Under normal circumstances, reporting to work at 8:30 A.M. on a Saturday would not be on my top ten list of favorite activities - but these are strange times! Not only was I thrilled to see my coworkers in person again, socially distanced of course, the significance of the day was creating an exciting energy! A statue, standing 8 feet tall, was being delivered from Italy - and that statue was to honor the legacy of Father Patrick Peyton.
On this cold January morning, as we watched the crate be lowered by the crane, the anticipation to see the statue for the first time grew amongst the crew and staff. Once the crate was cracked open and the handcrafted beauty was revealed, we all agreed it was well worth the wait.
The towering bronze statue captures Father Peyton's likeness so well, and the prominence of the Rosary speaks to who he really was - a man who loved God and was devoted to Mary. A man who wanted to make the world a better place by bringing people closer to God through Mary. A man who grew up of humble means, but took the faith that his own earthly father and mother had instilled in him, and stirred the hearts of millions towards the light and love of Jesus and Mary.
This statue will remain a joyous reminder to all who pass by of who Father Peyton was and how he dedicated his life to spreading a message of love, prayer, and unity. I am blessed to have been there to witness the day, and be able to touch the bronze Rosary in Father Peyton's hand before the statue was even lifted out of the box.
As we watched Father Willy bless the statue, it was a quiet and beautiful moment that will remain a special memory, I am sure, for all who were present.
As individuals and families pass by this statue for years to come, l pray that they are filled with a little more hope and inspiration, and carry that with them always.
May we all remember today, Father Peyton's powerful message that,
A World at Prayer is a World at Peace.