One brave chicken was among the fifteen pets gathered at Warrnambool’s St Joseph’s parish for the annual Blessing of the Animals on Friday.
Dogs from a diversity of breeds dominated as the choice of family pet queuing to receive a splash of holy water and prayer at the outdoor twilight event.
Parish priest Father John Fitzpatrick reminded the two-dozen gathered that all creatures were special in the Christian faith.
“As Christians we are called to respect all of God’s creation,” he said.
“Caring for pets is not about ownership or possession but rather our role is that of caretakers or guardians as it says in Genesis.
“St Francis of Assisi highlighted we were called to love and appreciate all that God has made.”
The parish’s animal blessing is conducted in remembrance of the 12th century catholic priest Saint Francis of Assisi who is the church’s patron saint of animals and the environment.