Saturday, May 13, 2017

I AM NOT FIT TO UNDO THE STRAP OF HIS SANDALS


I hope you are well. I am writing to thank you for your continued support and prayers for my work of evangelisation and to keep you informed of all the graces which area fruit of those prayers. Since last March I have run 25 parish missions in Scotland, England, Ireland, the United States and Australia and I have been able to travel to several other countries including Spain and Germany to speak at various conferences, retreats, schools and prisons.
After one of these missions in Peterborough the Parish priest told me that 8 new people joined the RCIA program and wanted to become Catholic. Here follows what he thought of the mission
“A month has passed since the mission here at All Souls. I would like to express my wholehearted gratitude for all the hard work during those days of grace. For five nights parishioners were pouring into the Church to listen to talks on the mystery of God’s love, God’s Mercy, God’s healing, God’s gift of Mary and the Holy Spirit. During those evenings they have found the closeness of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, listening to talks on the theme, with adoration, music and scripture readings. The students of our Catholic schools were visited and were so happy to listen to the uplifting and inspirational testimonies on God’s love and came to the church to listen to even more talks. Peterborough prison was also visited with more than 50 inmates inspired by John’s words of humility and sincerity. The people of my parish still talk about the mission and I can see some faces of those who have not been at Mass for a long time. I would recommend John Pridmore to any parish thinking of a mission”
Fr Adam Sowa, Parish Priest St Peter and All Souls Catholic Church, Peterborough
During the visit to Peterborough prison that Fr Adam mentioned, after I had finished speaking I felt inspired to give a copy of my life story to one particular prisoner (it was the only copy I had with me) A couple of days afterwards I was contacted by the Sister who works in the prison and she told me that the man who I had given the book to was in prison for life, he had already served 15 years and had no prospect of release. She visited his cell the day after my talk and she said he fell to his knees in front of her and told her he had read the book in one night and wanted to become a Catholic. This shows you the power of your prayers for our ministry that God can reach into the heart of even the most forgotten of his children and draw them back to him.
I think one of the most important aspects of our work is visiting schools and witnessing to the young people that God is very real and he loves them and can transform their lives. The following are some typical emails I have received recently from Irish schools
 “Hi John, I'm 16 years old and I attend a school you recently spoke at. I really wanted to thank you for the speech you gave, it was truly amazing and inspiring! Sorry if this sounds silly but it really did bring a tear to my eye! Your story made me rethink every wrong I've ever done and think about something positive I could've done instead in each situation. Being honest I've never really thought much about my religion, I don't attend church regularly and sometimes I take most of my privileges for granted... I can relate to how you felt as a child/teenager as I had a difficult time as a young child. Not for the exact same reasons as you but something similar and listening to your story made me realize I'm not alone and I'm not the only one going through a rough time and there is in fact someone at this very second going through something much worse than me and so I should be grateful for all I have! I've never usually turned to God or prayed much and I know I was baptized and confirmed a catholic but I would really like to get in touch with my religious side from now on so I've decided I'm going to attend at least one mass every weekend! I really would like to thank you for this, you never really know how much someone's background story could change a person so quickly!”
 “Hey John, I just wanted to send an email to say thank you. I'm a Catholic myself but I was never brought up to go to mass or pray to God, I was baptized and made my communion but I never had any faith or belief. For years now I've been trying to decide whether I want to continue being Catholic or become atheist and I decided I would become atheist in my own mind. I had never felt or seen any presence of God and Jesus, I never felt special or particularly wanted so I never had faith. When you arrived in our school and we were told what you were here for I instantly turned to my friend and said "Oh here we go, listen to this nonsense for a whole class now". I was soon to find out how that all changed, I realized how powerful and motivating your speech was. This made me think that maybe I didn't give God a chance to show me that he is there with me, maybe he mightn't show me but I know now that he is always there watching and loving whether he shows you or not, and just because you don't feel loved and not special, that doesn't mean you aren't loved less by God and that he will always accept you for who you are whether you made good or bad decisions in life. You've made me notice that God is always there to listen, he will never judge you, laugh at you or tell you that you're useless or too emotional, he will simply listen to you and show you the way to a better life as he did so to you. My grandfather is very religious, He attends mass every Saturday and Sunday, I have asked to join him every Sunday to attend Mass. I'm inspired by you to build a better relationship with God, let him know that I am willing to allow him into my life as I shut him out before. I want to ask him for forgiveness as I didn't give him the chance to help me in my life. I refused to say prayers and I didn't even participate in the prayer you said but the second you were finished speaking, I promised myself that I would go home and make a bigger effort, go to Mass and pray, to go and make up for my mistakes through prayer. Although God doesn't mind, I feel like I owe him an apology” 
I have always believed that the more we give the more we receive. It is a complete privilege and honour that I do not deserve to speak on behalf of Jesus, but it is all Jesus, as he is the source, the beginning and end, the alpha and the omega. I meet many people who become social workers rather than ministers of God’s grace because they forget that it is Jesus who they serve and care more about what people think than what God wants. The way we never forget is through daily prayer, regular confession, receiving the Eucharist as often as possible and never letting go of Our Lady’s hand which is the rosary that keeps us connected to Christ. As St John the Baptist said “I am not fit to undo the strap of his sandals” I thank God every day for bringing me to his world of light and giving me the grace to try and serve him each day.
Please pray that I do not get in the way of what Jesus wants me to do.
God bless you in his deep love
John Pridmore      Parish Mission | Catholic Speaker

