Blessing of the Animals

Jose Martinez (left), assistant director to the International Student Office, and his dog Cooper sits with Miguel Ochoa ’09 BA and his dog Brody at the Blessing of the Animals in October.

Each October, UIW holds a Blessing of the Animals ceremony to celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and ecology. St. Francis was a Roman Catholic saint who took the gospel literally by following all that Jesus said and did. He believed that God was in everything. To honor that tradition, the university invites the community each year to bring all animals, large and small, live and stuffed, to be blessed by Sr. Martha Ann Kirk at the Grotto on campus. The Blessing of the Animals reminds us of the importance of respecting all creation on Earth.