Deacon Christopher Bae Pilot file photo
This is the second in a series of articles profiling each of the nine men who will be ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on May 21. Earlier articles in the series are available at TheBostonPilot.com.
On May 21, Deacon Chris Bae will celebrate two things: he will be ordained to the priesthood and he will turn 33.
"How can it be more obvious that I am called to the priesthood," he said with a smile. "I will turn the age of Jesus at the very moment when I become a priest for His Church."
Born in South Korea, Deacon Bae attended a local Protestant church as a child. In 1998, one year before his family emigrated to the United States, his parents converted to Catholicism.
At the time, he was not so sure.
In 1999, his family emigrated to Orange County, California in 1999 for his father's work.
"There was a big financial crisis in the Asian countries in the mid-1990s and as a result my father had lost his job," he explained.
While in California, "my mom convinced me to convert to Catholicism," he said. "She told me, 'As a mother, I won't teach you something bad. Just come to the Catholic Church with us.'"
He agreed, completed the RCIA program, and at 16 was baptized in the Korean Catholic parish near his home.