Founder Fr. John Oh



Praise the Lord! Saranghamnida (we love you all).


Even if you have only the strength to beg for food, it is the blessing of the Lord.

Since 1976 when the big idea about Kkottongnae started from almost nothing, only one dollar, the community has steadily grown as big as it is now.

"Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.", Jesus said. Like all the rivers run into the sea, our devotion, sacrifice and love for others converge on Kkottongnae, making miracles happen. Thanks a lot to all supporters of Kkottongnae. You made what we are today. Hopefully I expect your sustained love and support. Thank you.

Message from Kkottongnae Founder Fr. John Oh  



Fr. John Oh was born as a third child out of six into a poor farming family on March 22, 1944. Despite poverty, his father (Oh, Duk-man ) and mother (Yang, Yook-soon) did not complain the hard reality. Instead, they devoted to child-rearing and encouraged sons and daughters to complete anything they started whatever it was. Their teaching helped children breed patience and resilience. Fr. Oh also has been strongly influenced by the parent teaching.


As a young boy, he experienced the Korean War and saw many people starving to death before his eyes. Such tragedy got him to be determined to become a politician to help out the poor people. Later, however, Fr. Oh changed his mind to become a priest as he thought that a priest could do more to help those in need.


On May 3, 1976, Fr. John Oh was ordained by Bishop Nicholas Cheong, Jin-suk who was the then head of the Diocese of Cheonju. On Aug 20 of the same year, he became the pastor of Mugeuk Catholic Church located in Eumsung (in the vicinity of Kkottongnae).


On Sep 12, 1976, Fr. Oh encountered an elderly beggar by the name of Choi, Gui-dong. The elderly beggar lived under a bridge. Choi, himself in poor health condition, was feeding other homeless people even in worse condition than Choi. It was awakening moment for Fr. Oh. He realized that even if you have only the strength to beg for food, it is even God’s grace. All money Fr. Oh got was only about a dollar. He started building a shelter with five rooms and five kitchens and called it House of Love. On Nov 15, 1976 the sick homeless under the bridge moved to the shelter from which Kkottongnae originated.


Currently Fr. John Oh is the Chairman of Kkottongnae of Jesus Foundation. 

2009   National Social Welfare Meeting for Advancement Main Prize (Korea     
  Social Welfare Association)

Yoo Il-han Prize (Yoo Han Foundation)


Korean of the Year Award (Allianz Life Insurance Company)

1996   Person of the Year Award in North Chung-cheong Province (North
  Chung-cheong Province)
1996   Ramon Magsaysay Award (Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation in
  the Philippines)
1991   Medal of the Nation (Korean Government)
1987   Inchon Prize (Dong-A Newspapers, Inchon Memorial)
1984   MBC Munwha Citizen Award (MBC local broadcast)
2002   Honorary doctor of philosophy from Daegu University
1992   Honorary doctor of literature from Sogang University
1976   Graduation from Graduate School of Gwangju Catholic University
1974   Graduation from Gwangju Catholic University

Establishing Kkottongnae of Jesus Foundation and taking office as the chairman of the


Building Kkottongnae University as well as kindergarten and elementary school for special

1999   The first president of Kkottongnae University
1996   Establishing Kkottongnae Training Institute of Love (place to teach love)
1992   Gapyong Kkottongnae establishment
1981   Organizing Kkottongnae membership
1979   Establishment of the Congregation of Kkottongnae Brothers and Sisters of Jesus
1976   Foundation of Kkottongnae (Eumsung in southern part of Korea)
    Ordination as a priest and pastor of Mugeuk Catholic Church