On Sunday, Oct. 4, St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church will celebrate the Feast of St. Francis with the annual blessing of the animals.
Following the 10 a.m. worship service, animals and their owners will congregate on the church’s parking lot for a special prayer and blessing to be given by Rev. Doug Neel, rector of St. Patrick’s.
St. Francis was a major reformer of the Church who established the order of Franciscan friars during medieval times. Because of his special passion for all of God’s creatures, he is regarded as the patron saint of animals. Churches all over the world remember him each year on October 4 with the blessing of the animals.
“I have blessed all sorts of animals during my pastorate, from a herd of goats, to lizards, turtles, hamsters, cats, dogs, and horses. But, in keeping with St. Patrick, who drove the snakes out of Ireland, I must say I draw the line at snakes,” says Fr. Neel, who admits to feeling somewhat squeamish around the reptiles.
Animal lovers are invited to attend the 10 a.m. Sunday morning worship service and bring their animals to the church parking lot at or around 11:45 a.m. for the blessing. “We welcome all to attend and to be a part of this very special blessing, as we acknowledge and celebrate the abundant joy our pets bring to our lives,” says Fr. Neel.
St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church is located at 225 S. Pagosa Blvd. Please call the church office at 731-5801 for more information.