Pets receive special blessing at Franciscans’ annual event
A woman bringing her pet for the special animal blessing on Oct 2 at the Church of St Mary of the Angels.
“I wanted to have my dog blessed today because to me it symbolises God laying His hand on him,” said Ms Janet See, 38.
Malcolm, her nine-year-old Airedale Terrier, was one of a wide variety of pets brought by their owners to the Franciscan-run Church of St Mary of the Angels for a special blessing.
Ms See, who has attended the yearly event twice before, shared with CatholicNews that Malcolm recently suffered a seizure during one of their routine walks and felt that “this could be the last time he comes here”.
Airedale Terriers usually have a 12-year life span.
Not one to be disheartened, Ms See gave a smile and reached down to give her canine companion a pat on the head.
Cats, birds, turtles, hamsters, rabbits and even a goldfish were among the pets seen at the church carpark during the Oct 2 event.
About 250 pet owners participated in the event, which was part of celebrations leading to the Oct 4 feast day of St Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and the ecology.
“We’ve had this [animal blessing] going on for about the past 10 years,” parish priest, Friar Clifford Augustine, told CatholicNews.
He, along with a few other Franciscan friars, were on hand to bless the animals with holy water.
Besides the blessing, various charity organisations, including those for pet adoption and animal welfare and healthcare, set up stalls at the venue.
These organisations included Bunny Wonderland, Chained Dog Awareness and Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES).
By Jared Ng