It was a dry but chilly autumn day in the schoolyard this past Saturday, as about 25 pets and their owners walked, ran, or were carried to our first Blessing of the Animals at St John the Evangelist parish in many years. The event sponsored by the Saint Francis of Assisi ministry at St John’s began with a reading of Saint Francis’ Canticle of Creatures followed by Father Crispin’s prayer and then individual blessings of each of our animal friends.
Participants included chihuahuas, poodles, Labrador retrievers, goldendoodles, terriers, shepherds, cattle dogs, and beagles. Also making an appearance were several cats in carriers and a Lake Victorian cichlid from Kenya that Lawrence Kent brought in a cooler. The Baxters brought the ashes of their deceased pets and Tony told a story of a long-ago blessing at St John’s during the 1980s that included horses and a sheep from the Woodland Park Zoo.
Pet owners ranged in age from small children to retired parishioners and everyone left with a Saint Francis medal provided by Mary Wiseman. Our dog, Porter, is wearing his medal affixed to his collar. I think it’s safe to say that everyone had a good time and that Saint Francis was watching down on us with a smile. We hope you will join us next year.