All Saints Episcopal Church, 4550 N Hermitage, celebrated the Feast of St Francis with a cacophonous service, blessing, according to the church “74 dogs, 13 cats, 1 rabbit and 1 lizard on Sunday. Thanks be to God!”
Congregants noted they had also brought a fish, a hamster and a guinea pig to the service.
Rector Bonnie Perry said the first service featured a number of Dachshunds, making it particularly loud. At the second service, her dog, a rescue, watched her closely as she celebrated the Eucharist, then discovered a bowl of Milkbones and tried to snack.
Perry interrupted her consecration of the host to thank a parishioner for taking the Milkbones away.
“We welcome all our guests today,” Perry said during the service, “of whatever species.”
As Perry made the rounds, one dog decided it would be better to internalize the holy water and had a drink from the bowl Perry was carrying. Perry took it in stride, returning to the main altar to get more water for the blessing.
Perry praised pets as a blessing to their caretakers.
Member of the parish carries her companion into the church for the special Feast of St Francis liturgy. Photo Credit Patrick Boylan