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There have been a total of three St. Christopher Inns at Graymoor, spanning a period of one hundred and eight years.
All three were built in an area midway up the Mount of the Atonement. Throughout the years there have been a number of “sheds” located in different areas of the mountain, which also housed the wayfarers coming to Graymoor.
The Sisters of the Atonement moved into their convent on October 18, 1899 and soon after wayfarers began coming to the convent for help. The first recorded visitor was on October 18, 1899.
Why it is Called St. Christopher’s Inn
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 observed 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 Friars of the Atonement further elaborated on the incident by saying, “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 Fr. Paul spoke of the origin of St. Christopher’s Inn and Mother Lurana, “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."