Saint Lawrence Elementary and Middle School was filled with a different kind of excitement and joy on October 4, surrounded by a crowd that only enhances the campus one very special day each year. This special day, was the Feast Day of Saint Francis of Assisi, also known on campus as Blessing of the Animals Day. Each student was invited to bring their family pet, stuffed animal or photo of their pet, to school for the celebration. The school choir, led by Mrs. Scott, sang with grace and poise to Mr. Pingel’s acoustic guitar as the school community gathered around in preparation for the blessing. After the joyful singing, students from Kindergarten to 8th grade lined up with the microphone and read a passage about Saint Francis of Assisi, in celebration of his Feast Day. Parochial Vicar, Father Joseph, then walked through the crowd blessing the pets and students with Holy Water. Barking, quacking, fluttering and meowing raised through the crowd, followed by laughter and joy of the students.
Blessing of the Animals has been a tradition of Saint Lawrence Elementary and Middle School for as long as members of the community can remember. The format of pets joining the morning, parents and community members surrounding the classes with smiling faces, celebration of song and prayer ringing through the blacktop has stayed strong over the years, bringing memorable experiences to students, staff and the community as a whole. It is with this celebration of Saint Francis of Assisi and his work with animals, that we are left with the simple reminder to care for God’s creatures as they are meant for us to love and cherish!