Home Community Organizations Blessing of the Animals Kicks Off Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month

Blessing of the Animals Kicks Off Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month


Oct. 12, 2005 – As autumn arrives, people in various places may notice something odd. A procession of animals, everything from dogs and cats to hamsters and even horses, is led to churches for a special ceremony called the Blessing of Pets, which is a custom in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi and his love for all creatures.
The Humane Society of St. Thomas will conduct two Blessing of the Pets ceremonies. The first ceremony will be conducted at the Society in Estate Nadir, on Saturday, Oct. 15, at noon. The second will be conducted during "Barktoberfest" at Bolongo Bay Beach Resort on Sunday, Oct. 30, at 3 p.m. The public is invited to bring pets for these ceremonies conducted by Father Troy Schuster, according to a press release from the Humane Society.
The bond between person and pet is like no other relationship, because the communication between fellow creatures is at its most basic. Eye-to-eye, a man and his dog, or a woman and her cat, are two creatures of love.
The Blessing of Pets usually goes like this:
"Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures. You called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air and animals on the land. You inspired St. Francis to call all of them his brothers and sisters. We ask you to bless this pet. By the power of your love, enable it to live according to your plan. May we always praise you for all your beauty in creation. Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures! Amen."
The Society is dedicated to creating a safe environment for animals on St. Thomas. Led by a membership of over 2000, its staff and numerous volunteers take in nearly 3000 cats and dogs annually, of which several hundred are adopted or reunited with their owners.


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