St. Vincent continues tradition of pet blessings

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PEORIA, Ill. — A 20 plus year tradition continued, Friday, at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School with its annual animal blessing event.

Many students excitedly ran to the playground with their pets, mostly dogs, for Father Tom Taylor to bless the furry animals. In the mix of the continuous barking taking place, Father Taylor said this is a great moment the creatures that provide so much joy to their owners.

“When God created the world he made all the animals and he gave us dominion over all of those,” Father Taylor said. “They provide companionship.”

The tradition is in honor of the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, which commemorates the life of St. Francis. Father Taylor said St. Francis was a lover of nature and animals so they used this day to bless pets.

“They love getting blessings themselves and they love animals so it’s kind of cool for them to see the animals get blessed to,” Father Taylor said.

This rings true for 7th grader Sara Jorgensen, who said she looks forward to bringing her dogs to this event every year.

“My dog is three years old and I’ve brought her here every year since we’ve gotten her,” Jorgensen said. “I also like seeing her mingle with the other pets.”

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