In celebration of the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, known for his love of all of God's creatures, several churches around Maine will hold Blessing of the Animals prayer services. Animal lovers are invited to bring their pets to have them blessed and gently sprinkled with holy water. The services are a way of thanking God for the pets that bring joy to so many.
Here are the Blessing of the Animals ceremonies listed by date and location:
October 1, 2022
St. Mary Church Parking Lot, 144 Lincoln Street – 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
St. Joseph Church, 225 South High Street - 10 a.m.
St. Peter Church, 58 Cedar Street - 10 a.m. All animals must be caged (kenneled) or leashed. The blessing service will take place rain or shine.
St. Gregory the Great Church, 24 North Raymond Road - 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
St. Mary of the Visitation Church, 110 Military Street - 1 p.m. The Heart of St. Francis Fraternity is sponsoring the annual Blessing of the Animals in the parking lot of the church. All animals, big and small are welcome, but please have your pet either leashed or cages for safety reasons.
St. Patrick Church, 380 Academy Hill Road – 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
St. Catherine of Sienna Church, 32 Paris Street - 10 a.m.
St. Louis Church, 279 Danforth Street - 10 a.m.
St. Joseph Church lawn, 673 Stevens Avenue - 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Sacred Heart Church, 326 Main Street - 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
October 2, 2022
St. Michael School, 56 Sewall Street - 1 p.m. in the playground. All are welcome to bring their well-behaved animals to be blessed.
Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, 82 Atlantic Avenue – 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
St. Charles Borromeo Church Parking Lot, 132 McKeen Street – 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Immaculate Conception Church, 31 Calais Avenue - 1 p.m. - Held in the parking lot of the church. You are welcome to bring any animal you would like blessed.
St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 45 High Street - Outside the church at 12:30 p.m.
St. Louis Church, 26 East Main Street - 2 p.m. outside the rectory garage. People are invited to bring their pets, farm animals, or photos of endangered wildlife to be blessed by Father Jean-Paul Labrie. There will also be a memory table for those who wish to bring a photo or memento of a beloved, deceased pet. And there will be photo area where people can have pictures taken with their pets. Participants are also asked to consider bringing donations of cat or dog food, which will be given to a local shelter or food pantry.
St. Joseph Church, 110 School Street - 1 p.m. in the parking lot. All are welcome to bring well-behaved animals to be blessed.
St. Christopher Church, 15 Central Avenue - Following the 8:30 a.m. Mass (approx. 9:30 a.m.)
Church of the Holy Cross, 124 Cottage Road - Noon
St. John Grotto, 26 Monument Street - 1 p.m.
St. Francis Xavier Church, 130 Route 133 - 1 p.m. in the parking lot. All are welcome to bring well-behaved animals to be blessed.
October 9, 2022
St. Mary Church, 768 Ohio Street - 2 p.m. in the parking lot.