In celebration of St. Francis, whose official festival day was Monday, Oct. 4, St. Ann’s Episcopalian Church in Sayville held a Blessing for the Animals on Sunday, Oct. 3.
“It could not have gone better,” said Fr. Jeffrey Neal Stevenson, who counsels his flock at St. Ann’s.
“We wanted to do something that acknowledged St. Francis, but wanted to do a little more this year,” said Fr. Jeff.
A parishioner of St. Ann’s is an active member of Last Chance Animal Rescue and prior to the animal blessing, an adoption event was held at the church.
Fr. Jeff actually adopted his second dog, Annie, a 2-year-old cattle/shepherd mix who loves to chase, corral, and protect, from Last Chance Animal Rescue to bring some young spirit to his other dog, 11-year-old Sugar, who is “adorable” and a Corgi/dachshund/basset mix, with curiously shorter front legs.
The animal blessing was open to pets of all denominations and each of the approximately 50 feathered and furry attendees received an individual blessing.
While the church does have a specific prayer for animals, Fr. Jeff decided to personalize the blessing for each pet.
Fr. Jeff has gone on record as a man of the cloth to state, “I believe all animals do indeed go to heaven.”
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