Well, Bless My Pets
Pet Blessing Integrated into Disciple Development Plan
On Saturday, 8 October, St. Monica belatedly celebrated the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi with the traditional pet blessing. All school Mass has been celebrated on the actual Feast, 4 October, with a recitation of the Prayer of St. Francis after communion.
The second grade, along with their parents and teachers, Mrs. Kraus and Mrs. Kuhnmuench, helped advertise the event in the community, collect towels for the Humane Society and distribute dog biscuits at the blessing Over 40 families and their dogs attended the blessing. In an unusual turn of events, no other animals were present except for a rabbit named Rosie.
Associate Pastor, Father Andrew Linn, led the service, blessed each animal and obliged pet owners with a brief photo op after the blessing. Music was provided by pet parent and school parent, Brian Mitchell. In a special moment, Mr. Mitchell sang the Prayer of St. Francis from the all school Mass while Father Andrew sprinkled Holy Water on the individual pets. There was much excitement and howling.
The pet blessing is a part of the second graders’ activities for the school’s award winning Disciple Development Plan at St. Monica School, where each grade focuses on one of the seven principles of Catholic Social Teaching by actively engaging with parish and community events to fully participate in service and civic engagement while using holy men and women , such as St. Francis of Assisi, as a model of these Catholic Values. This all school integration of Catholic Social Teaching, hagiography, service learning and civic engagement received a 2016 State Schools of Character Promising Practices Award this past June.