Catholics Come Home – The Holy Spirit Leads Exec Home

[music] Tom:In recent decades,millions of peoplehave drifted away from Jesusand their Catholic faith.Sadly, many may neverfind their way back.I’m Tom Peterson,and I believe that Godhas called me to usemy background in mediato be a catalystin the New Evangelization.Our organization producesinspiring and creativeevangelization messagesthat have helped leadhundreds of thousands ofinactive Catholics, converts,agnostics, and atheists,Home to Jesus,and His Holy Church.Join us as we travelacross North Americato bring you stories ofheartbreak, redemption,and transformationas the Holy Spiritleads His people Home.God has an extraordinary plan for each of our lives. He wants us to spend eternity in Heaven with Him, and bring as many people with us as possible.This is“Catholics Come Home.”Now, I welcome you to my home to hear their amazing stories. [music] Welcome to ‘Catholics Come Home.’ In this episode, we’ll meet a 44 year-old Sales and Marketing CEO, who lives in Poznan, Poland.He was raised Catholic,but drifted into the luresof secularismas a young adult,but after searching for more,and an encounterwith the Holy Spirit,our guest rediscoveredhis Catholic faith,and a whole new life in Christ. Like everybody else in this series, today’s guest came Home to the Church, with the help of ‘Catholics Come Home,’ in responding to a call of the Holy Spirit.I’d like you to meetTomasz Ratajczak.[music] Tomasz, we welcome you home to the Catholic faith. And we welcome you to our show. Tomasz: Welcome. [music] Tom: For the sake of our viewers, I’m calling you Tomasz, which means Tom in Polish, where weintroduced you as Thomas, on the introduction, but you’re actually from Poland. Aren’t you? Tomasz: Yes, I am from Poland, Middle Eastern Europe. Tom: Wonderful. What do you do in Poland? And what city do you live in? Tomasz: I live in the western part of Poland, in the city of Poznan. What I’m doing is, I do professional kitchens for hotels and restaurants. This is my own company, my own business. Tom: Wonderful. So, you’re from a town, Poznan, where my bob-cha, my grandmother’s family’s from. So, it warms my heart knowing you’re from her hometown as well. Our viewers love to hear about people’s childhoods, how they were raised, whether they had Catholic faith. Tell us about your parents, your family growing up, and your faith background. Tomasz:Okay.As you know, I rise up under the communism. So, it was a bit of tough timefor the people in Poland,but fortunatelywe’ve been doing well.My father was Directorof Distillery.Tom:Director of a Distillery.Tomasz:Distillery.Yeah.Tom: Okay. Tomasz:He was doinga production of… Tom: Producingholy water, as some people would call it. [laughs] Tomasz: [laughs] We may call it that way. Tom: Yes. And what did your Mom do? Tomasz:Mom wasa teacher of physicsin a high school.Tom:Wow![music]So, you have some brainpower,some good DNA.Huh?Tomasz:Actually,I didn’t like physics.[laughs] Tom:You didn’t like physics?Wow![laughs]Your poor Mother.Aww![laughter]And do you havebrothers and sisters?Tomasz:Yeah.I have two younger brothers.One is 3 years younger. And the second is fourteen younger. So there was… Tom:Fourteen years younger?Tomasz: 14 years younger. So, there was 3 of us. Tom: Ah, wonderful. Tomasz: There is 3 of us. Tom: And were you raised in a Catholic home? And tell us about some of the things you used to do as a young boy in your Catholic family. Tomasz: Yes. I raised in a Catholic familythat was very traditional,going to church every Sunday.At that time,contrary to communism,there was a lot of people in churches. So… Tom: Sure. Tomasz:… what was forbidden,the more people wanted to do. Tom: You had a common cause to pray for the communists to give you freedom, and to bless your country. So, people went to church, praying for that. Tomasz: Yes. Yes. Yes. And also, we hadJohn Paul II,which gives the spiritto the nationto rise up,and get rid of it,but coming back to my family. So, we’ve been Catholic, Sundays Mass, but more traditional, not additional activities in the Church. Tom: Sure. So, so, pretty