In 1875, the rector of the Episcopal Church in Garrison erected a mission church called "St. John's in the Wilderness" about three miles from Garrison, NY. In 1893, this abandoned and deteriorated church, was named "Graymoor" by three Anglican ladies who restored it. In the same year, Fr. Paul Wattson was inspired to name the Society he was to found "The Society of the Atonement." In 1898, Mother Lurana White and Fr. Paul sought Graymoor to become the foundation of their newly founded Society of the Atonement. In 1925, Fr. Paul wrote, "Since God has given the Friars of the Atonement so magnificent a mountain; we look upon it in the nature of a holy obligation to erect thereon monastic buildings harmonious with their surroundings."
Today, Graymoor is the mother house for the Sisters of the Atonement, the Friars of the Atonement, home to the largest outdoor shrine to St. Anthony, the historic St. Francis Chapel and the men in recovery at the inpatient and outpatient treatment center of St. Christopher's Inn. The Graymoor Spiritual Life Center has retreats year round, many of them focusing on recovery, Franciscan spirituality, liturgy and prayer.
Visitors to the grounds of Graymoor can visit the burial place of Father Paul of Graymoor, the location of the cedar Cross he fashioned and carried to the top of the mountain on the feast of the Corpus Christi in 1900, the place where he professed his vows, and the "Palace of Lady Poverty," a paint shack where Father Paul lived upon his arrival at Graymoor in 1899, named in honor of St. Francis, who referred to evangelical poverty as Lady Poverty.