History of St. Christopher's Inn

| 15 Feb 2012 | 08:52

    Garrison — St. Christopher’s Inn in Garrison is a temporary homeless shelter dedicated to the rehabilitation of the men in crisis who are all called “Brothers Christopher.” The story of how the inn got its name is told on its’ Web site (http://stchristophersinn-graymoor.org): In the summer of 1900, a young Jew had stopped at St. Francis Convent in need of a meal. As was the custom at the time, all the wayfarers were asked to fill two zinc buckets at the door with water “in compensation for the meal.” In the case of this man Mother Lurana White, founder of the Sisters of the Atonement, had whispered to the other sister present not to have him fill the buckets because he looked so frail. When he finished eating and left, both pails that had been empty were now filled to the brim. After this incident the sisters remembered the words from Hebrews about being unaware of entertaining angels and the words of Jesus, “As long as you did it for one of these, you did it for me,” and they started to refer to “men who sought alms or food at the convent door, 'Brother Christopher.’” Father Paul Wattson, founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, further elaborated on the incident: “From that time forward we gave the name Brother Christopher to every penniless, wayfaring man seeking our hospitality and without question as to religion, race or color.” In later years Wattson spoke of the origin of St. Christopher’s Inn and Mother Lurana White: “It was she who prepared the way for St. Christopher’s Inn and Graymoor and it was she who ministered with her own hands to that mysterious visitor to St. Francis Convent in the summer of 1900.”