Pets, owners turn out for Blessing of the Animals service
St. Peter's Episcopal Church went to the dogs and stuffed animals during a special “Blessing of the Animals” service on October 8.
The special service is a popular one, held on or close to the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi to commemorate the famous saint of pets and animals.
The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi holds an especially powerful meaning for the church pastor,the Rev. Scott A. Ciosek. He has traveled to the region of Italy where St. Francis lived, and built up his reputation as one who cares for all of God’s creatures.
“It’s so cool there because the dogs come right up to you, they’re so calm and peaceful,” Ciosek said.
This year, Ciosek brought St. Peter’s Blessing of the Animals service outdoors, owing to its growing popularity in years past. During the blessing, he led a prayer, and hosted individual blessings for each animal who attended.
“Everything we do is about bringing together people and building community,” Ciosek said.
And the Blessing of the Animals was no exception. Among those who turned out to have their pet dogs and stuffed animals blessed was several who had never been to the Elm Street church before.
“I wanted to see what it’s all about, and it’s so nice to do something like this for the animals,” said Heather Medeiros, who brought her dog Cal to be blessed.