Special blessing of pets to take place at St. Stephen’s

HAGAMAN —On Saturday, Oct. 5, St. Stephen’s Parish, 51 Pawling St., invites the community to gather in the church parking lot at 11 a.m. for a special blessing of all pets in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi’s special love for all God’s creatures. Reverend O. Robert DeMartinis, pastor, reminds everyone that in case of rain all will gather in the church. He encourages those attending to bring their pets as well as their favorite stuffed animals to be included in this beautiful remembrance and simple blessing.

St. Francis believed it is our mission to follow God’s example of heartfelt compassion, mercy, kindness, and love for all creation. He was inspired by God to call all animals his brothers and sisters. He said, “All things of creation are children of the Father and thus brothers of man … God wants us to help animals if they need help. Every being in distress (human or creature) has the same right to be protected.” Francis would often bless each animal reminding them of the power of God’s love to enable each of them to live according to His plan, according to a news release.

Generally, on Oct. 4, people all over the world celebrate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, who is known as the Patron Saint of Animals and the Environment, in honor of his love for all beings. It is the custom of many to take their animal companions to church for a Blessing of the Animals. They believe every creature is important. The love shared with a pet, and received from a pet, can draw each of us more deeply into a joyful life experience, and into a beautiful encounter with God and a deepening relationship to our creator, the release stated.

For more information, please call the parish office at (518) 843-2951.

By Josh Bovee

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