Christmas Reflection by Venerable Patrick Peyton C.S.C.
Because Mary was ordinary – that is a really human being, unselfish, heart full of affection – this mystery tells me something remarkable about loving God. The God-Man was now divinely conceived in her womb. Keep to your quiet home, Mary, (we might have advised) and love Him, love Him alone. But Mary knows this secret about loving God: to love God alone is to love Him not at all. Of her Son’s commandment, “Love one another,” Mary’s visitation was an unconscious prophecy.
Loving God requires that I love everyone else – even those I cannot like! How do I do that? Practice seeing Christ in others, and act accordingly. “What you do for others, you do to me.” Christ meant that.
“Mary and Joseph found accommodations in one of Bethlehem’s hillside caves. It offered some protection from the biting cold of a December night, nothing more. Air, heavy with moisture seeping through damp earthen walls; stifling odours of cattle; darkness made all the more emphatic by a lantern’s frail light and the smallest patch of night horizon, too low for stars – yes, there would be room here. And here, Mary and Joseph loved God as He was never loved on earth.
God can be loved – wholeheartedly – anywhere. Loving God does not depend on the kind of a place I’m in – it depends on the kind of a person I am.” Father Peyton’s Rosary Prayer Book;
May we wish all cardinals, bishops, priests, friends, benefactors, Global Rosary Relay participants, Rosary Thursday participants, Worldpriest representatives, volunteers, and all members of the Worldpriest Global Apostolate team a very happy Christmas a holy and a blessed New Year for 2024.
“May the message of Christmas fill your heart with eternal hope, as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
Founder – Worldpriest Global Apostolate
As we approach the end of 2023, we reflect on yet another year of many graces and blessings, in which we experienced great success and fulfilment for the Worldpriest apostolate. This was a year that touched the lives of millions of people all around the world and brought great comfort and joy to many.
Outstanding participation in the Annual Global Rosary Relay
In 2023 we again witnessed a significant increase in participation in the Annual Global Rosary Relay for the Sanctification of Priests, as the number of people joining in prayer from all around the world rose to astonishing new heights.
There were an estimated three billion Hail Marys prayed worldwide, as more and more people joined in what is now one of the largest of the prayer events in the world. Global, national and local television broadcasts combined with mass communications media and technology-based social media platforms once again boosted participation on an unprecedented scale. This included EWTN Global Catholic TV Network USA with global, national and local broadcasts. Good News TV Karachi Pakistan, Catholic TV Network Boston USA and Radio Maria also promoted the event.
Holy Cross Family Ministries Offices in Nsambya, Kampala join the Global Rosary Relay from Africa.
Many people took the initiative at countless new local prayer locations worldwide – particularly in the United States – and organised their own Rosary Relay. As part of this additional awareness of outreach, people downloaded the Worldpriest promotional material about how to participate and how to pray on the day from our website and prayed both individually and with others in their general locality. This illustrated the speed and spread of the good news as people became aware that a special world event was taking place and ensured that they too would be part of this Global Rosary Relay prayer day.
A group from Fort Lauderdale in Florida USA prayed no less than four different times throughout the entire day, leading to a full night’s vigil of prayer and Eucharistic adoration as they gave thanks in particular for the priests by name in their local community, along with offering the intentions of all priests worldwide. This year once again every one of the fifty American states had a participating prayer location and our prayer for 2024 is that participation will spread to many deaneries within more dioceses.
Parishioners from St. John’s (Wagner) and Assumption (Dante) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, gathered to participate in the Global Rosary Relay time of prayer.
New brochure in three languages
We are now engaged in the production of a beautiful and informative new Annual Global Rosary Relay brochure which will be produced in three languages – English, French and Spanish and will become available in print format and to download online in the near future.
The realisation of this project was made possible through the financial support of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), for which we are most grateful.
Participation by children
The Children’s Rosary Group joined in prayer from many of the Worldpriest prayer locations worldwide this year and it was so wonderful to have the little children praying along with their parents and families. Since the very first Rosary Relay the children’s group has been a valid partner to the Worldpriest Global Apostolate.
A special event at Lourdes
At the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in France the Global Rosary Relay was prayed in four different languages at four different times. There were live television broadcasts and full use of all social media also provided an outstanding prayer outreach achievement. So well done to all who made that landmark event happen in Lourdes.
