Wishing you a very holy and blessed Easter.
Since the last update the good Jesus has
kept me very busy. Having given a mission
in Turf Lodge, Belfast which was like a
walk down memory lane for me. When I
first came to Ireland some 14 years ago I spent
a lot of time in West Belfast giving retreats
and talks in schools and parishes. The people
are very welcoming and open to the Spirit of
God. In this mission I met some good friends
and it was nice to see the openness again in
the people. Mother Teresa always said that
where there is great persecution there is great
I then travelled to El Paso in Texas to do a
number of talks in Churches and schools,
and also Juarez and Mexico city across the
border in Mexico. Juarez you might
remember was very much in the headlines
as being the murder capital of the world, with
an average of 10 people being murdered a day
for 4 years. In one of my talks a man came in
who whose face and head were completely
covered with tattoos (which is sign of being
a gang leader) at the end of my talk I went
over to the man and gave him a hug. He
started to weep and told me that he really
struggled in forgiving himself for what he
had done. It turned out that he was a warlord
in charge of a big gang in Juarez and had
changed his life round and was giving talks
in Churches and schools. The man had been
shot 9 times and had ordered the deaths of
many others. We spoke about the incredible
mercy of God and how he was a God who
loves to forgive! I felt in my heart that this
man was going to bring many souls to Jesus.
Juarez was a place of real poverty and yet
the people had a great joy and faith. Again
Mother Teresa's words came back to me,
"Where people are persecuted there is great
The person who arranged all these talks was
an old friend of mine called Laura who lives
in El Paso with her husband and 4 children.
It was a wonderful grace to be a part of their
family for 2 weeks. During this time I flew
to Mexico city and spoke in a school to 700
boys. It was such a blessing to be able to also
spend some time at Our Lady of Guadalupe's
shrine. Many years previously this was the
image in which I made the first consecration
of my life to Jesus through Mary, leading me
to be able to forgive myself and see myself
as God sees me without judgement or
condemnation, but mercy and understanding.
My next stop was St Patrick's church in Tampa,
Florida where I ran a mission for a week. This
was an amazing parish run by Franciscan
priests. It was such a blessing to see so many
lives touched by the grace of confession and
the Eucharistic healing service. I also had the
privilege of speaking to 500 young people in
St Petersburg, Florida. During this time of
mission there was a mother who was worried
about her 33 year old son who was not
interested in God or the Church. I told her to
go to Mass for 9 days consecutively and pray
a 9 day novena to St Teresa of Avila (Who
is a tough cookie) The mother emailed me to
say that on the 5th day her son had asked her
to take him to confession because he wanted
to change his life. Since then there have been
other miracles when people have prayed the
I then came back to Ireland to do a mission
in Bantry, West Cork for an old friend of
mine Fr Sean Crowley. It was a joy to see
Fr Sean as a priest. When I first came to
Ireland, his family were very kind to me and
in those days both Fr Sean and his brother
His brother became Brother Patrick of the
CFRs. We should always be open to what
God's will in our life is, as both these men
are a great witness in their vocations.
After this I went back across the Atlantic to
speak at the largest men's conference in
America. It is called Men of Christ and
is held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The
person who helps run this conference, Kevin
O'Brien has become a good friend of mine.
It was very uplifting for me as a man to
see and share our faith with nearly 3000
other men. During the conference I also gave
a talk to the future men, the 14 to 18 year
olds about what it is to put Christ first in
our lives and the response was overwhelming.
Following on from this I gave missions in
Liverpool and then Tonbridge as well as
talks in a London parish and various schools
around the UK. Again the faith was a joy
to see and experience. We have a God who
is not only full of mercy but full of miracles,
when we try to put him in first place in our
It gives me immense hope at this time of
Holy week, when our humble Christ
poured out his life for us, to see the
wonderful response of so many people in
so many countries who are willing to take
up that same cross and follow our Saviour
to Calvary and to reap the reward of his
During this time of Easter let us try to put
him in first place.
God bless you in his deep love
Thursday, February 19, 2015
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
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
Saturday, December 20, 2014
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
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.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
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.