Pets blessed during St. Mary's annual event

The sun was shinning and tails were wagging while a lone feline's complaining wail wafted over St. Mary the Virgin Episcopal Church Bennett Garden Sunday afternoon as more than a dozen pets and their owners participated in the parish's annual Blessing of the Animals.

Canines greatly outnumbered the one female kitten “Jo Jo'” — aptly named after the late singer Josephine Baker — who complained bitterly of her forced appearance throughout the small service held to honor St. Frances of Assisi. St. Frances was an Italian Catholic friar who was known for his love of nature and animals.

“When you look into your pet's eyes, you always see love,” said the Rev. Barbara Kirk-Norris, rector of St. Mary's, who led the service.

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