I was 23 years old when I first came to Medjugorje. I had gone to Catholic school, and I was raised in a Catholic family, but I was lukewarm.

In 1988, there were no buildings. It was dirt around the church, and I thought, “How is anybody ever going to know about this? It’s out in the middle of nowhere! And why is this church so big?” And of course, back then there was no internet so I didn’t know how everyone was going to know about this.

I went to the church. Everybody said, “You should go to confession,” so I went into the confessional. I was in a state of mortal sin, but I didn’t know it or believe it. I went in and the priest informed me that I was in a state of mortal sin, and I told him I thought he was an old fuddy-duddy and didn’t know the modern world. He said, “Well, I can’t absolve you.”

I said, “That’s okay. I didn’t need your absolution.”

He said, “Do you believe Our Blessed Mother is appearing here?”

I said, “Yes. I’ve read all the books that are out. I believe it, but I’m going to see for myself.”

He said, “Why don’t you also ask Our Lady to straighten out this conflict you and I have? One of us is correct. Pray to Our Lady. She will straighten us out.”

He was a kind guy because I was not very kind. I was kind of rude to him actually.

Then I went and started praying to Our Lady. I said, “I believe you’re here.” 

Then I went to church, and this woman that was there with us had a demonic deliverance. All of a sudden, I was aware of the evil one in a very powerful way. It was really frightening to me that this could happen to somebody, and then I started wondering, “Is this going to happen to me?” I was afraid and praying about that.

I supposed the demon was expelled from this woman, but it took some time. I bunked with her too, so I didn’t get to sleep very much. She was a very normal, nice woman so the fact that this happened to her was so confusing to me. 

That scared me to death. For days I didn’t eat very much and I was lost on how this could happen to a person. I was also becoming aware that the evil one was real and maybe hell was real. 

From there, I went back to confession. I stood in line in the rain. By the time I got up an hour later, the priest didn’t speak English so I had to go to the next line over. Then I one through that whole line, I opened the door, and it was the same priest that I was rude to. 

It was a totally different confession. I said, “I’m so sorry I was so rude.” We had a good confession. I realized I was in a state of mortal sin.

Then I had a beautiful time here. We visited with the visionaries. I encountered Fr. Slavko in a very personal way. In ten days, Fr. Slavko taught me my faith. This was just him speaking to the young groups. I learned so much, most importantly, I came to the realization that Christ was in the Eucharist which I didn’t fully understand or really know. 

They said Adoration was after Mass so I went to Adoration not knowing what it was. I was kneeling in a packed church. I was like, “This is beautiful.”

He was talking to the monstrance. I thought to myself, “He’s talking as if the man is truly here,” and then it occurred to me that Jesus was there. Everything dawned on me about the Eucharist. That was life-changing, that Jesus was truly in the Eucharist. 

And confession. When you have a good confession, and you walk out of there freed, now the journey begins because now you have to change. That’s what happened to me. Going home, the need to change began.

I came here in April.

I have really bad feet so I decided to go up Križevac [Cross Mountain] by myself. When I was young, I went up in my bare feet and it was easy. I was young and fit. The mistake I made was I didn’t realize you were supposed to take your shoes with you. 

So here I am, now 57, and I thought, “Our Lady, I’ve done everything I feel like I can do for my kids. I don’t know what more I can do, but I’m going to go up with my shoes off.” I took my shoes off and I carried them because I wanted to come down with them. 

I got diverted. There was a spot where I thought it was easier on my bare feet. I started walking and it seemed light, and that led me to what was like walking on a field of Tonka toys. Every step hurt. 

From there, Our Lady led me off the main path. I was on my hands and feet. There were thorns. Every step I was getting thorns in my feet and thorns in my hands. It was for my children’s conversion. I said, “Our Lady, please figure out a way to start their conversion. Even if you just plant the same seed you planted in my heart, I will be so grateful.”

I got home and I had a check in the mail for enough money to get all of us here. It was a refund from an overpayment or something. I knew that was the only opportunity we may have to have them all together at the same time. We booked our tickets.

It’s truly the happiest time of my life right now because I believe they’re going to be saved. Our Lady has planted a seed of conversion in their hearts. Now it’s up to them. They’re adults, with the exception of Luke. Our Lady has given them the same seed She gave to me, and now it’s up to them. They have the same choice. 

They immediately felt things. I know each one of them has had a beautiful experience in just a week. 

Now I can go home and continue to pray for them because I know Our Lady has started it. 

They all had beautiful confessions. To see your children go to confession and come out of there with tears in their eyes, I just can’t explain it. I’m so thankful. For them to experience God’s love and His mercy. I can’t even explain it.