Thursday, February 19, 2015

THE LIGHT OF CHRIST

As we are well into 2015 wishing you a very happy 
new year and hoping you are at peace.

Since my Christmas break I started giving a 
number of talks in schools from London, Leicester, 
Stoke, Manchester and Lancashire. This was a two 
week tour with many thousands of the young 
people seeming to be very touched and brought to 
a personal experience of Jesus’ love for them.

One of the high points for me was a school in 
Manchester where after my talk they had priests 
available for confessions and I was told that the 
young people were still going to confession two 
hours after the school had finished, which
showed me the hunger of the 16 to 18 year old 
students to taste God’s mercy and forgiveness.

After this tour I went to Spain with a priest friend 
of mine and gave some talks in Gibraltar at a prison 
and parish which were kindly arranged by Fr Charlie 
who is a parish priest in Gibraltar who I got to know 
as my friend when I ran a youth retreat in the summer 
of last year.

Fr Charlie is a great witness of a priest who 
puts God in first place in his life and seems 
to work tirelessly to bring others to a deeper 
relationship with Jesus. My priest friend who 
travelled with me also gave some talks in 
Spain and Gibraltar.

It often seems strange to me that there has 
only ever been one diocesan priest canonised 
in the history of the Church (St John Vianney) 
I have the privilege of spending quite a lot of 
time staying with diocesan priests around
the world, and must say on the whole they 
are an inspiration to me of men trying to 
live radical lives for Jesus and his teachings.  

When I am travelling it gives me time to 
see the media’s influence on our world 
and I must say that sometimes it is hard 
to keep that hope in Christ’s victory. 
The darkness and evil that seems to be in 
so many countries and situations can bring 
you to a deep despair. However during 
this time of lent we are reminded of how 
much pain, hurt, rejection and fear that our 
Saviour suffered at the  hands of evil, even 
unto death. Only for the glorious light of the 
resurrection to take place and conquer death 
and evil forever.

So it is when I stay focused on the wonder 
of Christ and the hope in his victory that 
the darkness in our world seems to 
evaporate and the light comes pouring in.

Despair, fear and hopelessness knocked on 
the door, faith answered, and there was no 
one there!

We ran two parish missions when I got 
back to Ireland in Tallaght, Co Dublin and 
Allen in Co Kildare and even though it was 
freezing conditions the people came in 
great numbers, which showed me the thirst 
that people have to come closer to God.

I also travelled to Tullow to speak in a 
secondary school and while I was there I 
contacted a priest called Fr Michael kelly 
(who lives near there) He played a big 
part in my conversion over 20 years ago. 
He was the one of the first priests I spoke 
to after my initial encounter with God and 
he told me about the possibility of 
confession and guided me to a youth 
retreat which completely transformed my 
life! This was the first time I had seen him 
since then and it was a joy for me to spend 
some time and chat over a nice meal.

Next I ran a school retreat in the beautiful 
setting of the Franciscan friary at 
Rossknowlagh in Co Donegal. During
the day most of the young people took 
the opportunity to go to confession and I 
hope and pray that it lead them to a deeper 
relationship with Christ.

Please pray for me over the next few 
weeks as I will be travelling to Texas, Tampa, 
Chicago, Juarez, Mexico City, Bantry, 
Liverpool,London and Tonbridge to talk in 
Parishes, schools, youth groups and prisons.

You are very much in my heart and prayers.

God bless you in his deep love

John Pridmore

Saturday, December 20, 2014

TRUE PEACE





















Wishing you a very blessed and merry Christmas.

During this season where the child Jesus comes into
the world to bring his light and healing I am reminded
that many people ask me how can they find true 
peace? I have always felt Mother Teresa's description
is not only wise but profound.

She said "The fruit of silence is prayer, the fruit of 
prayer is faith, the fruit of faith is love, the fruit of love
is service and the fruit of service is peace."

Sometimes in our lives it is very easy to take our eyes
or our hearts off what really matters and what is 
important to God. I often feel when I am leaving to
start a mission what a privilege it is to serve Jesus
and there is a joy in my heart. But when I feel the
burden of tiredness or selfishness and the desire 
of what I want, the joy is always lost and I am left 
with a begrudging heaviness.

