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St. Michaels Church brings pets out for blessing

By Staff | Oct 9, 2009

One by furry one – pets of all shapes and sizes got blessed during the Blessing of the Animals at St. Michael’s & All Angels Episcopal Church last Saturday.

A yellow Labrador retriever named Dutchess and fellow pooches Izzy, Maggie and about two dozens pets in total were brought to the church by their owners.

“They love their pets so much they want them to be blessed,” said The Rev. Dr. Ellen M. Sloan, the church’s rector.

Rev. Dr. Sloan recently became appointed the new rector at St. Michael’s & All Angels Episcopal Church.

The Blessing of the Pets is typically held on the first Sunday of October in honor of St. Francis of Assisi.

Many Christian churches celebrate the Blessing of the Pets, Rev. Dr. Sloan said.

But contrary to many notions St. Francis of Assisi was not a saint who only helped animals. Saint Francis is said to have left a life of wealth for one of poverty. He apparently loved nature and was known for his kindness to all of God’s creations, Rev. Dr. Sloan said.

He formed a monastery and championed the needs of the homeless and downtrodden.

“It was a ministry to those less fortunate,” Rev. Dr. Sloan said.

During Rev. Dr. Sloan’s sermon she beseeched the attendees to take St. Francis out of the garden – where his statue tends to be placed and follow the patron saint’s example.

“You can still make changes in the world and still be kind and compassionate,” she said.