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Creatures great, small blessed for Feast of St. Francis

The Rev. Sallie Schisler blesses a family cat at Saturday’s event.

The Rev. Sallie Schisler blesses a family cat at Saturday’s event.


The creatures came great and small from Keeva, a toy poodle, to Dexter, the Great Dane, to the garden at Christ Episcopal Church on Saturday.

There the Rev. Sallie Schisler of Christ Church officiated at a short service for the blessing of the animals as part of the Feast of St. Francis.

The service began with reciting a short prayer asking God for “humility to thank you for the creation of animals, who can show affection which sometimes puts us to shame. Enlarge our respect for these your creatures of whom we are the guardians.”

Then the 15 people in attendance recited together verses from Psalm 104. Following that prayers asking God to comfort all animals “who are suffering including those that are abused, hunted, lost, deserted, frightened, hungry and dying…. For blessing us with the unconditional love of our pets so that our pets may make you better known to us.”

Then Schisler went around to each animal blessing it by saying, “May you and (the owner) enjoy life together and find joy with the God who created you.”

This was the fifth pet blessing at the church that attracts regulars such as Ella Lawless who brought her toy poodle, Keeva, to the garden.

“All God’s creatures need blessings,” she said.

Janet Birch of Russell, Ky., brought her two rescue dogs, Oliver Wendell and Heidi Rose, whose barking at times competed with the service.

“I am here to have my little pets blessed,” she said. “They are my special four-legged children.”

The largest animal to show up was Dexter, the Great Dane, just a little over a year old, with his owner, Brad Layman of South Point.

“This is important to have for the community to get everyone out,” he said.