Transitus & Blessing of Animals 2020

On the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, October 4, 2020

Due to this year’s various COVID-19 Protocols, our annual Blessing of Animals may look a bit different at each of our ministries. Don’t let that deter you from joining our friars for our varied opportunities available for this special tradition, in honor of our Seraphic Father, St. Francis of Assisi. Check out the “Locations” page of this website for ministry location websites. Follow the links to see if, and how, our ministry nearest to you will participate.  If you can’t find the information on their website, give them a call to see if they are holding any “in person” events or if they will have any events available online. Here is just a sampling of some of our friars’ ministry celebrations which have already been planned:

The Shrine of St. Anthony (Ellicott City, MD)
Sunday, October 4, 2020, 2:00 – 2:30 p.m.
On Sunday, October 4th at 2:00pm, the Shrine will hold its annual Blessing of Animals in honor of the Feast of St. Francis! We will hold the blessing in front of the main Shrine building and ask that all animals be on leashes and that everyone please wear masks!

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha National Shrine and Historic Site (Fonda, NY)
Sunday, October 4, 2020
Blessing of the Animals after 10:30 a.m. Mass.
Note: The Shrine is also planning on having Native Masses on October 10th and 11th in recognition of Indigenous Peoples Weekend. Unfortunately that won’t include the Native Catholic Choirs providing music this year, due to COVID restrictions, but they are still planning on including Smudging as part of the Penitential Rite — which is done by Terry Steele, the Algonquin Elder who is on the Shrine Council — as well as the Four Directions blessing.

(St. Paul Catholic Parish (Kensington, CT)  
(Taken from the 9-20-2020 Bulletin)
Saturday, October 3, 2020, 6:30 p.m.

“Franciscan Transitus Service – The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi is October 4th. On the evening before the Feast, Franciscans join together to remember the Poor Man from Assisi’s passing or transiting from this life to life eternal in what is called a Transitus Service. This year we will hold a Transitus Service here at the St. Paul’s at 6:30pm on Saturday, October 3rd. This will be after the 4:00pm Mass and is NOT a Mass. This reflective prayer service will include some music, scripture readings and readings from the life of St. Francis including those that recall his death. The service will be about 45 minutes. All parishioners are invited to join the Friars as we remember our Founder’s passing onto eternity.”
Sunday, October 4, 2020, 2:00 p.m.

“Because of St. Francis’ special appreciation for all of God’s creation, including the animal population, it is traditional for a Blessing of Animals be held near the Feast of St. Francis. The Blessing of Animals will take place at St. Paul Church in the school parking lot near the side entrance to the church on Sunday, October 4th at 2pm.  The pets, nor their owners, have to be Catholic to come for the blessing!  ALL are welcome!”

St. Lucie Catholic Church (Port St. Lucie, FL)
(Taken from the 9-20-2020 Bulletin)
Saturday, October 3, 2020
“Blessing of the Animals in the Rotunda. Please bring your pet leashed or caged.”
7:00 p.m.
“From the earliest days of the Franciscan Order, the followers of St. Francis have gathered on the anniversary of his death, October 3rd, to celebrate his Transitus, that is, St. Francis’ passage from earthly life to everlasting life. This celebration is a prayer service with readings and songs that reflect the life off St. Francis and recall the events surrounding his death. Traditionally the Transitus is celebrated on October 3rd, the day before the Feast of St. Francis. Please join us for this uniquely Franciscan celebration on Saturday, October 3rd at 7:00 PM.”

Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church (Winston-Salem, NC)
Taken from the 9-27-2020 Bulletin)
Saturday, October 3, 2020, 10:00.m.
Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures. On the fifth and sixth days of creation, you called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air and animals on the land. In honor of the Feast of Saint Francis of AssisiJoin us Saturday, October 3rd, 2020, at 10 AMIn front of the church for a prayer service and blessing.”

St. Junipero Serra Parish (St. Catharine of Siena Church, Seaside Park, NJ & Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Seaside Heights, NJ)
(Taken from the 9-27-2020 Bulletin)
Sunday, October 4, 2020

“Next Sunday, the Church celebrates the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time. October 4th is the traditional Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi. As a parish served by the Franciscan Friars Conventual, Bishop of Trenton,  David O’Connell has given us permission to celebrate the Solemnity of Saint Francis of Assisi on Sunday.  Sunday Mass times remain the same. The Readings for the Liturgy are different. The Readings for Saint Francis Day will be   Sir. 50: 1, 3-4,6-7    Gal. 6:14-18    Matt. 11: 25-30
Since Saint Francis of Assisi was a great servant of the poor with great compassionate love, everyone who comes to Sunday Mass on October 4th is invited to bring a bag of non-perishable groceries to place in the sanctuary before the start of Mass.  These groceries are for our Saint Francis Food Pantry. We will have a second collection basket available for donations to the Franciscan Missions.  We will have the traditional blessing of animals on Sunday, October 4 at 2:00 PM at Saint Catharine of Siena Church in Seaside Park.”

Our Province is also working on creating a Virtual Blessing of the Animals and a Facebook Livestream of the Transitus Service (Invitation) for all those who cannot make it in person to one of our many ministries who are holding events in person, in honor of the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi. For photos from this year’s events, visit our Facebook page.

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