I went to Medugorje the following year and I can honestly say the experience turned my life upsidown. I always knew about Our Lady growing up but in Medugorje I came to know how much she loves me and is a Mother to me despite my weakness and sinfulness. When I came home from Medugorje I saw life with new eyes. I couldn’t stop smiling. It wasn’t an instant conversion, but in Medugorje I was given a glimpse of Gods love for me and I wasn’t going to let it go.
In 2007 my adopted father died tragically. There are no words to describe the sadness of a death like this. It is like an atomic bomb went off in our lives; what once looked normal was just torn apart. This time was difficult beyond words for my Mam and me. It was in this time that I came to really know Jesus. Like the psalm says ‘out of the depths I cry to You, oh Lord, hear my voice’ and He did. I can honestly say that in the brokenness and sorrow of that dark time Jesus was so present, and He carried me through it. The scars of this experience of loss are still with me to this day and I’m glad they are because through these scars I can empathise with others who are suffering. These scars also serve as a reminder of how I experienced Gods love in my brokenness.
Shortly after this I became involved with groups like youth 2000 and I came to learn more about the Catholic Faith. I fell in love with the truths of the Catholic faith and I just wanted to learn more and more. The more I learned about the faith, the more the teachings of the Church really made sense and seemed to be so life giving, especially the Eucharist. It was also great to meet people my own age that I could talk to about God and feel completely comfortable. It was around this time that I started to think about the Priesthood. I remember seeing the different Priests at Youth 2000 and things and just seeing how much they loved their Priesthood was inspiring. I was staring to feel a call from within.
It took me a long time to actually pluck up the courage to do something about this call I was feeling. I was like the rich young man in the Gospel. I wanted to follow Jesus but didn’t want to let go of my life. I took the first step by going on a some vocation weekends in different places. In early 2009 I went on a vocations weekend to the Pallottine Fathers in Thurles. I had been to the Pallottines in Thurles many times before but this time I felt a great peace and I knew within myself that this was where the Lord was calling me.