News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Breaking News


October 6, 2013

Bless them all, great and small

Owners have animals blessed in name of St. Francis

TERRE HAUTE — Dogs, cats and a rat (and their owners) gathered at a downtown church Saturday morning to ask for God’s blessings.

Surrounded by trees and plants at the south lawn of St. Joseph University Parish, more than a dozen pets and their owners participated in the annual blessing, celebrated on the Saturday closest to the feast day of St. Francis.

“St. Francis is the patron of God’s creation,” said Friar Mark Weaver, who led the blessing.

“He was such a friend not only to people but also to all of creation,” Weaver said adding that the saint referred to animals, the sun, the moon, and others, as brothers and sisters.

Born in 1181 at a small town in Italy, St. Francis of Assisi is the founder of the Franciscan Order. He is the patron saint of animals, merchants and ecology. His feast day is Oct. 4.

And a day after the saint’s feast day, the small group gathered to “pray for the pets and their owners,” Weaver said.

Although people come for a variety of reasons, all of them come to “just be thankful for them [the pets] and ask God to keep them well,” Weaver said.

Pets, he said, are very much part of the family for most people.

One family came to ask for blessing for Harry, a 5-year-old golden doodle.

“He’s had some medical issues this year,” said owner Jason Ireland, who was accompanied by his wife, Bridget and son Aidan.

“He needs blessed. ...He’s part of our family,” Bridget said.

After all the participants have gathered in a circle, Weaver led the prayer to “bless these creatures who will be companions for us in the journey of life.”

Afterwards, he went to each pet and sprinkled them with Holy Water.

And as Weaver approached, young Brendan held out Jumpers, his pet rat.

“What a beautiful rat,” Weaver said after blessing the rat.

Brendan said it feels “nice” to have Jumpers blessed.

“For a while, she hasn’t got much attention,” the boy said.

For his mom, Colleen Magnuson, it’s the start of a family tradition.

“We like to participate in our faith as much as possible,” she said.

Magnuson, who also brought younger kids Jack and Gretchen to the blessing, said she also got her pets blessed on St. Francis’ feast day as a child.

“I admire St. Francis a lot. ... It’s neat to pass it along to my kids,” she said.

Another attendee was Mary Caye Pfister, who was with Paulie, a brussels griffon rescued from a puppy mill two years ago.

“The blessings are so good for everybody including our favorite companions,” Pfister said.

Tribune-Star Reporter Dianne Frances D. Powell can be reached at 812-231-4299 or

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift U.N. School in Gaza Hit by Israeli Strike Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began
NDN Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010

Real Estate News