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

THOSE WHO ARE FORGIVEN MUCH WILL LOVE MUCH

Hello everyone

As we journey towards Easter during this time
of Lent, having given missions and talks in
Manchester, Greenock, Glasgow, Spain,
Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Ashbourne. I have
been reflecting on how much God gives us
through his friendship, forgiveness and
personal understanding of us. When I was
in Spain during a close examination of
my conscience I understood that Jesus
knows every part of me, my desires, my
aspirations, fears, longings, brokeness and
he had a total acceptance and deep, deep love
which was overwhelming (like the joy a
father has at their new born baby) This
helped me to understand how close God
was to me.

In the second world war, there was a
poster which said "Ask not what your
country can do for you, but ask what
you can do for your country" When we
see what God has done for us, What is
our response? As Jesus said of St Mary
Magdalene "Those who are forgiven
much will love much" and is our
response bringing a joy to God's heart.
Sometimes we think that what matters
to God is loving others but what I feel
God also wants, is for us to love and accept
ourselves. Many people seem to feel
that they fail in loving their neighbour
as they should, but they do not seem
to notice that they fail to love
themselves. I believe this all starts with
ourselves.

Some years ago I met a girl who had
terrible scars on her neck and lower
face from being burnt. She used to
cover half her face with a scarf. After
going to Lourdes she never covered
her face again. She was able to accept
herself. She felt that by letting people
see her face it would remind them of
how beautiful we are to God and how
he sees us completely, inside and out.

When I was at Mass the Gospel spoke
to me very powerfully when Jesus
said "I am the resurrection and the life"
I think that each day and each moment
of the day is Jesus bringing us life
through that same resurrection and this
is our joy, our fulfilment, our hope and
our reality, moment by moment. A
little glimpse of heaven on earth. When
we give a free response to his love and
a total abandonment to his will for us
we will receive more happiness and
joy that we deserve or could ever
understand.

As we prepare ourselves for Holy Week
and the passion which brings us to that
resurrection, maybe we need to take
some quiet time out of our busy lives
and honestly look at our response to
God's all giving, all consuming
unconditional love for us.

Please pray for my up and coming talks
and missions in London, Ireland, Croatia,
Wales and Germany. May each and every
one of you have a blessed Easter.

God bless you in his deep love
John Pridmore

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

SET MY CAPTIVES FREE

Hello Everyone

When we look at our world today there seems
many people both young and old who are
completely taken over by the culture of
death, the lies and deceits of the world and
what it offers. Over the last few weeks I
have spoken in many schools in England,
Wales and Scotland, hopefully giving the
young people the truth of Christ.

One priest said to me after one of my talks
in a school "The devil is outragous with
his lies and you destroy his lies with God's
truth" I am always amazed at some of the
incredible teachers who I meet in these
schools that are constantly battling against
the wave of unbelief and bringing many
wonderful seeds to these young people,
with sometimes very little support or
help.

