Since Marshalltown Area Catholic School became St. Francis Catholic School this year, leaders thought it was fitting to honor the worldwide Feast of St. Francis with a special event Friday at the school.
A special prayer service was held led by St. Henry Catholic Church Rev. Don Czapla, which was followed by a blessing of pets.
"We felt we needed to celebrate our namesake," said Matt Herrick, principal of St. Francis.
T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW POTTER
Rev. Don Czapla of St. Henry Catholic Church speaks to children at St. Francis School during the Feast of St. Francis Friday.
Czapla told the students about how St. Francis loved all of creation including animals.
"I think all of creation is a gift from God," Czapla said. "When we recognize the blessings we have, we understand they are gifts. St. Francis was one of the great saints of our church and had a love of nature and animals."
A total of 20 dogs and one cat came to the school to be blessed. Tomasa Gomez brought her daughter's dog, Daisy, to the event.
"When I heard about this I said I want to be there," Gomez said.
Herrick is also using the weekend to update church members of the campaign for the new addition at the school, which is currently under construction. They have received more than $3 million in pledges and are planning to receive a total of $800,000 from the savings accounts of St. Mary's and St. Henry's churches and from the school. This pushes the total money raised to nearly $4 million.