Venue: St Francis Xavier Cathedral, 36 Harbour Street, Wollongong
Speaker: John Pridmore
Topic: The Gift of Our Lady
Cost: FREE (donations appreciated)
RSVP: 21 November 2019
In cooperation with Parousia, the diocese is hosting international speaker John Pridmore. John is an ex-gangster and bestselling author of book From Gangland to Promised Land which chronicles his conversion and how he left the London club, drug and crime scene behind. John is now a devout and practicing Catholic and a full time speaker, travelling internationally to reach thousands of people each year in parishes, schools and prisons, proclaiming the gospel and how it has changed his life.
International Guest Speaker and Best Selling Author
John was born in the east end of London. At the age of 10, his parents got divorced and John made an unconscious decision not to love any more. At the age of 13 he had started stealing and by 15 he was put in a detention centre (youth prison).
When John left home after having been released, his only qualification was stealing, so that’s what he kept doing. At 19 he was in prison again and because of the way he had always dealt with pain through anger, he was always fighting. John was put on 23 hour solitary confinement and he came out even more angry and bitter. John started bouncing round the east and west end of London. He liked fighting so he thought he might as well get paid for it! He met some guys who seemed to have everything and started to work for them. Before long he wasn’t working for them, he was working with them. These were the guys who ran most of the organised crime in London. These guys had what John thought was everything – money, power, girls, drugs and the lot.
But yet there was something missing… This struck John more than ever when he thought he had killed someone outside of a nightclub he was working at. After nearly taking that man’s life, something incredible happened and John’s life began to change. John began working with at risk youth showing them there is another path than the violent one he took. Within a few years John was speaking full-time in parishes, schools and prisons around the U.K. and Ireland to tens of thousands of people each year.
Excerpt from John’s testimony:
“What is it your son wants me to do?” And I felt Mary whisper in my heart, “Go to confession.” I’d never been to confession in my life, and I think I have broken every commandment there was, but somehow, Mary gave me the courage, because I was scared. And I went to confession, and I left out nothing. I told the priest everything I had done, terrible, horrendous things. And after this confession I was too ashamed to look at him. And he said, “Look at me.” But I wouldn’t look at him. I was looking at the floor. And he said again, “Look at me.” And as I looked at him, I saw that he was crying. And he said, “Jesus loves you.
And it was like that part of my life that I thought could never be forgiven, that part of me that could never be redeemed, was suddenly redeemed. It was like I felt the wind on my face. I heard the birds singing. It was like I felt my life had been resurrected through Jesus’s crucifixion. I came away from that confession, and I ended up going to Mass. And as I went to receive the Eucharist, I just said a simple prayer, and I said, “If this is true to you, Jesus, then show me, because I don’t understand.”
Account means the account held at your financial institution from which we are authorised to arrange for funds to be debited.
Agreement means this Direct Debit Request Service Agreement between you and us, including the direct debit request.
Business day means a day other than a Saturday or a Sunday or a listed public holiday.
Debit day means the day that payment is due.
Debit payment means a particular transaction where a debit is made, according to your direct debit request.
Direct debit request means the Direct Debit Request between us and you.
Us and we and our means the Catholic Development Fund.
You means the customer(s) who signed the direct debit request. Your financial institution is the financial institution where you hold the account that you have authorised us to arrange to debit.
Debiting your account
By submitting a direct debit request, you have authorised us to arrange for funds to be debited from your account according to the agreement we have with you.
We will only arrange for funds to be debited from your account:
As authorised in the direct debit request; if the debit day falls on a day that is not a business day, we may direct your financial institution to debit your account on the following or previous business day. If you are unsure about which day your account has or will be debited, please check with your financial
Changes by you
If you wish to stop or defer a debit payment you must write to us at least 5 business days before the next debit day.
This notice should be given to us in the first instance.
It is your responsibility to ensure that there are sufficient clear funds available in your account to allow a debit payment to be made.
If there are insufficient clear funds available in your account to meet a debit payment:
you or your account may be charged a fee and/or interest by your financial institution;
you or your account may be charged a fee to reimburse us for charges we have incurred for the failed transaction;
you must arrange for the payment to be made by another method
Please check your account statement to verify that the amounts debited from your account are correct.
If you believe that there has been an error in debiting your account you should call us on 1800 047 703 and confirm the details in writing with us as soon as possible so that we can resolve your query quickly.
You should check:
with your financial institution whether direct debiting is available from your accounts offered by financial
your account details which you have provided to us are correct by checking them against a recent account statement; and
with your financial institution before completing the direct debit request if you have any queries about how to complete the direct debit
Warning: if the account number you have quoted is incorrect, you may be charged a fee to reimburse our costs in correcting any deductions from:
an account you do not have authority to operate; or
an account you do not
We will keep any information (including your account details) in your direct debit request confidential.
We will make reasonable efforts to keep any such information that we have about you secure and to ensure that any of our employees or agents who have access to information about you, do not make any unauthorised use, modification, reproduction or disclosure of that information.
However, we may use your contact details to provide information about the fund. Should you wish this not to be the case, please advise the fund in writing.
Our diocesan logo is theologically rich and very succinct. As a hand, it depicts our mission as a diocese and as individuals within the diocese, of bearing (bringing, carrying) Christ’s love to one another and to the world around us. In this, we are the hand of Jesus Christ, and we are offering ourselves to him so that he might work through us.
We can be the bearers of his love only as a response to his call and in the strength of his grace. We are reminded of this in two ways—through the symbol of the dove (the Holy Spirit) also present in the logo, and by the incorporation of the cross that segments the logo. The presence of the cross is a reminder that bearing the love of Christ will inevitably cost us if we live it authentically. However, in the way that the Cross is the portent of redemption and life—an echo of the tree of life in the book of Genesis—so becoming bearers of the love of Christ will also bring us to life.
The four fingers of the hand also represent the four regions of our diocese. The first is bluerepresenting the beautiful water of the Shoalhaven. The second is a blue and green combination representing the waters and escarpment of the Illawarra. The third is greendepicting the hills and plains of the Macarthur. The fourth is dark green illustrating the forests of the Southern Highlands.