Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Hello Everyone

I hope you are at peace.
As always the last few weeks have flown by, the mission in Sligo was a great blessing, the Cathedral being full every night and many people coming back to their faith. I heard of one man who went back to confession for the first time in 59 years. What joy he must have brought to Gods heart.

After the mission I had the chance to spend a few days at home and I took the opportunity to tile the bathroom, which I really enjoyed because it is always nice when you finish a job to look at the work you have done. I'm sure the Lord loves to look at us and even though we are not the finished article, we are his creation and he rejoices in us.

Next I went to speak in several schools across Ireland. After the first school I spoke in I received an email from a girl Who had been really suffering from loneliness and was feeling at rock bottom, she was also self harming. She felt that no one loved her. Thank God that after hearing my talk and speaking to her by email she is feeling a lot better and I know that God has great plans for her life, so please pray for her that she would truly know the deep love that Jesus has for her and how he loves to be with her.

I went to speak in Blackrock College in Dublin and was deeply impressed by the RE department, the Chaplain and the Principle who are instilling a profound sense of the faith and how each boy can make an incredible difference in this world. There was a great response to my talk from the boys and many of them took books. I have so much hope for the future when there are still schools like this who put God at the centre of all they do.

After the schools were finished I headed for Donegal for a short break. The hotel I had booked had changed the original dates and had given me my stay for a discount, otherwise I probably would have gone somewhere else. But as always God had his plan. While I was eating in the restaurant the first night I got talking to a married couple and I ended up sharing my story with them and I gave them a copy of my book "from Gangland to Promised Land". The next day I saw the man sitting in the Lobby reading my book, so I asked him what he thought of it. He answered me "To be honest John I have been very emotional while reading it" I could see tears in his eyes and he told me that he hadn't been to mass in a long time. It reminded me once again that there is no such thing as a holiday from God, he wants to use us to reach his beloved children wherever we are and whatever we are doing, and that is what I live for.

Also in Donegal I met up with two of the Priests of the local church and went out for a meal with them, what a joy to make new friendships in the Lord. I have found that the promise Jesus made when he said whatever we give up for him, he will give us a hundredfold in return, is totally true and what greater gift could he give us than friendship, firstly with himself and then with so many others that he puts in our paths.

Finally I met up with my old friend Fr Eamonn Kelly from Letterkenny and spent some time with him. His mother has 19 children and is still going strong. when I met her this time she was praying her Rosary by the fireside in her house. She looked so content and peaceful and that is the gift that God imparts to us when we place him in the centre of our lives.

Please know that you are in my heart and in my prayers.
God bless you in his deep love

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Hello Everyone

May the Lord fill you and all who you love with his peace.

At the end of the week of the mission in Wigan a man told me a beautiful story. He had been to confession for the first time in 40 years and he had a deep experience of Gods love. After the mission he went into his local pub and was talking to one of his friends and telling him his experience, he gave him a prayer card and went off to speak to someone else. Ten minutes later he returned, the man had read the prayer card and tears were running down his cheeks, he then said that he wanted to know how to join the Church. It was inspiring for me to hear how quickly this man had begun to spread the blessing he himself had received. God wants to use all of us to bring his light and love to others in all places.

I spent a few days in York, a place I've always loved and where I've often felt very close to God. I got speaking to a priest in one of the Parishes and he asked me if I would like to come and speak to a group of people who were joining the Church. It was a very blessed talk and afterwards a man came up to me and told me his story. A couple of years ago someone had given a copy of my book (Gangland to promised land) to his wife. At first she didn't read it and put it down somewhere in the house. A few months later she saw me on television (EWTN) telling my life story. Then she picked up the book to read it and was very moved by it. She gave it to her husband (who wasn't a Catholic) to read, and God really spoke to him through it. He decided to become a Catholic and was doing the RCIA course where I turned up to speak. Only God could have arranged this run of events, it's a source of great peace to know he is in control of every situation when we hand over our lives to him.

Next I headed to Amsterdam to speak at an event arranged for young people. At the hotel I was staying I met a man from Limerick in Ireland. I told him a bit of my story and what I did, then gave him a copy of my book. Afterwards he told me he told me he was inspired to hear of an Englishman who loved the Catholic faith and that he was going to take his faith more seriously from that moment on.

At the event for young people, I met a woman called Stephanie who had arranged for me to come and speak to the young people. She was on fire for God, and in a country (Holland) where there seems to be a lot of confusion in the Church, She showed me once again that anyone who truly gives their life over to God and spreads his love and truth will make an immense difference. I thank God for people like her because the harvest is rich but the labourers are few.
Mother Teresa said "If you give young people the truth they have the chance to choose the truth". I have always seen that people, young and old, are thirsty for the truth and recognise it when they hear it.

Just to say that you are all in my prayers and please pray for me because I will be doing a lot a talks in schools over the next couple of weeks.

God bless you all in his deep love