Friends both two- and four-legged gathered at Mercy Home last Thursday, October 4, to celebrate the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi and have their pets blessed.

In addition to the blessing, it was the perfect opportunity for our neighbors to meet our facility dog Pongo! Pongo had a great time making new canine friends.

About 60 people brought their dogs to be blessed, some coming from neighborhoods as far as Hyde Park! The dogs had a great time romping around our courtyard and meeting each other before the event began.

The event began with a welcome from Director of Philanthropy Phil Zielinski and Fr. Scott Donahue, who both thanked the attendees for coming to the event. Fr. Scott then passed the mic to our Vice President of Youth Programs Tom Gilardi, who introduced Pongo and shared a little bit about Pongo’s history and the important work he does with our kids at the Home. He also encouraged everyone there to stop by the Home again to learn more about our work with kids!

After Pongo’s official introduction, Matt Beran did a reading from Genesis, which included Genesis 1:25, which reads, “God made all kinds of wild animals, all kinds of cattle, and all kinds of creeping things of the earth. God saw how good it was.”

Fr. Scott shared then some history about St. Francis of Assisi with the group. St. Francis is the Patron Saint of Animals because of his love for all creatures. He even wrote a Canticle of the Creatures, which was an ode to God’s living things. “All praise to you, Oh Lord, for all these brother and sister creatures,” St. Francis wrote in the canticle.

After Fr. Scott spoke, each pet had an opportunity to be blessed and sprinkled with holy water. Vice President of Advancement Joe Wronka wrapped up the evening by thanking everyone again for coming. He also recognized Philanthropic Advisor Tricia Rooney for organizing the event.

The Pet Blessing was a huge hit! Thank you to all of our coworkers who helped make this event a success!

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