Fr. Bob’s Greeting – June 2023 Enews

It is June here at Graymoor and we are preparing for the Feast of St. Anthony, a saint that is venerated by so many people. Over the years that I have been at Graymoor, I have witnessed thousands of people who have come to give thanks or ask for favors through the intercession of St. Anthony. Some people come carrying photographs of sick relatives, some bring flowers and others just pray for their family’s needs. I see many of the same people year after year because of the faith they have in St. Anthony’s intercession. St. Anthony has long been recognized as the finder of lost articles.  He is called the “Miracle Worker” and that is because he seems to hear so many requests. He is also the patron saint of Haiti and thousands of Haitians flock to Graymoor to celebrate his feast each year. You may have called upon St. Anthony yourself when you were at your wits end. And I am more than sure he probably came through. St. Anthony is not only the patron saint of finding lost articles. He is also a Doctor of the Church and recognized as a great preacher. He reached out and worked with the poor and those who did not yet believe in the Lord Jesus. As such, he serves as a model to the Friars of the type of men we strive to be. St. Anthony has a special place in the hearts of the Friars. We have always referred to him as our “Big Brother.” This inspirational Franciscan Friar who lived eight centuries ago continues to be the spiritual comfort to millions and the guiding light to all who seek his prayerful intercession. In the words of St. Bonaventure— “Saint Anthony possessed the science of the angels, the faith of the patriarchs, the foreknowledge of the prophets, the zeal of the apostles, and the heroism of martyrs.”
Father Bob Warren, SA

Fr. Bob’s Greeting – May 2023 Enews

April 18, 2023
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The month of May is like a gentle pause between spring and summer. Traditionally, it has been called “Mary’s Month,” and what a wonderful time to dedicate to our Blessed Mother. Everything is in full bloom. At Graymoor, the trees are green again and for a time all the problems of our troubled world can take a backseat as we honor the Mother of our Savior. We, Friars, have so much to be grateful for.  During the month of May, we also thank God in a special way for this Holy Mountain—Graymoor. It was on the third of May 1900 that our founder, Father Paul Wattson, received $300.00 from friends in England to purchase the top of this mountain. Then, on the 24th of May, he received the deed to the twenty-four acres, and the Friars and Sisters climbed to the top and gave thanks to Almighty God. For the first time the Friars and Sisters had a permanent home. The original acreage has grown over the years as we built the first St. Christopher’s Inn, our homeless and drug alcohol rehabilitation center, and started to expand our ministries. So, if you are driving along US Route 9 in Putnam County, New York, and you see a large crucifix and shrine, drive in, stay awhile—become a pilgrim. Once you’ve enjoyed God’s masterpiece in nature that we call the Holy Mountain, I think you will find refreshment for the soul; perhaps, even healing.
Fr. Bob Prays the Rosary

Fr. Bob’s Greeting – April 2023 Enews

March 16, 2023
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During Holy Week and, especially, during Good Friday, our minds focus on the cross. It appeared that Jesus had been ultimately, finally and forever defeated. But the church has refused to see it that way. We call His death a victory and have adopted the cross as our symbol. We Christians have a strange vocabulary. Some of us become overwhelmed by life’s contradictions. The pain and injustice that they see on every side cause them to lose all faith in God and in life. That could have happened to Jesus. No one ever felt the world’s great agony more deeply than He did. When people were cold or hungry, or sick or in pain, He experienced their pain as if it was His very own. And no one was ever treated more unfairly than He was. You want to talk about injustice, look at Calvary. You want to talk about human suffering, look at Calvary. You want to see religious hypocrisy and political corruption at their very worst, look at Calvary. You want to wonder where God is and why He does not do something, look at Calvary… If there was a person who had the right to doubt God and to despair of the human race and to become cynical about life, that person was Jesus. But listen to Him as He says to God—Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit. Without striking a blow, He has conquered more hearts and changed more minds than Caesar’s soldiers ever dreamed. Jesus showed us that the cross really is a symbol of victory. Love is stronger than hate; faith really is more valid than cynicism. Non-violence really is more powerful than brute force… The question for us is—do we dare to believe it? Do we dare to try it?
Fr. Bob Prays the Rosary

Fr. Bob’s Greeting – March 2023 Enews

February 22, 2023
We are in the Lenten season, which will lead us to Holy Week. It is strange that we call it that because it is seven days of political corruption, moral cowardice, and physical violence. In the middle of all this is Jesus, the Lord who points us in other directions. On Holy Thursday, the night before He dies, He gives us His greatest gift, His very self, under the form of bread and wine. Then He does something unbelievable. He takes a towel and water and washes the feet of His disciples. And He tells them, if I your Lord and teacher have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. In other words, care for each other right here and now, where we meet to eat this meal. Many of us have problems. Some of us are hurting because of addictions, because of loss of family or jobs, because of illness, because of old age, or because we feel unloved or unlovable. Some are hurting because they feel they have hurt so many. Do you think for a moment you are unique, alone on a cross? For one, we all hurt because we are men and women fashioned of fragile flesh and sensitive spirit, all needing to be loved. But when we come together and share the Eucharist, we become united with Christ and with each other. You become one with those around you, and the Lord asks us to care about each other. Remember His words. I have given you an example. Do this in memory of me.