Blessed be the pets

November 1, 2022

Several hospitals across the ministry celebrated the Oct. 4 Feast of St. Francis of Assisi by hosting blessings for pets events in early October. St. Francis is considered the patron saint of animals because of his love of all creatures.

At top, dogs gather at the feet of Fr. Callistus Chukwudi Onumah to be anointed at HSHS St. John's Hospital in Springfield, Illinois. All pets were welcome, but the event went to the dogs, like the one above, center awaiting his turn for the attention of Fr. Onumah, who is HSHS St. John's priest chaplain. The Hospital Sisters of St. Francis were the founding congregation of HSHS.

At left, Fr. James Dominic Thekkemury smiles as he blesses a picture of a cat held by a sister in a park across the street from St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe, Louisiana. St. Francis Medical Center arranged the blessings. The hospital is part of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System.

At right, Scout sits pretty to receive his blessing from Fr. Sam Maranto at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Stephanie Manson, center, Scout's companion and the hospital's chief operating officer, looks on.

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