The Blessing of the Animals

Bald priest, Fr. Paul Jarvis, blesses furry friend

Bald priest, Fr. Paul Jarvis, blesses furry friend

Friend and colleague Father Paul Jarvis could have written these words of Franciscan Friar Kevin E. Mackin, O.F.M about The Blessing of the Amimals:

The bond between person and pet is like no other relationship, because the communication between fellow creatures is at its most basic. Eye-to-eye, a man and his dog, or a woman and her cat, are two creatures of love.

No wonder people enjoy the opportunity to take their animal companions to church for a special blessing. Church is the place where the bond of creation is celebrated.

At Franciscan churches, a friar with brown robe and white cord often welcomes each animal with a special prayer. The Blessing of Pets usually goes like this:

“Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures. You called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air and animals on the land. You inspired St. Francis to call all of them his brothers and sisters. We ask you to bless this pet. By the power of your love, enable it to live according to your plan. May we always praise you for all your beauty in creation. Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures! Amen.”

Father Paul, one of God’s balding creatures, is Pastor of St. Joseph in Rosemount, Minnesota, and former Pastor of Guardian Angels Catholic Community in Chaska. He is recovering from emergency open heart surgery. Blessings to Paul, his family, friends, parishioners, and furry friends.