Blessing of the animals

WelCom November 2020 St Francis of Assisi Ōhariu Parish hosted its annual St Francis of Assisi feast-day celebrations at two Masses on Saturday October 3 and Sunday October 4.  The…

WelCom November 2020

Blessing of the animals Archdiocese of Wellington
Live animals, including Jack the Donkey, lambs and dogs, are walked down the aisle at the St Francis of Assisi Day ‘Blessing of the Animals’ Mass, Ōhariu Parish. Photo: Tim Gordon

St Francis of Assisi Ōhariu Parish hosted its annual St Francis of Assisi feast-day celebrations at two Masses on Saturday October 3 and Sunday October 4. 

The first celebration was a Saturday night Creation-themed Mass at St Benedict’s Church, Khandallah that began with rousing singing of All Creatures of our God and King. It was followed the next day with a combined parish Mass at St Andrew’s Church, Newlands. 

The combined Mass was a dynamic event. Children brought their stuffed animals to be blessed and parishioners watched as a group of ‘travelling monks’ walked real animals down the aisle for a blessing – including Jack the Donkey, as well as lambs and dogs. 

People in the congregation reflected on Pope Francis’ quotation: ‘the Earth as our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life’.