Invited to Annual Blessing
A glorious procession
of furry creatures, from wide-eyed cats to sad-eyed pointers,
professionally trained horses, a billy goat and even a
donkey will make their way to the altar of Smith’s
Helen Hills Hills Chapel on Sunday, Oct. 5, for a Celebration
Mass for the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi (Italy).
The mass, which will take place at 4:30 p.m., invites members
of the Smith community and the public to bring their animals
celebrates the love that St. Francis had for all God’s
creatures, encompassing the sun, moon, stars and animals
who share the earth with man. A 13th-century Roman
Catholic friar who was founder of the Order of Friars Minor,
St. Francis is considered the patron saint of the environment.
Often annual ceremonious masses are held around his feast
day to bless animals.
For the past six years
the Chapel has conducted a local service that encourages
members of the Smith and larger Northampton Community to
bring their pooches, felines and farm animals to share
in the traditional blessing.
honor of St. Francis, some of the mass will be held in Italian.
The Italian department will participate in the festivities
with Professor Alfonso Procaccini speaking on the meaning
of the famed Canticle of Brother Sun and Sister Moon in
our daily lives. Professors Giovanna Bellesia, who
created delightful flyers for the service featuring her own
dogs, and Giulia Benghi will do the scriptural readings while
Sara Scott ’09 will sing the canticle, which will also
be recited in Italian by students from the Junior Year Abroad
program in Florence. Children in the congregation get
involved by singing All God’s Critters Got a
Place in the Choir. Father David Joyce of Springfield
will serve as celebrant.
A special Italian meal
in Bodman Lounge following the mass will top off the community
celebration. All are welcome. For
more information, contact , or
call the Chapel Office at (413)585-2753.