Blessing of the Animals
Please join us outside the church at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 14, for the Blessing of the Animals. The blessing is held each year near the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi in recognition of the spiritual nature of animals and the spiritual practice of sharing our lives with them. Please bring your dogs on leash, cats in carriers, and other animals appropriately restrained, so they can receive a blessing from Franciscan Friar Manny Andrade and BBUUC Animal Chaplain Elizabeth DeCoux. If you wish to have a blessing for an animal who cannot attend or has passed away, please bring a picture, toy, or memento. The opening words of the ritual will last ten or fifteen minutes, followed by a brief blessing of each animal, photo, or memento. The picnic table will be available for those who wish to sit; please feel free to bring a lawn chair if you wish.
There’s a new and special aspect to the ceremony this year. All members and friends are invited to bless area animals tangibly by bringing donations for First Coast No More Homeless Pets, which provides low-cost spay/neuter and other veterinary services. Low-cost spay/neuter is a crucial element in solving the overpopulation problem which leads to so many unnecessary deaths. Low-cost veterinary services save animals from going to shelters by helping people afford to keep their animals at home. Lee Plumb is generously coordinating this project, advising us of FCNMHP’s needs, creating cage covers from cotton you donate, and delivering the donations to FCNMHP. Please bring your donations to the Blessing of the Animals at 3:00 p.m. on October 14, or to church on Sunday morning, October 15. The following items are among the most needed:
- Large bags of dry cat food (the single greatest need)
- Dry dog food
- Canned cat and dog food
- Blankets (no stuffing)
- Towels, sheets, and pillowcases
- 100% cotton cloth, minimum of one-yard, which Lee will cut to the proper size for trap covers
- for calming feral cats
- If you are handy, you can even make and donate trap covers for calming feral cats during
- transport: 36” by 58”, made from old sheets or other lightweight cotton, with a slit in the middle
- of the long side for the trap handle, no hem needed.
We look forward to seeing you and your animal friends at this wonderful event!