Vocation Triggered By Spirit Radio – Niall Leahy shares his story
Though I had attended church regularly, faith had never been real to me. As a young man I bought into the drink culture big time and dabbled with drugs . In my third year of college I went to France on a student exchange program. I had a great time, making new friends, skiing every week and met my first girlfriend – a wonderful person. Life was great – I thought I had it all sorted. That was to be short-lived.
One alcohol-fueled night out, I was unfaithful to her. Understandably, she called it off. I was devastated, it was the most wretched time of my life. Filled with guilt, I turned to self-help books, and various Buddhist philosophies… but these led nowhere.. my life seemed pointless.
Late one night, I randomly tuned into Spirit Radio, which was broadcasting on a temporary licence in Dublin. The music caught my ear and the chat was interesting. A young guy from Galway shared his story and mentioned an upcoming Youth 2000 retreat – it sounded intriguing, so why not go?
At that retreat I got a lot off my chest. To know that Jesus didn’t condemn but forgave me for the stupid and wrong things I’d done was liberating. This experience opened me up and began the renewal of my faith. Later I heard Pam Stenzel, speak on the consequences of promiscuity. I started to question some of my ideas and attitudes. I had thought that Christian teaching was too rigid, but I was beginning to see that the God’s ways made sense. I started to pray more regularly. That summer I had a profound experience of the presence of Jesus at the Youth 2000 festival. I had never experienced such a deep sense of peace. I knew Jesus was answering my prayer.
If I hadn’t tuned into Spirit Radio that night, I ’d probably still be searching for answers in all the wrong places. God used Spirit Radio to draw me back to him, and from that moment he has continued to reveal more of himself to me. It’s incredible that God was there waiting for me to turn to him. I pray that when Spirit Radio comes on air, more people will discover the impact that God can have on our lives if we give him a chance.
Niall Leahy worked with Spirit Radio for a season as Finance Controller. In October 2009 Niall took another very important step in his faith journey. He is now studying for the priesthood with the Jesuits in Birmingham.