HOME PAGE: Saint Francis Special 2016


Teach us to discover the worth of each thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature as we journey towards your infinite light.

~Pope Francis~

All Your works shall give thanks to You, O LORD

Did You Hear?

October 4th is the BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS

Father Greg Friedman, OFM

We celebrate the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi and the whole of creation he embraced as brethren. As autumn arrives, people in various places may notice a procession of animals—from dogs and cats to hamsters and even horses—being led to churches for a special ceremony called the Blessing of Pets.

Good News

May All Creation Be Blessed

Saint Francis of Assisi took the Gospel literally by following all that Jesus said: And he said to them, “Go into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature”…They went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the preaching by the signs that followed. Amen. ~St. Mark 16:15,20~

Francis preached the teaching of the Catholic Church, that the world was created good and beautiful by God, but suffers a need for redemption because of the primordial sin of man. He preached to man and beast the universal ability and duty of all creatures to praise God and the duty of men to protect and enjoy nature as both the stewards of God’s creation and as creatures ourselves.

The Roman Ritual – The Book of Blessings is approved for use in the Dioceses of the United States of America by the Conference of Catholic Bishops and confirmed by the Apostolic See and states referring to the Blessing of the Animals:

942 – According to the providence of the Creator, many animals have a certain role to play in human existence by helping with work or providing food and clothing. Thus when the occasion arises, for example, the feast of some saint, the custom of invoking God’s blessing on animals may be continued.

Many of the stories that surround Saint Francis deal with animals and his recognition of the whole of creation being his brothers and sisters. But, Francis had an especially blessed relationship with animals, even having a pet rabbit as one of his many pets.The Blessing of the Animals commemorates St. Francis’ homage to pets and their lasting effect on owners. In many parking lots across the country and the world, beloved pets and animals will be blessed with holy water and prayers, acknowledging them as “good gifts” from a gracious God and asking the Creator for his continued care and blessings upon them. We are to remember one very important fact about Jesus and His promise of redemption:

He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation: for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible…For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. ~Colossians:1:15,20~

In the News

12 Things To Know And Share About St. Francis of Assis

When about twenty, Francis went out with the townsmen to fight the Perugians in one of the petty skirmishes so frequent at that time between the rival cities. The Assisians were defeated on this occasion, and Francis, being among those taken prisoners, was held captive for more than a year in Perugia.

READ 11 other fascinating facts about the most revered Saint in history.


Picture of the Week

Georg Ratzinger, brother of Pope Benedict XVI, sits next to Saint Bernard dog Otto in the Old Chapel in Regensburg, southern Germany, after he blessed the dog. Ratzinger said he was happy to bless the animal, so that one-year-old Otto would go on helping people and making them happy. Otto wears a small barrel around his neck bearing the inscription ‘Otto loves you

God Our Creator

Remember that everything real and valuable on earth came from heaven to begin with. A cat is not merely evolved molecules in motion; it is a divine idea, a work of art, and a sign. It is a natural sign; it has something of what it signifies, and what it signifies is something heavenly, so there is something of heaven in a cat. And heaven does not die. God does not throw his artwork into the wastebasket; God does not make junk. All his work has eternal value. It passes through time and seems to pass away – but it is in eternity.

~Peter Kreeft, Author: Heaven: The Heart’s Deepest Longing~

Ask Susi

Q: My parish priest told me that “we (meaning the Catholic Church) do not believe that animals go to heaven, because they have no souls.” But, my heart and faith in Jesus tells me otherwise. Is what he said true?

A: This is perhaps the most epic question I am asked, in numerous and varying contexts. Countless books and articles have been given over to the question of animals in heaven and there is the long and short of it, depending on where you really want to go. So, I will answer the initial question, and follow it with an abridged explanation for the positive.


Susi’s Weekly Column

Saint Francis of Assisi and Murray Bodo

~by Susi Pittman

I am forever in love with Saint Francis of Assisi. His life speaks more spiritually to me today than any other person. His teachings are more relative today than perhaps the time he lived in. In getting to know Francis so well, there is a Franciscan Friar who wrote the masterpiece that changed my life. You must meet him!


