Blessing of the animals honors companions

Photo by Billy Hurbaugh

Star Report

More than 100 animals including dogs, cats, horses, goats, lizards, hamsters and their humans attended the annual St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church free “Blessing of the Animals Festival” the afternoon of Sunday, October 2, at the church located at 2901 Nojoqui Avenue in downtown Los Olivos.

All ages from throughout the Central Coast brought their pets (on a lead or in a crate) for a special individual prayer of blessing by The Rev. Dr. Randall Day, Priest & Rector of St. Mark’s in a casual, outdoor service on the lawn in front of the church. This animal blessing is conducted in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures great and small on the Sunday closest to his feast day of October 4th. Refreshments for animals and their companions were offered after the service.

“These creatures are our companions and friends and we as loving humans can learn from them, especially when it comes to living in the moment. Our pets will never discuss their five-year plans and they will never talk about how they regretted eating that last biscuit. They are here to remind us that we are alive now, to be awake and show us life and unconditional love,” Rev. Dr. Randall Day, St. Mark’s Priest and Rector remarked.

For more information, contact the Church office at (805) 688-4454 or visit www.SMITV.org