Jo Anne Embleton
Jacksonville Daily Progress
Liberty, a West Highland terrier owned by Our Lady of Sorrows parishioner Al Schlachter, watches with curiosity as Father Mark Kusmirek sprinkles holy water on her during a pet blessing Friday at the Jacksonville Catholic church. Churches throughout the world held similar ceremonies in honor of the Oct. 4 feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, a 13th-century monk best known for his love of animals and the environment.
“He had a gift to speak with the animals,” Father Kusmirek said, before telling Schlachter and fellow pet parents Diane Richards and Rebecca Harper, “let's bless these little creatures of God.”
Progress photo by Jo Anne Embleton