A jolt, then a call: Profile of Father Daniel Kim, M.M.

Father Daniel Kim, M.M. says his impetus to become a missionary priest grew out of a tragedy. Kim was at a Taizé prayer service in France when a murder took place before his eyes. The founder of the Taizé ecumenical monastic movement in France, Brother Roger, was stabbed to death by a mentally ill woman in 2005. This event had a tremendous impact on Kim and on his faith. Not long after, he met a Maryknoll priest and began the move toward priesthood. Today he serves at a Maryknoll mission in Hong Kong.

Father Daniel Kim, M.M.

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(Photo courtesy of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers.)

While growing up, did you think you might become a religious, or did you have a different dream?

Through my maternal side, I am a third-generation Roman Catholic so the prospect of becoming a priest was always, let’s say, in the air.

How did your family and friends respond when you told them you were joining a religious community?

I was voted “most shy” in my high school in San Jose, California. Public speaking was (and still is to some degree) something that I wanted to avoid like the plague. But God definitely has a sense of humor to put me in a vocation where public speaking is a critical component. So my family was thrilled but my friends and classmates were in disbelief.

Ever had any nicknames?

Ha ha! Yes, but I don’t think it’ll be appropriate to publish them.

What’s your favorite part of your current ministry?

Learning a new language. Cantonese will be my fourth one. In order of proficiency: I speak English, Korean, Mandarin, and some Cantonese.

Your favorite way to pray?

Along with praying the breviary, my favorite way to pray leans toward a contemplative style. I’m naturally introverted, so I do enjoy quiet time in prayer.

Any words of wisdom for those considering religious life?

If you have even the tiniest interest in checking out religious life, don’t be afraid to honor that inclination! You do not become a priest, brother, or sister overnight, and this process is a path paved with many little decisions. Whether you end up as a religious, the experience will enrich your life—no matter where God’s call takes you!

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