Centenary Year of Fr Peyton's birth
Fr Patrick Peyton Centre, Attymass, County Mayo
2009 was the Centenary Year of Fr Peyton's birth. At the beginning of the year 2009 a new slogan was adopted for use in future years. The slogan read - "Honour His Memory Continue His Mission". What a powerful statement this is! When we look and dwell on the mission of Fr Peyton and his great love and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and his strong belief in family prayer we the people of Family Ministries have a huge challenge - to live, to promote, to encourage and to continue Fr Peyton's mission.
In his native parish of Attymass the centenary year was launched on the 4th January with a Mass broadcast live from Attymass parish on RTE National televised. The principal celebrant was Bishop Brendan Kelly D.D. Bishop of Achonry Diocese. In his homily Bishop Brendan spoke of Fr Peyton as been
"the powerful witness for the light, light that is prayer and family"
The Fr Peyton Cluster Choir under the direction of Mary Gilroy provided the music and hymns. This Mass was seen by thousands of people who tuned into RTE and by those who viewed the RTE web page. The commencement of this historic year with a televised Mass was very fitting, as Fr Peyton himself was a pioneer in the world of radio and film. He produced many programmes and invoked the fame of the film stars to promote his films and radio shows.
A tridum of prayer in Attymass church ended on the 9th of Jan the birth date of Fr Peyton. The programme for the evenings included the Rosary, Hymns and Concelebrated Mass with the principal celebrants being Bishop Brendan Kelly, Canon Patrick Peyton and Bishop Fleming, Killala Diocese respectively.
Cardinal Seán Brady's Visit
On the 26th April the parish of Attymass was honoured with the visit of His Eminence Seán Cardinal Brady. This date was marked as a day to commemorate and celebrate Fr Peyton, his parish and his great world mission.
The parish church of Attymass was thronged with people to join in the historic religious ceremonies. His Eminence Seán Cardinal Brady spoke in his homily of the importance of prayer and the need for regular prayer. In prayer we talked directly to God and in doing so deepen our friendship with God. He compared the necessity of prayer to the necessity of physical exercise for the well being of the body.
Among the Concelebrants on the day were worldwide leaders of Holy Cross - Fr Hugh Cleary, Fr Jim Phalan, Fr Bud Colgan, Fr William Melody, also in attendance were Fr Thomas Mulligan P.P. Attymass parish and Fr Padraic Peyton nephew of the "Rosary Priest"
Following the Concelebrated Mass a 7 foot bronze statue of Fr Peyton sculpted by Joey Velasco a religious artist and sculptor from the Philippines was unveiled by Tom Peyton (nephew of Fr Peyton C.S.C.) and blessed by His Eminence Seán Cardinal Brady.
April showers turned into a day's rain however the rain did not dampen the enthusiasm and passion of the congregation.
The next occasion on the calendar of events for the centenary year was Family Day at Knock Shrine on 6th June. On the first Saturday of June an annual rosary rally is organised in Knock Shrine in honour of Fr Peyton.
This year saw an increase in the number of pilgrims who attended the Rosary Rally. An estimate of seven thousand people were present for the concelebrated Mass in the Basilica. The principal celebrant was Most Rev Bishop Neary DD Archbishop of Tuam.
Anniversary Mass - Fr Peyton's death
Fr Peyton died in June 1992. The memorial centre commemorates the anniversary of his death each year in the month of June. In 2009 the anniversary mass was celebrated on Sunday 28th June.
The Celebrant was Bishop Brendan Kelly and Fr Steve Gibson C.S.C. gave an inspiring homily on support, charity and love for one another.
October -Rosary Month
Bishop Brendan Kelly encouraged the parishes of Achonry to organise a family week of prayer in October. On the 7th October the feast of the Holy Rosary, Fr Steve Gibson CSC led a day of prayer in the Memorial Centre, concentrating on the Rosary and its Mysteries. A Rosary evening was directed in many parishes of the Diocese with emphasis on family prayer and unity.
The centenary year has been a great example of parish, diocese and various religious organisations throughout the country pooling resources to further the mission of Fr Peyton. We have realised part of our dream in having the His Eminence Seán Cardinal Brady visit our humble rural parish in Mayo.
His presence was a vote of confidence in our work in the continuation of Fr Peyton's mission. The holiness of Fr Peyton's life is relevance for to-days generation.