Father Joseph Martin, after ten years of priesthood, was encouraged to get help for his alcoholism. He was treated at the Guest House in Orion, Michigan.
Mae Abraham heard Father Martin present "Chalk Talk"- a blackboard presentation that helped earn Father Martin national recognition as an authority on addiction. The lecture helped Mae understand her disease and decide to get sober.
"Chalk Talk" was filmed by the U.S. Navy for use in drug and alcohol
education around the world. Father Martin later received multiple awards for his work with addiction in various branches of the military.
Father Martin and Mae Abraham sought resources to open a chemical addiction treatment center based on Father Martin's philosophies of treatment, including his heartfelt belief that every addict is worth saving. A substantial matching grant came from the Noble Foundation.
A 20-acre property, the Oakington estate
in Havre de Grace, Maryland
, was identified as the future site of Father Martin and Mae's treatment center. Father Martin's book No Laughing Matter was published, compiling three of his talks—"The Chalk Talk", "Guidelines" and "Alcoholism and the Family."
On January 17, Father Martin's Ashley opened its doors to the first group of patients. The center was named for co-founder Father Martin, as it was his treatment philosophy that would be the basis of patient care, and in honor of Mae's parents, whose surname is Ashley. Rev. Leonard Angus Dahl was named Executive Director, and would later become CEO.
Ashley's Chapel was constructed on the campus, giving patients a place to explore spirituality, attend optional services and meditate while in treatment.
FMA became one of the first alcohol and drug addiction treatment centers to offer specialized Relapse Treatment
for patients who had had a period of sustained sobriety and then relapsed. Recognizing that treating a person in relapse with a primary treatment regime was not delivering success, Ashley sought the help of renowned relapse researcher Terrance Gorski to design an inpatient relapse program. Micki Thomas, Ashley's clinical director, worked with Terry Gorski to establish The Ashley Relapse Treatment program, which incorporates the Gorski Relapse Prevention Model, 12 Step approaches and Father Martin's treatment philosophy.
Bantle Hall was dedicated--
Lou Bantle and his family's generosity and support in the early days of FMA was honored with the naming of Bantle Hall, which houses detoxification and patient rooms, clinical, staff and executive offices, a nursing station and the campus kitchen and dining room.
Abraham Hall, named for co-founder Mae and her husband Tommy Abraham in honor of their service to Ashley, was dedicated. The building houses a large hall for patient lectures and large group events, the Ashley archives, the Oak Store, where patients and staff can buy toiletries, gifts, and Ashley memorabilia and the Ashley IT department.
Rev. Leonard Angus Dahl was awarded the Conway Hunter Award
at the 2007 SECAD addictions conference recognizing his contributions to the addiction treatment field. Rev. Dahl retired and became one of Ashley's Pastoral Counselors.
Father Mark Hushen, O.S.F.S.,
joined Ashley and was named President and CEO. Click here for Key Staff.
FMA celebrated its 25th anniversary, as Father Martin was celebrating his 50th year of sobriety and 60th year in the priesthood. Ashley acquired the adjacent property, formerly Swan Creek Golf Course, which expanded the campus to 147 acres. Ashley admits its 30,000th patient! Ashley establishes the Women in Recovery Luncheon and the Mae Abraham Fund in honor of co-founder Mae Abraham and the important contributions she's made to women's treatment, recovery and to Ashley.
Father Joseph C. Martin dies at the age of 84 leaving a rich legacy of hope and healing. Thousands around the world mourn his death. Father Martin is honored with the NCADD Gold Key Award and the NAADAC President's Award, posthumously.
Father Martin's Ashley purchases the assets of Kelly Productions, assuming ownership of Father Martin's audio-visual and written works.
Historic Carpenter Hall, the former carriage house on the Oakington estate, underwent major renovations to create updated patient accommodations as well as additional space and technology for the Family and Patient Programs that take place there.
Please click here
for more about Father Martin and Mae Abraham's journey with Ashley.