In ’86 I was going through a lot of hard times. I prayed to Mary. I’d be in such trouble, I didn’t understand God, I didn’t understand anything, and I’d be saying the Hail Mary because I was suffering. You’re a brand new teenager and everything hurts. You don’t understand everything. 

My mom brought a catechism book to me, and I read that. Right then, I said, “God, whatever You ask me in catechism I will do. I swear I will do it.” Of course, it’s impossible. I was going after God. It was very important, and I was going to do whatever it took to stay with Him through this journey of life. 

Then all the things that I was learning in my catechism would contradict with what my parents were doing. I know this is weird, but things like walking across a crosswalk and you’re supposed to wait for the light, but nobody waited, and I wanted to wait! It was stuff like that. That was a law! I wanted to keep it. 

Then 1988 is when I first saw about Medjugorje, and I had to be here. I learned about Lourdes first. Then Fatima fell into place with the movie and I learned about that and read about that. I went to a grotto near my home and there was a book and a tape on Medjugorje, and I’d never heard of it before. I read that book with my mom. We’d read it every night together. I was going through a lot of suffering, and she knew that so we read it every night. 

There was a video out from BBC. I watched that and I couldn’t watch it enough. I kept watching it. Every time I would get lost, like at work and stuff, I’d turn it on because I wanted to be a part of Medjugorje. 

In ’88 in June, the week before the anniversary, I came with a group of pilgrims from all over the United States.

I didn’t understand pilgrimages. I was a newborn Catholic in my faith. Everything I saw, everything I took in, was just like Heaven. It was so incredible that I was here. 

I remember the power of God here. I remember the power of Our Lady. We went up on Apparition Hill that night. They were going to have a vision. It was almost like Satan was there too because we were walking up there and felt this force. I still remember a cab driver backed up right into another car. It was like, “What’s going on?” He was having his apparition so it was very quiet. It was a fight. But it was incredible.

It’s all beautiful. I love it. That’s why I’m here. I love it. This is home to me, a second home. I can’t get enough of it.

Every time I’m here, I have certain intentions I’ve been praying for 40 years, ever since I started this. In my room before I came here, I said, “God, I offer You this journey to the top of Cross Mountain. When I touch it, I have made it. I offer this as a respect for You. I ask for these certain prayers.” I’ve been here many times, and my prayers still aren’t answered, but I keep going on. It’ll never end because I won’t let it go.

Like the apostles said, “Where else are we going to go?” There’s nowhere else to go! It’s in the Bible. Everyone was leaving. 

“So Jesus asked the twelve, ‘Do you also wish to go away?’ Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life.’”

John 6:67-68

Because he said about the body and blood, and they didn’t understand. They were like, “We don’t want to eat your body and drink your blood!” And they left Him. I think that’s why Christians have left the Church. They don’t have that Body and Blood as a sacrament. They don’t understand it.

Now we have a new outlook. It’s not as weird as we thought. It’s actually grace.

I have prayers that I come over with, and this is the best place for me to give them because it’s happening right now. It’s not Fatima. It’s not Lourdes. 

My bosses know I’m here, the people at my grocery store all know I’m here.  Like father said, “Don’t try to tell people about this place. Just let them see your good example. Let them ask.” That’s good advice.