WILMINGTON – A few dozen dogs, a turtle and a hermit crab were the guests of honor at a ceremony at St. Anthony of Padua School earlier this month. The creatures, family pets of the students, gathered Oct. 3 at Father Tucker Field for the blessing of the animals, held in honor of the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.
Oblate Father Nick Waseline, pastor of St. Anthony’s, read a few prayers before walking around the field sprinkling the pets (and their owners) with holy water. Many students whose family has pets that could not attend held up drawings of their animals to be blessed.
The dogs didn’t seem to notice the priest walking around, but they reveled in all the attention the students paid. Students, teachers, parents and several recent St. Anthony’s graduates who returned for the prayer service enjoyed the spring-like temperatures.