Rev. Fr. Gerard Mc Ginnity, Doctor of Theology relates his experience in relation to Our Lady Queen of Peace House of Prayer Achill and Christina Gallagher to whom he is her spiritual director. The following is taken from an article printed in the Irish Times Newspaper in July 2003.
It is exactly ten years ago this month that Our Lady Queen of Peace House of Prayer at Achill was opened and dedicated for Mrs Christina Gallagher by the Archbishop of Tuam, Dr Joseph Cassidy as “An oasis of peace in a troubled world”. After I was first introduced to Mrs Gallagher five years previously, I sought personal and direct evidence of her genuineness. I got such proof in multiple ways that I was left no option but to help her in her work.
I always remember my first meeting with Mrs. Gallagher when she related to me-though a complete stranger to her- not only my personal past in great detail but several future events in my life which have since been unfolding with precision exactly as she predicted. I happened to be present at that time when she had an experience, I just thought I would like to test her by a question I had in my mind, before I had time to speak, she instantly turned and gave me the answer to what I had not yet asked!
Arising from my first meeting with her, I subsequently asked her prayers for a family member terminally ill with no hope of recovery. Mrs Gallagher promised to pray but added; “God will be greatly glorified in this.” A complete and instantaneous healing occurred which was entirely inexplicable to the medical consultants. In subsequent years, as her spiritual director, it would be quite normal for her to remark to me on the most private intentions for which I might be silently praying, private information of which no one could possibly be aware.
I have noted over the years that in her ministry to priests this gift of intimate knowledge is never sensational but a means of help. A Jesuit professor of theology, writer and broadcaster, Dr. Richard Foley of Farm Street Church, London, later wrote in a foreword to a book about her; “I had never met Christina Gallagher, though from what I had read and heard I was inclined to accept her as genuine. But what in the event completely convinced me of this was the extraordinary insight she displayed into my interior life, including my spiritual track record to date; that is, my memory-bank of triumphs and failures over the years in the Lord’s service.
In other words, this remarkable Irish woman demonstrated beyond any doubt that she possessed a sort of X-ray vision into my private world of conscience and moral striving. She could read the secrets of my heart. She could witness within me that hidden arena, where, as is the case of everyone, warfare is waged non-stop between good and evil, truth and falsehood, light and darkness. Though aware that other priests had a similar experience, I was nonetheless bowled over when Christina Gallagher proceeded to discern with clinical precision the weakness and strengths of my world within.
One young priest who had firmly decided to quit the priesthood travelled from England to Achill. He got such help from meeting Mrs Gallagher that he was strengthened to remain in the ministry. Although it is her prophesy of the destruction of the Twin Towers which is best known, that particular tragedy is only one of a number which Christina clearly warned in advance (e.g. the wars in Rwanda and Chechnya years before they occurred). A Canadian attorney and an American judge were flanking her as a group of us stood near the World Trade Centre on September 11th 1999. Judge Dan Lynch from Vermont subsequently wrote;
“Exactly two years before the attack on America on September 11th, 1999, I stood with Irish mystic Christina Gallagher in Battery Park, New York City, at the tip of Manhattan Island in the shadows of the World Trade Centre, as she raised her hand towards the Twin Towers and said “These will be destroyed”. I would note all such prophesies spoken by her at the time when she first declared them and publish them so that people could observe as they came to pass. Never did it happen that any such predication failed to be fulfilled. A doctor came to the House of Prayer on July 16th 1999, not for any spiritual reason but, as he himself later put it, because his elderly mother had requested him to bring her there for the day.
Only when he experienced at first hand, he said later, could he believe. That doctor’s own testimony was considered sufficiently noteworthy to be published in the Irish medical journal, Medicine Weekly. After his experience of seeing Mrs Gallagher he decided to check out some of the reported healings. To date he has investigated four which have proved to be beyond medical, scientific, or psychological explanation, with his fellow consultants going as far as to pronounce them “miracles”, an epithet rarely invoked in the domain of science.
It is because I have received at first hand the proof of these many and various happenings that I feel obliged to stand by Mrs Gallagher and this work. Otherwise I would be merely a hypocrite, for in my heart I know this can only be a work of God. What, may I ask, would you do if you experienced all of this? Apparitions have been accepted often by the Church, after appropriate examination. It is, I believe, our obligation to come with an open heart to such a phenomenon as this. To rule it out a priori without investigation would, of course, be both unscientific and unfair.
Apparition claims by other individuals
A number of persons had come to me over the years in the course of my pastoral duties and I felt obliged to investigate them and then, on discovering them not to be authentic, to guide them to deeper genuine prayer and send them on their way. Only in this case (i.e. Christina’s) do I find the church’s criteria to be fulfilled. By the same token I must add that, were I not in a position to vouch for so much of this work, I could hardly have imagined the degree of unfair criticism, rash judgement and twisted stories circulated about Mrs Gallagher and so readily believed by those who have never met her.
Father Gerard Mc Ginnity, a Doctor of Theology, is spiritual director to Mrs Christina Gallagher.
Christina Gallagher – “Proof Beyond Doubt” by Theologian Fr Richard Foley
Fr McGinnity – Spiritual Director of Christina Gallahger
Voice of Our Lady’s Pilgrims – House of Prayer Achill
Official Website of Christina Gallagher – www.christinagallagher.org