Blessed are the canines. And the cats.

Blessed are the canines. And the cats.
Blessed are the canines. And the cats.

YARMOUTH — Genn Branco of Freeport introduced her newly adopted cat, Lilly, to the Sacred Coronary heart Church on Important Road in a small pink canine stroller. She unzipped the basket and allowed the leashed kitty to discover the church grounds.

It was the primary time Branco had attended the annual Blessing of the Animals.

Genn Branco of Freeport pets her cat, Lilly, at an animal blessing outdoors Sacred Coronary heart Church in Yarmouth on Saturday. Sofia Aldinio/Employees Photographer

“I want her to be around for a long time and be healthy,” mentioned Branco, who misplaced cats in 2020 and 2021. “To me, they’re so much more than pets. They’re companions. And they’re housemates.”

Branco was certainly one of a half dozen pet homeowners to take part within the annual Blessing of the Animals by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland. The Yarmouth occasion was certainly one of 22 going down this weekend all through the state.

The occasion coincides with the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, who is understood for his love of all God’s creatures, in keeping with the diocese.

Father Peter started the ceremony with a Bible studying and a prayer. After which, one after the other, he splashed every pet – 4 canines and two cats – with three squirts of Holy Water from a small plastic bottle.

“Take good care of God’s creatures,” Father Peter mentioned on the finish of the ceremony.

Jeremiah Murray and Poppy Wanamaker, who have been visiting household, introduced Henri, a 6-month-old black mini poodle-Yorkie combine, to be blessed.

“The little guy, like all of us, needs all the help he can get,” Murray mentioned.

“I think there’s no debate about whether animals have souls or not, so it’s really nice that the church has a little thing for them,” Wanamaker mentioned. “I wish we could bring them to Mass.”

Whereas solely cats and canines have been at Saturday’s occasion in Yarmouth, Father Peter mentioned that’s not all the time the case.

“Several years ago, we had a horse,” Father Peter mentioned. “Sometimes we get birds, parakeets and rabbits.”

A couple of years in the past, Murray mentioned, he introduced his bearded dragon.

Brenda and Tim Howard of Freeport introduced their 11-month-old customary poodle, Chardonnay, a educated service canine, to be blessed.

“It’s important,” Brenda Howard mentioned. “She’s special.”

Joe Pelletier of Yarmouth clutched his cat, Oliver, tightly. The indoor cat almost scrambled away earlier than the ceremony.

“It’s a good community event,” he mentioned. “It’s a blessing – every little bit helps.”

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