International Catholic speaker and beatboxer, Paul J. Kim, will be coming to Kenosha and Racine on Feb. 22.
The southern California resident has presented in 46 states and four countries, sharing his hope in Christ through music, motivational talks and comedy.
He has released two music albums and his videos on You Tube have accumulated over a million views. He and his wife, Maggie, have three children.
The free area event will be held at The Branch in Racine and is sponsored by KR Catholic, a collaboration between Racine and Kenosha Catholic churches.
Kim will also be hosting a youth retreat at St. Mary Catholic Church on Feb. 23.
According to event co-organizer Richard Sosa, director of music and youth ministry at St. Anne Catholic Church, KR Catholic is a new initiative to reach Catholic young adults in the Racine and Kenosha area.
“The youth ministers and directors of religious education in Racine and Kenosha collaborate every year to make a retreat for our high school youth,” he said. “Corrine Dillon, youth minister from St. Mary’s, actually did the legwork to get Paul here and we decided that since he was here, we would see if he was available for one more talk on Friday night for an altogether different audience — young adults.”
Kim will be speaking on “The Catholic Millennial’s Guide to Adulting.” Mary Mowry, the director of religious education at St. Anne Parish, will be the emcee for the event.
“She is one of our leaders for the Life Night program at St. Anne and served as the emcee for other retreats and does occasional speaking engagements herself. It is going to be a fun evening,” said Sosa, who said he is looking forward to hearing Kim speak.
“I’ve never heard him live, but I have watched many of his videos on You Tube and he is one of the most amazing speakers I’ve seen because of the many gifts he brings,” Sosa explained. “He’s funny and musically talented, with his singing and beatboxing. His passion for Jesus Christ and the church is so transparent and real.
As the leader of youth ministry and adult formation at St. Lucy Catholic Church in Racine, co-organizer Eric Antrim was instrumental in bringing together young adults from Racine and Kenosha last summer and is excited to increase the collaboration between the two communities.
“The other young and adult ministries gathered and are working together to build out the young adult ministry called KR Catholics,” he said. “I’ve been hosting young adult events at St. Lucy’s and other places. We have also looked at how we can reach young adults at Carthage, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and Gateway Technical College.”
Kim led the National Catholic Youth Conference in Indianapolis last November, drawing more than 20,000 teens and adults from around the country. He is known for his ability to reach a wide variety of audience members, moving them from laughter in one moment to deep reflecting and prayer in another. He utilizes his music, comedy and inspirational talks to communicate the Gospel message of Christ to youth and young adults in a way that is engaging and life changing, explained Antrim, who appreciates Kim’s easygoing approach to his audiences and is excited to bring so many together to hear him speak.
“I hope people will take advantage of this great opportunity and hopeful that quite a few show up,” he said. “I believe Kim will be able to reach the young adult group with his unique style of music and talk. Surprisingly, this has come together pretty easily. Rich has been pivotal in getting this going. Young adult ministry has always been something I tried to establish around the area, but just never was able to sustain it. So, when I started working on young adult ministry for St. Lucy’s, I thought why not reach out to others and try and grow a community in the area? From there, KR Catholics started to grow.”
Originally built as a bank in 1923, The Branch is a café and venue for weddings, parties and other events. The former American Bank and Trust Co. stays true to its roots with the vault still in place.
“It is a very hip venue in the Uptown District of Racine,” said Sosa, adding, “A very historic and resurgent neighborhood. I’m looking forward most to seeing this event and talk unfold in the community. We purposely decided to hold the event outside of a parish in a public venue to meet people where they are at. Some people may not want to come to a church on a Friday night, but God can encounter us anywhere and at any time.”If you go
What: The Catholic Millennial’s Guide to Adulting presented by Paul J. Kim
When: 7 to 10 p.m. Feb. 22; doors open at 6 p.m.
Where: The Branch, 1501 Washington Ave., Racine
The event is free and open to the public. Appetizers, wine, craft beer and other drinks will be available. Music by Yolé will follow.