The Lord God formed out of the ground various wild animals and various birds of the air.

Following the 10:00 A.M. Mass on Sunday, October 3, we will gather in the church parking lot for the annual blessing of pets to commemorate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, which is Monday, October 4. Last year, among the many humans in attendance, we were joined by cats, dogs, a beautiful horse who enjoyed snacking on Table Talk pies, and a cute little pig named “Oliver” who oinked a few times when splashed with holy water! Of course, the birds were chirping from their roosts in the nearby trees. St. Francis would have been proud!

Psalm 147:9 tells us that God is concerned for all His creation, including the animals He created. We can take from Scripture that if God takes care of animals, then so should we. Many parents introduce a pet into their home to teach their children responsibility and other positive qualities, such as unconditional love, forgiveness, and steady companionship. That’s why pets are taken to hospitals and nursing homes to interact with people in need. They help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

We can learn an incredible deal from animals.

Good St. Francis, patron of animals, you loved all of God’s creatures. To you they were your brothers and sisters. Help us to follow your example of treating every living thing with kindness. Watch over our pets. Keep them – and their human companions – safe, healthy, and always in God’s loving care.

With prayerful best wishes,

Fr. John Mahoney