In celebration of the Feast of St. Francis, commonly known as the Patron Saint of Animals, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Jamestown has scheduled its annual ‘Blessing of the Animals’ service to be held on Sunday, October 4 at 4pm at the church’s downtown location.
Community members are invited to bring their animals, including “leashes, tanks and cages” to the blessing, which will be followed by a communion service for their human companions. If your animals do not travel well, feel free to bring a picture or a stuffed animal representation and we’ll make the blessing ‘transferable.’
“The people of St. Luke’s love our pets, but who doesn’t. We even perform funeral services for parishioners who have lost pets when the loss is particularly acute. We recognize the importance of animals in the lives of many. They bring us joy and comfort and often provide us with a sense of worth and peace.” says the Rev. Luke Fodor. “This is one of our more popular atypical services. We never know what kind of exotic animals may attend. Most years I bless our parishioners, Dan and Shauna Anderson’s alpacas, in absentia (of course) with a picture, but I always wonder what will show up.”
Further cementing their partnership, St. Luke’s is again teaming up with the Chautauqua County Humane Society to materially bless animals in need. They will be offering free packages of dog food to those who are struggling to pay for food.
“During this pandemic pet owners are really feeling the financial pinch to care for their animals. COVID made it impossible to offer our low-cost pet clinics at St. Luke’s, so we wanted to offer something special to the community,” said Brian Papalia, CCHS Community Relations Director. “All attendees will be able to find the material blessing of free dog food to go along with the spiritual ones offered by St. Luke’s.”
Plans are underway for a follow-up event at the Church on December 5 th to honor St. Nicholas, who developed into our modern-day notion of Santa Claus. This event will also offer free dog food and an opportunity to get your pet photographed with ole Saint Nick. Stay tuned from more details.
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church is located at 410 North Main Street, Corner of Fourth and Main, Jamestown, NY. For more information about the St. Francis Day Animal Blessing or any of St. Luke’s other offerings, call the church office at 716-483-6405.