MC native helps produce movie 'Pray'

Mount Carroll native Father David Guffey, C.S.C., facing camera, is interviewed by director Jonathan Cipiti, back to camera, for “Pray: The Story of Patrick Peyton” at the Family Theater Productions offices on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, Calif. Father Guffey, son of Gary and Eileen Guffey of Mount Carroll, is the national director of Family Theater Productions and executive producer of “Pray.” The movie makes its national theatrical debut Friday, Oct. 9, including at the Lindo Theater in Freeport.

HOLLYWOOD, Calif.—Sunset Boulevard is about the last place anyone might expect to find a future saint. But it's where Father Patrick Peyton, C.S.C., — named Venerable by the Vatican (step three on the road to sainthood) — crafted a message, recruited some of the most famous entertainers in the world to work with him for free, and founded a production company that produced thousands of hours of family oriented content.

As a result, Father Patrick Peyton became the most famous man you've never heard of. Until now.

“Pray: The Story of Patrick Peyton,” the inspiring documentary that tells this story, is being released nationwide in select theaters on Friday, Oct. 9, including The Lindo Theater in Freeport.

Mount Carroll native Father David Guffey, C.S.C., is the national director of Family Theater Productions and executive producer of “Pray.”

"Fr. Peyton dedicated his entire life to his mission of changing the world through teaching others about the transformational power of prayer," said Father Guffey, a priest at St. Monica Catholic Church in Santa Monica, Calif. "We want to bring his inspirational message to audiences who are seeking to create a more meaningful way to connect with God and the universe during these challenging times."

Beginning in 1947, Father Peyton and Family Theater Productions turned out ecumenical radio dramas for the nationwide Mutual Broadcasting System, as well as films, TV shows, and outdoor advertising. He secured some of the biggest stars in showbiz to appear in those productions, including Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Lucille Ball and Jimmy Stewart. Family Theater Productions, the production company Father Peyton built, still operates today in the same Hollywood location.

Yet, being the Hollywood Priest wasn't enough for Father Peyton. He circled the globe, touching the lives of countless souls with his enduring message of love, peace, justice and mercy. To promote the power of family prayer, he organized massive rallies in such locations as San Francisco, Brussels, Madrid, Manila, Lima, and Rio de Janeiro, where he spoke to audiences from hundreds of thousands to millions at a time.

Father Peyton's story began in a small cottage in the West of Ireland in 1909, where he was born into a large, poor, yet devoutly religious Irish Catholic family who prayed together every night. His lifelong devotion to promoting family prayer — summed up in his signature phrases "The Family That Prays Together Stays Together" and "A World at Prayer is a World at Peace" — sprang from the faith of his family, and his own miraculous healing from tuberculosis.

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