Blessing of the Animals set Sunday at St. Mary’s Church
St. Mary’s Episcopal Church will present the Blessing of the Animals Sunday at 2 p.m.
The blessing is an outdoor worship service celebrating the animals that people share their lives with. Pet owners or not, all are invited to honor all of God’s creatures.
The church blesses animals each fall to commemorate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, one of the most loved Christian saints. The animals will be blessed as individuals, along with their owners. Stuffed animals are welcome, too. Pets who cannot attend may be blessed in absentia at the request of their owners.
The service will be held on the terrace of the Trowbridge House at 808 First St. across from St. Mary’s Church.
Refreshments will be served for pets and their humans. Rain location will be the front porch of the Trowbridge House.
The canine guest of honor will be Daytona, a United States Army protection dog of unknown lineage. She resides with Elmo and Kitty Vinas. She was born in Iraq in late 2007 and is bilingual. Farsi is her native language and English her second. Following the custom of soldiers naming their trail dogs after automobiles, she was named after the Dodge Daytona.
Daytona was adopted by a U.S. Army Training Detachment commanded by Elmo’s brother, Lt. Col. Rick Vinas. She “volunteered” her service and became their mascot. When the unit went out on patrol, she would take the lead. She was very observant and could lead them to possible explosive devices.
Because she was so supportive of the detachment, Rick Vinas made arrangements with the International Kennel Club to transport her to the U.S. in November 2009. She has been in Franklin since March this year.
To meet Daytona and her friends and celebrate God’s creatures join the blessing Sunday. Phone 828-0918 for more information. Critters should be contained or leashed.