A CROWD OF 700 PEOPLE attend "A Prayer Celebration for Families."
A CROWD OF 700 PEOPLE attend "A Prayer Celebration for Families."

On June 10, a crowd of about 700 people gathered at Holy Cross Family Ministries in North Easton, Mass., to honor the late Rev. Patrick Peyton, CSC, as the famed “Rosary priest” took a step toward sainthood.

Bishop Emeritus Howard J. Hubbard of the Albany Diocese was among those present to recall the life and work of Father Peyton (1909-1992), who was declared “Venerable” by the Vatican in December for his heroic virtue and holiness and his legacy of family prayer.

Father Peyton’s worldwide Family Rosary ministry was based in Albany. In 2011, then-Bishop Hubbard received the results of an investigation into a possible miracle attributed to Father Peyton’s intercession: the healing of a man being treated at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany. (Read a story at www.evangelist.org.) Two miracles are needed for someone to become a saint.

Starting in the 1940s, Father Peyton conducted Rosary crusades in 40 countries that drew 28 million people. An immigrant to the U.S. from Ireland, he used radio, television, film and billboards to spread his message of the importance of family prayer.

Family Theater Productions, which he created in Hollywood in 1947, produced more than 600 radio and TV programs that featured hundreds of celebrities.

Father Peyton coined two phrases that became well-known among Catholics and the wider community: “The family that prays together, stays together;” and, “A world at prayer is a world at peace.”

Today, the “Rosary priest’s” mission is continued by Holy Cross Family Ministries (HCFM), which produces free digital media and re­sources like web videos, the website www.CatholicCentral.com, eBooks and apps at www.FamilyRosary.org, information and activities at www.CatholicMom.com and a documentary called “The Dating Project.”

HCFM is under the sponsorship of the religious Congregation of Holy Cross. It is based at The Father Peyton Center in North Easton, Mass., with its media production company, Family Theater Productions, located in Hollywood and mission offices based in 16 other countries.

In 2001, Father Peyton’s sainthood cause was officially launched. Last weekend’s Prayer Celebration for Families in Massachusetts marked another stage in the priest’s canonization process.

Rev. Willy Raymond, president of HCFM, told the crowd: “Prayer! Simple as that! Pray with your children today and see them grow to accomplish great things.”

The celebration included a eucharistic procession, the Rosary and a Mass celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Arthur Colgan, CSC, of Lima, Peru. The Mass will be broadcast at a later date on CatholicTV (see www.CatholicTV.com).

Among other attendees were U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican Raymond Flynn; Shane Cahill, Consul General of Ireland to the U.S.; and relatives of Father Peyton. Each person in attendance received a rosary; each family received a Family Rosary prayer kit.

(For more information, call 800-299-7729 or see www.FamilyRosary.org, www.FatherPeyton.org, www.FamilyTheater.org, www.CatholicMom.com, www.HCFM.org and www.facebook.com/FamilyRosary.)