Carrollton Hall Historic Site – Opening Celebrations

Fr. Michael Heine, OFM Conv. welcomed guests as they arrived to the “back door” of the manor house, located today on the street side of the building, and the formal entrance way for all visitors. Carrollton Hall Historic Site is located on the grounds of The Shrine of St. Anthony, in Ellicott City, MD. As a favorite granddaughter of Charles Carroll, the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence, Emily Caton McTavish was gifted property known as Folly Quarter and funds to build the manor house. A parcel of the vast estate grounds is now the site of several of our Province ministries, including: The Shrine of St. Anthony, Carrollton Hall Historic Site, Our Lady of the Angels Province – Provincial House, the Companions of St. Anthony, the Province FMA Office (Franciscan Mission Association), Franciscan Soy Candles, and Little Portion Farm. The property also includes several meditation trails & gardens, an outdoor Shrine of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe, OFM Conv., outdoor Stations of the Cross, and a peaceful Grotto. Many more projects are underway, as the property is evolving into one of the premier destinations for the faithful to find a location for peace and reflective tranquility.

March 17, 2022 – Reception for Donors: To honor the Irish heritage of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, the Friars held a St. Patrick’s Day reception for many of the major donors to the campaign for restoring, renovating and rejuvenating our Carrollton Hall Historic Site, in Ellicott City, MD. The first of two opening events for Carrollton Hall, the reception was hosted by the Very Reverend Fr. James McCurry, OFM Conv. ~ Minister Provincial of the Our Lady of the Angels Province, and Fr. Michael Heine, OFM Conv. ~ Vicar Provincial of the Our Lady of the Angels Province and Director of Carrollton Hall. This event offered donors a first-view of the completed work and a preview of the site’s future programs.

In the background of this photo you can see the original portrait of Emily Caton McTavish, gifted to our friars by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd and replacing the replica which used to hang there (read more). Friars and guests enjoy hors d’oeurves and drinks in the restored Carrollton Gallery. The friars pictured here include: Fr. Richard-Jacob Forcier, OFM Conv. (Province Secretary, Rector & Director of The Shrine of St. Anthony, Spiritual Guardian of the Companions of St. Anthony), Fr. Donald Grzymski, OFM Conv. (Pastor for the Archdiocese of Baltimore Pastorate of St. Casimir Church and St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church), Friar Michael, Br. Paschal Kolodziej, OFM Conv. (Staff Friar at The Shrine of St. Anthony), Very Rev. Martin Kobos, OFM Conv. (Dean of the Northumberland Deanery and Pastor of Mother Cabrini Catholic Church, in Shamokin, PA), and Fr. Bogusław Dąbrowski, OFM Conv., a friar of the Kraków Poland Province of St. Anthony and Bl. James of Strepar in Poland, for whom he served as a Missionary in Uganda for almost 20 years. Friar Bogus is now living and working with our friars in Ellicott City, where he assists at The Shrine and will start preaching for and promoting our Province’s FMA efforts.

Friar James, Friar Michael and Joseph Hamilton (Province Director of Mission Advancement) presented varied information on the history and future of Carrollton Hall Historic Site. At the conclusion of the evening’s program, Friar James was honored by Ms. Terry Chaconas, Chief of Staff, on behalf of Delegate Courtney Watson, District 9B, representative to the Maryland House of Delegates, with a citation from the State of Maryland “in recognition of the restoration and preservation of Carrollton Hall, an historic site in the State of Maryland and a beacon of the enduring values of our nation’s founding.”

Among several honored guests were Melvin Harrell, DeWitte Shipley and his wife Melva Shipley. Melvin and DeWitte are descendants of Joseph Shipley and Caroline Beaver who were slaves at Carrollton Hall, were married in the St. Mary’s Seminary Chapel, on July 22, 1837. They raised their family at Carrollton Hall.


March 27, 2022 – Blessing and Rededication: The friars hosted the second of two opening events for Carrollton Hall Historic Site, when in the presence of friars, dignitaries, friends, and benefactors, the Most Reverend William E. Lori, the 16th Archbishop of Baltimore blessed Carrollton Hall for its re-opening to the public.

During his remarks, Archbishop Lori pointed out that he was wearing the pectoral cross worn by his predecessor, Most Rev. John Carroll (the 1st Bishop and Archbishop Baltimore, the first Diocese in United States of America and the cousin of Charles Carroll of Carrollton), at his consecration in 1790. During the event Friar James gifted Archbishop Lori with print number one of a limited edition of 300 print reproductions of the 1831 watercolor design of Carrollton Hall, by celebrated Baltimore architect, William F. Small, a protégé of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the architect of The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the first Roman Catholic cathedral built in the United States (under the direction of Archbishop John Carroll and Charles Carroll).

To celebrate the significance of the blessing of Carrollton Hall by Archbishop William E. Lori, and to highlight continuity with the past, those present assembled on the steps of Carrollton Hall to recreate the photograph of the 1928 blessing by Archbishop Michael Joseph Curley.

May God bless Carrollton Hall for the next century of Franciscan ministry and presence in the United States of America.

The 1928 blessing by the Most Reverend Michael Joseph Curley, 10th Archbishop of Baltimore. Note that among those present that day was Fr. Justin M. Figas, OFM Conv. (to the left of the Archbishop), the founder and host of the Fr. Justin Rosary Hour.

The 2022 Blessing Group Shot. The friars pictured here include: (bottom row: Fr. Bart Karwacki, OFM Conv. (Guardian of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Friary, Baltimore), Friar James, Fr. Jude Winkler, OFM Conv. (Order’s Assistant General – CFF), Friar Bogus, Friar Paschal, Friar Michael – 2nd row staggered: Fr. Robert Twele, OFM Conv., Esq. (CRS & Province General Counsel), Fr. Andy Santamauro, OFM Conv. (Parochial Vicar for the Archdiocese of Baltimore Pastorate of St. Casimir Church and St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church), Fr. Emmanuel Oposika Acquaye, OFM Conv. (Hospital Chaplain and Clinical Counselor), Fr. Kevin Hanley, OFM Conv. (Definitor, Guardian, and Pastor in our Blessed Agnellus of Pisa Province Custody), Friar Richard-Jacob, Br. Ed Handy, OFM Conv. (Friar in Residence at St. Casimir Friary, Baltimore), and Fr. Grzegorz (Greg) Wierzowiecki, OFM Conv. (Staff Friar at The Shrine of St. Anthony).

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