Published October 17, 2014
MARIETTA—A rainy day on Friday, Oct. 3, moved the annual Blessing of the Pets ceremony at St. Joseph School indoors to celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi.
It’s the custom for students to bring their pets—dogs, birds, fish, and even rats—for a blessing, but this year stuffed animals and photos of beloved pets were stand-ins for the blessing by Father Michael Sherliza.
Students also donated supplies to the local humane society as a community service. A society representative told them how their donations would be put to use.
The annual celebration “gets the kids in touch with the richness of our faith,” Father Sherliza said.
“God gave us this world. He gave it to us to take care of, and animals are a very essential part of taking care of it. If they value their pets as a beautiful gift of God, then their vision of God gets bigger,” he said.