much, Sunday Mass, maybe some prayers at home. Tomasz:Yes.Tom: But, not a lot of extra thingsin your family.Tomasz: Exactly. Tom:You had a challengewhere your dad had a bit of a problem. And that affected your family as well. Tomasz: Yeah. [music] That job my father has, and what he had been producing, so unfortunately, led him to alcoholism, too. Tom: So, working in the Distillery wasn’t a good influence. He became an alcoholic. Tomasz:Exactly.Tom: But, that’s not uncommon in your area, because cold winters and all, there are a number of people in those cold climate, who do drink to stay warm. Tomasz: Yes, especially under the communism, some part of salaries was also given in alcohol. Tom:Oh.Tomasz: It was very strange, but… Tom: Wow! Tomasz:…they just wanted…Tom: So, they paid people with alcohol? Tomasz:Part ofsalary.Yes. Tom: Wow! That’s amazing! How did that affect your family, growing up? Tomasz: To tell the truth, I feel lack of love, lack of taking care about us as children.I had to be, as the oldest,from 3 other brothers,I had to betoo much responsibleat the age I was.And my mother tried tokeep everything together.It was a very hard time for usas children,because the normal situationwas when my father was drunk.Abnormal was when he was…uh… Tom:Sober, huh?Tomasz: …sober. Tom:You eventually,with this wound and feeling this lack of love, wanted to get away, and kind of live life on your own. Tomasz: Yes. I wanted to earn my money as soon as I can. So, even being in high school, I started to do some small business. Tom: Wow! You were an entrepreneur at a young age. Tomasz: [laughs] Yes, just to try to earn all my own money. But then, when I was a student, I get rid of home. I just… Tom: You moved away from home to be a student. Tomasz:…moved awayto a bigger city,to Poznan. And then, [music] go deeply intothe student life.Tom:And did you study Business?Tomasz:Yes, I studiedBanking and Marketing.[music] Tom: In a moment, find out what prompted Tomasz to come home to his Catholic faith. Tomasz: There was a 1st time after many years, someone spoke to me and those words get into my head, didn’t go out from the ears. They just stayed there and then something happened. [music] Female:I’m in a good placein my life.Male:And I’m energizedby new adventures.[music] Male:I’ve got friendsto laugh with.[music] Female:And a good relationship.[music] Male:But, even thoughI’m kind of comfortable…Female:I sometimes wonder,is there something more?[music] Male:Could, God and Church,be what you’re looking for?Come and see[music] “Epic” Evangomercial™ Voiceover (Male):Our family has spannedthe centuries and the globe.With God’s grace,we started hospitalsto care for the sick.We established orphanagesand helped the poor.We are the largest,charitable organizationon the planet,bringing comfort to thosein need.We educate more childrenthan any other institution.We developedthe scientific methodand founded the college system.We defend the dignityof human lifeand uphold marriage.Guided by the Holy Spirit,we compiled the Bible.We are transformedby Sacred Scriptureand Sacred tradition,which have guided usfor 2000 years.We are the Catholic Church,with over one billionin our family,sharing in the sacramentsand fullnessof the Christian faith.Jesus started our Churchwhen He said to Peter,the first Pope,“You are Rock,and upon this Rock,I will build My Church.”So, if you’ve been awayfrom the Catholic Church,we invite you to takeanother look.VisitCatholicsComeHome.orgtoday.We are Catholic.Welcome Home![music] Tom: Tomasz, you completed your business degree in Poznan and started to make a name for yourself, earn a living. How was your faith at that point in your life? [music] Tomasz: When I was living on my own, earning all my own money, of course, I was going to church every Sunday. But it wasn’t anything deep. It was like I would feel bad if I wouldn’t go. Tom: You were fulfilling an obligation to get rid of the guilt? Tomasz: Some kind of. Tom: But, your relationship with Jesus was not close? Tomasz: Not really. Not really. Being a student, I started a life; partying, girls, friends going