Community pets blessed in popular chapel event
An energetic group of dogs, cats and even a hamster joined their LSTC families Tuesday, Oct. 4 in the quad for the annual “Blessing of the Pets” chapel service.
Erik Christensen, pastor to the LSTC community, said each year’s gathering is different. Now in his sixth year, Christensen said the popular event always draws dogs and cats, along with assorted others, for instance, gerbils, hamsters, and guinea pigs.
“In my first congregation I had parishioners who would bring roosters, tarantulas, iguanas, and ferrets,” he said. “We don’t see so much of that here at LSTC!”
Christensen said the service fits into the chapel’s broader celebration of the Season of Creation, which began on Sept. 1 with the World Day of Prayer for Creation and ended on Oct. 4 with the commemoration of Francis of Assisi. St. Francis was known for his care for the environment, and specifically, animals. Pet blessings are traditionally held on or around this date.
Instead of having people bring their pets to a central blessing place, this year, the students and their friends blessed their pets simultaneously in place.
“It’s so clear that for many people their pets are an important part of their household and a tangible way in which they express their baptismal vocation of caring for the earth and all its creatures,” Christensen said. “I’m always delighted to see how many students already know each other’s pets by name. It is an outward sign of the many networks of relationship and connection between students and their families.”
The LSTC community gathers for chapel at 11:15 a.m. four days a week. View some recent worship events here.
By Gail Kenny, who is an MDiv student and a student worker on the Communications and Marketing team.