CULLMAN, Ala. – For people with pets, it’s hard to imagine life without them. They become more than pets; they truly become family and a blessing. So, why not get your pet blessed, officially?
It may seem a bit unorthodox to some, but for those especially in the Catholic faith a Blessing of Pets is a way to not only include pets in the family faith, but to also remember and give thanks to St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and ecology. The blessing, a longstanding Catholic tradition, typically coincides with the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi which is held worldwide on Oct. 4.
While every church differs, most begin the special ministry with a word about St. Francis of Assisi and his ministry – a storied one, as he believed that nature itself is the mirror of God, called all creatures his “brothers” and “sisters,” and even preached to the birds – before the Father of the church invokes God’s blessing on the pets.
Father Patrick Egan of Sacred Heart of Jesus Church has long followed the example of St. Francis of Assisi, by offering a yearly Blessing of Pets on the front grounds of the church, with this year being no exception. Pets (and their owners!) will gather on the front lawn of the church rectory on Saturday, Oct. 7, at 9 a.m. to receive their special blessings. If your pet is particularly large or not fond of crowds, Barbara Ragsdale of Sacred Heart advises that a photo will do just fine.
While the service is liturgically Catholic, everyone who would like their pet blessed is welcome.
For more information on Sacred Heart Church of Jesus and future events and special services, visit www.sacredheartchurchcullman.org.
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