Franciscan Celebrations 2023

Each year on the evening of October 3, the Franciscan family throughout the world pauses to celebrate the solemnity of our Holy Father Francis’ Transitus, his passing over from this life to the next. St. Francis was not afraid of what would come at the end of his earthly life, choosing instead to recognize in that experience, not an end, but a transition from one way of living to another was to come.

The Friars of Sacred Heart invite you to join them for a series of Franciscan celebrations, reflecting on that devotion and understanding of creation, as we observe the Transitus and The Feast of St. Francis.

Want to Learn More About the Transitus? Click Here

Transitus of St. Francis | Tuesday, October 3 | 6:30 p.m. | Church

Every year, on the third evening of October, Franciscans ritually remember the passing of Francis of Assisi from this life during this liturgy, as a reminder to renew our own commitment to follow Christ in the way of the poor man of Assisi. Join the friars as they continue this tradition, and later for a reception with light refreshments in St. Francis Hall following the liturgy.

The Feast of St. Francis | Wednesday, October 4 | Church

The Feast of the Father of our Order, St. Francis, will be celebrated at both scheduled daily Masses, at 7 a.m. and 12:10 p.m., with musical accompaniment at the 12:10 p.m. Mass from Director of Music, Philip Jakob.

Blessing of the Animals | Friday, October 6 | 6 p.m. | The Franciscan Center

The Franciscan Center (3010 N. Perry Ave.) once again plays host to our Friars blessing the animals of our local community as part of their annual “St. Francis Day.” The event is free to the public and will feature live music, pet-friendly vendors, food trucks, and exhibits along the Franciscan Center’s riverfront grounds.

Full Schedule for St. Francis Day at the Franciscan Center

Event Description:  The Franciscan Center is co-sponsoring with Sacred Heart Catholic Church, the Annual St. Francis Day Celebration & the Blessing of the Animals. The Spirituality/Conference Center was established on donated land and developed by the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, NY as a place of peace, healing, community, and joy. The Blessing of the Animals is an annual event in honor of St. Francis of Assisi who is the patron Saint of animals and the environment. This year’s event features several celebratory opportunities:

2 p.m. | The Way of Francis: Seeking Peace and Justice for all of Creation! | A 90 minutes interfaith prayer & music program presented by Louis Canter, OEF. This is part of an international observance of 2023 Seasons of Creation Initiative led by the Catholic Climate Covenant organization.

4:30 p.m. | Food Trucks will be on site offering food and soft drinks as well as ice cream and other refreshments.

6 p.m. | Pets of all kinds and their owners will be blessed by Franciscan Friars from Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Tampa. This annual “Blessing of the Animals” for all furry, finned, and feathered friends is a Franciscan Tradition in celebration of St. Francis of Assisi, Patron Saint of animals and the environment.  

This event will feature live music by Ray Gurka Music, pet friendly vendors, community partner information exhibits, food, and activities for the whole family on the beautiful riverfront grounds of the Franciscan Center at 3010 N. Perry Avenue Tampa, FL  33603. Media outlets are encouraged to be present for this family friendly event.

The Franciscan Center, 3010 N. Perry Ave., Tampa, FL 33603, is a non- profit, 501(3)(c), private retreat house sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, NY with dedicated laity who are committed in carrying out the mission. More information about the Center, upcoming retreats, and events, and venue bookings, visit:

This page will be updated with additional details for this year’s series of Franciscan Celebrations as they are announced.