Catholic Journeyman


~by Louis Templeman

It is the universal attraction that all animal lovers seek; that close encounter with a pet or wild animal when you know that something special is taking place and it is incredibly beautiful.


Meandering Along the River’s Edge

I Would Love

~by Virginia Rhys Anson, OFS

To love from afar is to experience both sorrow and joy, yet, sometimes we must.


Weekly Commentary

Saint Francis of Assisi: Patron of Animals & the Ecology~by Joseph Kaiser

Each year in the first week of October, Christian churches of various denominations hold a traditional “Blessing of the Animals.” The blessing of animals is done on a day near October 4th because that is the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. St. Francis is renown not only as the founder of the Franciscan Orders, but also for his love of animals.


Catholic Writers

Susi Pittman

Susi Pittman is founder of catholicStewardsofCreation.com and Owner-President of Twin Oaks Publishing; she is author of Animals in Heaven? Catholics Want to Know!; a member of the St. John’ s Catholic Writers Guild; an Associate of the Sisters of St. Joseph, St. Augustine, FL; member of the ASPCA, the National Wildlife Federation, the Humane Society of the United States and the National Audubon society.

The greatest gift in my life has been my Faith, the One Holy and Apostolic Roman Catholic Church. Through its teachings, the lives of the saints and the great gift of receiving the Holy Eucharist, I feel that I have been led to serve the Lord with the great love He has given me for His creation and creatures.

Susi rescues and cares for both wild and domestic animals and currently resides with 21 animals that have their “earthly” forever home with her.

Friar Jack Wintz, OFM

Jack Wintz, O.F.M., has been writing and editing for St. Anthony Messenger magazine since 1972. His stories and photos have taken the Franciscan friar all over the United States as well as Asia, Europe, the Middle East and to more than a dozen Latin American countries. Among Father Jack’s many interviews are those with Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

Friar Jack was a multitalented journalist, onetime editor in chief of the St. Anthony Messenger publication, founding editor of Catholic Update, and beloved as Friar Jack by some 40,000 fans of Friar Jack’s E-spirations…has retired.

Friar Jack clearly has a deep love for St. Francis, and brought that time and time again to his readers in his various stories about the saint himself (along with St. Anthony). His final article was on the seven key moments in the life of St. Francis.


Recommended Reads

It’s the two most favored books by our readers here at catholic Stewards of Creation.COM: Animals In Heaven? Catholics Want To Know! and Will I See My Dog In Heaven?



Quote of the Week

Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.

~St. Francis of Assisi~

Discovering Catholic Saints

Saint Francis of Assisi

Geology & Archaeology

Assisi’s Cathedral – Rebirth After Earthquakes

The original construction work to build the Cathedral in Assisi took place in record time. In 1230, the lower church was almost completed and the Saint’s body was placed into the grave where it still lies today. Upon the Lower Basilica, the Upper Basilica was also swiftly built, and both were beautifully frescoed. Then the 1997 and 2007 earthquakes took their toll.



Catholic Climate Covenant

There are 78 million Catholics in the United States and 17,000 Catholic parishes. Working together, we can fight climate change and protect the people we love. Not only do Catholics care about climate change, we have the power to overcome it. At Catholic Climate Covenant, we build relationships between people with common values and a shared commitment to protecting the people and places that we all love.



Global Weather

Drought is causing huge decline in aquifers

California’s Central Valley isn’t the only place in the U.S. where groundwater supplies are declining. Aquifers in the Colorado River Basin and the southern Great Plains also suffer severe depletion. Studies show that about half the groundwater depletion nationwide is from irrigation. Agriculture is the leading use of water in the U.S. and around the world, and globally irrigated farming takes more than 60 percent of the available freshwater.



