The Franciscan Center in Tampa held its Blessing of the Animals in observance of the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi on Tuesday. The blessing ritual was to be led by Father Sean O'Brien, O.F.M., associate pastor, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Tampa.
The blessing celebrates St. Francis' deep love of creation and his sense of connectedness to all living things. Through the Blessing of the Animals, the center hopes to foster greater reverence for all creation and the preservation of the earth's resources for future generations. Protection of the environment is one of the central organizing values of the congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, who administer and staff the center at 3010 Perry Ave.