Residents took their furry friends to St. Joseph Catholic Church on Oct. 7 for the annual blessing of the pets.
Fr. Timothy O’Connor said the event usually falls near the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, which is celebrated by many churches each year on Oct. 4.
“St. Francis, among many other things, was a patron of animals,” he said. “I always try to do the blessing on the weekend closest to his feast. We ask for God’s blessings for all these pets and for all the people who care for them. We do a general blessing with everyone and then everyone is welcome to introduce their pet and receive an individual blessing.”
Dogs and cats alike received blessings, including Prince, a rescued golden retriever, collie, and German shepherd mix belonging to John and Lydia Ganobcik of Amherst.
“We brought Prince home and he was a wild boy,” said Lydia. “He would drag me when we walked and had a hard time around other animals. I think the blessings helped him turn over a new leaf. He’s calm, enjoys his buddies, and drops on his belly when he meets new people. We got him in 2010 and he’s never been happier.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.