A pet blessing was held at Tampa Catholic, 4630 N. Rome Avenue, last week. Here's a rundown of the event and some photos from Michael Groff:
On October 4, the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, the Tampa Catholic Campus Ministry Team once again hosted the annual “Blessing of the Pets," as a crowd of 150 parents and students mingled with their beloved furry friends.
Brother Chris Burns intoned the opening words of the prayer service, “The Lord be with you," above the whines, pants, barks and embarrassed whispers of "sit," "stay," and "good boy."
Deacon John Iadanza, proclaimed the reading from the book of Genesis.
“God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind," he said. "And, God saw that it was good.”
Following the readings and prayers, Deacon John and Brother Burns began blessing the well-behaved pets, dividing the crowd into two lines, separating the dogs from the cats, and the birds from the snakes.
At the conclusion of the blessing service, the judges announced the winners in the following categories: Friendliest Pet category was won by Dalton Sassor’s dog “Riley”; Cutest Pet Category was won by Haven Garcia’s hedgehog “Moonflower”; and the Most Exotic Pet category was taken by John and Sara Hirsch’s three turtles named “Sunset," “Floaty” and “Flipper."
Did you attend the pet blessing, or have you been to one before? Tell us in the comments.