Regina High School in Warren hosts the 11th Annual Blessings of Animals
Saturday mornings usually consist of sleeping late or running errands. Students, parents and teachers of Regina High School to Warren had other plans.
The Leaders of Franciscan Engagement Club (LIFE) hosted the 11th Annual High School Animal Blessings in honor of the feast day of St. Francis, the patron saint of animals. Pet owners brought their furry friends for Deacon Ed McLeod’s prayers.
To mark the start of October, the pooches wore their Halloween costumes ranging from tiny cupcakes to giant skeletons. Others wore typical attire, pink harnesses and blue patterned collars or hoodies with teal ruffles. It was a morning of canine camaraderie, peppered with nervous barking from those who had never been around other dogs.
But dogs weren’t the only pets present. A few cats were kept in their cages and some hairy black rabbits were held firmly by their owners.
Michelle Thompkins, a high school social worker, decided to bring along her friendly but shy Shih Tzu Max.
“Just being part and showing my support, and the dog needs all the blessing he can get,” Thompkins said.
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Max isn’t a bad dog, he’s just not used to other dogs since it’s just him and Thompkins at home.
Maddy Wagner, from Warren, lives in the area and decided to bring her grand-“dog”-child after seeing the posters about the event.
“When my kids travel, I babysit” their fur babies, Wagner said.
Cider and donuts were available; some carried animal biscuits and the dogs received a small treat if their owner accepted.
The prayer didn’t last too long, the event began around 10:04 a.m. with words from Deacon Ed McLeod, followed by holy water being placed on the pets by McLeod.
Junior Sydney Upton is one of the founders of LIFE, which hosted the brief prayer event.
“This year, as a sort of way to maintain the school’s Franciscan identity, the Franciscan tradition calls for service and respect, love and humility,” Sydney said. “It’s in the Catholic religion.”
In honor of their now retired theology professor, who was passionate about service, the club makes sure to hold events where he can do acts of service.
“This month it’s all animal based because St. Francis and him being the patron saint of animals and so we’re fundraising for Leader Dogs for the Blind, we have a lot going on but today Today is an annual tradition that we do and we want to make sure it continues with the kind of changes we had last year with the departure of our theology professor,” she said. declared.
The high school was founded by the Sisters of Saint Joseph, Third Order of Saint Francis; the Franciscan Order is the largest religious group in the Catholic Church. Franciscan institutions like Regina follow religious traditions initiated by St. Francis of Assisi over 800 years ago.
According to Regina High School, artists usually portray Saint Francis as a saint surrounded by birds and other animals. One of the school’s core values includes stewardship and promotes the idea that just as Francis loved and experienced God’s presence in nature, they will care for and respect all of God’s creations and use all of them wisely. the Earth’s resources.