Every October 4th, people all over the world celebrate the feast day of the Patron Saint of Animals, Saint Francis of Assisi. It’s customary that in remembrance of the Saint’s love for all creatures, animals are welcomed into churches for the “Blessing of the Animals.”Judy McKee Two-minute read. Resources
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Kimberling City has been holding a Blessing of the Animals for well over a decade for the beloved pets in our community. This year we had 32 people bring 24 dogs, and there were ten cats and dogs attending via cell phone cameras and photos, all were blessed by St. Mark’s Priest, Mother Anne Cheffey.
As you can imagine with 24 dogs, from little Yorkies under 10 pounds to a Great Pyrenees weighing in around 150 pounds, there was a lot of excitement, sniffing and socializing taking place. But an amazing thing happens every year; before the service, there is a lot of conversation, both human & animal. But once Mother Anne says, “The Lord be with you” and the parishioners respond, “And also with you” the sound drops from level ten to zero. You can hear a pin drop. It remains this quiet until the service is over and every fur baby has been blessed. It’s as if the animals suddenly realize that the church service has begun.
This special time with our furry family members has become a fundraiser for the Tri-Lakes Humane Society in Reeds Spring. Our Lady of the Cove Catholic Church, The United Methodist Church and St. Andrew Presbyterian Church have joined St. Mark’s in collecting food, litter, cleaning supplies and clean old towels to help the shelter care for animals until they can find forever homes.
We thank everyone who helped and participated and we look forward to The Blessing of the Animals in 2020.