In observance of Franciscan Mission Week, the Stritch community came together to celebrate its Franciscan heritage, spirituality, and values.
The annual Blessing of the Animals was celebrated on Oct. 5. Known as the patron saint of animals, St. Francis championed respect for all living creatures.
Despite the threat of rain, many people brought their pets to the ceremony in Heritage Park. Father Jim Gannon offered a brief reflection and then, in Franciscan tradition, blessed each animal individually. The blessing recipients included dogs, a rabbit, and even a few guinea pigs.
Other Mission Week events included the Transitus prayer service commemorating the death of St. Francis, the celebration of the Mass of the Feast of St. Francis, and a community blessing of the Franciscan pilgrims departing for Assisi.
All of the events were conducted in respect for the Franciscan values of creating a caring community, showing compassion, reverencing all of creation, and making peace.