Puppies rested on children’s’ laps, parakeets sang from cages, a turtle rested on a boy’s hand while big dogs playfully jerked on their leashes. The owners sat with them in silence in a schoolyard, listening to a Catholic deacon talk about God’s mandate about being stewards of nature and all living things, including their pets.
The annual blessing of the pets at St. Joachim Catholic School was celebrated Friday, which was the feast day for St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment.
Restless children sprang up and gathered around pets as soon as the deacon finished his prayer, eagerly touching and admiring the variety of animals waiting to be blessed.
On one end of the crowd of approximately 270 students, 5-year-old Bella Stout held her 13-month-old puppy Spot. Her fellow pre-schoolers surrounded her, each anxiously awaiting a chance to pet or hold the white Chihuahua and terrier mix...