When Hollywood Was Prayerful: ‘Pray: The Story Of Patrick Peyton’ Will Lift Up All Audiences
Heading for theatrical release and then streaming VOD is a historical documentary, Pray: The Story Of Patrick Peyton which is about a beloved figure from the past.
A priest, Patrick Peyton, managed to capture the attention of the A-list actors of his time. In turn they became devoted fans, helping him to spread his word of family strength through prayer and love.
Back in 1947, a young Father Patrick Peyton, C.S.C., fortuitously landed a hard-to-get train ticket to Hollywood to pursue his dream of starting a national radio program. The show and the company he set up to produce it was then called Family Theater.
Now the legacy of the Venerable Patrick Peyton, this Hollywood Rosary priest who captured the admiration and counted the fellowship of famous folks like Jackie Gleason, Loretta Young, Ethel Barrymore, Maureen O’Hara, Don Ameche, Princess Grace of Monaco, Maureen O’Sullivan, Jack Benny, Jimmy Stewart, Ann Blyth and Bing Crosby to name just a few has come full circle.
Hollywood’s Family Theater Productions’ touching film of the miraculous life of Venerable Patrick Peyton is one to watch for all ages.
About Pray: The Story of Patrick Peyton
This documentary film about Father Peyton, the famous Hollywood Rosary priest, and chronicles his dedicated mission in his storied life to inspire millions of families to pray together. He also coined the famous phrase: “The family that prays together stays together.”
His beginnings were less stellar. Peyton was a poor, uneducated Irish immigrant who set sail for America in 1928 with nothing but his faith and dreams of easily striking it rich, like many Irish immigrants sold this facile “streets lined with gold” notion of America.
The film and Peyton’s success almost wasn’t to be at all, if not for the kindness of one woman.
Father Peyton knew he had to head west to get the radio show he wanted broadcast, and he planned to leave New York and head to Los Angeles. During the war years, this was easier said than done.
If not for the generosity of a Sister who handed an unused ticket to Los Angeles, donated to Father Peyton with no strings attached, he may have not had the chances he was able to secure.
But his early years were quite hard. Landing in Pennsylvania and unable to find work, he accepted a job as janitor at the Catholic cathedral. Being immersed back in the church set him to a path of becoming a priest. Nearing his ordination, he was stricken with tuberculosis, a certain death sentence back in the day.
A visit from his mentor who urged him to pray to the Holy Mother helped him recover and lifted his heart. Peyton prayed fervently to Mary for her intercession and fortunately he was able to recover. This chain of events became his new mission, to spread the work of the power of prayer.
Regardless of denomination, Peyton’s messages of prayer were for all, not just the faithful Catholic community. Feeling a deep gratitude to God for his second chance at life, Father Peyton encouraged families worldwide to believe in and to bring the power of prayer back into their homes.
He eventually enlisted the aid of Hollywood’s biggest celebrities in radio, film and TV, and traveled the world sharing the message of family prayer and its healing and hope with millions.
Before you knew it, Hollywood was a prayerful community who urged their fans to focus on the family, and to pray.
More about the film
“We now have the opportunity to bring Pray to theaters where families will be able to experience the powerful and hopeful message of family prayer,” said Father David Guffey, C.S.C., national director of Family Theater Productions and executive producer of Pray.
“Pray is more than a movie, it’s a prayer movement. We want to encourage families to watch this remarkable movie that focuses on the transformative power of prayer. Father Patrick Peyton inspired millions with his message of family prayer. Our goal in the film’s accompanying Pray Together Now movement is 10 million globally pledging to pray daily with those they love.”
“‘Pray is an exceptional movie about an exceptional man, produced at an exceptional time in our history as a nation and Church,” said Julia M. Dezelski, S.T.D., Assistant Director, Marriage & Family Life, Laity, Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, USCCB. “It is absolutely vital for families to experience the ‘glue’ that is family prayer, especially the Rosary. As a child, my family was glued together by the Rosary. Still today, even with a toddler and baby, the Rosary has a daily place in our lives as a family. I recommend this movie to families everywhere: watch it and let it transform you into a family that prays together; it will make a lasting difference!”
Award-winning production company Family Theater Productions creates family and faith-based media and was founded in 1947 by Father Patrick Peyton, C.S.C., and headquartered on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.
Watch the preview here:
The documentary will release in select theaters nationwide Friday, October 9, and is produced by Family Theater Productions, the same Hollywood organization founded by Father Patrick Peyton, and will be distributed by ArtAffects. It will be available for streaming via VOD and DVD sales.