When Worldpriest founder Marion Mulhall was only two days old she was blessed by Father Patrick Peyton, who just happened to visit the nursing home in Enniscorthy, County Wexford, Ireland, where Marion was born.
Father Peyton was holding a Rosary Rally at Our Lady’s Island in County Wexford during those days which Marion’s dear late father attended. This is something very special and of great providential importance to Marion, who has been the driving force behind the Annual Global Rosary Relay, which last year saw in the region of ten million people around the world join in praying the Rosary during a twenty-four hour period of special prayers for our priests. The event took place at 168 single church locations in sixty-eight countries. On 3 June 2016, the twenty-fourth anniversary of Father Peyton’s death, Marion was overwhelmed with joy to meet Pope Francis in Rome. That same day was also the day when the Annual Global Rosary Relay Day of prayer took place. So that was a day that became a great gift of grace . . . when three wonderful events came together.
On Monday, 18 December 2017 there was further good news surrounding the life of Father Peyton. On that day Pope Francis received His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Amato, SDB, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and authorised the Congregation to promulgate the decree recognising the heroic virtues of Father Patrick Peyton, a priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross, thus recognising him as Venerable by the Roman Catholic Church.
The Positio on the life, virtues and reputation of holiness of Father Peyton had previously been discussed and approved by a panel of nine theologians and more recently by a group of fifteen cardinals and archbishops who voted to recognise his heroic virtues. The Positio refers to the volume containing the evidence that was collected from witness testimonies and supporting documents during inquiries carried out by special tribunals in several dioceses.
Hundreds of testimonies to Father Peyton’s heroic virtue and holiness of life have been recorded. Tens of thousands of prayer cards containing a prayer for a favour through Father Peyton’s intercession are in circulation. Hundreds of favours have been reported. Some of these represent remarkable healings for which there is no medical explanation. Should one of these healings be officially recognised as having no scientific explanation and approved by the Vatican as a miracle due to his intercession, it would lead to his beatification.
The essence of Father Patrick Peyton’s ministry, which spanned half a century, began within his family. Father Patrick Peyton was born on 9 January 1909, in Carracastle, County Mayo. His parents, John and Mary Peyton, gathered their family to pray the Rosary every evening.
After emigrating from Ireland to the United States Patrick Peyton became gravely ill as a seminarian and his doctors had no hope of his recovery. So he followed his parents’ example and turned to praying the Rosary to request recovery from his illness.
‘Father Peyton was a seminarian when he was stricken with tuberculosis,’ said Father Wilfred Raymond, CSC, President of Holy Cross Family Ministries. ‘He prayed to the Blessed Mother and made a miraculous recovery. From that moment, he knew he was to be the one to carry out her apostolate – her ministry to bring families together for Rosary prayer, just as his family had done.’
Father Peyton, a Catholic media pioneer, spent the fifty-one years of his priesthood serving the spiritual needs of families. In 1947, he founded Family Theater Productions in Hollywood. Family Theater Productions produced 900 radio and television programmes featuring hundreds of star actors and other celebrities and created more than 10,000 broadcasts.
The essence of Father Peyton’s ministry is still relevant and vibrant to families today. Father Peyton’s legacy continues to inspire people all over the world by his holiness of life and the example of his strong and tender devotion to Our Blessed Mother. The ministry has grown and engages families through a variety of media and social platforms as well as several websites, www.familyrosary.org, www.familytheater.org, and the newest ministry, www.catholicmom.com, the apostolate founded by Lisa Hendey, well known American Catholic author and speaker. One of the many social platforms to reach families, Family Rosary Facebook page, has more than 1.2 million followers. The latest media project of Family Theatre Productions, Catholic Central, was recently released on YouTube. These short videos provide entertaining and authoritative answers to questions about Catholic thought, spirituality and practice at www.catholiccentral.com.
Holy Cross Family Ministries (HCFM)also established The Father Peyton Family Institute, based in Lima, Peru, and Bangalore, India, as well as in Ireland at Father Peyton’s home place at Attymass Country Mayo. The Institutes provides direct services through research and education to enrich the spirituality of families.
A site to inspire families and honour Father Peyton, www.fatherpeyton.org shares his life story from his humble beginnings in Ireland to his fame working with the ‘stars’ of the Golden Age of Hollywood.
HCFM’s ‘Family of Ministries’is under the sponsorship of the Congregation of Holy Cross. The Congregation in June 1997 requested that a cause for canonisation for Father Peyton be initiated. In June 2001 the ‘nihil obstat’ was granted from Rome and Father Peyton was given the title, ‘Servant of God,’ when his Cause was opened. Since then, significant work has been completed to present Father Peyton’s heroic practice of virtue and reputation for holiness.
Holy Cross Family Ministries, which carries on the works of Father Peyton, has headquarters in North Easton, Massachusetts, with its media production company, Family Theater Productions, in Hollywood, California, and mission offices in sixteen countries. The ministry serves Jesus Christ and His church by inspiring, educating, and entertaining families all to support their spiritual wellbeing and encourage family prayer.
