“We have been called to heal wounds, to unite what has fallen apart, and to bring home those who have lost their way.” –St. Francis of Assisi


Servant of God Father Paul of Graymoor, Apostle of Christian Unity and Charity, set forth in the steps of St. Francis of Assisi, taking vows of corporal poverty and helping others through charitable works and direct support, no matter where there was need. For this reason, Father Paul is called the Apostle of Unity and Charity. The Franciscan Friars of the Atonement have always taken these words of St. Francis to be the core of their mission.

In today’s Church, Pope Francis has said, “The thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else. Heal the wounds, heal the wounds. … And you have to start from the ground up.”

The Franciscan Friars of the Atonement work in this field hospital every day, serving needy and the homeless; people living with HIV; frail and elderly in hospitals and hospices; and people seeking recovery from alcoholism and chemical addictions. In the face of pain and suffering, the Friars continue to be missionaries for mercy through prayer and action.


St. Christopher’s Inn, founded by Servant of God Father Paul of Graymoor, is the oldest continuously open residential shelter in the New York metropolitan area and a temporary home to about 1,000 men each year. Since 1909, the Inn has served tens of thousands of men, most suffering from drug addiction and/or alcohol abuse.


In addition to housing, the men receive compassionate and professional treatment for addiction in the Friars’ outpatient treatment program. The Friars and staff strive to maintain an environment that encourages and facilitates men while they are in treatment, so they can achieve long-term recovery. The presence of the Friars serving at the Inn is a key part of this environment, as they assure men they are welcomed, they are safe, and they are loved, no matter what they may think of themselves when they arrive.


Visit the St. Christopher’s Inn website for information about services and referrals. You can also listen to these Audio Reflections & Affirmations for the 12 Steps of Recovery with Fr. Dennis Polanco, SA, to help you or someone you love in their recovery journey.


Today, fortunately, vast powers of science and government are directed toward battling the AIDS pandemic. But the long-run, large-scale help they provide is only a part of the story. Through spirituality, individuals with HIV and AIDS can overcome pain, loneliness, and loss right now, each day. Since 1988, the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement have welcomed people of all faiths who are HIV positive or who have AIDs through:

  • Monthly Support Sessions: These sessions provide emotional support as well as shared information and experiences about living with HIV and AIDs.
  • Annual Retreats: This weekend is an opportunity for those with HIV and AIDS to reflect, focus, and develop a closer relationship with God or their higher power.
  • Scholarships: Because AIDS is a disease that is often economically as well as physically devastating, most of our retreat participants require a scholarship. In fact, with the help of other agencies, we make a special effort to offer these healing weekends to those whose everyday medical, spiritual, and financial needs are impossible to imagine.

For More Information: Call Fr. Bob Warren of Do Not Fear to Hope today at (845) 424-3671.


San Damiano House & Farm, a new life-giving ministry of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement dedicated to serving men in recovery from addictions, opened at Graymoor in Garrison, New York, on October 1, 2017. This transitional living opportunity offers housing and vocational training while allowing men who have completed a component of treatment at St. Christopher’s Inn, to remain on the Holy Mountain and continue working towards long-term recovery.