Dear Parishioners and Friends,
As summer gives way to autumn, I am pleased to share with you some of the events that we have planned for the next week or two. I have always loved this time of the year for several reasons, the most important being the celebration of the feast day of our founder, St. Francis of Assisi. As you can see in the next column, we have several events planned.
Next Saturday morning, October 1st, we will hold our annual Blessing of Animals (both live and stuffed). I have come to enjoy this event very much because it shows me how much you, especially your children, cherish your family pet(s). The Blessing is primarily an opportunity to thank God for the gifts of creation who have become members of your families – your dogs, cats, birds and so forth. But we also include those objects which are sources of companionship and comfort for younger children such as teddy bears and other stuffed animals.
On Sunday, October 2nd, we will do something a little different from past years – a Parish Potluck Picnic! It will be held from 4:00 to 7:00 PM in the gardens next to the church and behind the friary. We are inviting parishioners to contribute their culinary talents with main dishes or desserts. What better way to celebrate our community than with a feast of food, drink and fellowship?
The evening of October 3rd is the traditional date to commemorate the death of St. Francis which we will do at 7:00 PM in the church. The service of Transitus (or ‘Passing’) recalls the final hours of the earthly life of Francis and includes a narrative of his death by his early followers; the singing of his Canticle of the Creatures; a reading from Francis’s Letter to All the Faithful; the singing of Psalm 142; a reading from the Gospel of John; the sharing of bread; and a blessing of the friars and each member of the assembly. The Transitus service itself takes different forms in different places; it isn’t always done exactly the same way everywhere. However, the traditional items I just mentioned are always present. We will also have a simple reception afterwards in the Franciscan Center. Please join us as we remember the passing of Francis from earthly to heavenly life!
The Solemnity of St. Francis will be celebrated at our daily Masses on Tuesday, October 4th, at 7:30 AM and 12:05 PM (with special music).
Blessings on your week ahead.
Fr. Tim Shreenan, O.F.M.
Celebrate St. Francis for a listing of all the ways we are honoring St. Francis as a parish in October.