Friars to begin their year-long, global celebration this December with special events and recognitions, beginning with Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City on December 15th and additional community initiatives and activities throughout 2024.
NOVEMBER 30, 2023—GRAYMOOR, GARRISON, N.Y.—To commemorate the 125th anniversary of the founding of the Society of the Atonement, the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Atonement will commence a series of local and international celebrations, starting in December 2023 and continuing throughout 2024. On Friday, December 15th, there will be a special mass open to the public at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City at 4:00pm celebrated by the Most Rev. Edmund J. Whalen, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York. Additional gatherings and celebrations will take place throughout 2024 to bring about a spirit of gratitude, reflection and rejuvenation, and embracing both the legacy and the future of their mission of At-One-Ment.
The Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Atonement cordially invite all in the community, near and far, to participate in the upcoming gatherings below.
Anniversary Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Jubilee Celebration: The Friars will hold an inspiring liturgical gathering on Friday, December 15th, the Society of the Atonement’s Foundation Day, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City at 4:00 p.m. This joyful occasion will be graced by distinguished guests, clergy, and members of the community who have been touched by the Friars and Sisters’ profound commitment to At-One-Ment, healing, and reconciliation. For more information and to register, please contact Mission Support at 845-424-2143.
800th Anniversary of the Nativity: Join us for the 800th Anniversary of the Nativity on Sunday, December 17th at Graymoor at 12:30 p.m. We have more than 100 unique Nativity sets from around the world, and they’ll each be showcased and on display. Guests can tour our diverse creche display and complete their visit with refreshments and a musical experience in our Cardinal Spellman Library. For more information and to register, please contact our Holy Mountain Retreat Center at 845-690-1124.
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: Graymoor founders Father Paul Wattson and Mother Lurana White celebrated the first Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in 1908. It is now observed and celebrated annually as a period of eight days during which Christians can come together and pray for unity within the faith, reflect on scripture and participate in communal services. The theme for 2024 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is, “You shall love the Lord your God … and your neighbor as yourself,” from Luke, Chapter 10, verse 27. Week of Prayer will be observed January 18th through January 25th. Please visit the Atonement Friars’ Facebook page for more news on Week of Prayer and visit the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute website to order 2024 Week of Prayer materials.
125th Anniversary Lecture Series: A thought-provoking series of lectures and panel discussions featuring prominent speakers from diverse fields such as theology, spirituality, interfaith dialogue, and social justice is planned. Through intellectual engagement, participants will explore the relevance of the Friars and Sisters’ mission in today’s world. Additional information coming soon.
2024 Retreats and Pilgrimages: Guided retreats and pilgrimages at the Holy Mountain Franciscan Retreat Center at Graymoor, the spiritual headquarters of the Friars and Sisters of the Atonement will provide participants with a transformative spiritual experience. These events offer individuals an opportunity for reflection and personal growth amidst the tranquil and picturesque surroundings of the Hudson Valley highlands. Additional information can be found on our website.
The Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Atonement have long stood at the forefront of promoting dialogue, unity and compassion in a world often marked by division. In 1898, Servant of God Father Paul Wattson, SA, and Mother Lurana White, SA, founded the Society of the Atonement to help bring about “At-One-Ment” – the reconciliation of Christians and their churches and unity in fulfillment of Jesus’ prayer “that all may be one.”
Atop the Holy Mountain of Graymoor across more than 300 acres in Garrison, New York, the Friars carry out several ministries and offer an extensive number of programs that promote hope, healing and harmony.
Among the Friars’ ministries is St. Christopher’s Inn, a place where people can not only come for addiction treatment and recovery, but a safe haven where they can come to heal, find spiritual hope and renewal, and rediscover their true selves. We see everyone who comes to St. Christopher’s Inn as “Christ-bearers,” as we help them find peace and solace through belief in a higher power. The Friars instill in them the knowledge that they are worthy of love, dignity and respect. St. Christopher’s Inn has been saving lives more than 114 years.
The Friars offer countless retreats through the Holy Mountain Franciscan Retreat Center; religious items and texts through the Graymoor Book & Gift Center and the Union That Nothing Be Lost Thrift Shop; and organic vegetables and greens in the warm-weather months through San Damiano Farm. The Friars’ ministries also include the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute in New York City and the Centro Pro Unione in Rome, both serving as ecumenical centers of activity. At the same time, the Friars maintain their worldwide presence in places like Brockton, Massachusetts; Toronto, Ontario, Japan, Canada; Assisi, Italy; and Lima, Peru. Above all, our prayer ministry serves hundreds of thousands of people each year.
Additional details on our milestone celebration will continue to be shared in the coming weeks and months ahead.
About the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement
The Franciscan Friars of the Atonement are a Catholic religious community dedicated to bringing reconciliation and healing to a broken world by living, embracing and fostering the Franciscan spirit of “At-One-Ment”— unity with God, others and self – while seeking to promote dialogue among Christians and all people of faith. Inspired by St. Francis of Assisi, Servant of God Father Paul Wattson, SA, founded the Friars of the Atonement in 1898 to walk as brothers alongside those in need of God’s love and healing. We do this through ministries like St. Christopher’s Inn, Do Not Fear to Hope HIV/AIDS Support Group, the Holy Mountain Franciscan Retreat Center and various ecumenical centers and parish ministries throughout the world. His Eminence, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, opened Father Paul’s cause for canonization on September 22, 2015, in New York City. Learn more at atonementfriars.org.