out for a beer, having fun. That was like a kind of freedomI feel.Tom:Yes.Tomasz:But, when I started toearn my own money,when the company rise up,and I really started to earna lot of moneyat the age being 25-30.So, that was,I could afford everything.So, there was motorcycles,windsurfing,all the gadgets, you know, I could party every day, but that brings me to the darkness. To the moment I feel like I have a big black hole inside of me. And this hole is calling me, “Feed me more.Feed me more.Feed me more.”Tom: And you could feed it all you wanted, but it never satisfied you. Tomasz: No, it was worst and worst and worst. So, I founded out the moment, I was in a nice apartment, with a garage below, with my car, with a motorcycle, all the things and I was completely alone, even if I have a friend… Tom: Yeah. Tomasz:…of mine,I feel alone inside.And I was just calling, ‘My life doesn’t have sense anymore.’ Tom: But, you had a relationship at that time? Tomasz: Yes. Many of them, but one of them was longer. I lived without marriage, with a… Tom:So, you lived with a woman.Tomasz:…woman, yes.I lived with a woman.Tom: And not being married? Tomasz:Not being married.Tom: Right, which, which in Poland, at that time was more taboo? It was not what most people did. Tomasz: Yes. It just started. Yeah. Tom:Yes.So, yourlife was really in a secular world, where it was all focused on your own interest, and having fun, and doing what you thought was freedom? Tomasz: Yes. That was the moment I feel like the voice I heard in my heart, when I was a younger boy,I was a altar boy,then a lecturer,but I just put it to the corner,and closed the door,just not to remember that.And even if I was in church,it was just, you know,there was no relation with Jesus at all. Tom: Yes, you were just showing up because you knew you should? Tomasz: Yeah. In the deepest part of my heart, I knew that I was doing wrong things. Tom: But, you didn’t know how to stop doing the wrong things? Tomasz: Exactly. I just put the fingers to my ears, not to hear that voice. Tom:Yes.And you eventually ended upcoming to the United States to work in Chicagofor a few years.Tomasz:Yes, being a student,also I was[music]in some student organizationcalled,Students In Free Enterprise.And we have business project,in Milwaukee, Chicago.Then, we made upto the final contestwith our projectsto the Kansas City.So, I’m very tied to the U.S.Tom:…the US.And your English is very good.As a 2nd language,it’s quite good,certainly much betterthan my Polish.[Tomasz laughs]And I should tell our audiencethat I’m…I’m blessed to have you on this show, because my heritage is Polish, just like Fr. Mitch Pacwa. And we’re proud to be Polish.Aren’t we?[laughs] So, at this point in your life, you’ve hit rock bottom. You have a big empty hole in your life. Tomasz:Yes.Tom: You’re living with a woman. You’re spending a lot of money, making a lot of money, but you’re still not happy. [music] Tomasz: Yeah, even though I was not right to that woman. Tom:Yes.Tomasz: So… Tom: What happened that helped you turn your life around? How did God start coming back in? Well, God never left your life, but how did you start allowing God to come backinto your life?Tomasz: Yeah, that’s a good point of view. [music] There was a moment. I don’t remember who told me that or how it happened, but I was told there is a.. the priest, the Dominican monk in Poznan, was having the Mass. There is a crowdof the young peoplecoming there.And I was told, “You have to be there, but like 15-20 minutes before, because you cannot have a place in the Church. You will stand outside, so many people are going there. So, maybe it was just the curiosity, or maybe just was just someone leads me there? Tom: Yeah, the Holy Spirit led you there. Tomasz:And I went there.And there was a first time, after many years, someone spoke to me, and those words get into my head, didn’t go out from the ears. They just stayed there. And, it’s something happened. And after the Mass, I went to this priest,because he asked the peopleto help themfor the big youth meeting,to choose Jesus as the Lordof their lives, who