St. Felix Friary, now St. Felix Catholic Center is one of Indiana’s greatest hidden Catholic treasures. Like most storybook treasures, St. Felix Friary was lost to the Catholic Church in 1980 when the Capuchins closed it and sold it to the Church of the Brethren. The Church of the Brethren kept it in excellent condition.
This treasure was re-discovered only a short time ago when, in 2010, John Tippmann purchased the 83-bedroom friary and its 30-plus acres of land. Over the past 12 months Tippmann’s team has been working around the clock to restore this 85-year-old antique to its pristine condition.
St. Felix Friary is no ordinary Capuchin Friary. It was built in 1928 and it gave home to a number of famous friars. Many are familiar with the popular preacher Father Benedict Groeschel, a priest of the Franciscan Friars of Renewal, Father Benedict made his entrance into Franciscan life through the days of St. Felix. He is just one of the hundreds of friars who first learned the ways of St. Francis at St. Felix.
One of the most noteworthy friars that hallowed the halls of St. Felix for 10 years was the Venerable Solanus Casey.
Father Solanus was sent to Huntington, in order to rest and get away from the throngs of people that would come to see him. Because of the power of his prayers, his union with God and his reputation for working numerous miracles, the crowds just kept coming and following Father Solanus from Detroit to Huntington. In the very halls of St. Felix Friary, particularly in the visiting parlor, Father Solanus worked a multitude of miracles. Also in the sanctuary, he prayed long into the night before the Lord in the tabernacle.
Besides being a place where a saint of this time walked, worked and prayed, St. Felix Friary offers a true retreat from modern culture. The grounds that surround the friary provide a perfect place of prayer.
St. Felix Friary is a gift that has finally returned to the Catholic Church. It is a place where heaven and earth meet and a place where one can enter into a deeper relationship with God.
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