No better time than ‘meow’: Parishes celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi with annual pet blessing
October 13, 2020
Above, Father Wayne Wilkerson, Bishop Emeritus Edmond Carmody of Corpus Christi and Deacon Lu Hill lead a pet blessing service at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Houston Oct. 4. Below, Father Elias Lopez, pastor of Christ Our Light Catholic Church in Navasota, blesses a dog during a pet blessing service. (Photos courtesy of Michael Lew/ St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Houston and Christ Our Light Catholic Church)
HOUSTON — From poodles to parakeets, spiders to snakes, and everything in between – Father Wayne Wilkerson, pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Houston, has blessed them all.
With social distancing guidelines in place, parishes across the Archdiocese, like St. Joseph Catholic Church in Houston, Christ Our Light Catholic Church in Navasota and Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Conroe, joined Father Wilkerson to honor the feast of St. Francis of Assisi with annual pet blessings.
Father Wilkerson joined Bishop Emeritus Edmond Carmody of the Diocese of Corpus Christi and Deacon Lu Hill in blessing parishioners’ pets on Oct. 4 at the parochial school’s athletic field in the Galleria. There, Father Wilkerson and Bishop Carmody then went around to each animal for an individual blessing and a sprinkle of holy water. Some critters were less enthused about the holy water part, but perhaps by divine intervention, all were well behaved.
A lover of animals, Father Wilkerson joyfully anticipates this gathering of the parish community each year.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for all in our parish and our community to come together and celebrate our furry and feathered companions who bring us such comfort and joy,” he said.
He and his dachshund Gretel visited St. Michael Catholic School on Oct. 2 as a special treat and to invite all the children to attend with their pets to commemorate St. Francis of Assisi.
Father Wilkerson said that during this difficult time, when many are facing hardships and uncertainties due to the pandemic, it’s important to celebrate the faith and all that God has given.
Honoring and blessing His creatures provided the perfect opportunity.