is not afraid to speak in front of the huge big audience.He’s asked to be, to help.Tom: Yes. Tomasz:So,I said,I was a lecturer. I’m not afraid. Tom: Yes. Tomasz: So, I just went there. He looked at me; I usually dress well. So, at that time had money, so I could afford it. He looked at me from legs up [Tom laughs] and he, “You’re from Press or something?” “No.” “What are you doing?” “I do the professional kitchen.” “Good. You help me.” [laughs] Tom:Nice.Tomasz: So, that’s how it started. Tom: Yes. Tomasz: So, Jesus knew at that time that He should send me the person who will give me a task to do. Tom:Yes.Tomasz: To involve me in something. Tom:Because you werea businessman, a doer. You wanted to succeed. So, that was His way to help bring you back? Tomasz: Yeah. Give me… give me the task to do. I help to organize the kitchen for a place… Tom:Wonderful.Tomasz: …for the young people, or who were choosing Jesus, and so on. So, that was the moment. And he became like a really father. He give me a love. He, he, he…. Tom:The priest did?Tomasz: Yeah. Yeah. Tom: Yes. Tomasz: He told me that, ‘Tomasz, you’re doing great things.’ Really, ‘I love you,’ you know. Tom: Wow! Tomasz: So, it was, he was easy to tell the people he loves. Tom:He was showingGod the Father’s love to you…Tomasz: Exactly. Tom: ..that you needed, because you didn’t have that with your own father most times. Tomasz: And I wanted to be close to Him. I just wanted to feel this warm… Tom: Yeah. Tomasz: …this light. And [music] that moment was very important. At this youth meeting, [music] before I read the ‘Word of God’ to the big audience, I decided to go to the confession, after many years. Tom:Good.How many years?Tomasz: [heavy sigh] [music] I know something between 5 and 8, or something like that. Tom:What happenedto your heart in that confessional? Tomasz: The same what I’m feeling right now, almost crying inside now, but that was the moment I feel like a relieved, [music] cleaned up, and like someone will open the windows.And the first lies goes up,and I was in the prisonfor yearsand I could, you know,not even see it.Tom:You didn’t even realizeyou were until…Tomasz:Yes.Tom:…the Holy Spiritconvicted you.And you saw how dark…Tomasz:Definitely.Tom:…and bad things were?Tomasz:Yeah.So,at that moment, I remember exactly when I was on my knees, after the Communion I get.And that was the really moment,I decided to change somethingin my life.[music] Tom: Coming up, you’ll hear the conclusion of Tomasz’ journey home to the Church. Tomasz: I’ve learned that it’s amazing that sometimes it’s enough to share what I have in my heart. And invite someone. [music] “Home” Evangomercial™[inspiring background music]Voiceover (Male):There’s a way of lifewhere simplicity brings joyand humility leads to happiness,where we learnthat less is more,and in giving, we receive.It’s our refuge from chaos,and light to guide usthrough darkness.[music]It’s a placewhere the brokenreceive healingand repentant heartsfind mercy.Here, our days are set freefrom anxiety and addictionsand our nights restwith more peace.So, where is this hope?And who knows the way?Our hope rests in Jesus,and His Church leads the way.If you’re longingto fill an emptinessor seeking a way Home,we invite youto experience the peacethat only comes from God.We are Catholic.Welcome Home![music] [music] Tom:Tomasz,now your life is betterthat you’re connected to God, you’ve given your heart to Him, you’ve come throughthe sacrament of reconciliation.Tomasz: Oh yeah. Tom:You’re receivingthe Eucharist worthilythat feeds you. You have a wonderful wifeand children now?Tomasz: Oh yes. That’s the gift from the God. Really, the gift from the God, I have a great beautiful wife,4 kids.And I’m a happy father.And also, I feel,and I have a great joyof giving people alsowhat I have in my heart.So, I tell about my storywith coming back to Jesus.And also, I’m involvedin some communities to help the otherscome back to Jesus.Also,as an entrepreneur, with Tomasz, who is here with me… Tom: Yes. Tomasz: …next Tomasz. [laughs] Tom: Yeah.There’s a lot of Toms heretoday. Tomasz:A lot of