Saturday, January 15, 2011



Hello Everyone

I hope you are well and at peace.

As the new year approached it was a
relief when the snow and ice eventually
melted in Ireland. I travelled over to
London to speak at the youth 2000 new year
retreat about the the grace of confession,
which is always a joy for me because it was
through this Sacrament that God transformed
my life. One of the leaders emailed me to let
me know that at the end of the retreat many
of the testimonies of the young people told of
how God had removed from them tremendous burdens
through an honest and genuine confession.

Next I travelled to Rome to share my story with
about 500 young people from all over Italy. I was
told that some of them were from areas such as
Naples and Sicily where there is a lot of pressure
to become involved in the criminal underworld. They
really responded to the message and many of them came
up to me to thank me afterwards. Also I spoke to them
of Mary's meals which I am involved with, which feeds
over 470,000 children in schools in some of the worlds
poorest countries. Translating for me was Augusto who
has translated my life story "From Gangland to Promised
Land" into Italian and it will be published this year.
I never cease to be amazed that the book is now available
in French, German, Italian and even Hungarian. I can
honestly say I never expected that to happen when I started
to write the book over ten years ago. Only God could do
that! When I was at school I had been told I was stupid and
would never amount to anything, actually I was dyslexic
but in those days they didn't know what that was. So it
just proves to me that God doesn't choose the qualified, he
qualifies the chosen.

One of the highlights of my trip to Rome was praying at
the tomb of Pope John Paul II in St Peters Basilica, this
incredible man who gave his whole life for Christ and
burned like a torch for God until he had nothing left to
give. I felt his presence as I prayed there and was deeped
moved to hear just yesterday that he will be Beatified in
May this year. What a witness to future generations he will be!

I am back in England now and halfway through a tour
speaking to over 7,000 young people in schools and prisons
around the country. The suffering that we come across is
heartbreaking. At one school a teacher asked me to
speak with one of the students, who told me that he had
got into serious trouble with the police and he deeply
regretted what had happened. His court case was looming
over him and he was facing the very real possibility of
a prison sentence, he asked me to pray over him because
he felt so afraid he couldn't even sleep. As soon as I
began to pray God's love touched him in a very powerful
way and he was amazed by what had happened and just how
much God cared about him, he knew that no matter what the
future held that God was in control of his life and was
more powerful that any foes he may come across even in

At another talk I was doing I met a young lad who was
covered in eczema and as you can imagine it made him
itch continuously, but you should have seen the joy in
this lad and the courage he faced this difficulty with. I
prayed with him and asked God to contiue to give him the
strength to be such a witness in adversity. But in truth
it was me who was blessed by meeting him.

At one place I stopped at a cafe to get some breakfast
(a full fry up of course!) but in the cafe there was
a young girl in a wheelchair who looked liked she was
suffering from something like leprosy all over her face.
Every time I looked at her she beamed a lovely smile
at me that melted my heart. I went over and gave her a
miraculous medal as a token of Our Lady's love for her
and she was just full of joy and thankfulness and in my
opinion full of God. Now she was a truly beautiful soul.

I met up with the fantastic Ladies who put together the
Rosary packs that we give out to the Kids. These women
give tirelessly of their time and finances because of
their love for God and the young people. They never seem
to think of themselves and yet I know that among them
they have suffered such difficulties as depression, Illness
and painful problems in family situations. I have never
known them to complain and I have to say that these people
are the hidden Saints in our Church. Please keep them in
your prayers that God will give them the strength to
continue their wonderful ministry.

Through all these witnesses that God has put in my path it
reminded me of the words of Jesus "In the world you might
have trouble, but do not be afraid because I have overcome
the world".

You are very much in my heart and prayers, please keep the
rest of this tour and all the young people I'll be meeting
in yours.

God bless you in his deep love
John Pridmore.