I always feel it is an immense privilege
to be able to share the incredible goodness
and mercy of God through my own story
and to let each young person know of
how important they are to God and this
world, the gifts and talents they can bring
and the miracles they can work when they
open their hearts to what Jesus is calling
them to be. In response to the thousands
of young people I have spoken to over
the last few weeks I received hundreds
of emails which show not only an
openness but a hunger for Christ's truth.

We should never belittle our belief and
hope in the miracles that God can work
through us, but we must have the courage
to say Enough! of this tidal wave of
darkness and know where this tidal wave
comes from. It is not individuals or
organisations but a diabolical plan to take
away peoples innocence and leave them
bereft of the spirit of joy, happiness and
peace which God wants everyone of us
to have as our right in being his children,
loved and begotten by him.

I feel the key to us combatting the
culture of death is to have humility to
say sorry to God when we fall down in
confession and to speak him in honesty
from our heart every moment of every
day, to allow him to run our lives fully
and completely, not holding anything
back. We should not withold anything from
God because he witholds nothing from us,
even laying down his life.

In my own journey the greatest freedom and
peace I have come across is knowing that
there is no part of me that I have to keep
secret from God. The good, the bad and
the indifferent is already known to my
friend Jesus who knows and accepts every
part of me. When Jesus is for us who can
be against us. I pray that each one of us
has the courage to proclaim Enough!
and destroy all the strongholds of a
world consumed by hopelessness.

At one of the schools I went in, there was
a young man of 15 being told off by two
teachers. After my talk I felt inspired by
the Holy Spirit to give him a copy of my
life story and I said to him "Never give
up on yourself as Jesus will never give up
on you" and he burst into tears. Part of
the devils lie is that we have to be good
to know God, but the truth says the exact
opposite, it's in our weakness that his
power is made perfect. I thank God every
day for being so weak.

At the moment I am giving parish missions
in Manchester, Greenock and Glasgow
before giving talks in Spain and Ireland so
your prayers are as always very appreciated.

God bless you in his deep love
John Pridmore




Wednesday, December 7, 2016

WHEN I WAS IN PRISON DID YOU VISIT ME?

Since my last update I have given six parish missions
and a number of talks in schools, conferences and
prisons in Ireland, England, Scotland and the USA.

When I speak in a prison it is a harsh reminder of
how my freedom was taken away from me in my 
younger days during my three prison sentences.
However, on my travels I meet quite a few people
who are just as imprisoned in a spiritual way. 
These can be through fear, worry, anxiety, addiction,
being judgemental, being controlling and unforgiveness 
to mention just a few.

In my case I had a release date knowing that my 
freedom would be reestablished when I walked out,
but some of the people that I come across do not 
have any release date and have battled with these
prisons for years. I am always reminded of the 
story where fear, anxiety, hopelessness and misery
knocked at the door, but faith answered, and there was
no one there. We should always remember that 
God’s plan for us is freedom from all these shackles.
The more we know the goodness of God’s mercy,
providence and love we see that the prisons are
just illusions that we are free to walk away from
any time we choose. Sometimes we can be 
powerless to do this, but we never feel there 
is no hope. In the famous poem footprints Jesus
carried the man in the greatest trials of his life.

I remember when I was addicted to gambling and
I brought this up in confession and the priest said
you are not culpable for your addiction but you are
responsible to get help for your addiction. In my 
own case by allowing God’s love into the part my
heart where the addiction manifested itself I was 
healed of that addiction. This was not overnight
but a constant desire in prayer to be set free. 
The twelve step program AA, GA and NA is a
wonderful way to allow God’s light to penetrate 
these areas. These same twelve steps can be a
blessing in many aspects of our lives.

One of the books that spoke to me deeply about
trusting God’s goodness was “The Shack”. There
is a fictitious encounter where Jesus tries to teach
a man how to walk on water. The man does not 
believe that he can do this, but Jesus reassures 
him that by trusting the past to his mercy, the future
to his providence and living the now immersed in
his love we can be free!

