88°Mostly Cloudy

Blessing of the Animals Coming Up

by Prince Of Petworth — September 26, 2012 at 11:00 am 19 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user pablo.raw

For this who live in/near Brookland:

The friars at the Franciscan Monastery invite their Brookland neighbors and their friends to bring their pets to the monastery Sunday, Sept. 30 at 1:30 p.m. for the annual Blessing of the Animals. The friars traditionally bless pets (large and small are welcome) on or near the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and the environment, who was known for his life of simplicity and peace. Hope to see folks there! The monastery is located at 1400 Quincy Street, NE.

For those that live near the National Cathedral (3101 Wisconsin Ave, NW):

Washington National Cathedral continues its annual tradition of blessing animals on October 7, 2012, in honor of the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi. St. Francis, the patron saint of animals, frequently preached to them in his ministry. The Cathedral will welcome special guests Lois Wye from the Washington Animal Rescue League, Lisa LaFontaine, President of Washington Humane Society and Victoria Strang from the Humane Society of the United States.

“The blessing of the animals is always a heartwarming and fun event for the community,” said Cathedral spokesman Richard Weinberg. “For many people a pet is a member of the family, and bringing a pet to church for a blessing is a unique opportunity that allows us to engage with our faith in a new and meaningful way. We are proud to carry on this tradition of blessing all members of God’s creation.”

All pets and their caretakers are invited to attend and participate. The Animal Rescue League will have a pet adoption van on site and the Humane Society will have some animals available for adoption for those looking to provide a home for an animal in need.

When: Sunday, October 7, at 2:30 pm EDT
Where: Walker Court on the West Front of the Cathedral along Wisconsin Ave.

  • sue ruff

    My wonderful dog-sitter offered this excellent advice for people taking their dogs to a Blessings event:

    1. Most services involve animals bring sprinkled with holy water, and
    some dogs respond to this as if they’ve just been squirted with water from
    a spray bottle or water gun. I’ve found that priests can usually be
    convinced to sprinkle water on dogs’ backs instead of their faces, which
    keeps the dogs happy while also satisfying the priests’ need to do
    something with their holy water.

    2. Be aware that cats, rabbits, parrots, and other pets may be in
    attendance, and that their guardians may decide to remove them from their
    carriers at unexpected moments without regard for the proxmity of dogs.
    Keep a very close eye on dogs with high prey drives, and never let any dog

    3. Prayer and holy water are no protection against microbes. Dogs should
    be up-to-date on essential vaccinations.

    4. Blessings of the Animals are among the most inclusive, relaxed
    services ever held at churches, and all the ones I’ve gone to have
    welcomed visitors regardless of their religious affiliation. (Even if
    they weren’t intentionally inclusive, most of the time attendees are too
    busy paying attention to the dogs to give a second thought to the
    religious beliefs of the people chaperoning the dogs!) It helps that
    these services are usually held outdoors without pews, because there’s no
    need to worry about when to sit, stand, and kneel.

    Happy Feast of Saint Francis to all who celebrate it.


  • While I’m not one for blessing animals, all I can see when I look at that dog’s face is, “I’m going to heaven, bitches!!! YEEHAW!!”

  • I have helped with WARL dogs for five years in a row. WARL will have their new amazing mobile adoption truck and so will WHS I guess. Sue’s advice is good. I remember cats on leashes in trees last year. Also wear shoes that are waterproof as last year the lawn was soaking wet.

    • When I was a kid I insisted my parents bring my nasty, hateful, ill-tempered, spiteful cat to the Blessing of the Animals at our local Catholic church. I thought maybe the blessing would make her more cuddly and loveable. My poor mother wrestled with that cat all afternoon trying to get her into her carrier, it was quite an ordeal. Once inside the carrier, the cat spent the entire time huddled in the corner, hissing at the everything and everyone, and finally pissing in the carrier for good measure. The blessing did not make her any nicer. We never understood why the cat was so completely evil.

      Needless to say, I’m a dog person now.

      • Anonymous

        Clearly the holy water wasn’t from Lourdes.

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Sometimes I think my dog needs an exorcism!

  • Ofelia

    Is All Souls Church on 16th going to have a blessing of the animals as well?

    • I think All Souls already had that service.

      • Anonymous

        The pic is from All Souls, right?

  • Anonymous

    Blessing is nice but my dog needs an exorcism

  • Anonymous

    There is also a church at 14th and East Capitol Street SE that is doing it on October 4th from 6-7:30 pm.

  • Anonymous

    People are freaking crazy.

    • Care to elaborate?

      • Anonymous


  • Ali

    Another blessing of the animals in downtown DC! St. Paul’s Episcopal, at 2430 K St. in Foggy Bottom, will have a blessing of the animals on Saturday, Oct. 6th at 2 pm. Please come and bring your animal friends! It will be on the West lawn, next to the church.

    • Ali

      re: St. Paul’s blessing. I meant the “south lawn.” But it is the only small lawn next to the church, so you can’t miss it. St. Paul’s is near 25th and K, not far from the Foggy Bottom metro.

  • Foundry United Methodist Church, at 16th and P Streets, is also doing a blessing of the animals on Oct. 14th at 3 p.m. http://revdeansworld.blogspot.com/2012/09/free-advice-dont-sprinkle-cats.html


Subscribe to our mailing list