At the beginning of April 2006, Michael Kelly, a journalist with “The Irish Catholic”, the longest running Irish Catholic weekly newspaper, came to Medjugorje. This popular periodical is preparing a series of articles about Medjugorje as a place of prayer. First published in 1888, it currently sells 31,000 copies, which represents about 100,000 readers. It publishes information about the life of the Church both in Ireland and in the world at large, and desires to offer a balanced alternative. “The Irish Catholic” considers that Catholic media should contain positive content and bring hope, as many organs of the Irish media mainly emphasize depressing news.
Michael Kelly followed the activities of the English-speaking pilgrims, especially those from Ireland. He assisted at the prayer programme in the church and in several other places of prayer. The Parish Priest of Medjugorje, Dr. Fr. Ivan Sesar, informed him about the life and the work of the parish.
Michael Kelly outlined his own impressions...
“Here, I observe that people are praying. The sacraments... the Eucharist, Mass and Adoration... are at the core of this prayer, and these are the very essentials of our faith. Although the evening prayer programme lasts for three hours, it seemed to go by so quickly that I didn't even notice the time passing.
The Medjugorje movement is very strong in Ireland, especially in the parishes, in which many prayer groups have been established. About 20,000 Irish pilgrims visit Medjugorje annually, and when they return home, they bring with them the experience and the fruits of prayer, and thereby renew spirituality in their parishes. I would like this particular article to inspire each reader to ask himself: Is it possible that Our Lady has something to say to me also?
I think that Our Lady’s message represents a challenge for Europe today. Our Lady speaks constantly about God's love. In the European Union today, we enjoy peace and prosperity, but if that peace is not founded on solid foundations, it will collapse. The only thing that we have in common in Europe – from Poland to Ireland – is our faith. If faith is not uniting Europe, we have nothing else in common. The map of Europe has been changing a lot over the course of the last 100 years. Countries have come and gone, but Christ remains. No wonder that Our Lady is appearing precisely here. Some long-time, traditionally catholic countries, such as France and Ireland, are losing the faith. It may well be that the new countries currently entering into the European Union may be called upon to regenerate Europe, and re-kindle its faith.”