Thank you to all our participants
A big thanks must go to all the people who through their hard work and continued commitment contributed to this great success, in particular to all the Worldpriest Global Apostolate representatives the world over who ensured that the word was spread to every corner of the globe, all contributing a beautiful gift to Our Lady in thanksgiving for our priests – men who daily serve the people of God entrusted to their care around the world.
Award to be announced
The Annual Global Rosary Relay Award winners for outstanding promotion and participation for 2023 will go to a location in the eastern hemisphere. More details of this award will follow, so watch out for big news to come.
Planning ahead to 2024
We are already well advanced in our plans for next year’s Annual Global Rosary Relay prayer event, which will take place on 7 June 2024. Worldpriest Global Apostolate will promote this event, which leads up to the special Jubilee Year preparations which have already begun as requested by Pope Francis. https://www.worldpriest.com/annual-global-rosary-relay/
Celebrating the sixth anniversary of Rosary Thursday
Worldpriest celebrates the sixth anniversary of Worldpriest Rosary Thursday, a unique prayer concept that was launched on 22 December 2017. For full details see:https://www.worldpriest.com/rosary-thursday/
Father Philip Steiner OSB from the Benedictine Abbey of Our Lady of Einsiedeln, Switzerland.
Thanking our Worldpriest Virtual Rosary leaders
We also celebrate the third year of the Worldpriest Virtual Rosary Thursdays, prayed on the last Thursday of each month as we reflect on the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary for the Sanctification of Priests, led by a priest prayer guide, with inspirational meditations attracting increasing numbers of people to join prayerfully as part of a global community united in prayer at various locations worldwide. To name but a few great priests who led the Virtual Rosary for 2023, firstly on Thursday 30 March there was Bishop François Beyrouti from the USA, who was enthroned at Annunciation Melkite Catholic Cathedral in Boston, Massachusetts on 19 October 2022 and whose role as prayer leader was very special. https://youtu.be/Q5NXajx2b64
On 31 August Worldpriest Virtual Rosary Thursday was led by Father Philip Steiner OSB from the Benedictine Abbey of Our Lady of Einsiedeln, Switzerland. Again this was a great blessing to all who joined in that memorable time of prayer. https://youtu.be/MHot5BoFaXw
For 2024 we are already almost fully booked, with exceptional priest prayer leaders lined up to facilitate participants every month throughout the coming New Year via Zoom.
Ireland’s International Eucharistic and Marian Shrine at Knock, County Mayo.
Holy Cross Family Ministries (HCFM) Global Leadership Conference
The 2023 conference took place recently at Knock, County Mayo in the west of Ireland. Holy Cross Family Ministry priests gathered from Hollywood in California to Kampala in Africa – literally from all over the world for this very special event. For HCFM Ireland who hosted this week-long conference, it was a great gift of inspiration and mission renewal, as it included a very special visit to Attymass County Mayo, the birthplace of Venerable Patrick Peyton. We walked the roads he walked and prayed in the church where he prayed on so many occasions. We also enjoyed the beautiful scenery of such a very remote, totally unspoilt and majestic part of Ireland and visited the place of rest of his parents, just outside Attymass.
Marion Mulhall, founder of the Worldpriest Global Apostolate was invited by Father Pinto Paul C.S.C. as a guest speaker, sharing her story of vocation and outreach mission to the world, which indeed was a great honour. To meet face-to-face for the first time with so many Holy Cross priests and lay faithful representatives who had previously only been in communication with Worldpriest via social media as we planned their participation in the Worldpriest Annual Global Rosary Relay was a source of great joy to experience.
Last Virtual Rosary Thursday for the year 2023
On 30 November 2023 Father Michael McGuckian S.J., led this special Worldpriest Virtual Rosary Thursday time of prayer along with friends of the Worldpriest Global Apostolate. At any time of your choosing pray with Father Michael McGuckian S.J., using our recording of this time of prayer. https://youtu.be/07EeD3aMhvM?si=kApQfXe6cFCg3L8y
NOTE: 25 January first Virtual Rosary Thursday for 2024
The first Virtual Rosary Thursday of the New Year will be led by Father Dave Heney, St. Bruno Catholic Church, Whittier, California, USA. https://daveheney.com/ This time of prayer will be a live broadcast by Radio Maria Ireland to 190 countries worldwide.