Sunday, October 4, was a beautiful Fall day for celebrating the Feast of St. Francis. Due to COVID-19, the event needed to be different from other years, with only a few sisters actually able to participate. However, virtual participation was available to all sisters and associates, thanks to the talents of the congregation’s IT guru, Liz Kolvenbach. And a number of sisters who reside at the convent were able to watch from the second floor porch.
The celebration began with Mass in the San Damiano Center, with Bishop Sklba officiating. Dubbed a St. Francis Day Pilgrimage, the event continued outdoors with the blessing and rededication of the convent park, and specific landmarks on the grounds. The bishop began the pilgrimage with a bit of history on the beautification of the outdoor area begun by Mother Thecla in 1909. Subsequent administrative teams have continued the practice of enhancing the grounds in the spirit of St. Francis.
Stops on the pilgrimage included the Agony Grotto, Stations of the Cross, the St. Francis Grotto, Peace Pole, Assisium, Sacred Heart Statue and Grape Arbor, and for each a bit of history was given for the landmark by one of the sisters. Then each was sprinkled with holy water and a candle was left at the base.
The program concluded with a stop at the new niche outside Troubadour, where the refurbished St. Francis statue has been placed. The rosette window, which will be placed above it, was still being restored.
For each stop, the response to the commentary was: All the earth proclaim the Lord, sing your praise to God! The concluding song was: Make Me a Channel of Your Peace.
The printed program for the day provided the brief history of each stop. If you would like to have a copy, the PDF is included with the email version of the issue.