It is not surprising that Holy Cross Family Ministries are partners of great importance to the Worldpriest Global Apostolate, with particular reference to the Annual Global Rosary Relay for the sanctification of priests as we work together to expand this great prayer event, following in the footsteps of the now Venerable Father Patrick Peyton. May the blessings abound worldwide.
The Holy Cross Priest known as the ‘Rosary Priest’ was famous worldwide for his slogan ‘The Family That Prays Together Stays Together.
’THE SHRINE OF OUR LADY OF PUKEKARAKA,
Ōtaki, New Zealand
Ōtaki is a town north of Wellington, New Zealand. It is the place chosen by the first Bishop of New Zealand, Bishop Philippe Viard SM, as the site for the launching of the Catholic Church in southern New Zealand.
In 1844, a French Marist Priest, Fr Jean Baptiste Comte SM, came to Ōtaki. He was welcomed by the local Māori who indicated land where he could set up a church and school. So began the arrival of a series of French priests and brothers who came on mission to the other side of the world.
Being French and Marist they brought with them their love and devotion to Mary, Mother of God. Their interaction with the local people included praying the Rosary and processions in honour of Mary.
Initially there was a shrine set up to honour Mary and then, in 1905, a more permanent grotto to Our Lady of Lourdes, in Māori – te Ana o Rouaiti. That grotto has been the centre forMarian devotion until the present day.
One historical account states:
The statue of the Virgin Mary stands in a grotto which is a tiny antipodean offshoot of the great shrine of the Immaculate Conception at Lourdes. The statue has stood on Pukekaraka(the hill of the Karaka tree) since 1901. Fr Melu recorded:‘When I came to Ōtaki for good, with the help of our boy William Bevan, I had a rustic shrine built on the side of the hill. Later on a concrete one was built’. Though the present grotto has the appearance of a lined cave, early photos indicate it began as a freestanding concrete shell and earth was then packed round it and secured by a stone wall which is now invisible under vegetation.
There are lovely lights around Mary and often people leave flowers or a note with some request. Mary has witnessed a long history of people, young and old, for 116 years. She is known to ‘be in charge’. One elder Māori lady says,‘Well, if Mary wants it, it will happen!’
The grotto does not stand alone but is part of a complex that is dedicated to Mary, Mother of the World (Hine Nui o te Ao Katoa). This is a ‘marae’ or meeting place, cared for in a covenant of local Māori and the Catholic Church.
It is a place of peace and reconciliation. For example, at the start of the new millennium, people from all parishes of the archdiocese came, bringing a symbolic stone which they left near Mary, as a sign of seeking peace into the new millennium.
Mary’s grotto is linked with a journey up the hill to Calvary following the Stations of the Cross. Mary is always linked with her Son and the Church. Another meeting house near her is called Roma. It captures the special link people here have with the Pope. A papal flag, given by Pope Pius X, flies near the grotto.
Mary brings the healing of her Son and there have been cases of healing taking place at her shrine. Perhaps the more common healing is the harmony people find by just coming to climb Pukekaraka and just slowing down and breathing Mary’s spirit.
Mary is a symbolof love of and care for ‘our home’, the Earth, and easily fits in Māori terms with Papatūānuku, the earth, and the call of Pope Francis in his Laudato Si. It is all linked.
Likewise, Mary is the ‘Whaea’ or Mother and Woman presents the richness of all that is feminine and those qualities that help balance all relationships.
This place is a centre of pilgrimage and prayer for the archdiocese. In 1946 Mary saw the origins of a Māori gathering each Easter to celebrate the death and resurrection of her son. This is called the Hui Aranga, the Easter Resurrection Gathering. This annual event continues today and a statue of Mary always goes with it.
Written by Father Philip Cody SM
There is a special hymn sung here:
Sancta Maria, tēnei mātou Holy Mary, here we are
E inoi atu ana; praying to you;
Aroha mai; āwhina mai Love us; help us
E te Puhi o te rangi Virgin of heaven.
Hinenui o te ao katoa Special Maiden of the whole world
Nōu tēnei pā; tiakina rā This is your place; guard it well.
Preparations for the Rosary Relay for Priests 2018 are now well underway
Make sure yourlocal prayer location is included
Worldpriest has already begun planning for the 2018 Rosary Relay for Priests.
Building on the huge success of the 2017 event, it is hoped to greatly enhance prayer participationfor 2018.
We would appreciate your help
In order to ensure that such an ambitious event successfully takes place – one that touches the lives of millions of Catholics around the globe – we need substantial commitment and resources. If you would like to help us through a personal donation we would be very glad to hear from you.
In order to make sure your country is included in the wonderful global prayer event visit https://www.worldpriest.com/participating-shrine-list/ if you are not listed please email us at email@example.com with your church location name contact details and time you wish to join the Global Rosary at.