Saint Christopher’s Inn Receives Proclamation from Putnam County, April Announced as Alcohol Awareness Month
Saint Christopher’s Inn was selected to receive a Proclamation from Putnam County, announcing April 2022 as Alcohol Awareness Month.
The Proclamation was publicly made on Tuesday, April 5 by the Putnam County Legislature at its meeting in Carmel. Michael Piazza, Jr., the Putnam County Department of Social Services and Mental Health Commissioner, invited Saint Christopher’s Inn to receive the Proclamation. The Inn graciously accepted on behalf of all treatment and prevention programs in Putnam County.
Dr. James Schiller, Ph.D, Executive Director of Saint Christopher’s Inn, and Father Dennis Polanco, SA, the Inn’s President and Spiritual Director, both attended the meeting to receive the Proclamation.
“It was a very moving ceremony to see so many groups who do such great work for others in the County and receive the Legislature’s Proclamation,” Father Dennis said.
The Proclamation reads, “Resolved, the Putnam County Executive and the Putnam County Legislature do hereby proclaim April 2022 as Alcohol Awareness Month and along with the Putnam County Communities That Care Coalition and all prevention, treatment and recovery providers in Putnam County encourage all residents to increase their awareness of alcohol use disorders, the dangers associated with underage drinking, the success of prevention and treatment programs, especially for our youth, and to support and encourage referrals for treatment of individuals when an alcohol use disorder is suspected or present.”
Saint Christopher’s Inn received high praise from many in attendance.
Nancy Montgomery, Putnam County’s District 1 Legislator, called Saint Christopher’s Inn “a gem.” She also spoke of her wonderful experience at last month’s Atonement Franciscan Assembly, which was held at Graymoor.
Librarians from the Fish Library were on hand and had great things to say about Saint Christopher’s Inn, Father Dennis said. One librarian gave a man a ride from the Garrison train station to the Inn, as there were no taxis available at the stop.
Saint Christopher’s Inn offers men in crisis physical, emotional and spiritual healing through chemical dependency treatment, primary health care and temporary housing. No one is ever turned away due to race, religion, creed or ability to pay.
When they came to the Holy Mountain in the early 1900s, Servant of God Father Paul Wattson, SA, and Mother Lurana White, SA, encountered homeless, hungry and weary wanderers. Father Paul and Mother Lurana shared generously with them.
In 1909, some of the men built a chicken coup out of fallen trees. While visiting Washington, Father Paul decided upon his return to Graymoor that he would transform the lodge into a house for the “pilgrims of the road.” He named it Saint Christopher’s Inn, after the patron saint of travelers, dubbing the men “Brothers Christopher.”
The Inn then expanded, helping alcoholics and addicts in need of help.