Make Way for Ducklings

Barb Spies, OFS, Director of Mission Services and Pastoral Care

St. Francis is often depicted being surrounded by animals. I have a print of a painting from the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi that shows him preaching to the birds. He was known for loving all of creation. He wrote, “Praised be You, my Lord, with all Your creatures.” A story is told of a man giving St. Francis a bird. After admiring it, Francis opened his hands for it to leave. “But the bird did not want to leave: instead it settled down in his hands as in a nest, and the saint, his eyes lifted up to heaven, remained in prayer. Returning to himself as if after a long stay in another place, he sweetly told the little bird to return to its original freedom. And so the bird, having received permission with a blessing, flew away expressing its joy with the movement of its body.” (The Treatise on the Miracles of Saint Francis by Thomas of Celano)  

On Monday, April 29, our Director of Marketing, Megan Bruckschen, participated in her own Franciscan adventure. She saw a mother duck crossing the street followed by her ducklings, then saw that several of the ducklings had fallen into the sewer. The mother duck was, of course, distraught and was in the road letting everyone know how upset she was. Megan and a friendly neighbor decided to act. Together they managed to open the sewer grate. Megan went in and began to pull out the ducklings to safety. (This is the point at which I add the safety disclaimer: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME! Megan could clearly see the bottom of the sewer and the neighbor also had a ladder nearby if needed!) She made sure that the ducklings and the grateful mother duck found their way to safety. We are thankful, as is that mother duck, for Megan’s diligent care for creation!

Blessed Angela: “Never look for self in anything but always seek the glory of God and the good of your neighbor.”

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