Archive for October, 2009

Friday, October 2, 2009

Orange County Register

By Jessica Terrell

YORBA LINDA – Parents at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School brought their smallest family members to school today, walking dogs and carrying cats, fish, gerbils, hamsters and even starfish to campus to take part in an annual blessing of the animals.

Younger schoolchildren brought stuffed animals to be blessed.

“It’s special because we go to St. Francis School and St. Francis really loved the animals,” said eighth-grader David Ure, president of the student council. Ure’s mother had brought the family golden retriever, Rocky, dressed in an Angels jersey to give an extra blessing to the Angels for the playoffs.

Ryan Sills, 6, clutched a small plastic aquarium with a red starfish. Sills had a simple explanation for why cats were his favorite animal of the day: “Because they’re cute.”

Parents, children and pets gathered on the field before lining up to get blessed with holy water.

“(Our dogs) are so much a part of our family,” said Carmen Clark, who brought her dog, Brownie, a one-eyed part Chihuahua who was adopted from a shelter.

It was the second year that the Yorba Linda school, which has an enrollment of 474 children pre-Kindergarten through eighth grade, has held an animal blessing.

The blessing is in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment. Currently it’s mostly parents and grandparents who bring pets to the event, but the school is hoping to draw more community participation in the future.

The Diocese of Orange is having blessings Saturday at the historic Mission San Juan Capistrano and Holy Family Cathedral and St. Norbert’s Church, both in Orange, on Saturday. On Sunday morning, the Diocese will host its second annual Blessing of the Waves at the Huntington Beach Pier.

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