Fr Steve Blessing of the Animals

Some lingering thoughts after last weekend’s festivities for FrancisFest….we had a great turnout for the blessing of the animals on Saturday morning. The open grassy area near the chapel was filled with people who brought their dogs or cats to be blessed, and I can see how important pets are to our lives, the companionship and love that they offer people. I blessed the dog of one woman who also asked me to bless the tag of another dog she had who died this past summer, and I could see how much she missed her dog. It even brought up the question, what happens to our pets when they die? Who really knows, but in the Franciscan perspective we can ask, is everything that is created by God finally brought back to God? A friar friend of mine up in Philadelphia talks about seeing his dog that he had as a child up in heaven some day, and he talks about it with a deep sense of joy and fun. Clearly, animals are an important part of our lives.

The weekend was beautiful with glorious blue skies, bright sunshine, and cool temperatures. The campus was transformed, with construction of a Habitat for Humanity house, games for kids and adults, food trucks, a main stage with all kinds of events, and a Corn Hole tournament, which, at the time of this writing I haven’t seen but at which I’m told Bill McConville and I are set to take on the winners for the final championship. We’ll see what happens there!

Six members of our sister parish in Guatemala were also there offering typical food from their native village. As they wound up their week with us, they wrote a statement which we read at mass about their experience here, and mentioned “the many delicious and strange foods” they tried (now there is a story to be told, for sure!) and also that they have been met with smiling faces and the love of God during their time here. Many thanks to all who hosted the four men and two women who came up from Guatemala!

Thank you as well to everyone who was involved in organizing and setting up FrancisFest which, as I get settled here at St. Francis, I can see is really a wonderful way for the people of the parish to come together for fun, food, and fellowship.

Blessings to all on your week!

Fr. Steve