The family that Prays together


     Stays together


"There is no doubt about it when one puts God first,

                              He put's you first"

Those of us who were teenagers in I945, well remember the events associated with the end of World War 2, but in Ireland, we also celebrated the beginning of

Father Patrick Peyton's



   Father Patrick from County Mayo, in the West of Ireland, had been ordained a priest for just four years and was  working in America.   As the war in Europe was drawing to close, this unknown, young priest, true to his heritage, overcame impossible difficulties and persuaded the broadcasting company to give him free air-time on the radio, to have a family say the rosary for unity in family life and for world peace.  

  The programme was scheduled to go out at IO.3O a.m. on Sunday, May I3, Mother's Day, and was dedicated to Mary the Mother of God.   A few days earlier on  ( May 8 ) Germany had surrendered and US President Harry Truman had declared May I3 to be a national  day of thanksgiving.    The radio company had grudgingly given this slot because they thought that few people would listen to the radio at this time of the morning anyway. 

  Fr. Patrick asked Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Sullivan and their daughter, Genevieve, from Waterloo, Iona, to lead the rosary on the programme.   The Sullivans had won the nation's sympathy when they lost their five sons during a World War 2 naval battle in the Pacific Ocean.    

  I well remember seeing this film 'The Sullivans', in the late I94Os, at the Savoy Cinema in Limerick, where there wasn't a dry eye in the audience.   It was unforgettably sad and made a durable imprint on my mind.  

 During the preparations for Fr. Patrick's broadcast, one of the Irish workers quipped:  " Sure isn't it a great wonder you didn't get Bing himself while you were at it!"  

  With his receptive mind, the priest grasped the idea with alacrity, and immediately picking up the phone, told the operators to put him through to Bing Crosby in Holywood.    In less than an hour, Bing, who was filming The Bells of St. Mary's at the time, returned the call of a priest whom he didn't know.   There is no doubt about it -

(When one puts God first, He puts you first and how!).    

Bing listened to the priest's request:  

" Will you do a favour for the Mother of God?",

he asked.    

"You have me",

said Bing and he would also speak on the programme live from Hollywood. 

  Cardinal  Francis Spellman of New York was also lined up to give a talk, and President Truman recorded his own special message to be broadcast.   The famous choir of the Blessed Sacrament Church in New York agreed to take care of the singing.   The project had taken on a life of its own.   

  The broadcast went right across the country, having been picked up and transmitted by more than 3OO  local stations.   It turned into a programme of major national significance.   Many newspapers had reviews of it and several radio critics hailed it as the best of the programmes celebrating the victory of Europe.  

  It opened the airwaves to Fr. Patrick Peyton and was the start of his great mission of bringing Christ to people, and bringing people to Christ, and His Holy Mother, through the rosary.     

  In these times of increasing marriage disruption, and where popular methods to try to heal the cracks are abortive, why not try saying the rosary together, even just one decade for starters, and then stand by for results!  You'll be amazed! 

  The message of Fr. Peyton to-day is more relevant than ever: The Family that prays togther, stays together!   


Grant, O Lord, that each day before we enter the little death of sleep, we may undergo the little judgement of the past day, so that every wrong deed may be forgiven and every unholy thought set right.  Let nothing go down into the depths of our being which has not been forgiven and sanctified.  Then we shall be ready for our final birth into eternity, and look forward with love and hope to standing before you, who art both judge and saviour, holy judge and loving saviour."


Anita Kilbride - Jones, 


Saint  Paul's Bay, Malta.


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