Located on a 236 acre campus in rural Ellicott City, MD, the rich history of relationships surrounding the property on which The Shrine of St. Anthony sits extends all the way back to the founding of the colony of Maryland and even to a relation to the first bishop of the Premier See of the United States. From their early start as owners of the property and the establishment of a Novitiate in the manor house in 1928, to today’s two friary-property, with friars serving in varied capacities, through nine on-site and six off-site ministries, our Franciscan Friars Conventual have made this beautiful landscape their home.
The video above was created in 2017 and features much of the beauty of the Ellicott City Complex. A large part of the property, and the ministries within, have been enhanced and enriched over these past years. One of the largest changes is that of Carrollton Hall Historic Site. This is the original manor house of Folly Quarter, built in 1832 by Charles Carroll, and given as a gift to his granddaughter – Emily Caton McTavish. After varied hands of ownership, it was purchased by our friars in 1928. Through the generosity of a large group of distinguished donors, the historically significant 190 year old manor house has recently gone through an extensive restoration project that was many years in the making. In addition to restoring the grand manor to its original beauty, our friars have made some unique spiritual and historically significant additions. A period home chapel was adapted in one of the manor rooms, housing a vast array of relics and artifacts, including a restored marble altar which covered the Tomb of St. Francis in Assisi for over 100 years (1821 Assisi Altar). The manor’s front facade’s retaining wall is being converted to “The Carrollton Hall Memorial Project – Memorializing the people who were enslaved there…” The renovation projects are almost at their completion and on Sunday, March 27, 2022 Carrollton Hall Historic Site will be blessed and dedicated by Archbishop William E. Lori, of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. (Opening Celebrations)
Other additions to the property include our Little Portion Farm ministry, producing vegetables donated to the economically disadvantaged via the work of the Franciscan Sisters of Baltimore’s Franciscan Center, in Baltimore, MD. The barn was also updated to assist in the storage and transfer of the harvests from Little Portion Farm and Farmer Matt has an office located in the rejuvenated Carrollton Hall. In 2021, our province’s Franciscan Soy Candles ministry relocated from one of our New York friaries to the lower level of The Shrine, which continues to grow with many more pilgrims visiting each year. The other ministries on-site include: FMA (Franciscan Mission Association), the Companions of St. Anthony, and the Provincialate Offices.
Many of the outdoor prayerful reflection features of The Shrine grounds, such as the Grotto in honor of Our Lady of Lourdes, the St. Maximilian M. Kolbe, OFM Conv. Outdoor Shrine, the Outdoor Stations of the Cross and the numerous Prayer Paths and Gardens are depicted in this 2017 video. Excitedly the friars of The Shrine of St. Anthony look forward to the most recent development project, which is in the midst of completion. A very generous donor to The Shrine has gifted a beautiful St. Anthony Garden of Eternity, which will be completed May 2022.
The 14 friars of the Portiuncula Friary and the St. Joseph of Cupertino Friary invite everyone come spend some time with them in prayer and peace, in personal reflection and in group day retreats or meetings. Daily Noon Mass is celebrated in the Chapel at The Shrine and friars are on hand Monday – Saturday, prior to Mass for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The on-site Gift Shop is open daily and the grounds are open during daylight hours, even on days when The Shrine buildings are closed.