Local parishes bless pets with holy water

Priests bless animals to celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi. / Herald Post (Flickr)

As the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animal and ecology, approaches on Oct. 4, several area churches are planning events with "pet blessings" at the forefront of the celebration.

According to the Catholic Diocese of Toledo, pet blessings involve an outdoor celebration where pets are sprinkled with holy water. Many local parishes welcome animals, large and small, from domesticated dogs and cats to guinea pigs, horses, goats, lizards, birds and crickets--to name a few.

The blessing usually reads: "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."

Local parishes celebrating the feast with a blessing of animals:

Friday September 30, 3011

Regina Coeli Parish, 530 Regina Pwy, Toledo at 9 a.m.St. Joseph Parish at the St. Francis Statue with the Wolf on the Franciscan Campus of Lourdes University, Sylvania, 6 p.m.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Resurrection Parish, 2600 Lexington Avenue, Lexington 9 a.m.St. Michael Parish, 312 North Broad Street, Kalida 9 a.m.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Little Flower Parish, 5522 Dorr Street, Toledo at 10 a.m.All Saints Parish, 134 Lime City Road, Rossford 2 p.m.St. John the Baptist Parish, 5153 Summit Street, Point Point Place at 12:30 p.m.St. Ignatius Catholic Community, 212 N. Stadium Road, Oregon at 1:30 p.m.St. Anthony Parish, 145 Center Street, Milan at 12 p.m.St. Mary, Mother of the Redeemer Parish, 38 West League Street, Norwalk at 1 p.m.St. Patrick Providence Parish, 14010 US 24 Grand Rapids, after 11 a.m. near the playground.Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, 1105 Elliston Road, Martin, at 11:45 a.m.

Monday, October 3, 2011

St. Stephen Parish, 1878 Genesee Street, Toledo 7 p.m.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

All Saints Parish and School, 134 Lime City Parish, Rossford at 1:45 p.m.St. Pius X Parish, 3011 Carskaddon Ave., Toledo at 2:15 p.m.Our Lady of Consolation Basilica and National Shrine, 401 Clay Street, Carey - at the school at 8 a.m.Most Pure Heart of Mary Parish and School, 29 West Street, Shelby at 2:45 p.m.St. Joseph Parish, 113 James Street, Marblehead at 4:30 p.m.Sacred Heart Campus, 550 Smith Road, Fremont at 2:45 p.m. on the grassy area located north of the preschool building.St. Mary of the Assumption Parish, 601 Jennings Road, Van Wert at 2:30 p.m.St. Mary Catholic School, 314 Locust Street, Edgerton, at 2 p.m. in school lawn behind school

Wednesday, October 5, 2011St. Joseph Parish, 104 West Broadway Street, Maumee at 2:45 p.m. on the steps of community center

Other AreasSt. Wendelin Parish, 323 N. Wood St. Fostoria at 5:00 pm on the front lawn of the church.