Masses are offered weekdays at 7:30 a.m.; Wednesday and Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m.; and Sunday, 8, 10 and 11:15 a.m.
Why to go: The Friars welcome visitors to view the quiet beauty of riverside walking paths, English-style gardens, woodlands, and outdoor chapels. The walking path is paved, has views of the river, and benches. A “Walking Tour of the Shrines” brochure is available at the Franciscan Guest House front desk.
Originally the site was a private estate, with landscaping organized by Frederick Law Olmsted Brothers, designers of Central Park in New York City.
In 1947, the Lithuanian Friars of St. Casimir who had fled the Soviet Invasion of Lithuania, bought the estate. It became a religious center for the friars, the Lithuanian diaspora, and many others.
In the 1950s the friars built St. Anthony’s high school primarily for boys of Lithuanian Heritage, and it remained open until 1969. Some of the friars who served as both administrators and teachers still live at the monastery. When the high school closed, the property became a year round hotel, guest house and retreat center.
The friars’ Lithuanian heritage lives on in guest house breakfast breads, through informal language lessons for the guests, and in cultural events throughout the year.
Amenities: A gift shop is located under the chapel and is open from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4 pm daily from March 1 to Dec. 31.
(Grand) Kid friendly: Absolutely.
Info: Address — Franciscan Guest House, 26 Beach Ave., Kennebunkport, ME 04043
Phone — 207/967-4865
Website — www.franciscanguesthouse.com
— CNS; Sharon Boehlefeld contributed to this story.
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