Over the past two weekends, a number of local churches have held “Blessing of the Animals” ceremonies, in which parishioners are invited to bring their pets for just that purpose. The events are timed to celebrate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. This past Saturday, at Church of the Epiphany’s ceremony, Father Austin Titus led the ceremony for local pooches and a guinea pig (pictured above). Another ceremony was held on the West Side at the Church of St. Francis Xavier (pictured below). Guests included a turtle, a service dog (shown in jacket) and quite a few other dogs.
On Saturday, Immaculate Conception Church held its annual Blessing of the Animals event, a church tradition timed around observances of the Feast of St. Francis Assisi, the patron saint of animals. All of the owners of the four-legged guests — dogs of all shapes and sizes mainly — also got to go home with special certificates. At least one cat owner was successful in getting her pet out of its carrier for the ritual, which is always a well-attended one. The Catholic Church on East 14th Street will have another celebration next Sunday when Monsignor Kevin Nelan celebrates the 40th anniversary of his ordination. A mass will take place at 1 p.m., a reception at 2 p.m.
Photos by Moriah Sterling