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Pets blessed at parishes, schools in honor of the feast of St. Francis of Assisi

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Across the diocese, schools and parishes hosted pet blessings Oct. 3-4 in honor of the feast of St. Francis of Assisi Oct. 4. 

St. Paul VI Catholic High School, Chantilly

St. Paul VI Catholic High School in Chantilly held a blessing of the pets on the school’s back lawn Oct. 3. Around 60 pets, including dogs, cats, bunnies and even a turtle, were chaperoned by the families of current students, staff and alumni through a pet parade, where fun facts were read aloud for each animal. Father Stephen J. Schultz, chaplain, gave the blessing, and each pet left with a Paul VI bandana. 

Church of the Nativity, Burke 

Father Bob Cilinski, pastor of Church of the Nativity in Burke, greeted and blessed pets on the parish’s grotto grounds Oct. 4. The parish also held a livestreamed blessing of gardens and animals Oct. 2. 

St. John Neumann Church, Reston 

About 30 families and individuals brought their pets to the outdoor Blessing of Animals Oct. 4 at St. John Neumann Church in Reston. After a short prayer service, Deacon John A. Wagner blessed individual pets, mostly dogs.



© Arlington Catholic Herald 2020