years ago. She had gone downstairs to the full-service Korean restaurant (located in the Cathedral Center where she was staying) for a ‘small grab’ of breakfast on the first morning of her visit. She explained to the server that she only wanted a small serving of something to go with her coffee. The server appeared to understand, but alas … a lot of food arrived to her table. She didn’t know it was a preset breakfast menu with no choices, and she shook with embarassment. As she fretted about paying a lot of money only to waste such a beautiful display food, at that moment she saw Fr. John coming down the staircase, like Jesus to save her!

Father John Kim has served churches for more than 40 years, including his 30 years of ordained ministries in the Dioceses of Daejeon in Korea, El Camino Real, CA, and Los Angeles. Walking the rough road every day with more than 20 friends living together has not been only his work. It is true that he has been surrounded by desperation. His street corner Feeding Ministry of 8 years was recently stopped by the authorities. Whenever he finds someone in need–he just acts–without thinking or planning first. Sometimes I’ll discourage him not to act so quickly but he is already there to help. I know it can be controversial, and one may question him as to “why does he do these things before establishing a firm and safe plan?” Jesus did not plan to help people around him. Jesus acted without planning, and by doing so he created a lot of controversy among the leaders of society that knew he could risk destroying their order.

Our Fr. Kim is just naturally doing his works–without the intention to imitate Jesus. It is his nature. You have been so great to support him and to help the ministries of St. James’. Today marks the 30th anniversary of his ordination, and he is so proud of serving Jesus. 

During this Lenten season, as we meditate on Jesus’ unplanned but so powerful ministry, let’s celebrate with Fr. Kim, and join him and Mother Kate in the vibrant and various ministries of our community, St. James’ Parish, that greatly please God and our neighbors. Amen.

The Rev. Canon Aidan Koh
St. James’ School Chaplain