The Rev. Mark Breese, agency minister at Community Missions, blesses Bear the horse owned by Pat Schuler of Wilson at Community Missions’ inaugural Blessing of the Animals last year. The event returns on Saturday.

Community Missions will hold its second annual Blessing of the Animals from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday at its main site, 1570 Buffalo Ave. in Niagara Falls.

All pets in the community, be they furry, feathered, and even scaly are invited to come and receive a blessing. For those with pets that do not travel well, owners can also bring a picture or just come themselves and ask for a blessing for their pet.

At the event, Rev. Mark Breese (CMI Agency Minister) and Friend of the Mission Rev. John Seib (an Episcopal priest) will offer a brief opening ceremony and prayer, and then offer individual blessings to pets from the community. Joanne Lorenzo of Lighthouse Women & Children Center in Niagara Falls will provide music.

“Our event went very well last year, and we’re very excited to be able to offer this to pet owners in our community once again,” said Breese. “People who have pets see them as not just animals that they own, but members of their family. They care about them deeply — pets depend upon their humans for everything. Community Missions has long recognized this and have offered support to those who need it through our Pet Pantry for many years. It only seems right to extend spiritual care to our animal family members through this annual Blessing of the Animals.”

The event is an opportunity to publicize, and generate donations for, Community Missions’ long-running Pet Pantry. The program provides food, toys and other supplies for pet owners that may not be able to afford them on their own. Donations can be dropped off anytime, and will be accepted during Saturday’s event.

Pet blessings have their origins in the celebration of the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi, which occurs in early October each year. Saint Francis recognized the interdependence between animals and humans. Because of this, he taught that humanity has a special duty to live in harmony with the natural world.

For more information about the event, please contact Sarina Deacon at 285-3403, ext. 2230 or

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