Michael Thomas, Medjugorje Pilgrim

I think all of us, in a way, are called by Our Lady, so I felt sort of called to come. But I think also it’s for renewal. I just discerned out of the Society of Jesus [the Jesuit Order] and it’s an emotional thing doing that because you kind of question do I have a vocation?

And so I sort of just needed to recharge my batteries. And I’ve used the time as a Lenten retreat to grow closer to God. I spent time getting to know Him, letting the love grow between us, and then I feel like from that I’ll be able to make a decision to continue applying to the diocese. …The Lord can speak to you through your experience here but then also through other people, through sermons and homilies, and just random people coming up to you.

And it’s like, “Wow, that’s exactly what I needed to hear.”I remember Archbishop Hoser was talking about how when you enter into Medjugorje, it’s sort of like entering into a spiritual dimension.

And it’s really true. There’s such special grace here. It really touches your heart. He said it the best, you enter into the spiritual dimension, it sort of transforms you and renews you and gives you insight into God’s plan for you.

It’s a really special place, but it can be emotionally exhausting too. Because so many powerful things hit you at once. 

Michael Thomas

The confessions have been the most amazing experiences. The priests that are drawn here. I don’t know if it’s a situation where priests come here and they receive special graces, and so they just say amazing things. Or if it’s maybe just incredible priests are drawn here. Maybe it’s a combination of both

Annunciation Day was an especially powerful day for me. On the evening of the Solemnity of the Annunciation in St. James Church, during Adoration, the meditation reflecting on the Annunciation was, “Do not fear about building your life around God…Our Lady, when asked to be the Mother, did not question or doubt (once she understood) and she rose above the fears and difficult changes to her life.”  

This was taken from the homily that night, which reflected on Our Lady’s experience in answering Archangel Gabriel’s question to do God’s will.  Mary’s answer, and how she answered, inspired me to have courage to answer God’s call. It was really relatable to what is occurring spiritually with me now.  

And it’s relatable because she was human and she went through similar human reactions and experiences that we all go through, and we can use her example, and her “yes,” to help guide us through the same experiences. 

Michael was present for Mirjana’s March 18th apparition and is staying through April 4th. Let’s keep him in our prayers as he continues his discernment for the priesthood.