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SCVNews.com | OLPH Parishioners Gather for Annual Blessing of the Animals

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In honor of Saint Francis of Assisi, patron of animals and nature, Father Emmanuel Delphin blessed canines, cats, some gerbils and even some fish.

The seventh Annual Blessing of the Animals, in recognition of Saint Francis, is a practice that religious leaders and parishioners of Our Lady of Perpetual Help take pleasure in yearly. More than 150 pet homeowners from the church introduced their pets on Saturday for the occasion.

“It is usually done by a visiting priest from Ireland, but he wasn’t able to come this year,” mentioned Margaret Shapiro, parishioner and occasion coordinator. “Father Emmanuel Delphin was gracious enough to do the blessings this year.”

Shapiro mentioned the Blessing of the Animals happens in numerous components of the county, too. St. Francis of Assisi was a wealthy man who gave up his life of luxurious to pursue a life serving God. He was recognized for his love of animals and nature, in line with Delphin.

Father Emmanuel Delfin blesses a pair of canines at Our Lady of Perpetual Help’s annual Blessing of the Animals Saturday. October 09, 2021. Bobby Block / The Signal.

“I started the Blessing of the Animals here about seven years ago,” Shapiro mentioned. “They get a little Saint Francis medal for their collars.”

Delphin mentioned it was an honor to conduct this 12 months’s blessings, and afterward, he even wished he had pets of his personal to like and bless.

“They are creatures that are created for us, and for our happiness as well,” Delphin mentioned. “We are also being called to be good shepherds to provide for them. It’s a reciprocal kind of relationship that we have with God’s creatures where we’re supposed to be responsible.”

Donna Ganshirt, a fellow parishioner, introduced Abby, her 1-year-old cockapoo. She mentioned she’s by no means had a canine earlier than, so she determined to have Abby take part in the Blessing of the Animals.

“It’s a very unique thing and I think that it honors Saint Francis of Assisi,” Ganshirt mentioned.

Dog Blessing 3

Father Emmanuel Delfin blesses a canine at Our Lady of Perpetual Help’s annual Blessing of the Animals Saturday. October 09, 2021. Bobby Block / The Signal.