USF installs second statue of St. Francis

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The University of Saint Francis has erected a second statue to celebrate the example that St. Francis of Assisi set in Italy in the 12th and 13th centuries.

The statue was erected Tuesday in the newly finished parking lot of USF Downtown. It is a replica of the statue designed by the late Sufi Ahmad, former USF art professor and sculptor, which currently sits in front of Brookside on the USF Main Campus.

Tonn and Blank Construction installed the new statue across from USF Robert Goldstine Performing Arts Center, 431 W. Berry Street

With several events in October, the university celebrated its patron saint’s example through prayer, fellowship and outreach to the needy.

University Chaplain the Rev. David Meinzen conducted the Blessing of Pets on Sunday in front of Brookside (formerly the Bass mansion) near the St. Francis statue.

Tuesday evening, the Transitus was held in Saint Francis Chapel at the west end of Trinity Hall. This traditional Franciscan prayer service commemorates St. Francis’ passing into heaven. Readings, hymns and ritual enable participants to relive the night of Francis’ passage.

A solemn Mass in Saint Francis Chapel will celebrate St. Francis’ “birth into heaven” at 11:30a.m. today. Chaplain Meinzen will officiate. People of all faiths and persuasions — especially alumni, employees, students and the public — are invited to join in this celebration of St. Francis’ life in word, song and sacrament.

Attendees are asked to bring one or more personal care items for a man, woman or child, which will be donated to a local agency that serves the homeless. Items should be new and in their original packaging.

In connection with the celebration of the feast of St. Francis, the Center for Franciscan Life is sponsoring a collection of new or gently used shoes called “They Can Walk in Our Shoes.” Collection boxes will be placed in various locations at the main and downtown campuses throughout the month of October, beginning today. Donated shoes will be given to Syrian refugees in one of the most forgotten refugee camps in Lebanon. Shoes should be sturdy and cover the entire foot; men’s, women’s and children’s shoes will be accepted. The shoes in each pair should be tied or bound together for the donation.