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10/11/2013 8:11:00 AM
All creatures, great and small, receive blessing
Photo by Greg Long
 Fr. John Marshall blesses one of many pets. 
Photo by Greg Long
 Fr. John Marshall blesses one of many pets. 
Greg Long

EUGENE — Dogs and cats, rabbits, rats and a bearded lizard and billy goat were among dozens of pets that gathered with their owners at St. Peter Church on Oct. 5 for the second annual Blessing of the Animals.

Attendance tripled compared to the first event, with nearly 50 pets on leashes, and in crates and in cages, filling the church parking lot.

Laura Sipos brought her two children, Kamryn and Emily, along with their two Labradors. 

“I brought Daisy and Kenzie because they need blessings. It’s important to take care of your animals like you take of yourself,” Sipos said.

Father John Marshall, St. Peter’s newly ordained pastor, presided over the event. He said he was pleased with the turnout — not just with the number of animals, but also with the families who demonstrated compassion for God’s creatures.

“Two pet owners came today because their animals are ill. Two of them have the possibility of cancer, so receiving that blessing is special not just for the animal, but brings comfort to the whole family,” said Father Marshall. “We humans have a responsibility to be mindful that as we are blessed so too are our animals and pets.”

St. Peter Church will continue the annual Blessing of the Animals every October in celebration of the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi.

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