On my visit to a prison in England I had only one
book with me to show the fifty prisoners. I felt
inspired by the Holy Spirit after my talk to give 
the book to one prisoner. It turned out he had
spent fifteen years in prison with no release date
coming up any time soon. That night he read my
book “From Gangland to Promised Land”. The 
next morning he asked to become a Catholic and 
has started his instruction. I feel sometimes even if 
we are physically in prison we can be spiritually set 
free. As we journey through these days of advent 
we should open our hearts in real honesty and 
sincerity to our humble God who comes to us as a 
vulnerable helpless baby, saying to us, Do not be 
afraid, Emmanuel, God is with you in every struggle 
and the victory is His.

May you have a blessed and wonderful Christmas
and an abundance of God’s grace in the new year.

This coming January I will be speaking to several 
thousand young people in schools so please keep 
this in your prayers.

God bless you in his deep love 

John Pridmore

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

WOUNDS FROM OUR PAST


After coming back from Australia I returned
to Ireland and had the joy of my mum
staying with me for a week. For the last 3
years my mum has been completely free
from any depression and it is a blessing to 
see her so happy and full of life. I thank God 
for my mum as it was her prayers that 
really changed me and brought me to 
my conversion.

My mum struggled with depression since
I was ten (for over forty years) Three years
ago she went on a retreat which was about
healing memories and wounds of the past.
Through one of these memories being 
healed the result was that she hasn’t been
depressed since, which is a complete
miracle.

After some time of rest I ran a healing retreat
in Ards friary, Donegal for past wounds. It was
an amazing blessed weekend with many people
saying it changed their lives, and in some 
peoples cases you could see the physical 
change in them because of the spiritual 
healings they received.

I often feel that God wants us to be healed and
free to enjoy all the blessings he wants to give 
us, but as the famous phrase says “grace works
on nature” and sometimes we have to invite God
into the areas of our past where we have been
wounded and hurt, I remember in my own 
life after some time of being with God I realised I
was still addicted to gambling and even though
I had made a promise to God that with his grace
I wouldn’t gamble. I still struggled every day to 
keep this promise. I was in Arizona giving some talks 
when I got a whisper in my head to go to Las
Vegas. Because I thought I had been healed
from my addiction I went to Las Vegas and 
ended up gambling again and losing a couple
of hundred dollars. There is a big difference
between surpressing our compulsions and darkness
than to allowing Gods light and love to heal us.
On this same trip to Las Vegas I went into a
Church feeling sorrowful and ashamed and
allowed God’s love to touch my heart in that
area where the addiction was manifest. Maybe
this wound was created by low self esteem or
low self worth as I feel it was God telling me 
in prayer that he loved every part of me that 
transformed and healed my heart. From that
day to this, I have never had the desire to
gamble.

Probably most of us have parts of our lives which
we’d like to change but cannot seem to.
Firstly we need to ask God where the root of
these problems are and this may take some
time in prayer to get the answers. Then we 
need to invite God into that memory and to
heal it and not be ashamed of it. St Teresa of
Avila speaks in her book “The Interior Castle”
about allowing God’s love to transform all the 
rooms of our heart. I believe the freedom that
God wants us to enjoy in our everyday lives
depends on the effort we put into this process.
It is not enough to ask God to heal us, we have
to be willing to work with him to pinpoint the
wounds and with his help transforms those
wounds into scars (The Sacrament of confession 
can be a great grace in this) The thing that stops 
us from allowing God’s light and love into those 
rooms are fear and shame. But as God is all seeing 
and all knowing what are we ashamed of or
afraid of. Often when I’m praying with people 
I get a picture of them looking at a reflection
of themselves and throwing stones at the relection.
And Jesus takes the stones from their hands and
say “Behold my beautiful daughter, behold my 
beautiful son”

Since the healing weekend I have given parish
missions in Limerick and Bandon. Also I travelled
to Phoenix USA, where I spoke at a parish, a university
and a conference. I thank God every day for the
privilege it is to try and serve him and I pray that 
each one of us might begin to see ourselves and
accept ourselves and love ourselves as Jesus
does.

Please keep my work in your prayers as I will be
giving parish missions in Ireland, England and
Scotland and travelling to France and Florida to
give talks and conferences.

God bless you in his deep love
John Pridmore