Monday, October 5, 2015

Blessing of Pets

     One of the great moments of my priesthood is the annual blessing of pets and animals on or near the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi on October 4th.  Yesterday saw another one of those wonderful days.  In our parish, we scheduled such a blessing at 2:00 pm in the afternoon at the church, and I experience another "first".

     It was a beautiful Fall day and our parishioners brought out about thirty five pets.  This year they were mostly dogs of every variety, size and shape ... but there were also hermit crabs, a gecko, a parakeet, and for the first time, a horse.   With that many animals in one place, you can imagine the commotion and the strain on leashes.  But as always, when it came time for the blessing, there was a very noticed quieting of those present.  I shared a little of the life and spirit of Francis of Assisi, and then asked the Heavenly Father to bless these friends and companions of our parishioners.  They then were blessed with holy water ... a few, at the request of their masters, for a double dose.  Our horse this year, named Mishu (spelling ?) even did a graceful bow before receiving the blessing.

Mishu and yours truly
Mishu "Bowing for the blessing"
     In the past years we have given out medals or holy cards on this occasion.  This year we asked people to bring something to help a local Animal Shelter, and we received a load of stuff that we will take to them this week, as well as a monetary gift for their fine work.  It was a tremendous response, an inspiring event, and most importantly, a lot of fun.
     My sister, Janie, had her little one, Sammy, there as well.  He is such a good boy, and Uncle Len loves him.
Samuel Leonard Stoviak ... Sammy

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