This past Sunday was a tremendous day of celebration here at the Father Peyton Center, with a joy-filled praying the Rosary while adoring our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament leading into a Mass of Thanksgiving with many, many families united as one family of Jesus Christ …a day that gave glory to God, prayerful recognition to (the role of) Our Blessed Mother, and thanks to God for the life of Venerable Father Patrick Peyton.
During his homily Bishop Bud Colgan spoke of Father Peyton’s boldness in promoting Family Rosary prayer. But for anyone who knew or has read about Father Peyton a natural question arises…where did this boldness…this zeal come from….I mean wasn’t he described a shy and not a natural orator?
I think the answer is that Father Peyton was naturally shy…. but more deeply and strongly a man of faith…someone who would have taken to heart today’s gospel from Matthew where Jesus reminds us that we are (to be) salt of the earth and light of the world.
Quite a few years ago I remember a friend in seminary reassuring me that grace builds on nature….that was his answer to my question about how I could be ready to preach and answer the hard questions of faith that people would one day bring…
My brothers and sisters, there is no way anyone from County Mayo Ireland could have predicted long ago that Pat Peyton as he left for the United States would one day lead so many families around the world to Our Lord and Our Blessed Mother through his preaching on praying the Family Rosary….but God knew…and He gave Father Peyton a deep (and foundational) faith…nurtured by his parents, the same type of faith expressed in the first reading from Kings where Elijah through the instruction of the Lord brings the widow through God’s request to see that she can trust God to provide for she and her son as she was called to give what she didn’t think she could…how many of us can relate to that….God challenging us to live a life for Him and others in a way that we think is beyond our means…our talents or strengths…so that we can be the life-giving salt and illuminating light in a sometimes darkened world or desperate soul of someone who is struggling.
Holy people, like Venerable Patrick Peyton, and also those known only by God and their family and friends inspire us to grow in faith, to trust in God’s grace and Providence, so that when the Lord calls…we can boldly be the salt and light of God’s love….for our families and all those that God brings into our lives.
May God bless you all and lead you to be salt and light each in your own way!
Reverend David S. Marcham is the Vice Postulator for the Cause of Venerable Patrick Peyton, and Director of the Father Peyton Guild, whose members pray for Father Peyton’s beatification and spread his message of the importance of Family Prayer. Prior to becoming a seminarian, Father David was a physical therapist and clinical instructor, serving hospital inpatients and outpatients throughout the greater Boston area for eleven years. In 1998 he heard the call to priesthood and was ordained in the Archdiocese of Boston in 2005. Father David grew up in Quincy, MA, and has fond memories of playing soccer, tennis and running track. You’re never without a friend when Father David is around, as he welcomes everyone into his circle with a smile on his face!