Friday, August 28, 2015

A SUMMER OF GOD FIRST


I hope you are well and at peace,


Over the last few months I have visited
many countries including Germany,
Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Russia,
Belgium, Scotland, England and the
Czech Republic.

When we try to put God first he seems to 
be able to bless our life so much more. 
In the first years of being converted I felt 
that to show God that I loved him I 
needed to pray and go to Mass, as if I 
was doing God a favour. Now I 
understand the more time I can give God, 
the more he can bless my life. God has a 
wonderful plan for us, but can only show 
us this plan if we put him firmly first in our 
lives.

Over the Summer I had the blessing to 
speak to Priests and religious in Waterford, 
at the Little sisters of the poor. This was a 
real Grace for me because when I first 
came to Ireland, I had no house or place 
to stay and the Little sisters put me up 
many times, fed me and looked after me. 
At the talk there were about 200 people, 
it was to celebrate the gift of religious life. 
Again people who have tried to put God 
first in there lives, and have the wonderful 
Joy that goes with it.

 I also had the pleasure of spending time 
in Russia,Prague and Estonia, it is a 
wonderful gift to see the openness now
to faith, when for so many years the 
people and church was so persecuted. 
There is a real hunger in the people for 
the truth of the Catholic Church and its 
teachings. The pain in the older people is 
still there and the stories I heard of some 
of the struggles under the communists 
were quite remarkable. When a country 
turns away from God it turns away from 
love, mercy, openness and goodness.

I traveled over to Scotland and England 
visiting the Cenacolo  community and the 
Shrine to our Lady of Walsingham. The 
Cenacolo community was started for men 
struggling with addictions, I shared my 
story and one of the men asked me how I 
stopped hating myself. I said I started 
seeing myself as God sees me without 
Judgment, anger or condemnation, but 
with mercy, love and understanding.
When I wrote my first book my mum 
would not read the part of the book 
where I was so bad as a gangster in 
London, she did not mind reading the 
other parts where I tried to be good and 
had found God. Then she told me she 
had read the bad bits.  When I asked 
what she thought, she started crying and 
said, I thought my poor wounded little boy, 
she did not see me as a monster only a 
hurt little boy making so many bad choices.
And I knew this was a slight reflection of 
how God sees us, with an amazing mercy, 
love, and understanding, as his beautiful 
little boy or girl who have been hurt by 
our sins and other peoples sins and 
needing him to hold us and heal us in his 
forgiveness and love. At the Shrine to our 
Blessed Mother I was able to spend some 
time in prayer and meet good friends.

My last trip was to Munich to give some 
talks at a youth prayer festival, it was very 
blessed with hundred of people going to 
confession, many inner healings of 
forgiveness and self worth. My high point 
was a 22 year old homeless guy who had 
heard me on the radio and came as his 
story was like mine, we met and spent time 
chatting and he made his first confession 
and just cried and cried because he felt 
so loved by God, when I left he stayed on 
to help, and you could see God was going 
to look after him as he had chosen to try 
and put God first in his life.

Please pray for me as I have visits to England,
Los Angeles, Washington and Toronto in the
next few weeks.

You are very much in my heart and prayers,
God bless you in his deep love
John Pridmore


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

OUR HOPE IS IN JESUS CHRIST

Hello everyone

I hope you have had a very blessed and Holy
eastertide! I had a restful time over easter
in Ireland and it was nice to spend 10 days
in our community house. When I reflect
back to when I arrived in Ireland 14 years
ago with a few clothes, a secondhand car
which was given to me and 60 pounds in my
pocket, it has been amazing how God has
provided everything I've needed to do
his most holy will. I have never gone
without a bed or missed a meal (as my
waistline will attest to) When Jesus says
"Do not worry about what you are to eat, or
what you are to wear" it is as true today
as it was 2000 years ago.

After easter I travelled to Birmingham
to speak at a number of schools. It was a
great grace to see Christ being resurrected
in so many young people and their teachers.
One of my greatest joys is to speak in
secondary schools and to bring hope into
young peoples lives about how much God
loves them and how important they are to
him. After speaking in 4 schools to over
1000 young people the emails and feedback
were humbling and is always a reminder
of how God's light shines through our very
brokeness and in our weaknesses God's
strength is made perfect.

One of my friends once said to me, "I am praying
for you to be like St Juan Diego" who by simply
sharing his story converted 10 million
Mexicans. When we share our testimony, we
share God's miracles and he able to create
many more.

When I got back from Birmingham to Ireland
we gave a mission in Mayfield in Cork city.
One of the things that touched me from this
mission was the amount of young people who
came from the school to the amazement of the
some of the parishioners. One parishioner
commented on the radio "You must come to
this mission it was full of skinheads, punks
and young people of every background that
you wouldn't expect to see in a church".

I then travelled to Beaumont in North
Dublin. This is a city parish and the
people are amazingly friendly with a great
love and openness for God. The mission
was very blessed in so many ways and
some of the people came up and told me
how through the mission they felt Jesus
was walking with them even in the pain
of their lives.

When we are going through a tough time
or feel we are failures, it is then that God's
grace is the most powerful. In the worlds
eyes the crucifixion of Jesus was a total
failure but this victory was God conquering
death. Some people in Ireland and the
world feel the recent referendum to open
marriage to homosexual couples was a
failure, but I believe God will use this to
wake up the Irish people into seeing that
God's law cannot be changed. He will also
bring about an overwhelming grace to the
wonderful Holy Sacrament of true marriage
between a man and a woman. As my old
spiritual director Fr Andrew Apostolli from
the CFRs once said to me "If a million people
say this is right, but in God's law it is wrong,
it is still wrong" Our hope as always is in
Jesus Christ.

Having given another mission in Belturbet,
Co Cavan, and speaking at the secondary
school I flew to Newcastle where I gave a
number of talks in schools parishes and a
doctors conference. At this event it was very
inspiring to meet so many doctors and nurses
who stand up for the teachings of the Catholic
Church and will not compromise these ethics
in all that they do in their chosen professions.

In all the parish based missions, schools
and other talks I give I find that there is
an ocean of grace available if I spend
enough time in prayer. More and more I
understand that when we want God
to create miracles then we have to give him
permission and this comes through prayer
and sacrifice.

As Mother Teresa 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"

Please keep me in your prayers over the coming
months as I will be travelling to Denmark, Russia,
Belgium, England, Germany, USA and Canada.

You are very much in my prayers

God bless you in his deep love
John Pridmore

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

PUTTING JESUS IN FIRST PLACE

Hello Everyone


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
faith.


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
faith".


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
same novena.


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
were farmers.


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
lives.


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
resurrection.


During this time of Easter let us try to put
him in first place.


God bless you in his deep love
John Pridmore

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