Saint Francis Day - at church and at home

One of my favorite minor feast days at my parish is Saint Francis Day.  One of the benefits of the unfinished flooring in our church is that animals can’t do any real damage, so we observe Saint Francis Day by bringing pets right into the church for our regular Sunday morning worship, after which there is a great parade of animals, and the priests offer blessings.  It is a treat and a delight each year to see beloved pets – from the ubiquitous cats and dogs, to the more unusual snakes, chickens, and turtles.  One year we even had a potato bug make an appearance – you never know quite what to expect!

Resources abound for observing Saint Francis Day in your parish, but I want to point out a resource that is designed for families to use at home, from Vibrant Faith ministries:  http://www.vibrantfaithathome.org/item/saint-francis-of-assisi.  On this site, you will find short videos about the life of Saint Francis, simple stories and activities that appeal to a variety of ages.

Vibrant Faith at Home is a wonderful resource for home-based faith practices for people of all ages.  It is organized both seasonally and by age/life stage.  For example, currently features include not only a plethora of ideas for observing Saint Francis Day, but an activity for adults/couples called “Homecoming Horror Stories,” with the following teaser:  “Fall is the season of homecomings—think high school and college homecoming weekends, Thanksgiving, travel to visit relatives in another city, or welcoming your own young adults back into your home. Many such reunions are pleasant, but some are unsettling. This activity offers a chance to explore your own experiences of homecoming, good and bad, and what it means to "go home." Read about Jesus' troublesome homecoming to gain some perspective.”  This website is truly a resource for all Christians who want ideas for engaging conversation and activity at home to develop their faith.

Cindy Spencer
Faith Formation Hub:  Children and Family Ministries, Episcopal Diocese of Olympia
cspencer@ecww.org or (206) 323-0300 x225