Dear Prayer Group,
I am Therese Joy, and a new member of this wonderful family of prayer. Our Lady led me to this group, and I am grateful to her for all she has done for me.
I have just returned from the journey of a lifetime. I was at Padre Jozo's Holy Family Institute for 5 days attending a retreat led by him. The blessings and graces were abundant!! After the retreat, I was in Medjugorje for 5 more days and this was my first time there. It was the trip of my life! I went alone and during the retreat Padre Jozo instructed me to share my story with my prayer groups back home.
That is each one of you!!
You all were in my heart as I experienced a tremendous deepening of my spiritual life and relationship with God. It is my responsibility to bring to your hearts the grace I feel.
I pray the Holy Spirit touches each of you in a special way as you join me on this incredible journey.
Let me share just a tiny bit of me with you. I have a wonderful husband and four gifts from God in each of my children. Their ages are 15, 14, 10, and 8.
The first week in May we will celebrate a first Holy Communion, a 16th birthday, and Confirmation!! May the Holy Spirit sustain us!! I am a registered nurse, and work in the childbirth center at a hospital in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, my hometown. I am a labor and delivery RN.
I consider it a gift from God to be present at the miracle of life!
I had been planning this journey to Medjugorje about a year. Two years ago I attended the National Medjugorje Conference at the University of Notre Dame, in South Bend, Indiana. It was my first time to attend a Marian conference. I did not know who was on the agenda until I got there. Only my eldest daughter and I went. Being 14 years old, I needed to be with her alone, and this was a great opportunity to grow spiritually with her.
The leader of the weekend was Padre Jozo. I did not know much about him. I'll bet you all know more than I did at that time!
I was so impressed with his tremendous humility. I felt that he possessed every virtue that Jesus must have emanated as He walked this earth. Humility, patience, mercy, forgiveness, love, sincerity of heart. All this was Padre Jozo.
The first time I was about 6 feet away from him, I could only stand there and cry, tears streaming down my face just to be near him. He had a tremendous effect on me. I felt I would never have to go to Medjugorje as he had brought the essence of that holy place to me.
After the conference I went home and felt a deep awakening within. I feel conversion of heart was beginning. We shared with the family our experience and decided that the next year, 2000, all 6 of us would attend. And we did!
At the conference my husband decided we would go to Medjugorje as a family and began planning. I still felt in my heart that I did not need to go, that Padre Jozo had brought it to me, but I was beginning to get excited about seeing him again!
(End of Part 1)