When we ask Jesus for the grace to really give, and 
to give until it hurts, we receive all the graces Mother
Teresa speaks of. So as this year comes to a close
I look back at all the miracles Christ has worked
through his broken servant and am in awe and 
wonder of the servant king as the shepherds and
the magi were.  

After Ballyfermot I travelled to Kildimo in Limerick 
to run a parish mission for Fr John Donworth which
was a very blessed time. I had the privilege to speak
at a school that was dedicated to St john Bosco and
it was beautiful to see the Salesian priests reflecting
the joy and patience of the great man. For the 
last 20 years I have been giving talks to young people in
schools and prisons and have met some who are 
very wounded and very angry. St John Bosco said
"The more a young person screams at you, the more
he is saying please love me." In my own life I was 
someone who was hurt when I was young and would
never let anyone get too close to me and would get
angry if anyone tried to give me attention, thinking
this protected me, but all it did was isolate me from
love. But when Jesus showed me in his patience
and unconditional love that he would never stop
trying, I was melted as I feel young people are if
we reflect that patience and unconditional love.

I then travelled to Galway to give a mission for an
old friend Fr Tadgh. He is a priest who has a joy 
and a happiness and when I asked him on my last
visit why he is so happy, he said "It is because I
work hard at being a priest" and the words of 
Mother Teresa came back to me "Give until it
hurts!" It was a very blessed mission with lots of
graces.

I then flew to Chicago where I gave a talk at a 
mens conference in the great lakes. I always 
have a deep joy in seeing men gather because 
of their love for Christ.

After this I flew to Sacramento in California. The
priest and the people were very open and loving
and there was a depth of faith in this parish.
While I was in Sacramento I made a special friend
called Jack, who is a boy who serves for Jesus in
Mass and has a deep gift of love in his heart.
(Merry Christmas Jack!).

During this time one lady came up to me and 
said that she was terminally ill with only a few 
months left to live and she had felt a great fear 
and trepidation about meeting Jesus. But at the 
mission she had made a wonderful confession 
and now felt an excitement and joy, like the 
sunshine had come after the rain. May we all 
make a wonderful confession this advent. Our
lives are short on earth but when we open our 
hearts to the wonder of our saviour, the servant
king who teaches us to not only give and give
until it hurts, but to give our very everything for
others. This is peace, may we embrace it.

Merry Christmas to you and all your loved ones.

John Pridmore

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

SURRENDER TO JESUS

I hope you are well and at peace, 

Since my last update, I travelled to Stoke 
on Trent to do a parish mission with an 
old friend Fr Julian Green. He is a priest 
who tries to put Jesus first in his life.
It was a real blessing as he had consecrated 
whole mission to Mary and though Mary's 
prayers to Jesus. There was many miracles 
and Graces for all the people who attended.

Then I traveled to Douai Abbey in Berkshire 
to speak to young Catholic adults, with some 
of the young people there was a real openness 
to live their lives for Christ and not get sucked
into the world and what it offers. I often feel in 
our world today how many distractions we 
come across trying to stop us putting God first.
A line I hear is "I do not have time to pray" yet 
Jesus says cut off from him we can do nothing 
of any worth. There is aways that tendency to  
be very busy, doing things, but is it in Gods will? 
and if so, how much time do we spend
asking him to bless what we do in his name? 

A priest friend of mine, when he was given a new 
parish, decided to ask God in prayer what he 
wanted him to do. When he received light in his
prayer time he did what he felt God was inspiring
him to do and his new parish doubled in size.

Next I went to Littleborough in Lancashire to run 
a parish mission with Fr Arthur. The Mission was 
great and many people came back to confession. 
Fr Arthur was not in the best of health, yet he 
was trying to bring his people to Christ.
We got a wonderful letter from him after the 
mission saying how much wonder God had 
worked at the mission.

During that same week I flew to Hungary to speak 
to about 3000 people at a conference. It is always 
a Grace for me to see the faith around the world 
and what Jesus is doing. In Hungary despite years 
of communism, there seems to be such a wonderful 
group of faith filled people, Mother Teresa said that 
where there is persecution the faith is always strong. 
After the conference I was invited to speak at a 
school to 400 young people and a prayer group of 
some 300. The people who looked after me were 
great witnesses of Christ.

