About us

Ephphatha is an ancient Aramaic word which means “Be Opened.” Our community is open and welcoming to all individuals who feel confronted with the challenges of life. Whether it is something we are born with(congenital) or something that is presented to us as we live life (acquired) challenges/disabilities/ illness can be difficult and isolating.

At Ephphatha (Be-Opened farm) Community we offer healing from isolation, we offer community and hopefulness amid the natural beauty of our farm and our animals. We open our hearts to nature, we flourish in an environment of gratitude for the beauty of the earth and we practice sustainable techniques in order to protect the earth and the natural balances of nature.

We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization. Come visit, you are most WELCOME!

Mission Statement

To provide access and accommodations to the natural world at our therapeutic farm for individuals with physical and/or emotional challenges; so that everyone can benefit from the healing power of the earth.

Our Philosophy

Healing may not be curative, but we provide a positive environment where possibilities rather than difficulties are supported and encouraged to flourish; enhancing self worth. We help relieve feelings of isolation, worthlessness and despair.

We provide a supportive community at our farm. We flourish in an environment of gratitude. Grateful for the beauty of the earth and our animals, and most of all we are grateful for all who come to visit and enjoy our farm with us. We are open and affirming and our positive environment provides an atmosphere of encouragement, and acceptance where uniqueness is celebrated; fostered and nurtured through our organic agricultural activities and interactions with our animals.

We follow PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International) guidelines of safety and animal care at our facility. Our riding instructors are PATH certified.

Petting Bodie … his nose is very soft
Painting bird houses for our feathered friends at Ephphatha Farms Art and Crafts morning
Brushing Bodie in a hand over hand exercise

Board Members

Our Board of Directors for Ephphatha are a diverse group with various backgrounds and philosophies. However, we all agree on the proponent of Human Dignity.

Each person, every person deserves to be treated with Dignity and Respect; and to be valued for the gifts they bring to our communities. Every individual has gifts to share and we at Ephphatha are grateful to receive them and distribute these gifts among our community members!

Jim Hebert

President

Jim is a successful area businessman. He offers advise on different aspects of operating costs and construction proposals. He is also very personable and affirming. And very knowledgeable on a variety of subjects concerning the farm.

Ken Quirion

Treasurer

Ken is a long time Winslow resident. He is very active in many volunteer organizations. He is a dedicated Hospice volunteer and is well known in the Winslow/Waterville/Augusta community for his donations of fiscal support as well as his generosity with his time and talent.

Robin J. Bartholf

Executive Director

Robin J. Bartholf has a medical background. When her oldest son was born with brain damage (Cerebral Palsy) and dual sensory impairment she investigated alternative therapies and became licensed in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. She has volunteered at Perkins school for the Blind in Watertown, MA and studied in the deaf blind department learning sign language with Derm Keohane. Robin is also a Registered Therapeutic Riding Instructor in PATH INTL.

Tim O’Donnell

Honorary Board Member

Tim is an attorney at O’Donnell, Lee, & Phillips in Waterville, Maine. Tim was a valuable and supportive friend of Ephphatha when the idea for this Healing Farm was but yet just a dream. He gave countless hours of support and legal guidance and though now no longer an active Board member……we owe him a huge debt of Gratitude……without Tim’s generosity Ephphatha would not exist!

Diane Frigon

Diane has worked in the field of Rehabilitation for over 30 years. She is committed  to living her belief that all individuals, including those who have physical, emotional and cognitive challenges, are valuable and uniquely gifted members of our communities and society.   Diane loves outdoor activities, such as biking, cross country skiing,  being out in nature, animals of every size and species (that can fit in a house or on a farm) and enjoys being involved in opportunities that contribute to the wellbeing of others.

Fr. Frank Morin

Fr. Frank Morin was born in St.Albans, Queens, in New York City. His family moved to Winslow, Maine, when he was five years old. He is the oldest of eight children. In this family dynamic, he experienced compassionate caregiving and sensitivity early in life.

In 1969 he graduated with a B.A. in History from St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick. He was ordained in Winslow at St. John the Baptist Church in 1973. Throughout the years he served various area churches within the state of Maine. However, in 1983 he volunteered for missionary service in Bolivia with the St. James Missionary service out of Boston. He remained until 1988. He then returned to Maine and continued to serve in the Diocese of Portland.

In 2009 he became Pastor of St Michael Parish in the Augusta region.

Turning seventy in 2018 Fr. Frank retired from active ministry. He continues to serve part-time at Corpus Christi Parish in Waterville where he serves the Spanish communities alternating weekends in the Bangor area as well. Fr. Frank continues to be very active in area organizations involved in social justice and societal reform.

Rev. John R. Skehan

Native of Hampden, ME

• Received BA in Biology from Bowdoin College in 1978
• Received M.Div from The Catholic University of America in 1986
• Traveled with Up With People 1978-80
• Jr. High Teacher in MSAD 47 (Oakland, ME) 1980-82
• Ordained for the Diocese of Portland, ME in 1986

Assignments in the Diocese of Portland:
• Part-time Parochial Vicar at Notre Dame Parish in Waterville, as well as a part-time chaplain at Colby College, Unity College and Thomas College (1986-89)
• Chaplain Maine Medical Center (1989-1991)
• Pastor St. Mary of the Visitation Parish in Houlton (1991-96)
• Director of the Office of Parish Planning, Portland (1996-2004)
• Pastor of Parish of the Ascension of the Lord (Berwicks, Yorks, Kittery) (2004-2014)
• Pastor of parishes in Bar Harbor, Ellsworth and Bucksport (2014-2018)
• Pastor of St. Michael Parish, Augusta (2018-present)

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