More than 75 people visited the Holy Mountain on June 6 to celebrate Heritage and Benefactor Day at Graymoor. The joyous celebration began with Mass, followed by a “blessing of the bricks” ceremony by Fr. Brian Terry, SA and Fr. James Gardiner, SA. Many benefactors explored the tree-lined walkway leading to the St. Anthony Shrine to find the names of their loved ones on the remembrance bricks.

All were invited to a delicious luncheon and true Atonement Friars hospitality. Fr. Bob Warren, SA noted that this event coincided with the 80th anniversary of D-Day. Fr. Bob shared personal anecdotes, including hearing about the news on the radio in the U.K., where he was born. Even at a young age, he recognized the sadness of loss and the heroism of those who fought for freedom, Fr. Bob said.

He also read a letter from a young boy who says he wants to be a Friar when he grows up! The boy also wrote that he prays each night for the Friars and concluded his letter with a special request, “PS: Please write back if you can!” Fr. Bob encouraged the attendees to pray for the young boy as well.

Fr. Brian reflected and shared updates from all of the ministries abroad. He discussed the good works of the ministry in Japan, including the education taking place at two religious schools, St. Claire and St. Joseph. He also discussed formation and the work of our tertiaries, including Br. Giuseppe Rinaldi, the first Italian tertiary postulant. Br. Giuseppe, a trained veterinarian, works with abused animals and helps to rehabilitate them. More great formation news was shared as Fr. Brian welcomed Charles Okorie as the newest postulant in Rome.

Fr. Brian concluded by reminding all that many more wonderful events will take place as the celebration of the Society of the Atonement’s 125th anniversary continues through December 15, 2024.

Attention turned to St. Christopher’s Inn and Fr. Dennis Polanco, SA shared its history of what started as a humble refuge for travelers that now supports mean on their path to recovery from addiction. We are proud to offer Brothers Christoper the chance to reside at St. Christopher’s Inn for up to 6 months.
The SCI choir joined us throughout the day, serving as the choir during Mass, and helped us conclude the day by leading us in singing Happy Birthday to Norma, a benefactor who turned 97 that day!

Following lunch and the short program, guests chatted with the Friars, including those visiting from Peru and Italy.

Please consider becoming a monthly supporter of our missions by donating here. We’d love to see you at our future events!

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