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PHOTOS: Blessing of the Animals at St. Catharine's

Holmdel church holds annual service in honor of the Feast of St. Francis

Amid the noise of barking from dogs of all shapes and sizes, Deacon Juan G. Rojas-Hernandez jokingly called for silence—from the humans.

Some 40 animals and their owners gathered in the parking lot of St. Catharine’s Roman Catholic Church in Holmdel on Sunday, Sept. 30 for the Blessing of the Animals. The service is held annually around the time of the Feast of St. Francis, which falls on Thursday, Oct. 4 this year. In Catholicism, St. Francis of Assisi is regarded as the patron saint of animals.

St. Catharine’s has held an annual Blessing of the Animals service for at least 10 years, according to Pastoral Associate and Youth Ministry Director Kathy McBurnie.

The recipients of this year’s blessing were predominantly dogs, though a few cats joined in the service. McBurnie provided treats to the four-legged visitors following the Blessing of the Animals service.

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