By Cian Keeney ’19
Many past and present Saint Francis High School students have marveled about Father Steve Kim’s ability to connect with the high school students through homilies, his example of the Saint Francis mission, and his engaging attitude while talking to the students about their lives. Father Steve’s outgoing and humble attitude serves as a reminder to the parishioners of Saint Lucy’s and the students of Saint Francis that being humble goes a long way in this world.
Father Steve was born in Korea and raised in Santa Clara County. His life as a priest consists of being the pastor for Spanish ministry at Saint Lucy’s, working at Saint Francis High School as a religious studies teacher, studying to attain his masters and PhD degrees in education at USC, and working to build a new Catholic high school.
Father Steve’s passion to help the poor and needy had made him intrigued by the idea of the priesthood. He fostered his love for helping people throughout middle school and the first half of high school. At 17, Father Steve was accepted as a seminarian for The Diocese of San Jose. Through prayer, Father Steve felt “like God [was] calling [him] towards [the priesthood].” His open mindedness enabled him to take a leap of faith as he recalls saying, “lemme try it out.” Soon, he became the youngest priest ever to be ordained in the San Jose Diocese.
A dual assignment keeps Father Steve on his toes because of his commitment to Saint Lucy and Saint Francis. Father Steve’s role at Saint Francis is to take care of the spiritual needs of the students, faculty, and alumni. As Chaplain at Saint Francis, he is in charge of Campus Ministry, school-wide masses, immersion trips, and retreats. This year, he attended an immersion trip to Uganda with several students as a faculty leader. His favorite retreat is the senior retreat because of the students growing in their faith through all four years and seeing those familiar faces. As Chaplain of the football team, Father Steve motivates the players to win, and of course, stay humble while doing so.
While teaching senior religious studies classes, Father Steve’s appreciates an inquisitive learner, because curiosity challenges both him as well as the student. Father Steve is rooted in the belief that by informing his students on the teachings of the church and informing their conscience, they will make the world a better place. When youth are in high school, their opinions and morals are not fully formed yet. Father Steve tries to show the morals and ethics of the Catholic Church so that future leaders of the world can leave a mark on society. Considering the poor and needy when making decisions is important for the world to move forward. Father Steve likes to see his success through others because he is more comfortable working in the background.
Father Steve embodies the Saint Francis mission of “educating the hearts and minds” by teaching students, living a humble life, and leaving a lasting mark on the communities he serves.
|The Valley Catholic Young Journalists Group
The Valley Catholic Young Journalists Group is a team of high school journalists who are passionate about retelling such stories through priests, ordinary people and religious events. If you enjoy writing, telling stories, and are active in your parish, come join this group! For more information or to share a story, please contact Justin Chung at firstname.lastname@example.org.