Visit to St. Anthony Franciscan Monastery and Shrines, Kennebunk, Maine

Part of the fun of collecting old Maine ephemera from estate sales is that I learn a lot about local history and get to see places that no longer exist. When I drive past newer construction I sometimes see the ghost of once was in its place, like the large “dine and dance” restaurant with the 1950s cars parked in the lot, or the family resort that was torn down and replaced with office buildings. So when, a couple of years ago, I acquired a vintage brochure, above middle, for the Franciscan Monastery and Shrines in Kennebunkport, Maine, I assumed it was another place that no longer was.  Turns out it’s celebrating its 70th anniversary this year! (For some reason it’s location is now considered to be Kennebunk and not Kennebunkport). Wayne and I drove down to visit it this morning despite the February cold and snow-covered grounds. It’s open to the public year-round.

Here are some of the beautiful sights:

The Chapel of the Stations of the Cross, built in 1959, can be seen in the distance.
Snow on the stone stairs at The Grotto of Our Lady Lourdes, constructed in 1953. The Grotto and Chapel of the Stations of the Cross were designed by Jonas Mulokas.
Statue of Bernadette kneeling at the Grotto.
Looking out at the snowy field and benches in front of the Grotto.

This looks like art on the ground.

Approaching the “new” modernist St. Anthony’s Chapel which was constructed in 1966 and designed by architect Dr. Alfred Kulpa of Toronto, Canada.
The stained glass inside the Chapel was designed by Professor Vytautas Jonynas who also decorated the Vatican Pavillion at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York.
The shrine of St Anthony which includes a tile mosaic.

Modernist beauty in the sanctuary.

I love this!

I smiled inside and out when I saw this photo. I’ve been reading St. Therese of Lisieux’s autobiography, Story of a Soul and highly recommend it, even if religion isn’t your thing. It’s filled with wisdom, insights and lofty thoughts expressed in a most down-to-earth manner that I find very comforting.

This is what’s written beneath her statue.

Wayne and I will return in the spring or summer when their gardens are in bloom, the paths clear of snow and the air warmer than twenty degrees. Despite the cold it offered much needed warmth and discovery.

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6 thoughts on “Visit to St. Anthony Franciscan Monastery and Shrines, Kennebunk, Maine

  1. What an exquisite place, Averyl. As always, your beautiful photos capture the moods and charm of the locale. The tranquility of the snow on the grey stone contrasts brilliantly with the stain glass…some of the prettiest I've seen. The sublime expression of St. Therese is lovely. Thank you for taking us along! Lois

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  2. Such beautiful pictures, inside and out. Especially inside the chapel, just breathtaking! This was of special interest to me as I'm Catholic. I have that book of St. Therese and love it. Thanks Averyl. 🙂

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  3. Oh you've read it and love it, nice! I suspected you were Catholic when you posted the Pope on your IG yesterday, but then again, he's loved by many who aren't Catholic! I'm glad you enjoyed the photos!

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