Toms.Yes and few other good guys, we decided to start a Chamber of Commerce of Catholic entrepreneurs… Tom: Wonderful! Tomasz: …inPoznan, but now, it’s spread out to Poland. God is bringing us more entrepreneurs. Tom: Beautiful. So, you’re helping to bring Christ into the business world throughout Poland. Tomasz: Yeah. Tom: You and I met because I came and spoke atan Evangelization Conference,in Poznan. And you were my driver. And you said, “Tom, Catholics Come Home helped my life.” How did ‘Catholics Come Home’ help your life? Tomasz: When I came back to Jesus, and had started the relation again with Him directly, just between me and Him… Tom:Yes.Tomasz:…I just wanted to…Tom:To grow in your faithand read things and…Tomasz:Yeah, exactly.So, I went to the..,we call it ‘Mary’s School.’And there were some books and among them, between them, I saw the ‘Catholics Come
Home,’Tom Peterson,the cover read it.Tom:And what is it calledin Polish?Tomasz:‘Katolicy Wracajado Domu.’Tom:You say it very well.[laughs]I have no ideahow to say it.So, it’s ‘Catholics Come Home’in Polish,a Polish edition.Tomasz: Yes. Tom:What happenedafter you read the book? And what did you learn from that? Tomasz: I’ve learned that it’s amazing that sometimes it’s enough to share what I have in my heart, and invite someone. Tom: Yes. Tomasz:It was great,your testimony.What encouraged me to read your book was also that we had a lot of things in common. Tom: We’re both business people. We were both very ambitiousin the secular world,didn’t takeour faith
seriously, but God gave us a 2nd chance, an epiphany where we could come back,and He could use those talentsto serve.Tomasz: Exactly. Tom: Jesus calls us, not to be shy about our faith, but to share it with the world.That’s what my booktalked about.Whatlessons have you taken from that that you apply in your everyday life now? Tomasz:Almost every day,I meet some people who opens hotels, restaurants, some manufacturers, people even in the airports, like here, [chuckle] in… Tom:Thecustoms agent?Tomasz:…customs agent…Tom: And he asked youhow you are?Tomasz: …in Atlanta. “How are you?” “I’m blessed.” “And you?” And he was like… Tom:When you said,“I’m blessed,”he responded and was surprised. Tomasz:Yeah.“What is your purpose to visit US?” I mean, “I came here for invitation from ‘Catholics Come Home.,’ from Tom Peterson. Do you know him?” [laughs] Tom: [laughs] I don’t think he knew me, but you at least were sharing the faith with people, by saying “I’m blessed” when you meet them. [music] Tomasz: Yes, exactly. And many times, I have in my briefcase, or in the suitcase, or in my car, some Catholics good movies, or books, or even a picture of… Tom: Our Lady of Czestochowa that you gave to somebody yesterday I saw. Tomasz:Exactly.So, sometimes it’s just a moment, “Thank you for your smile. I would like to give you something in front. Do you have a rosary?” Tom:Yes.Tomasz: “No.” “So you, now you have it.” Tom: You’ve become quite the evangelist! Tomasz: [laughs] Always there’s a good moment. Tom: You and your business colleague, Tomasz, are taking it a step further. You’re bringing ‘Catholics Come Home’ to Poland. Tomasz: Yes, it was amazing when I saw you. I didn’t know that you’re going to come for the Catholic Conference of Entrepreneurs in Poznan. When I saw you, I just realized that a couple years before, I read your book. I just, I would like to talk to this guy.So… [laughs]Tom: [laughs] And God provided me where we ended up, not only talking, but developing this friendship. Tomasz: Yeah. Tom: And now, you’re helping us to bring ‘Catholics Come Home’ to Poznan? Tomasz: Yes. Tom: To your bishop, and beyond.And God has great plansfor Poland.Tomasz: Yeah. Tom:Why is itimportantfor you and I and everyone, to serve Poland? What is; Poland’s a very religious country. Poland was known to have the greatest faith when Pope John Paul II was in his pontificate. Why would you need ‘Catholics Come Home’ in Poland? [music] Tomasz: There’s a huge war, spiritual war, right now in Europe. The Poland is defending the faithin Europe.Tom: Yes. Tomasz: We haveto understand that