Pet blessings raise spirits at borough churches

COVID-19 couldn’t stop a favorite tradition of pet owners and animal lovers throughout Brooklyn.

On Sunday, Oct. 4, churches celebrated the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, a day when parishioners bring their pets to be blessed by members of the clergy.

St. Francis, who lived in the 12th century, is the patron saint of animals and the environment.

Mother Suzanne Culhane blessed more than a dozen pets at St. Philip’s. Photos courtesy of St. Philip’s

According to the Diocese of Brooklyn, the blessing of pets asks God, the creator of all living creatures, to give the animals good health and to keep them safe from all harm.

Participating churches included Sacred Hearts-St. Stephen’s, 125 Summit St.; Our Lady of Angels, 7320 4th Ave.; and St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, 1072 80th St.

Monsignor Guy Massie blesses pets at Sacred Hearts-St. Stephen’s.

“Whenever you see pets gathered outside, or on the front steps of a church, you know it must be the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi,” said John Quaglione, deputy press secretary for the Diocese of Brooklyn. “Pets of all kinds, including lizards, cats, turtles, dogs, birds and more, received a special blessing from members of our clergy this weekend. We were glad so many parishes were able to keep this religious tradition alive this year despite the coronavirus.”

Monsignor Guy Massie blesses pets at Sacred Hearts-St. Stephen’s.

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