From South Korea to Minnesota, to Washington D.C. to California – Sister Magdalena’s entire life journey has been marked by God’s mercy and goodness, she says. Her unusual journey includes her family’s Buddhist/Confucian background and a few years in the Methodist Church before becoming a Catholic.
She remembers her fourth grade teacher asking the children what they wanted to do when they grew up. Her response then is the same today: to be of service and help others. When she first met Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, she identified very closely with St. Julie’s many personal challenges, and the great devotion that St. Julie had to Our Lady and to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Sister Magdalena has served as a pastoral assistant for the Korean Catholic Community in the Midwest and East Coast, in San Jose, Alabama, Georgia, Washington D.C. and Alaska. For more than 20 years, she has brought her many gifts to San Francisco’s multi-cultural community as a translator, retreat director, social worker and counselor, especially with the elderly and poor. “Sister Magdalena has been a great spiritual mentor to me. For all of us who struggled as newcomers to this country, she provided guidance and stayed in touch with us,” says Beatrice Sool Choi.
When celebrating her Jubilee in 2014, Sister Magdalena shared, “How good God has been, taking care of me in coming to a different country and throughout my whole life. I am so grateful!”