Lisa Kochanowski
Assistant Editor/Reporter
October 3, 2023 // Diocese

Blessing of Pets Celebrates Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

Lisa Kochanowski
Assistant Editor/Reporter

Throughout history, man’s best friend has been an important part of many families – along with cats, guinea pigs, fish, snakes, and much more. St. Francis of Assisi was a beloved friar from Italy who loved all creatures, and to celebrate the feast of the patron saint of animals, St. Pius X in Granger held a Blessing of Pets on Saturday, September 30. It was a chance for members of the community to come together to celebrate the feast day of a holy saint, devotion to their Catholic faith, and a love for their pet.

Photos by Lisa Kochanowski
Ashley and Thomas Strasser, with their dog, Clayton, participate in the Blessing of Pets celebration at St. Pius X.

Ashley and Thomas Strasser brought their dog, Clayton, to the event for the first time. According to Thomas, they adopted Clayton in 2020, and in previous years, he was a little too immature to attend.

Ashley Strasser said animals are a big part of people’s lives and she appreciates the opportunity to involve her loving pet in her faith life.

St. Pius X parishioner Rebecca Ellenson brought her four-legged companion Bruce to the blessing. She saw the announcement in the bulletin and was surprised by such a strong turnout of people and pets. She was especially impressed with the sole cat who attended and didn’t seem concerned about being surrounded by a sea of dogs.

Monsignor William Schooler, Pastor of St. Pius X in Granger, and Deacon Harry Verhiley participate in the Blessing of Pets celebration with the parish community on Saturday, September 30.

“I wanted him to be incorporated in our faith,” Ellenson said. She said a focus of our Catholic faith is family and appreciates that the Church recognizes that pets are a part of people’s families.

The blessing was celebrated by Monsignor William Schooler, Pastor of St. Pius X, and Deacon Harry Verhiley. The celebration included songs, prayers, and a blessing with holy water upon each pet and family member who attended. Afterwards, guests were invited to share treats and fellowship with one another.

Dozens of dogs, a cat, a guinea pig, and their owners attended the Blessing of Pets at St. Pius X Church in Granger. Celebrated by Monsignor William Schooler, Pastor, and Deacon Harry Verhiley, guests sang songs, recited prayers, and were part of a personal blessing with holy water upon each pet and family member.

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