I first heard of Medjugorje from my mother, Mary. My mom’s name is actually Mary. She’s always been on the spiritual path. I think she just invited me because she knows since it’s a trip, I can’t say no. It’s her way of brining me back to the religion she loves so much.

It’s been great so far, basically an educational trip.

I grew up Catholic, went to Catholic school. Blessed Mother Mary has always been someone I respected. I always looked up to Her whenever we went to school or would read any scriptures, I was drawn to Her. I’ve always seen Her as beautiful. I appreciated this trip because it’s more geared towards that. 

When I was a child, I always saw Mary as the messenger to God. She will help magnify your prayers directly to God and Jesus. It feels like Jesus can’t say no to His Mother. That’s like me! It’s so relatable. That’s why I’m here. I couldn’t say no.

My mom didn’t have to force my hand to come here. I just wanted to be with my mom and spend more time with her. Whatever she says, I say yes blindly. I don’t care where she takes me.

We’ve always been close but not in the spiritual sense which she wants to make into a stronger bond for me and my relationship with Catholicism. 

Most of my friends are born and raised Catholic like me, and for some reason, all of us stepped away from our religion. We were chatting about how our parents are becoming very religious at an older age. They’ve always been spiritual and religious, but now that they’re getting older, religion is such a big part of their lives now. It’s magnified to a point where we’re overwhelmed by it as their children. 

I would love to introduce Medjugorje to them as a way to relearn the faith in a new perspective. As a child, you take in religion very differently. When it’s from school, you think of it as just school. From your parents, it feels like it’s just their religion and you have to be taken along. 

Now, as an adult seeing religion, and you have your own opinions already built, you gain a new sense of appreciation. Maybe it’s not as harsh as you initially thought it was. Even though we do want to develop a new relationship with religion, because my peers, we talked about it, we just didn’t know how.

Here, I learned a lot how to do it through prayer. It’s as simple as that. But I still have to learn how to do better prayers. I’m always shy about being put on the spot to lead prayer. I’m always amazed when people pray and it’s so lovely and poetic. I wish I could be like that, but I just go straight to the Hail Mary or Our Father or the blessing before meals. 

I’m relearning my prayers more through the heart than just memorization to my brain. 

I want to share this with my friends, ones who grew up Catholic like me. Relearning religion at this age is actually not as scary as we thought. We’re not children anymore. It’s our choice to go back to the Church if we want to. It would be a fun discussion with my best friends.

I would love to share how I learned how to pray, how powerful it can be. That’s one thing I believe anyone would appreciate, no matter what religion or spiritualism. Prayer is prayer. If it gives them strength in their lives, that would be great. 

This trip has been overwhelmingly surprising. 

I came here not so much doubting, more questioning what’s going to happen, but I was always open. I mentioned to my husband, “It’s fine if you doubt me, but that means I have a chance to surprise you.” That was Medjugorje to me. Doubt is not necessarily a bad thing. It means a surprise can be there.