The following parishes have announced pet blessings in early October, in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226).
Born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone, informally named Francesco, he was an Italian Catholic friar, deacon and preacher. He founded the men’s Order of Friars Minor, the women’s Order of St. Clare, the Third Order of St. Francis and the Custody of the Holy Land.
He is the patron saint of the environment and animals because he loved all creatures and allegedly preached to even the birds. His feast day is Oct. 4.
Animals must be on leashes, or in carriers or cages. Social distancing and masks are required.
Friday, Oct. 2
St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Whitehall, 7:45 a.m., Pershing Boulevard parking lot, use entrance nearest funeral home and park in back rows, with Father John Pendzick and Father Jojappa (Joji) Adagatla, questions contact Mary Spieker 610-266-0695 ext. 208.
Saturday, Oct. 3
Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena, Allentown, 10 a.m., school yard.
Notre Dame of Bethlehem, 10 a.m., in front of Blessed Mother Grotto, canceled in case of rain, Tricky Tray will open at 10 a.m. and parking may be at a premium.
St. Joseph, Summit Hill, 10:15 a.m., church parking lot, all animals must remain in custody of owner, will be happy to bless an animal in a vehicle.
St. Patrick, Pottsville, 10 a.m., Calvary Cemetery, with Father Barnabas Shayo.
SS. Peter and Paul, Lehighton, 9 a.m., small parking lot, questions contact church office 610-377-3690.
Sunday, Oct. 4
All Saints, McAdoo, noon, in McAdoo and Weatherly.
Annunciation BVM, Catasauqua, noon, parking lot.
Assumption BVM, Northampton, noon, rectory lawn at corner of 22nd Street and Lincoln Avenue, blessing after brief prayer service.
Assumption BVM, Slatington, 11:15 a.m., parking lot front of church.
Divine Mercy, Shenandoah, 11:15 a.m., St. Casimir Church parking lot.
Holy Cross, New Philadelphia, noon, Holy Cross Grotto.
Our Lady Help of Christians, Allentown, 1:30 p.m., outdoors, bring your pets (or even just their picture or their ashes).
St. Ambrose, Schuylkill Haven, noon, in front of parish center, in event of inclement weather remain in your car and drive around the church circle, and Monsignor Edward Zemanik will bless your pet in the car. If you would like to make a monetary or gift card donation to the Hillside SPCA, please place your gift in a plain envelope marked SPCA or Hillside, and place in the Sunday collection the weekend of Oct. 3-4. Unable to accept donations of pet supplies due to Covid-19.
St. Benedict, Mohnton, noon, “barking” lot.
St. Catharine of Siena, Reading, 1 p.m., pavilion.
St. Francis of Assisi, Allentown, 12:30 p.m., main parking lot, canceled in case of inclement weather.
St. John Baptist de la Salle, Shillington, noon, main parking lot behind church.
St. John the Baptist, Pottsville, 1:30 p.m., at Russell Building, Ninth Street and Schuylkill Avenue, questions contact email@example.com or 570-622-5470.
St. Nicholas, Walnutport, 1 p.m., church parking lot.
St. Peter, Coplay, noon, lawn in front of Heritage Center, questions rectory 610-262-2417.
St. Theresa of the Child Jesus, Hellertown, 4-5 p.m., individual blessings of pets near outdoor Fatima and St. Theresa shrines, no formal prayer service this year due to pandemic to avoid creating a gathering.
Monday, Oct. 5
Holy Family, Nazareth, 11 a.m., church parking lot. Due to Covid-19 restrictions Holy Family School will not be participating this year.
Holy Guardian Angels, Reading, virtual blessing will be posted to school and parish websites, Facebook pages and Option C. Email a photo of your pet(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, Oct. 2 for inclusion in the video. Pets will be blessed by Father Robert Finlan during the video.