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 
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