“As soon as the program began, I was hooked.”
I had heard of other programs for Christian men and wanted to be involved in something where men could strengthen their faith together. As soon as the program began, I was hooked. Although I’m a cradle Catholic, I came to realize very soon that I knew very little about my faith.
My reaction over time was a sense of hunger to learn more, and to become more, using Tradition and Church teaching as a guide. It was clear that there was something to the saying that Steve Bollman often repeats – “Wherever you are in your spiritual life, Jesus Christ wants to meet you right there and take you further.” This is what I wanted after beginning TMIY… for Jesus to meet me where I was at, and make me in to a man for which he could be proud.
“TMIY helped me look at my role as a husband and a father.”
As a result of TMIY, I began to make some major changes in my life. TMIY helped me look at my role as a husband and a father. For instance, I had struggled with our teenage son, and the difficulties his poor choices were making for our family. My approach to addressing his difficulties was coming from a place of authority. I would raise my voice, talk down to him, and basically make him feel bad about his decisions. After discussing this problem at our small group I started to take a different approach, becoming more encouraging, and loving. Today, our relationship is very strong, and now I’m very proud of the man he’s become.
TMIY helped me to see the beauty and richness of our Catholic faith. I started to realize that maybe God had a plan for me that went beyond where I was at that time. Five years ago, I was struggling in my career and didn’t know where to turn, so I visited our parish priest. After a short time, he said something that caught me off guard, “Brian, have you ever thought about being a Deacon?” I was stunned, because, yes, I had. It was TMIY that really cemented that dream in my head. I truly believe that That Man Is You was a key driver towards my entering formation for the Permanent Diaconate. It created in me a desire to be more… to be a better husband, father, and servant to the Church. God willing, I will be ordained a Deacon serving the Archdiocese of Dubuque next July. It is so amazing and exciting to see how God has worked through TMIY in my life!
“It [TMIY] created in me a desire to be more…be a better husband, father, and servant to the Church.”
I’ve given a lot of thought to the impact of TMIY on my Diaconate journey, and have come to the conclusion that it has been a huge contributing factor. To investigate it further, I polled some of the other men in formation. The class that is two years behind ours has 4 men who were, or are, active participants in TMIY at other parishes. 4 out of 14 is not a coincidence!!! Jesus truly does want to meet us where we are and take us further. Praise be to God!
– Brian and Jennifer Zeman are parishioners of St. Anthony Parish in Dubuque, IA, where Brian is a former TMIY Core Team Member. Both are currently on the Core Team for The Choice Wine.