From October 11 to 16, 250 pilgrims from Ireland and the USA gathered together in Medjugorje for a thematic pilgrimage – seminar about Mary and the Holy Spirit. It was organized by Philip Ryan from Ireland and led by Donald and Patricia Turbitt from North Providence, Rhode Island, USA. After the evening prayer program, conferences concluded the daily program of pilgrimage.
For many years now, Philip Ryan has been accompanying the Medjugorje pilgrims from Ireland. As for Donald and Patricia Turbitt, leaders in the Charismatic Renewal for 30 years, they are married for 41 years now. They have three children and thirteen grandchildren. They have led numerous parish missions and conferences, as well as retreats for men and women, throughout New England, Eastern Europe, and Africa.
This is what they told us about this seminar in Medjugorje.
Philip Ryan: “Mary has often been speaking about the Holy Spirit. In one message, she said: When you have the Holy Spirit, you have everything.”
Patricia Turbitt: “Our goal is to bring people into a deeper awareness of who the Holy Spirit is. The Holy Father is asking us to become docile, as Mary was, to the Holy Spirit.”
Donald Turbitt: “Medjugorje is probably the best place in the world to talk about the Holy Spirit. When Mary and the Holy Spirit come together, they produce Jesus, and our goal as Catholics is to produce Jesus and to reproduce Jesus in ourselves. We are giving these seminars abut the power of the Holy Spirit and how we can open ourselves to the Holy Spirit to be more like Christ. True devotion to Mary always points to Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. The religious experience is supposed to go beyond feelings. It is supposed to take action in our lives. People go around the world looking for healers, while Christ is present in the Eucharist. We can experience so much more in the sacramental life that the Church already gives us, if we have the knowledge of the faith. In Medjugorje, people have experiences, they feel more, and we tell them: from the feelings step into the faith and the understanding that comes from the Scriptures. When you put the feelings with the faith and the understanding, power happens. Men are naturally drawn by power, they want power, and when they come to Medjugorje, they experience the power of God. Thus, they are not afraid to say a rosary, which is usually seen as a feminine way of approaching God. The rosary is a power filled prayer.”