The sounds of morning traffic that usually surround Holy Redeemer Catholic School yielded to the sounds of barking, meowing and yes, quacking on Thursday morning. The annual Blessing of the Animals was in full swing on the school’s campus as students brought in their favorite pets to be blessed as part of the traditional ceremony.
“It is a great delight for the kids and families,” said Monsignor Jack Foley, better known as Father Jack. “Some [kids] brought pictures of their pets because their parents couldn’t get off work [to bring the pet in].”
World Animal Day is Oct. 4 and is set aside to honor the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. Stories abound of St. Francis’ love of animals. Many statues of him portray this, one depicting him lovingly holding a small bird. The story is that one day while traveling with his companions he came upon a tree full of birds. As he stood under the tree and began to preach, the birds surrounded him without flying away.