The Rev. Mark Stetz, pastor of Santa Rosa Catholic Church, will continue a centuries-old custom to ask God’s blessings “upon animals of all denominations” on Sunday, Oct. 5, at noon. All pet owners may bring their critters (on leash or in carriers) to the Santa Rosa Church parking lot, where he will perform the brief ceremony.
The tradition in honor of animal life is held in conjunction with the feast of St. Francis of Assisi (Oct. 4), who tradition says “preached to and blessed the animals in the wild” in the 13th century. He is also credited with originating the Christmas crèche, using Italian villagers and live farm animals to stage the manger scene.