Today I discovered a little jewel at the foot of the Ox Mountains, I was driving with friends from Foxford to Ballina when one of them noticed a sign for the Father Peyton Centre. It was a beautiful day and we had very little planned so we decided to follow the signposts, I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it was not the beautifully landscaped, contemporary building nestled in Attymass village that we drove up to.
The first thing I noticed when I walked into the spacious reception area was the smell of fresh baking, followed by the friendly welcome from the staff. We were told there was a DVD presentation on the life of Father Peyton and that a guide could show us around and explain more about the centre and the memorabilia that is on display, it was also made very clear to us that we were welcome to browse at our leisure.
We decided to watch the DVD presentation and were led into a very large room with a 3D exhibit, I wondered where the film was to be shown and as our guide chatted to my friend who knew a little about Father Peyton, three large screens appeared at the touch of a button. The film itself was informative and the imaginative way it is shown on three screens instead of one adds to the experience.
Our tour guide returned and took us through the contemplation garden to heritage rooms where she showed us more of Fr Peyton personal memorabilia, and after answering our many questions, led us to a small bright chapel, I couldn’t help wonder how many more nooks and crannies were in this deceptively expansive building.
We followed our noses to the dining room where we indulged in still warm from the oven scones and a cup of tea, heaven!
When I arrived I had known nothing about Father Peyton, the Rosary Priest who led the world in prayer through radio, film and his ministry for five decades, but I left well informed and inspired.
As we left I glanced back where the flags were being flown with pride both literally and figuratively for Father Peyton and Mayo Tourism, we were all very glad we had decided to follow the signs and will definitely be returning.