Island pets are encouraged to bring their humans to church Saturday, Oct. 6 in celebration of a day dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi, regarded world-wide as the patron saint of animals and the environment.
Island clergy will recognize this by celebrating St. Francis feast day with a Blessing of the Animals at St. John's Episcopal Church located at 7771 Stringfellow Road in St. James City. The blessing will take place at 11 a.m.
This is the 12 annual Blessing of the Animals, which brings together pet owners and animal lovers to share in fellowship and for an opportunity for their furry and feathered friends to receive prayers intended just for them. Each pet will receive a personalized certificate indicating that they have received a blessing.
Assisting the Reverend Ryan A. Wright, vicar of St. John's, will be Father Michael Hughes from Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, and Pastor Roger Lemke of Fishers of Men Lutheran Church.
This event is open to the public and will commence with a brief outdoor service, which will be followed by the blessing of each animal that has come to church that day. St. John's only request is that pets be on leashes or contained. If it is too difficult to bring your pet, you are welcome to bring a picture and join us. You don't even need a pet to participate. This is a wonderful opportunity for the whole family to have a Saturday activity together.
Hot dogs, chips and soft drinks or water will be provided. Pet medals for cats and dogs with a special animal blessing will be offered for sale. The ladies of St. John's are sponsoring a bake sale.
For additional information about this year's Blessing of the Animals please call St. John's Episcopal Church at 239-283-1820.