“I was director of the retreat center from 1973-77 during which time it was known as ‘The Graymoor Christian Unity Center’. The associate director was Fr. Jack Lewis and the administrator was Br. Deporres Poncia. As director I oversaw the retreat and conference Center, the pilgrimage ministry and the Religious Article and Book Store. Those years were both a busy and also a creative time for us in promoting the use of the facilities. We emphasized the Christian theme of reconciliation in our outreach to clients and so conducted retreats for various groups including separated divorced and remarried Catholics, retreats for widowed persons, but we also promoted Graymoor as a place where people could meet, share their experiences and receive direction for their lives.
It was during my tenure as director that we had begun Matt Talbot Retreats for recovering alcoholics. This particular ministry has continued down to the present day. Br. Deporres worked diligently to promote the conference rental aspect of the Center and through his efforts ecumenical groups continued to use the center many years after we had moved on. One group in particular was the Episcopal Diocese of New York which would come in two groups under the leadership of Bishop Moore. Bishop Moore would be accompanied by the Suffragan Bishop Wetmore who later became an affiliate of the fraternity. When he would visit Graymoor, Wetmore never failed to remind us that he was checking out how well we were doing with their property, a reference to the time when the Society was Episcopal. Such humor reflected on our good ecumenical relations.
I would say that Graymoor became a popular place to make a weekend retreat, a day for spiritual renewal or a short visit because of the hospitality of the Friars who sought to make them feel at home and at-one with people who differed from them in many ways.”