Tim Mika is a cradle Catholic who has been married to his wife, Becky, for 18 years and is father to five children – three girls and two boys, aged 15 years old to 2 months. Tim grew up in Sanborn and currently owns and operates a grass-fed beef farm, primarily selling frozen beef products directly to customers. He has a degree in small engine repair, is state certified as a firefighter and is a volunteer firefighter. Tim is also the assistant wrestling coach for Ashland High School.
Recently he wrote this for our parish bulletin:
Nearly every Sunday we recite the prayer for vocations. Often, we never know how our prayers are answered. Six years ago I took a leap of faith and listened to the inner tug in my heart to serve the Lord in the unique role of ordained clergy through the diaconate. I am a cradle Catholic and have always stayed close to my faith. I have always known that there is more to life than want we encounter in this life and the Catholic faith has always filled the void my heart longs for in the afterlife through her teachings, Truth, mercy and mystery. I have been married for 18 years to my high school sweetheart Becky and we currently have five children here on earth; Lahaela, Mathias, Zacchaeus, Regina and Jacinta. I own a grass-fed beef farm and a small business that direct markets and sells frozen beef products. I am a huge advocate of conservation on my farm as taking care of God’s creation is a responsibility I take seriously. When it comes to my passions in my Catholic Faith, marriage and family top the list as God created marriage uniquely for man and woman to be united in a special way to build the domestic church and as a foundation for societies. The dignity of human life is also extremely important to me from conception to natural death as God created all men and women in His image and likeness. Mother Mary holds a special place in my heart as the closer I am to her, the closer I am to a deep internal relationship with her Son, Jesus. I am a firm believer that the Truths of the Church needs to be lovingly offered so we can freely choose God’s path for us. It is my hope that I can serve you in Love, Truth and Mercy so that we can all be peaceful and joyous in Heaven.
He added this in an article with the Superior Catholic Herald:
A few of the main circumstances God has used to call me to the diaconate is, first, my farming background.
Farming requires a special kind of trust in God to provide the ability to farm. Rain and sun, life and death all ultimately rely on God’s intervention. Growing up, I also spent many nights in fields or on top of silos gazing into the heavens in wonder and awe, contemplating why we are here.
Another circumstance is through my marriage. My wife and I have lost eight babies to miscarriage. To bury multiple children carries its own kind of suffering, and through the pain and hardship we relied on God’s loving grace to guide us. With the children we have on earth, we recognized the importance to serve God, be grateful for all our gifts and bear our crosses with Christ’s suffering in mind.
Lastly, I cannot deny the mystery that fills the Catholic Church. Like many, I have had unexplainable encounters with God through people or situations. Through my journey to the diaconate, I have relied on trust, peace and an open heart.
My wife and I attended the deacon discernment retreat before we officially entered formation. I remember walking into the chapel around 6:30 a.m. during adoration and was blown away. I was so uplifted by a room of about 100 Catholics, chanting hymns. This room was dominated by male voices praising our God in song, something I had never experienced before.
Since then, I have absolutely cherished the formation weekends with my wife, growing spiritually and intellectually. Together, we often found each weekend of formation a “mini-retreat.”
The people I have encountered have been such a blessing, getting to know other Catholic men and women who are on fire for their Catholic faith and in love with Jesus Christ. I also feel so very blessed to have had such talented, knowledgeable formators that know the truths of the Catholic Church and presented in a relatable yet challenging way that helped me learn and grow.
I really enjoyed philosophy and our class on spirituality. I found myself wanting to learn more about being a spiritual director and plan on pursuing certification after ordination. People have all kinds of “life coaches,” and as a spiritual director I could assist people on their spiritual journey.
The most challenging classes were moral theology and Scripture. There are so many different situations that affect the moral life. Bringing people to the truth of Christ in their hearts takes time, wisdom and patience.
As for Scripture, let’s just say there is so much packed in every verse of the Bible that even for a practicing cradle Catholic, it is overwhelming. That said, I fully enjoyed Scripture studies and it opened my heart to deeper depths of mystery.
Prior to formation I was not much of a studier; however, throughout my formation, I had to read multiple books each year and write many papers. This was daunting at first but the desire to learn and growth far outweighed the challenges.
My wife and I have a young family, but the support we received from our extended family was the reason my journey was so peaceful, as we were gone to classes or retreats 12 weekends each year.
Over the past six years of formation, my wife and I had two miscarriages as well as two beautiful baby girls born. Both our extended family to assist us at home and our new “formation family” was a gift beyond measure as they supported us in our joys and trials. Formation has also helped me grow to be a better husband and father.
Thank you for your continued prayers and I look forward to serving you through Christ our Lord.