By Patrick Downes
Catholic Herald of Hawaii
Matthew Lonoikamakahiki Wah Tim Yim, the son of Judge Patrick and Santa Marie Yim of Holy Trinity Parish in Kuliouou, was ordained a deacon on October 23 by Jesuit Bishop Michael C. Barber of Oakland, Calif., In the cathedral Christ the Light from Oakland.
Yim, a Jesuit, was one of nine men ordained to the “transitional” diaconate, which, unlike the “permanent” diaconate, is a step towards the priesthood. He is to be ordained a priest on June 11, 2022.
He told the Hawaii Catholic Herald prior to the email ordination that he “prayed that wisdom and compassion outwardly reflect the joy and gratitude that I feel on the inside as I strive to authentically live out the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience “.
His parents attended the ordination. A cousin living in the Bay Area, a longtime friend of the University of Washington, DC, and other Jesuits and parish friends also attended.
Yim joined the Jesuits in August 2010 at the age of 32, making his first vows in Seattle on August 12, 2012, after a two-year novitiate.
Now 43, he is a member of the order’s Western Province of the United States, which covers 10 western states.
Born in Honolulu to a long line of Catholics on both sides of his parents, Yim was baptized at Saint Pius X Church in Manoa by Mgr. Daniel Dever, made his first communion at the Holy Trinity parish church in Kuliouou and was confirmed there by Bishop François X. DiLorenzo.
He attended the Iolani School from Kindergarten to Grade 12 and graduated from Oberlin College in Ohio with degrees in East Asian Studies and English Literature.
After receiving his certification to teach English as a second language, he traveled to China’s Shanxi Province to teach English in Taigu County. While in China, he learned to speak Mandarin.
Back in the islands, Yim obtained a master’s degree in library science from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He worked as a librarian at the Bishop Museum for a few years while exploring vocation possibilities. He spent a year of discernment with the late Jesuit Father Russell Roide, then pastor of the Newman Center at the University of Hawaii, before joining the order.
As a Jesuit, he earned a master’s degree in philosophy from Fordham University, New York, while volunteering at St. John Chrysostom School in the South Bronx. He then taught philosophy at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington for a few years, followed by a year at St. Ignatius Loyola Church in Sacramento, Calif., Leading faith-sharing groups and leading small pensions.
He began studying theology in 2019 at the Jesuit School of Theology at the University of Santa Clara in Berkeley, California, doing fieldwork at the Ignatian Spiritual Life Center in St. Agnes Parish in San Francisco, California. online and via Zoom due to the pandemic.
This year he will travel to Sacramento to assist as a deacon in St. Ignatius Loyola Parish.
“My prayer this year has focused on gratitude,” he told the Hawaii Catholic Herald. “I am very grateful for this. “
He thanked the women and men who have guided and befriended him over the years, especially those who have passed away recently, including Father Roide, the first Jesuit he met in Hawaii.
“I am grateful for the experiences I have had in my life and how kind God has been to me over the years,” he said. “I thank my parents and my family. “
“I am also touched by the immensity of the confidence and the responsibility towards which I step regularly,” he said.
“Gratitude, humility, responsibility, joy and sadness – all together and sometimes at the same time. I think this has also been part of my prayer as I continue to move forward towards ordination, ”Yim said.
“The reasons for which I joined the Society of Jesus are not the same which allowed me to stay,” he declared. “Rather, it is my deeper and deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and the many good examples of Christian life well lived (secular and religious) that continue to call me a generous ‘yes’ to God’s invitation to collaborate. with so many others. . “
Yim said: “These last 10 years or so as a Jesuit have made me more reflective of the words of the ‘prayer of Suscipe’ that Saint Ignatius of Loyola wrote: ‘Take, Lord, and receive all my freedom, my memory. , my understanding and all my willpower, all that I have and that I call mine.
“When I say this prayer, I know I am asking God for infinitely more than I can offer. Freedom, memory, understanding, will – all this is nothing compared to the gifts that God gives in abundance, the love of God and the grace of God.
The Jesuits, founded in 1540 by Saint Ignatius of Loyola and officially known as the Company of Jesus, constitute the largest order of priests and brothers in the Catholic Church.
The order has a dozen priests who were born in Hawaii or who have close ties to Hawaii.