SR. MARIA KIM-NGÂN BÙI 

I am blessed to have parents who are refugees from Vietnam. They raised us with profound values especially regarding faith, family, education and work ethic. I have two brothers, two cousins, and an aunt whom we consider close family. Because I belong to a very large extended family, gatherings are big, fun and frequent. I also thank God for the great gift of my vibrant parish community of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Tempe, Arizona.

When I was growing up, I wanted to become a mother and wife. I dreamed of my siblings and cousins purchasing homes in a cul-de-sac so we could have space for all the children to meet and play in the middle. I also thought about becoming a music teacher or a doctor.

I was first drawn to religious life by Jesus’ all-consuming love and his desire that everyone come to know his saving message. Although there was one moment when I perceived a clear call to dedicate my whole life to the Lord so that others could know his love, many good people helped me to mature in my faith and as a person.

I first met the Daughters of St. Paul when the vocation director from Los Angeles came to speak at a Life Teen Night at my home parish. This sister inspired me by her personal relationship with Jesus. I entered the Daughters of St. Paul on the Solemnity of the Triumph of the Holy Cross on September 14, 2002. It was a beautiful fall day and the entire community was gathered in a simple evening prayer. I was 18.

"I love being a Daughter of Saint Paul because I feel Jesus has invited me to this way of life. I am grateful because our life is really an adventure that broadens my capacity to give and receive love. I am humbled by my wonderful sisters and the beautiful people we meet." 

My parents love the family atmosphere in our community and consider all the sisters part of our family. If you put a few Daughters of St. Paul in a room, in very little time laughter will emerge. I enjoy spending time with my sisters, hearing stories and playing games. Although I am not normally the sister who causes roaring laughter, I really enjoy our sisters who share this gift.

I started singing in the recording and performing choir in 2003. I sing as a hobby, and to be ready to participate in the choir’s next concert or album. If I had more time I would play more piano and guitar. On any given day I may be listening to a wide variety music or just one song on repeat. I gravitate more toward classical music, certain types of jazz, some chant, and a few Christian artists. I love to sing classical music.

When Sr. Marie Kim isn’t singing…

I recently had the amazingly adventurous experience of helping to reestablish my community’s presence in San Antonio, Texas. This was a great privilege and joy—and I Iearned a lot. I am the local vocation director, help with our national vocation team and am a member of our traveling, bilingual evangelization team that offers parish missions, retreats, workshops, parish book displays, and JClub Catholic School Book Fairs.

I like to cook and am learning photography. I also consider keeping up with friends and family an important pastime.

More About Sr. Marie Kim

I think people are surprised to find out, although I can be quiet, I love people and adventures. I went skydiving with my brother because I was curious and wanted to go before I entered.

I love to turn to Our Blessed Mother because she is so attentive. She models the way to follow Christ in Scripture and truly is our spiritual mother who is ready to help, guide, instruct, encourage, love, correct and intercede. I am so grateful for her presence in my life.

My favorite saints are St. Paul, St. John Paul II, St. Therese, St. Padre Pio, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Catherine of Siena, and St. Juan Diego. I feel especially inspired by the saints when they live out St. Paul’s experience of missionary discipleship: “We hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us” (2 Cor 4:7).