Liz asked me if I would go with her to meet a priest who was well known for his healing powers. To be honest, I didn’t want to go, but I could understand Liz was worried that I would go back drinking. I agreed to go and was thinking that if it gives Liz peace of mind then it can’t be a bad idea. A few hours later I met Fr Willie Rafferty for the first time. We shook hands and he asked, “How are you, and what do you want me to pray for?” I replied, “Father I’m fine today, thanks, but I would like you to pray for my wife Liz”. I then told him very honestly about my alcoholism and my restless character, and that I knew Liz was worried I would drink again. Fr Willie Rafferty blessed and prayed over me and asked me to say the Rosary every day. I told him the last time I said the Rosary was when my parents were alive, and I wouldn’t know now how to say it. The priest then reached into a plastic bag that contained quite a few Rosaries and gave me one. As well as the beautiful set of beads, there was also a card/booklet with the story of each Mystery and instructions on how to pray the Rosary.

As I held my Rosary in my hand, I got a warm feeling in my heart. I remembered receiving a Rosary from the nun I met as I travelled to London for the first time and, on another occasion, many years later, Bishop Edward Daly presented me with another Rosary. I never did use those Rosaries and gave both away. This was now my third time to receive a Rosary and as I held Fr Willie Rafferty’s Rosary in my hand, I knew I was meant to say it, and I was looking forward to it. When we got home I went into my bedroom. I went down on my knees, and as I prayed my Rosary, my eyes filled with tears. It brought back memories of how important the Rosary was to both my parents, and how much faith and belief they had in it. It also brought back a childhood memory from my school, when one day, our teacher asked us did we believe in God, we all answered yes, so he then asked what made us believe. My classmate Neil stood up, and said, “There are a lot of very intelligent people in this world who have given up their lives to work for God, and they can’t all be wrong”. I thought that was a very good answer.