Faith at Folly Quarter

The Franciscan Friars at Folly Quarter

Franciscan Friars gathered in front of the Manor House in 1928 to bless their new novitiate at Folly Quarter.

The saintly Cardinal Protector of the Order, Raphael Merry del Val, Secretary of State under Saint Piux X, sent his blessing on the new establishment, which was to be used by the Friars as their novitiate.

As grand as it was, Folly Quarter was too small for the growing community from the start. One of the Friars, an architect, Fr. Benedict Przemielewski was commissioned to design a new novitiate. Fr. Benedict chose to miniature the “Sacro Convento,” the original Friary built in Assisi, Italy, in the 13th century. Archbishop Michael Curley blessed the new novitiate at its completion in 1931.

The Most Reverand Michael Curley,
Archbishop of Baltimore, lays the cornerstone
of the new novitiate at Folly Quarter.

In 1932, the centennial of its completion, Carrollton Hall came to be called “the Mission House,” the new home of the Mission Band or “The Preaching Friars,” whose ministry it was to preach “missions” to parishes and schools in order to rejuvenate the faith of the people. The Preaching Friars were men with hardy spirits and great physical stamina. The Friars were eloquent in Polish and English; they were challenging in the pulpit and compassionate in the confessional.

Archbishop Curley in 1931 blessing the new novitiate at Folly Quarter, the St. Joseph Cupertino Friary.

In 1992, a new evangelization ministry was conceived that would be a “Church without walls.” Through the Companions of St. Anthony, the friars and their associates seek to serve the public through a variety of contemplative and catechetical experiences. In 1995, with the gift of a major relic of St. Anthony from their confreres at the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua, Italy, the friars began a ministry that grew into the Shrine of St. Anthony we know today. On July 1, 2004, His Eminence William Cardinal Keeler, the Archbishop of Baltimore declared the Shrine of St. Anthony the official Archdiocesan shrine to St. Anthony.