Blessing of the Animals: St. Francis Day

blessing of the animalsAs many of you know, St. Francis is The Patron Saint of Animals. Many churches of all denominations celebrate this day with a Blessing of the Animals in early October to celebrate this day. People bring their pets, or as they say in San Francisco, animal companions, to the church and a pastor gives a short blessing for the pet and thanks to the owner for keeping the pet healthy and safe. You don’t have to do this in October and you may choose a date that is best for your calendar.
This is a wonderful source of outreach to the community if publicized. I have be able to appear on the morning radio show of a 50,000 watt station in Northern California to promote this and I contacted TV stations in Sacramento. The CBS affiliate sent a crew to cover the event live for The AM Sacramento Show.  As a result we Blessing of the animalshad people driving over an hour to have their pets blessed. Social media and local newspapers are great sources too, but TV and radio stations are hungry for news on weekends. I checked the Nielsen ratings the next day and the Sacramento news program got a 2 rating. May not sound like much, but that was 40,000 people enough to fill most baseball parks.
We had great success with this and some fun images. We’ve had dogs, including nine dachshunds blessed at the same time, horses, cats, bearded lizards, and the list goes on. Perhaps the most interesting pet was an African Gray Parrot named Gregory Peck. Make sure you have treats and water for the dogs and cats.

Do all dogs and cats go to heaven? That’s a subject for another time. Have fun with this.

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