The University of Saint Francis will celebrate its patron, St. Francis of Assisi, with prayer and service during the month of October.
The Blessing of Pets will take place on Sunday, Oct. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in front of Brookside (formerly known as the Bass mansion) near the St. Francis statue. Pets of all shapes, sizes and species are welcome, as are their owners.
On Monday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. the Transitus, a traditional Franciscan prayer service commemorating St. Francis’ passing into heaven, will be held in St. Francis Chapel at the west end of Trinity Hall. Readings, hymns and ritual will enable participants to re-live the night of Francis’ passage through death to eternal life. Fellowship and refreshments will follow.
St. Francis’ “birth into heaven” will be commemorated at a Mass celebrated in St. Francis Chapel on Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 11:30 a.m. University chaplain Father David Meinzen will officiate. People of all faiths and persuasions – especially alumni, employees and students – are invited to join in this celebration of St. Francis’ life in word, song and sacrament.
USF will join other Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities (AFCU) institutions across the United States by participating in a service initiative during the month of October. Supporting a long-term partnership with Fort Wayne’s Community Harvest Food Bank, the USF community will launch a two-week food drive in collaboration with other local universities, pitting school against school to see which can collect the most food for the bank. USF’s Helping Hands Food Distribution will begin Saturday, Oct. 15 at Community Harvest locations at 1010 N. Coliseum Boulevard and 999 E. Tillman Road. Other AFCU schools will hold their own days of service during the AFCU-inspired initiative.
The concurrent service projects demonstrate the dedication of AFCU-member institutions to their Franciscan heritage. For USF, it also underscores the university’s national recognition for community service. About 150 students will serve at the event, which will benefit approximately 200 Community Harvest clients in need of basic sustenance support. The 450 service hours that day will combine with those generated by monthly service projects in which students participate throughout the academic year.
Established in 1997, the AFCU includes 24 member colleges and universities serving more than 50,000 students. The organization seeks to nurture collaboration among academic institutions committed to the Catholic and Franciscan spiritual and intellectual traditions and to promote scholarship and curricula that, in keeping with the vocations of saints Francis and Clare, address the needs of the poor, attend to the environment and promote peace.