Hello, I’m Francis Daeshin Kim, and I’m the Youth Ministry Coordinator and Confirmation Director at St. Joseph Korean Catholic Center in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. I’ve been a keynote speaker at the Fortes in Fide retreat, and at Korean American Catholic Youth Day in January 2016. I was co-Retreat Director at FIAT’s Leadership Training Retreat in 2016, and I am the co-editor of Embracing Our Inheritance: Jubilee Reflections on Korean American Catholics (1966-2016). I am also a proud Cursillista.
I grew up in North London, in the shadow of Arsenal‘s Highbury Stadium, in a Protestant family (both my father’s older brother and younger brother are Presbyterian pastors). However, I married into a very large Korean American Catholic family in LA, and when my older uncle suggested that either my wife or I should think about converting to the other’s denomination, I found myself very excited about the idea of becoming a Catholic. (I attended Anglican schools in England, and also lived in very Catholic France, so I felt myself halfway there!)
So I was baptized in 2009, and fell in love with my wife’s parish, the same small church her maternal grandmother attended, and where our daughter is now a fourth generation member… However, my wife and I took our children to live in Paris for a few years, and when we returned, we found that the youth hadn’t had any leadership for a while, and things seemed to be falling apart. So, not quite knowing what I was doing, and intending to “learn on the job,” I volunteered my services, and haven’t looked back!
My favourite part of youth ministry is the time I spend in the classroom with my students, but as you can see from this blog, I have also discovered how much I love graphic design and also music performance, although neither is my specialty! (I have degrees in English Literature from the University of Oxford and my “day job” involves working for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.) I am also excited about widening my network and being a part of a large support group that can nurture and inspire and guide each other in our communities’ leadership roles.
I currently live in Santa Clarita, California, with my wife – who is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst for children with autism, and also a catechist at our parish – and our two children, and Lily (who’s a cutie-poo).