Around the diocese: Blessing of the animals for the Feast of St. Francis

Blessing of the pets ceremonies are part of the celebration for the Feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, in rememberance for his love of all creatures. This time of year, people bring a procession of animals, everthing from dogs and cats to raccoons, snakes and spiders to our churches and schools for a special blessing ceremony. The love we give to pets and receive in return from pets draws us into the circle of life and our relationship to God.

PEARL – Father Lincoln Dall blesses Donna Mia as Mark Bowden looks on. (Photo by Rhonda Bowden)
MADISON – St. Anthony third grade student Owen Holcomb holds his pet as he awaits a blessing during the schools annual Pet Blessing Ceremony. (Photo by Kati Loyacono)
HOLLY SPRINGS – Father Hendrik Ardianto, SCJ (“Ardi”) blessed pets at Holy Family School in honor of the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. Pictured is “K.D. Smith,” a Boston Terrier, reaching out to thank Father Ardi for the blessing. (Photo by Laura Grisham)
SOUTHAVEN – Father David Szatkowski, SCJ blessed librarian Rae Davis’ french bulldog, Louie. He loves patrolling the school grounds at Sacred Heart in his stroller. (Photo by Laura Grisham)
SOUTHAVEN – The Knights of Columbus at Christ the King create a huge Pumpkin Patch each year as a fundraiser, with many varieties of pumpkins, perfect for fall and Halloween decor. (Photo by Laura Grisham)
WEST POINT – Michelle Aguda and her sister brought their dogs to be blessed by Father Binh Nguyen at Immaculate Conception parish. (Photo by Cathy Johnson)
WEST POINT – Father Binh Nguyen is pictured with Anne Smith, Kathy Knighten and Robert Smith at Immaculate Conception parish. (Photo by Cathy Johnson)
MADISON – At St. Francis of Assisi parish, Daniel Inman holds Madi and his dad, Will Inman holds Max for a blessing by Father Albeen Vatti. (Photo by Sallie Ann Inman)
OLIVE BRANCH – At Queen of Peace parish, Father Ardi blessed two horses. He even blessed two raccoons! (Photo by Laura Grisham)
PEARL – Father Lincoln visits with Cherlynn Womack and Lincoln Dall, the dog at St. Jude. (Photo by Rhonda Bowden)
SOUTHAVEN – Father David blessed a spider. Reports were: “ICK it was HUGE!”
CLINTON – Father McGing blesses Greta Nalker’s pet corn snake, St. Valentine, at Holy Savior parish. (Photo by Lacy Nalker)
BATESVILLE – At St. Mary parish, Father Pradeep blesses Sharon Hodge’s Chocolate Labradoodle puppy, and Stella and Robin Ridge’s dogs, Storm and Brownie. (Photo by Sharon Hodge)
VICKSBURG – In honor of St. Francis, Father Rusty blessed the pets at St. Paul parish and enjoyed faith and fellowship with parishioners. (Photo by Wilson Locke)