By Mary O’KEEFE
All animals large and small made their way to Holy Redeemer Catholic School, along with their pet parents, for Friday’s Blessing of the Animals.
As the students and parents waited for Monsignor Jack “Father Jack” Foley to begin the ceremony the pets became familiar with each other. Some sniffed, some slithered and some just tried to stay out of the way like Midnight the cat who stayed close to pet parents second grader Paisley Baldwin, her brother first grader Brody, and mom Ann.
Despite Midnight’s very wide eyes, Ann said, “She has been surprisingly calm.”
Five-year-old Conner Steele brought his pet snake to be blessed.
“His name is Cruiser,” Conner said. “He is a rosie boa.”
Ace, a bunny, eyed the dogs, cats, snakes and lizards but showed no signs of fear. Student Gabriel Buzzelli took Ace out of his cage and placed him on his leash.
“Ace is 2-and-a-half years old. I have had him on leash since he was little,” Buzzelli boasted.
Father Jack was pleased at the number of students and pets that attended Friday’s annual event.
“I think it [creates] a wonderful spirit and you can see how excited the kids are about their animals,” he said. “It is wonderful to see how supportive [the children] are of their pets.”
The day is part of the Feast of St. Francis, the patron saint of animals and ecology.