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

By Joanna Puddister King
JACKSON – 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.
Please enjoy these photos of these very special “blessings” in our lives.

NATCHEZ – More than 50 pets were blessed and given St. Francis tags on Sunday, Oct. 1 at St. Mary Basilica. More than $1,200 was raised for division among three local animal charities (Natchez Adams Humane Society, Hoofbeats and Pawprints Rescue and Natchez Spay and Neuter). (Photos courtesy of Ruth Powers)

HOUSTON – Father Bihn Nguyen reads a blessing for some very well behaved pets at Immaculate Heart of Mary Houston. (Photo courtesy of parish)

TUPELO – Father Tim Murphy blessed animals big and small for St. James Tupelo’s annual blessing of the pets event. (Photos by Michelle Harkins)

VICKSBURG – Father Rusty Vincent blesses Winnie, fur baby of Vivian and Gerardo Velazquez. Stella, with her “mom” Barbara Hill, patiently awaits her turn. (Photo by Connie Hosemann)