being in a good position right now, is not given for always. Tom:Yes.Tomasz: We have the young people, who are getting to their work, like I was, being a student. Tom: They’re starting to lose the young people. The millennials are starting to lose… Tomasz: So, we don’t want to… Tom: …their faith. Tomasz: …lose generation. We want the people coming back. So, when I read your book, when I spoke to you, and I found… Tom: The website and everything? Tomasz: …the results… Tom: Yes. Tomasz: …here. So, we just wanted, as entrepreneurs, to do it the same in Poland, and to be successful with helping people coming back. Sometimes, I know, because I, some of the entrepreneurs, the owners of companies, who were very empty inside, were burned out… Tom:Right.Tomasz: …totally.They just didn’t knowhow to start,where to go.Tom: Right. Tomasz: So, I just invite them, one by one, but we can do it, thanks to ‘Catholics Come Home’ experience. We can do it by hundreds, thousands. Tom: It has reached millions of people through mass media. And we appreciate you doing that. You know Tomasz, I thank God for you,your family,your business associationswith Tomasz, to help spread the Good News in Poland. I know so many Polish people say, “We don’t want to end up like the rest of Europe. We don’t want to lose this generationof children,who have startedabandoning their faith.” I thank God that you’re an evangelist now, that He’s taken you from that secular past. And He’s created a heart for Christ where you wanna share it with others. Tomasz, welcome home. Tomasz: Thank you. It’s good to be home. [music] Tom: We’re here today with Coach Lou Holtz. We’re filming a commercial for ‘Catholics Come Home’ to invite people back to Jesus and the Church. Coach Lou Holtz is known by the world, for his legendary record on the football field, but he’s known to God for his legendary faith. Coach, tell us why faith is so important in our lives. Coach Lou: Well, I think faith is what life’s all about. People say, “Well, show me. And I’ll believe.” I say, “That’s not faith. That’s proof. That’s fact.” I think that, I don’t know how people could possibly not have a strong faith in God. Just look around. You can hear me, ’cause you have 24,000 fibers in your ear. You can see me, ’cause you have 100,000 receptors. You can move, you have a couple hundred bones and muscles, 7 miles of nerves fibers. You think about your heart, beats beat after beat, pumps gallons of blood all through our system. The brain; you tell me that that happened by accident? I just think that faith doesn’t solve problems. Faith doesn’t keep you from having problems. Faith doesn’t keep you from having difficulty. What faith does, it allows you to handle. And if you want to make God laugh, you tell Him what your plans are. [music]Here’s your chance to get activein the New Evangelization.Visit website,and click on the Shop tab,Here, you can ordera Catholics Come Home book,evangelization cards,a DVD of the Evangomercials™,or a car magnet.If you or someone you knowhas Come Home to the Church,thanks in part toCatholics Come Home,let us know!Or if you have a comment,question,or want to support our mission,email us at[email protected]or write to us atCatholics Come Home,PO Box 1802,Roswell Georgia 30077.Like us on Facebook,and follow us on Twitter.[music] During his successful business career, this Executive from Poland was lured by the secular world and worldly vices. After seeking more for his life, the Holy Spirit guided Tomasz to the Catholics Come Home book. Soon, Tomasz rediscovered his Catholic heritage, and now lives devoutly the Catholic faith in his life, his marriage, and his family. Thank you for joining us in this episode of ‘Catholics Come Home.’ Please keep Tomasz, and the people of Poland, and his family, and all of us at Catholics Come Home in your prayers. Remember to fulfill your role in the New Evangelization, and help love somebody to Heaven. [music] Singer (Male):“I’ve gotta lovesomebody to Heaven!”[music]“I’ve gotta love somebodyto Heaven’s door!”[music]“I’ve gotta love …”

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