Tae Kang

Graduate Student in Public Policy • UCLA

Echo 5 • Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish • Diocese of Wilmington

You sit down on an airplane during your time in Echo and the person next to you asks you what you do for a living. How do you answer?
“Echo is a two year graduate service program through the University of Notre Dame where we get a Masters in Theology while serving in a Catholic parish [or school]. It’s a mixture of teaching and community organizing…but at a Catholic parish [or school].”-My usual response to “So…what is Echo?”
Share a favorite memory of life in your Echo community.
Introducing them to the marvels of Korean BBQ.
What was the catechetical ministry that caused you to grow the most? How did you grow?
Looking back, I am tempted to say it was creating the big Lenten programs, teaching Confirmation classes, or facilitating Bible studies, but I cannot. What caused me to grow in unexpected ways was the administrative element of parish ministry. I can tend to be pretty absent-minded about papers or restless about sitting in an office, but working in a parish caused to grow in patience and focus on the details. While it was not the most exciting or inspiring work (which I am usually drawn to), I have to say that working in an office dynamic made me grow from college boy to professional.
How did Echo prepare you for your current job/ministry?
I have long been interested in the connection between religion and politics. Seeing our political system today, it is evident that we need public servants of compassion, intellectual rigor, and virtue. Echo has prepared me for life as a Public Policy graduate student at UCLA by helping me enter into discussions with an understanding heart and the perspective of a 2000 year old Church. It has helped shape the man I am today and the man I will be in the future as I hopefully minister to the broader community in public service.
What advice do you have for Echo applicants?
Be open to any new possibility in which you can seek peace in a world of hurt, share unity in a world of divisiveness, and grow in love for a world that needs it.
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