mansion that is now Stella Maris Retreat and Conference Center was
designed by Stanford White, built in New York City and brought to
and assembled on Skaneateles Lake in 1879. It was originally the
summer home of Frederick Roosevelt, cousin of Theodore Roosevelt.
In 1945 it was acquired by Burns Lyman Smith of
the Smith Corona Typewriter Company who gave it to his sister, Flora
Bernice Smith. She sold it in 1952 to the sisters of St. Francis
of Syracuse and after some renovation it was blessed as Stella Maris
- "Star of the Sea" by Bishop Walter A. Foery in 1954.
It began as a retreat house for Catholic women and
over the years has expanded to include men and women of other denominations
and to act as a conference center for various groups desiring a
peaceful space of meetings, retreats, gatherings, etc.
Stella Maris is owned and operated by the Sisters
of St. Francis who, along with a dedicated staff and volunteers,
serve the needs of all who come here desiring spiritual growth,
renewal and peace.
The Mission of the Sisters of the
Third Franciscan Order of Syracuse, New York
The Sisters of the Third Franciscan Order of Syracuse are
a community of vowed women religious rooted in the charism
of St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi and committed to further
the reign of God through prayer, contemplation, witness and
ministry. We strive to make Christ visible in our compassionate
and joyful response to all people. We challenge ourselves,
as visionary women of the Church, to a creative personal and
communal presence in the world and to an openness to risk-taking
as we accept God's invitation to be instruments of Christ's
peace and loving servants to those in need.