LINCOLN (SNR) - Steve Bollman, founder of "That Man Is You!" an inspirational program for Catholic men, and Bishop James D. Conley will provide inspiration and encouragement during the Men of Faith dinner on Thursday, April 25.
This special event, hosted by the men’s group of St. Joseph Parish in Lincoln, and co-sponsored by Spirit Catholic Radio, is open to any man who currently attends "That Man is You!" or who would like to become part of this unique program.
The evening will begin at 4:30 p.m. with confessions for any attendee who wishes to receive that sacrament. Steve Bollman will take the podium at 6 p.m. Bishop Conley will celebrate Mass at 7 p.m. A catered dinner follows, and the evening will end with another talk by Mr. Bollman and a question-and-answer session.
Matt Hecker, one of the program’s organizers and a member of St. Joseph Parish, said it was the "right time" to try something different than the day-long conference that they have hosted in previous years.
"With many men now participating in ‘That Man is You!’, we wanted to create an event that would capture that audience and be inviting to others at the same time," he said.
He said that there is a "hardy, faithful" group of St. Joseph men who meet each Friday morning at 5:15 for "That Man is You!"
"The response has been very strong," Hecker said. "It’s an engaging program of Catholic faith development delivered in a dynamic manner… It’s directly applicable to men’s lives, [and] it’s about building friendships with and making connections to other men in church."
This is important, Hecker said, because a lot of men go to Mass with their families but feel isolated in their faith. "That Man is You!" fosters friendships that enhance faith.
"I want to live a more holy, faithful life because I see these other guys I know striving to do the same," he stated.
"That Man is You" was started by Steve Bollman and a team of talented, faithful Catholics. They founded "That Man Is You" (TMIY) in Texas during the summer of 2004. Mr. Bollman, formerly a successful trader, had left his career to form the apostolate that builds faith among Catholics.
The 26-week interactive men’s program that he and his friends formed fully incorporates Catholic teaching and modern sociological and medical research, plus wisdom gleaned from the saints.
"We hoped to help the men put in place a spiritual plan of life to live the vision of man fully alive and to develop the relationship with other men who could help them on their spiritual journey," Bollman said.
Test programs were run in the Houston and Dallas/Ft. Worth areas, which were extremely successful. Last year, approximately 14,000 men in more than 300 parishes throughout the U.S. and Canada attended the program, including at least 10 in the Diocese of Lincoln.
The impact of TMIY on the men’s individual spiritual growth and their families’ welfare has been tremendous.
Bollman said, "A couple of years ago, a faith advisor for The Gallup Poll did a study of one of the TMIY programs and found it to be one of the most life transforming programs he has ever studied."
What makes TMIY different, he said, is "compelling content that not only establishes the vision of man fully alive, but also provides an understanding of modern cultural issues unlike any other."
More than that, Bollman added, a man who signs up for TMIY will find "a group of men bonded together to make a difference in their families and larger society and a blueprint to follow to make that change a reality."
In the future, Bollman would like to continue to support existing TMIY members as they grow spiritually and bond with other men. He also wants to launch new TMIY programs around the country, and he has a new vision for reaching out to entire families.
"We have always considered ourselves first and foremost a family ministry," he explained. "We would like to develop programs for a husband and wife and for a father and child."
Hecker urged all men in the area who attend "That Man is You!" programs or who are interested in deepening their faith to come to the dinner.
"The evening will be an excellent way for guys thinking about joining ‘That Man is You!’ or starting it in their parish to experience some of what it has to offer," he said. "It’s an incredible opportunity to tap into some outstanding local area resources."
Due to the catered meal that will be served, seating is limited to 250 men, and tickets must be purchased in advance. The cost is $30. Members of "That Man Is You!" can register and purchase their tickets at their meetings. Tickets are also available online at dicsmithsolutions.com/MensConference/MenOfFaith.htm.
For more information about starting a "That Man Is You!" program at your parish, visit www.paradisusdei.org/tmiy/index.asp.