Father Patrick Peyton, known as the “Rosary Priest,” devoted his life to promoting devotion to Mary after trusting in her intercession when he was struck with (and then cured from) tuberculosis. In 1942, Father Peyton officially founded The Family Rosary to promote family prayer, especially the Rosary. Soon after, Family Theater Productions was established and created (and continues to create) inspirational media for families. I
n 1948, he started his famous Rosary Crusades, which took place in 40 countries around the world. At these rallies, Father Peyton wanted to spread a simple message: family unity through family prayer, as well as his popular slogans, “the family that prays together stays together” and “a world at prayer is a world at peace.” A lot of planning had to be done and help was needed from the local bishop, clergy, religious, and laity in order to make the rallies as successful as they were.
Before each rally, 40 masses and 40 Holy Hours were offered and all were welcomed to pray and offer their Holy Hour to Mary for the success of the rally. Homilies were given about the importance of Family Prayer, students learned about the Rosary and Father Peyton in school, and families signed pledge cards committing to pray together and attend the rallies. In addition, visitations were made to hospitals and prisons and people were asked to offer their pains, fears, sufferings, etc. for the success of the Rally.
The efforts of all these people culminated in Rosary Rallies which included a religious procession, homilies and Benediction (worshipping Christ with prayers, songs and readings before the Blessed Sacrament exposed in the Monstrance.) These Rallies were attended by hundreds of thousands (and then millions) of people. The Father Peyton Prayer Guild is a worldwide community of prayer which promotes Venerable Patrick Peyton’s Cause for Sainthood by praying for his beatification/canonization and sharing his life story.
There are currently three types of memberships offered: Individual, Family, and Chapter. Members of the Guild are asked to pray for the canonization of Father Patrick Peyton, C.S.C., the continuation of his mission through Holy Cross Family Ministries, and for the needs of their family and families around the world. Praying the Rosary is also an important part of the Guild, as it was a fundamental part of Father Peyton’s ministry.
Chapters meet at least three times a year to pray and reflect on Father Peyton’s holy and fruitful life; some meet more frequently depending on the members’ schedules. Guild Chapters also hold events throughout the year, such as an annual Mass offered in thanksgiving for Father Peyton’s life and for his Cause for Beatification/Canonization or speakers to learn about Father Peyton’s life, the ministry, or the Mysteries of the Rosary. Chapters require at least five active members, one of which serves as the chapter leader who will be in contact with Father David Marcham, the Guild Director and Vice Postulator for the Cause. Families can register for a family membership regardless of the number of people in the household and individuals wishing to join are also most welcome.
Joining the Guild is an excellent way make praying as a family a regular part of your lives. For example, the first Friday of the month could be your designated Father Peyton Guild prayer time. It is also a great way to introduce children to the saints and the sainthood process. Each prayer helps bring Father Peyton closer to being beatified and hopefully declared a saint for family prayer! As a college student, Father Peyton’s message that “a world at prayer is a world at peace” is particularly important to me. While there is currently so much trouble and sorrow in the world, I know that by praying the Rosary and asking Mary, Our Lady for her help and intercession, we can make a difference.
Being part of this community of prayer gives me hope and has given me the opportunity to learn more about the Rosary, Father Peyton, and his Cause for Sainthood. If you would like to join the Guild, as an individual, a family, or a chapter member or if you would like to start your own chapter, or simply learn more about Father Peyton and the Guild, you can submit a membership form on our website, FatherPeyton.org.
About the author: Emily Daversa is currently a junior at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts, where she studies Catholic Studies with a minor in Education Studies. This summer Emily is an intern at Holy Cross Family Ministries working on promoting the Father Peyton Guild and assisting new and current Guild members. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, going to the gym, and knitting