Catholic Parishes and Schools Celebrate Feast of St. Francis

Blessing of the Animals

October 01, 2009

Catholic parishes and schools throughout the Archdiocese of Washington will welcome four-legged and winged creatures and pets of all kinds this Friday and over the weekend (October 2-4) as they celebrate the Feast of St. Francis with prayers, readings and the blessings of animals.

St. Francis of Assisi, whose feast day is observed by the Catholic Church on October 4, is the patron saint of animals and ecology. He lived in Italy between 1181 and 1226, rejecting a life of wealth for one of poverty. He founded the Franciscan religious order and was known for his holiness, peacefulness and love for all of God’s creations, including animals.

Highlighted below are some of the celebrations this Friday, Saturday and Sunday:


St. John the Evangelist School, 10201 Woodland Drive, Silver Spring (301-681-7656)
On Friday, October 2, at 8:30 a.m., the school will celebrate the life of St. Francis with a parade of pets, prayer and a blessing of the animals on the upper playground.

St. Camillus School, 1500 St. Camillus Drive, Silver Spring (301-434-2344)
On Saturday, October 3, 3:30 p.m., the school and parish will have a blessing of the animals outside of the church building and animal adoption opportunities.

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 6701 Muncaster Mill Road, Derwood (301-840-1407)
On Sunday, October 4, from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m., the parish will celebrate St. Francis of Assisi’s Feast Day with a parish picnic. During the picnic at 3:00 p.m., the parish will hold a blessing of the animals.


St. Mary of the Mills School, 106 St. Mary’s Place, Laurel (301-498-1433)
On Friday, October 2, at 2:00 p.m., students will gather on the back playground for the annual blessing of the pets.

Holy Redeemer School, 49th Avenue and Berwyn Road, College Park (301-474-3993)
On Saturday, October 3, at 5:00 p.m., the parish and school will celebrate their fifth annual Outdoor Mass with Blessing of the Animals. The Mass will be held on the parish lawn (in case of rain, it will be held in the Four Seasons Room).


Little Flower School, 20410 Point Lookout Road, Great Mills (301-994-2055)
On Friday, October 2, at 2:15 p.m., the school will celebrate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi with its annual blessing of the pets on the school grounds.

The Archdiocese of Washington serves 29,000 students in 96 elementary, secondary, special schools, and early learning centers in the District of Columbia and Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s counties in Maryland.

Kathy Dempsey
Office of Communications
[email protected]