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BLESSED PETS: St. Mark’s blesses animals, raises donations

By Jenna Oden

Local residents brought their pets to the St. Mark’s Episcopal Church Sunday afternoon to be blessed in celebration of the Feast of St. Francis.

“All we asked were for people to bring a food donation to give to the local animal shelters,” said Father Curtis Kennington. “We wanted to invite everyone out to celebrate the life and Feast of St. Francis, where it is a tradition usually for animals to be blessed.”

St. Francis is the Catholic Church’s patron saint of animals and environment, so locals around the community gathered their cats, dogs and even ferrets to receive a blessing in his honor.

Caleb Dawson and his daughter Josephine brought their dog, Floyd, to the event to receive a blessing.

“Our dogs are a blessing to us; they’re part of our family,” Dawson said. “We think it makes sense to ask God to take care of them.”