Franciscans from around the world celebrate both the Transitus of St. Francis of Assisi (on October 3rd) and his Feast Day (on October 4th). For Franciscans, Transitus marks the night Francis left his earthly life, to move onto a life in heaven with Our Lord Jesus. He died, on the evening of October 3, 1226, a small man in his forties who had wanted to live a simple life in service to God. Traditionally Saints’ Feast Days mark the date of death and are remembered with special mention, prayers, and scripture readings. For us, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi on October 4th is so much more. It is a day filled with celebration and joy. We mark the days surrounding the Feast Day with the blessing of animals, gathering for meals and enjoying the fellowship of our brothers and those we serve. Just as with all of the saints, it is the day Francis obtained Eternal Life.
Starting on the weekend before the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, several friars from throughout our province began this year’s traditional Blessing of Animals; a simple act that helps us share the charism of St. Francis by blessing these special “companions” of those we serve. It is always a source of great joy for our friars in our varied ministries.
As ministries send in photos from the Blessings, we will share them here for all to enjoy.
St. Lucie Catholic Church, Port St. Lucie, FL
This year’s medal given to all those who were blessed at St. Lucie’s
Fr. Curt Kreml, OFM Conv. (parochial vicar) blessing a young parishioner’s pet bird.
Fr. Mark Szanyi, OFM Conv. (pastor) blessed a family’s best friend.
St. Anne Catholic Church (& St. Anne-Pacelli Catholic School), Columbus, GA
Fr. Paul Pantiru, OFM Conv. enjoys his first Blessing of the Animals at his new ministry with us. Friar Paul is a friar from Romania who is serving as Parochial Vicar at our pastoral ministry of St. Anne Catholic Church.
Fr. Manny Vasconcelos, OFM Conv. (Parochial Vicar) spent some time with the school children and staff, blessing the classroom pets.
Blessed Sacrament School, Burlington, NC
The school families gathered to have their animals of all sizes (living and stuffed) blessed by Fr. Paul Lininger, OFM Conv., pastor of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Community.
The Franciscan Church of the Assumption, Syracuse, NY
Friar Rick Riccioli, OFM Conv. (Pastor)
Br. Joe Freitag, OFM Conv. (Pastoral Associate)
Archdiocese Pastorate of
St. Clement Mary Hofbauer Church, St. Michael the Archangel Church & Church of the Annunciation
Fr. Tim Dore, OFM Conv. (Pastor of the Baltimore, MD Pastorate) even got to bless a few turtles at the October 6th Blessing at St. Clement Mary Hofbauer Church.
Fr. Romuald Meogrossi, OFM Conv. (Pastoral Assistant for the Baltimore, MD Pastorate) enjoyed the October 5th Blessing in front of St. Michael the Archangel Church.
Friar Tim had as much fun as the parishioners and their pet, at the October 5th Blessing at the Church of the Annunciation.
St. Paul Catholic Church, Kensington, CT
Fr. Joe Benicewicz, OFM Conv. (Pastor – center), Fr. Michael Englert, OFM Conv. (Parochial Vicar – far left) and Fr. Piotr Tymko, OFM Conv. (Parochial Vicar – 2nd from left) bless the animals for a crowd of gathered parishioners.
Friar Piotr enjoyed getting to know a few of those being blessed.