Posts Tagged ‘pets and religion’

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Following the example of Saint Francis of Assisi, area Christian churches are offering pet blessings this week.

Find the one closest to you:

St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church
5345 Virginia Beach Blvd.Virginia Beach, VA 23462
BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS will be held Friday, October 4th at 4:00 PM in the Pavilion.
All animals are welcome.

St. Mary’s Catholic Church
436 Homestead Rd.
Chesapeake, VA 23321
Blessing of the Animals
On Friday, October 4th at 6:30 PM, the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, the Cluster Parishes will host a Blessing
of Animals. The service will be held at St. Mary’s (536 Homestead Road, Chesapeake). All are invited to bring pets to the church
for this special day.

Christ the King Catholic Church
3401 Tidewater Dr.
Norfolk, VA 23509
Blessing of the Animals on Saturday, October 5th at 9 AM in the school parking lot. Donations of pet food for the Norfolk SPCA will be gratefully accepted.

Episcopal Church of the Ascension
405 Talbot Hall Road
Norfolk, VA 23505
Sunday, October 6 at 11:00 AM, we will welcome our furry, fuzzy, feathered and scaly friends as we celebrate St. Francis and bless our pets. Fr. Pat Finn will be our preacher and celebrant at both services; let’s welcome him in fine Ascension style! Weather-permitting, we will meet in the River Pavilion; otherwise, we’ll be in Rose Hall.  There will be doggie and kitty treats afterwards.  The loose offering will be collected and donated to Go Rescue Pet.  Also, if you have old towels, rags, bleach, dog food (for small dogs particularly), or other items a rescue can use, please make a donation and we will deliver them to Go Rescue in Norfolk.  You may find them on Facebook:

Historic St. Luke’s Church
14477 Benns Church Blvd.
Smithfield, VA 23430
Come and celebrate with us the Annual Blessing of the Animals which will be held at Historic St. Luke’s Church on Sunday, October 6 at 2 PM to honor the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi , the Patron Saint of Animals. During this traditional ceremony acknowledging all living creatures as part of creation, each pet will receive an individual blessing from Rev. Les Ferguson.
We have a book written about our event, “Lili of St. Luke’s” which is for sale in our gift shop!

Trinity Episcopal Church
500 Court St.
Portsmouth, VA 23704
Sunday, October 6 at 4 PM
Animals and their human companions are invited to gather inside the church.  The service will include the blessing of the canine and equestrian officers of the Portsmouth Police Department.
A free-will offering will be received to benefit the animal shelter at the Portsmouth Humane Society.

All efforts have been made to ensure that the above-listed information is correct. We recommend you call the church of your choice to check the date, time and location before leaving home!

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The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the Patron Saint of Animals, was celebrated on October 4th, but you can still have your pets blessed at area churches.

Here are four to choose from:

Christ the King Episcopal Church
October 6th at 10 AM (outdoors)
4109 Big Bethel Road
Yorktown, VA 23693

Episcopal Church of the Ascension

October 7th at 11 AM (River Pavilion)
Accepting donations for Go Pet Rescue
405 Talbot Hall Road
Norfolk, VA 23505

Trinity Episcopal Church
October 7th at 4 PM
500 Court Street
Portsmouth, VA 23704

Historic St. Luke’s Church
October 14th from 2-3 PM
“Lili of St. Luke’s” book for sale in gift shop
14477 Benns Church Boulevard
Smithfield, VA 23430

A Blessing for Animals  
Blessed are You, Lord God, for all living creatures You have made. 
You keep them in Your care and not one of them is lost without You knowing. 
They glorify You, each in its own way, and speak to us of Your beauty and love. 
Bless them and keep them from harm. They unquestionably accept their place in the rhythm of Your creation. 
May we respect them and cherish them for they are Your gift to us; through them may we come to know You better and praise You, their Creator. 
Blessed be the love and joy that they bring to us.

Looking for more inspiration? 

Pet Prayer List

Prayers for Pets

Prayer Links

Pet Loss Poems

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     The one thing I love more than a book is a free book, and the one thing I love more than a free book is a good free book.  Today, I received a good free book in the mail – “Katie’s Crown: Love Lessons learned from a Golden Lab” by Patti Saffioti. 

     “Katie’s Crown” is a fleshed-out journal of the love shared between the Saffioti family and their Golden-Lab mix, Katie.  Katie wasn’t just a pet in the manner of a backyard prop or status symbol.  She was, in the words of Larry Saffioti, “an integral part of our family.”

     At the end of her life, Katie battled a terminal illness, and her family was faced with the reality of having to let her go, peacefully and humanely.  Patti hopes her family’s story will bring comfort to others who are walking the same path.

     Through her journaling, Patti also discovered the many lessons Katie taught her family members about God’s love for us and how He wants us to conduct ourselves in life. 

     I read “Katie’s Crown” soon after it arrived and enjoyed the book.  Katie will remind many people of their own pets – she wasn’t perfect, but she was pretty darn close.  The ending will have you reaching for the Kleenex.  I found Patti’s account of Katie’s passing very touching.  She captured the heartbreaking moments of a pet’s final visit to its doctor, in a way that many pet owners will relate to.

     You can order a copy of “Katie’s Crown” here or by visiting the website Katie’s Crown.  You can also participate on the website’s forum by sharing photos and memories of your own pets.
     Book jacket design by Isaac Publishing, Inc. 

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