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A Convert to Catholicism

A generous donor who was a convert to Catholicism has left a legacy for priest formation in the Diocese of Buffalo.

Soon-Ja (Esther) Kim, a native of Korea, came to the United States in 1968, studied at the University of Pittsburgh and worked at MetLife in New York City.  Despite the challenges she faced coming to a new country, she earned a Ph.D., had a successful career and lived her life with goodness, prayerfulness, spirit, and generosity.

While becoming a Catholic, Ms. Kim developed a passion for the priesthood and was deeply grateful to the spiritual mentors who developed her calling to the faith.

Despite having no ties to Western New York, Ms. Kim had a vivid dream that guided her to seek seminarians in the west who could benefit from her generosity.  This vision led her to Buffalo where she met seminarians, listened to their stories and supported their formation with a very generous bequest. 

"Ms. Kim loved her faith in Jesus Christ, being enriched by the sacraments and was deeply inspired by the Church's sacred scriptures and tradition," Rev. Kevin G. Creagh, C.M. Vicar for Evangelization and Ministerial Formation, said.  "Priests were very special to her, she prayed for them everyday, prayed for more vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and cared deeply about the formation of seminarians."

Ms. Kim was a resident of Hastings-on-Hudson, New York and passed away in February 2020 at the age of 83.