Faith in the front, party in the back

Anton Medvidovic was brought up in a household where cars, Catholicism and Croatian culture were central to everyday life.

“I have always been a rev-head and I was brought up strong in the Catholic faith,” Anton said.

“Every Sunday Mass and every Sunday I went to confession. I did my sacraments: baptism, first Holy Communion, confirmation, and reconciliation.

“Us being Croatian wogs, mum and dad brought us up loving Jesus, so it was a strong part of growing up.”

But as a married man and father to a growing son, the cares of everyday life saw his bond with Christ sputter out.

He attended church less frequently and soon even strayed from his tight-knit family.

Even his beloved cars couldn’t stop the sense that darkness was enveloping his life.

Anton describes it as a depression of the soul.

“What I felt inside, I really cannot explain. A black patch, a hole, a gap. It just it just did not sit right. It just didn’t,” he said.

“I cannot explain it, I never I never want to feel it again. I never want to feel it again.”

It was a time he would rather forget. He loved his family so much, but they could do nothing to release him from a sense that he was failing them.

Anton’s life came full circle after he began taking part in men’s ministry events. Photo: Sydney Centre for Evangelisation

“Because as a father, we are head of the family, and without us being the rock things can tend to slip,” he said.

He retreated under the hood of his beloved VN Commodore, while his wife and son kept the faith.

“My family kept going. My wife, God, God bless her soul, she. She kept going. And then my son, went to church but I didn’t,” he remembers.

After years of quiet desperation a series of encounters through his local parish led Anton to a personal breakthrough.

He met Ivica Kovac, a Life, Marriage and Family officer from the Sydney Centre for Evangelisation, who runs the Maximus Men’s Ministry.

Joining other men in faith changed the way Anton saw his church. He saw a brotherhood. And that he wasn’t alone.

“Ivica and Zoran, from my local church in Blacktown, introduced me to a local men’s breakfast. I start to see all these guys there, 40 to 50 guys and I thought, ‘This is mind-blowing,’” he said.

“It’s like you’re with all the guys and you’re united as one and you feel the energy, you just resonate positively with that brotherhood.”

He was invited to attend the very first men’s ministry rosary crusade, which sees men gather in the forecourt of St Mary’s Cathedral on the first Saturday of every month.

“I went to the first one and that was about 30 guys on our knees. But now there is 250 men. It is a sight to see,” he said.

As they have grown, so had Anton. After living for so long feeling dulled and blunted by a Christ-less life, he found himself sharpened by these men’s devotion—rain, hail or shine.

Anton became ‘Grand Mullet Champion’ at Summernats. Photo: Sydney Centre for Evangelisation
Anton became ‘Grand Mullet Champion’ at Summernats. Photo: Sydney Centre for Evangelisation

He now attends the men’s conferences, including events like “Be Not Afraid” where he found great strength in Danny Abdallah’s story, and this year’s “Summer Series” talks with Catholic podcaster and evangelist Matt Fradd.

It’s brought him full circle—back to a life full of meaning and joy, where Jesus is back in the driver’s seat.

But the best was yet to come.

“Just when I thought my life couldn’t get any better, I became ‘Grand Mullet Champion’ at this year’s Summernats,” Anton said, laughing.

His son talked him into entering the “Grand Mullet” competition at the annual car festival, held in Canberra.

His 50-centimetre flowing mullet, grown over the last two years, beat a field of 50 competitors.

Holding aloft his title belt in the backyard of his Baulkham Hills home, he believes God played a part in the victory.

“He put the seed in my head, saying: ‘it’s all right. I have got your back on this one!’” he said.

Now, at events like the Croatian car pilgrimage and many of the men’s ministry events that brought him back to the fold, you will find Anton, speaking his truth, his glorious mullet in tow, bringing back other men who have retreated from Christ.

“This is my way of evangelising. God does work in mysterious ways, I reckon,” he said.

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