Brief History of the Marian Friary
The history of the foundation of the North American mission of the Franciscans of the Immaculate began in December 1990 when the first friars arrived and took residence in a small room in the Holy Apostle Seminary in Cromwell, CT. In the beginning of 1991, the friars transferred to a small house near the seminary for a monthly rent paid by benefactors. There the first vocations came who were attracted to the Franciscan-Marian life and in 1992, in order to accommodate more space for vocations, they transferred into a bigger house which was given for use to the friars by the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady, Mother of the Church in Baltic, CT.
Following a donation of a piece of land on the part of a Catholic benefactress, Eileen Brown, and having received permission from the bishop, in the autumn of 1998, the friars began the construction of a novitiate and the Mother House of the American mission. The work was finished in August 2000. Hence, the friars from Baltic moved to the new friary on August 19, 2000. Bishop Hart of Norwich blessed the new community in the presence of the Father Founders, Fr. Stefano M. Manelli and Fr. Gabriel M. Pellettieri. The same bishop consecrated the chapel constructed in English Franciscan Gothic style on August 25, 2001.
Brief History of the Church
The Church of the Our Lady of Guadalupe has an old history. The Tudor style church was initially erected by the Presbyterians in 1853 but abandoned in 1869. The local parish of the Immaculate Conception, which was without a church of their own, obtained and renovated the structure. It was consecrated in 1909 and remained in use until damaged by a fire in 1972. It was abandoned and left standing without ever having been repaired.
Some local men received permission to demolish the structure and discovered that much of the fire damage was superficial. They carefully dismantled the church and stored the damaged woodwork. From this wood as well as from several other benefactors, the church was constructed.
With the arrival of the friars in 1993, the work of building the church began. The new church was solemnly consecrated by Bishop Hart on August 25, 2001 and on October 28, 2001 it became a center of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
The Mission of the Immaculate Mediatrix (MIM) is a Roman Catholic public association of the faithful which allows lay persons to join into the Marian-Franciscan charism of the Franciscans of the Immaculate. For more about the MIM, see this page.
Meetings are held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Friary on the last Sunday of each month, from 9am-4:30pm. It is strongly recommended to call ahead to confirm since this is subject to change.
- 9am Rosary and Confessions
- 9:30am Holy Mass, Rosary, & Confessions
- 12pm Lunch (bag lunch)
- 12:45pm Formation classes
- 1:45pm Business meeting
- 2:45pm Chaplet of Divine Mercy & Benediction
- 3:10pm Formation Classes
- 4:10pm Vespers (Evening Prayer)
The meetings are open to anyone who wishes to come: members and non-members, people who are just curious about the MIM, and people who have commitments that might prevent them from formally joining. If anyone wishes to just attend Holy Mass, or just Holy Mass and the conference, that’s fine.
Apostolate of the Friary
The friars at Our Lady of Guadalupe Friary in Griswold, Connecticut, serve the needs of the Church in the Diocese of Norwich firstly by their common life of prayer and sacrifice for the building up of the Church. At the friary they offer Mass, hear confessions, and give spiritual direction. They also assist with the celebration of Holy Mass and the hearing of confessions in parishes, other churches, and at diocesan events by request.
Following the encouragement of the Church, they engage in the New Media apostolate by posting homilies and other videos to AirMaria.com, youTube, and other websites. Regular updates on life at the friary are made on their Facebook page.