Today, I introduce Joe Herman, deacon candidate from St. Anthony of Padua parish in Mountain City, Tennessee.
Tell me about your family.
I’ve been married to my wife, Lucia, for a little over 30 years. We have three children, Danny (29) who is a seminarian for the Diocese of Knoxville, Priscilla (27), who is married to Zach and they have one little boy, Carter, who is one year old. Priscilla and Zach work in our family business. Then our youngest, Josh (22), is a student at ETSU studying Sports Management.
Are you from east TN? What brought you here?
I was born in southern California and moved to east Tennessee in 1979 at age eleven. My parents wanted to get my sister and I out of the Los Angeles rat race and really liked east Tennessee and thought it would be nice for the family. With my dad in the trucking business, he visited east Tennessee a lot and fell in love with the area.
What work do you do?
I am the president and owner of Danny Herman Trucking. I grew up in the business and purchased the company from my parents in 1999.
What brought you to your parish?
St. Anthony’s is the only Catholic Church in Mountain City. Prior to that we went to St. Elizabeth’s in Boone, North Carolina. When they started St. Anthony’s in the early 90’s we became parishioners. We’re one of the original parish families.
What service have you done for your parish?
I’ve been a lector, a Eucharistic Minister, and an usher. I’ve also taught CCD and prepared kids for Confirmation. I’m a member of the Council of the Mountains of 17160 of the Knights of Columbus.
What drew you to the diaconate program?
Deacon John Hackett was the deacon at St. Anthony’s and I talked with him about it. I had an interest in it and he answered my questions. After talking to him for a few years, he said he thought I would be a good candidate and recommended I go to the discernment meetings. I did and so, here I am.
What has been most rewarding about the diaconate program?
Growing in my spirituality. I’ve been very blessed to have a good spiritual advisor and mentor in Deacon Mike Jacobs at St. Mary’s in Johnson City. Also, one of the things I’ll miss the most about formation and one of the most rewarding things has been the bond formed between the deacon candidates, not only learning the curriculum, but learning from one another.
Have there been any challenges?
Early on, in the first year, talking to my spiritual director and others I felt the enemy attack me. I felt overwhelmed by some of the work. Mostly, I had some challenges in my work life and considered leaving formation. But, through the love and leadership of Deacon Tim, Deacon Mike and my wife they were able to talk me away from leaving. I’m grateful that I experienced that early on, because as other challenges came up, I was able to recognize them and, through prayer, take it all in stride.
What are your hopes as a deacon?
To be able to serve God, my parish, and the diocese.
Please pray for Joe Herman and his family, and for all the deacon candidates for the Diocese of Knoxville.
Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.