USF installs second statue of St. Francis

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A statue erected at the University of Saint Francis downtown campus shows St. Francis caring for animals. The statue, erected Oct. 3, is a replica of the statue on the USF Main Campus.

Staff reports

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 Oct. 3 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 St.

With several events in October, the university celebrated its patron saint’s example through prayer, fellowship and outreach to the needy. Events includes the Blessing of the Pets, a traditional Franciscan prayer service to relive the night of Francis’ passage, and a solemn Mass in Saint Francis Chapel to celebrate St. Francis’ “birth into heaven.”

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 are available in various locations at the main and downtown campuses through October. 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.