Saints For Sustainability

As an expression of our Catholic Franciscan Identity, the University of St. Francis community demonstrates respect for all creation by being responsible and ethical stewards of God’s resources, meeting current needs without sacrificing the survival, health and success of future generations and by advocating on behalf of the under served in our world. Affirming our commitment to ensure all of God’s creation is used and sustained in manners that safeguard the health and survival of God’s gifts, the University will:




Twelve prominent Catholic leaders from various sectors and ministries of the Australian Church, including Catholic Earthcare offer their perspectives on Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’. With its focus on ecology and creation, the book offers readers insight and challenges to what Pope Francis calls “the greatest moral challenge of our time.


God’s Green Earth

Wild Autumn Day in the Forest

Farm News

MICHELA FARM—Sisters of St. Francis—Oldenburg

We, the Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis, Oldenburg, are women of prayer, committed to the Gospel values as lived by St. Francis and Mother Theresa Hackelmeier. From our life in community we are sent to extend the mission of Jesus through our presence and service. Enlivened by a spirit of justice, reconciliation and peace, we collaborate with others in responding to the needs of the world.”

We fulfill these words by being women of prayer in the ministries we do and the places where we are present. Since Vatican II opened the doors to the many needs of the world, we minister in education, parish ministry, social service, healthcare and social justice.

Michaela Farm is sponsoring a Fall CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture) program beginning the end of September. Join us now for weeks of fall harvest from our own produce using natural farming practices.


Steward Alerts

From the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops celebrate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi on FACEBOOK.

Click HERE

Steward Activities

Check with YOUR Parish to see if and/or when they will be scheduling their Annual Blessing of the Animals

A Song Before The Lord

Make Me An Instrument Of Your Peace


World Peace Rose Garden Assisi

International World Peace Rose Gardens (IWPRG) is a nonprofit organization incorporated for the purpose of creating beautiful rose gardens for peace on public, accessible sites. Planted on some of the most cultural, historic and sacred grounds of the world, World Peace Rose Gardens have been created to focus on different peace themes.


Wellness & Nutrition

What would Saint Francis eat?

The Poor Man’s Soup!

Conventual Franciscan Father Kurt Kreml, pastor of St. Peter Parish, Point Pleasant Beach, where a three-day celebration of the saint’s life will unfold Oct. 2-4, not only answered the question but offered inspiration for a recipe.

“In the accounts we have of him, Francis and the friars always ate simply. He and the friars would go through different neighborhoods begging for food. Everyone was expected to come back with one thing for the soup pot,” said Father Kreml.



Cosmology, Thermodynamics and the Christian Doctrine of Creation

This Doctrine of Creation is an essential part of the Christian faith. Any philosophy that ascribes the works of creation to natural processes, even if the existence of God is not denied, is a pantheistic worldview because it assumes that matter has got divine power to overcome natural laws. These laws prohibit the formation of an ordered universe from disordered gases, the emergence of life from disordered molecules and the origin of complex organs and functions from simpler structures.

However, St. Peter predicted that in the future there would be such an attack on the Christian Doctrine of Creation. It would be proposed that natural processes as we can see them now were also operating during creation week, i. e. “from the beginning of creation.” This means that the universe and life in all its forms would have come into existence by natural processes. However, he recalls that creation happened not through physical forces but through the word of God.



The True Story of the Wolf of Gubbio



catholicStewardsofCreation.com is an online Ezine operated by a Roman Catholic family. The website content is particular to Roman Catholic theology, but in no way is this website an “official” website for the Catholic Church. It operates as a layman’s ministry devoted to interesting, informal, spiritual, interactive, educational, and religious content and products to aid in ones personal journey towards better stewardship of creation and the creatures we share this life with. Sharing the joy of communion with God through the extended family of creation. This website may contain links to third party blogs/websites. catholicStewardsofCreation.com is in no way responsible for the contents of any linked blog/websites or any links contained in such blog/website. Links are provided for convenience and information and do not imply endorsement of the linked site. Privacy is important to us; therefore, we will never sell, rent, or give away your name, personal information or Email address to anyone, ever! You may contact us by sending an email to: susi@catholicstewardsofcreation.com

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