After this we ran a parish mission in Tipperary, Ireland.
It is always nice to come back to Ireland and again 
see the faith in the people be brought back to life by 
the power of his great love for us. At one mission in
Dublin a woman sent a message to tell me that when
she heard my testimony of God's mercy and grace in
my life it quite literally saved her life because she had
decided to commit suicide (she had experienced 
huge difficulties and suffering especially with her 
children) she hadn't been to Church in years and she
said she didn't even know how she ended up in the 
church that night, but God's love touched her life in 
a deep way Jesus brought her healing and new hope. 
I truly believe that these kind of miracles can only 
happen when people are praying. So for that reason 
I ask for your continued prayers for my work.

I pray that each one of us will completely surrender 
to God's will and be apart of all the Miracles he 
created us for, and that we may all bring many souls 
to his love.

You are in my heart and prayers, 
May God bless you in his deep love.

John Pridmore

Thursday, September 25, 2014

SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD!

Hello Everyone

I hope you are well and at peace.

Recently I had the opportunity to spend a week on
silent retreat at a Cistercian monastery in the South
of France. It was a blessing to take time in the
presence of God without any distractions. During
that week I realised how important it is to really put
God first in our lives and the joy that comes when
we do that.

Following this I travelled to Sainte Maxime la Saint
Baume (Where there is a shrine with the relics of
St Mary Magdalene) to speak at a Eucharistic congress.
The priests who were running the conference were a
fantastic witness to me of people who try to live for
God. One of talks I heard made a deep impact on me,
the priest mentioned that the average person watches
four hours of television per day and he said that when
we stand before Jesus we will have to explain how
much time we have spent watching television and
how much time we have spent in prayer seeking his
guidance and strength.

It is so easy to lose that intimacy with God and to go
through the motions in our spiritual lives. I for one
have decided to switch off the TV and only watch
what I feel will lead me closer to God. I'm sure all
of us have some distraction or temptation which
hinders our relationship with God.

When I returned to Ireland I led a healing weekend
at Mount Melleray Abbey. About 60 people attended
and many of them shared how they had received great
grace and healing from the wounds of their past and
a new freedom and joy in their lives.

After this I set off on a six week trip, where with my
team we led three missions in Scotland and two in
England. We saw some beautiful graces and people
told how they had been to confession for the first
time in many years and had been renewed in their
relationship with God. We also met some great priests
including my old friend Fr Julian Green who we
ran a mission for in Biddulph in Staffordshire. He
is someone who is always searching to find ways
to draw people to God and has great faith. While
we were with him he consecrated his whole parish
to Our Lady knowing that she will lead them and
guide them to Jesus her son.

Also during this trip I went to speak at the Youth
2000 prayer festival in Walsingham and it was quite
an emotional time for me because Youth 2000 are
celebrating their twenty fifth anniversary of running
eucharistic centred retreats for young people. At the
retreat I met many old friends and I was reminded
how I set up the first Youth 2000 retreat at
Walsingham. Myself and my friend Niall arrived
there in February 1999 and were wondering at the
possibility of running a retreat there. We had no
money and only one contact in the local vicinity.
So we sat down in the middle of the field opposite
the shrine and we prayed a rosary asking Our Lady
that if she wanted the event she would bless and
guide all the practical details. Six months later we
sat down in the same field to pray in thanksgiving
that Our Lady had made it possible to bring 2000
young people from every corner of the country to
spend five days in prayer before the Blessed
Sacrament and there had been great miracles during
those days. The beautiful thing is that the retreat
continues annually to this day. That is the power
of Our lady's intercession!

Over the last few weeks I have spoken to thousands
of young people in schools around the country and
I would ask for your continued prayers for this
ministry that the seeds that are planted may grow
in good soil in their hearts. Like for all of us is it
so easy for the worries and distractions of this world
to stop those seeds from growing and bearing fruit.

You and all your intentions are very much in my
prayers.

God bless you in his deep love
John Pridmore