ALLOUEZ, Wis. (WFRV) – Resurrection Parish held their annual Feast of St. Francis Mass in which pets receive blessings.

According to church members, “This pet blessing custom is conducted throughout the world in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi, in honor of his great love for creation and all of God’s creatures.”

Father Rob Reynebeau, who performed the blessings says, “For me, it’s a pleasure. I have a dog. I celebrate her, she’s important to me and people’s pets are important to them as well. We just want to celebrate that relationship and the joy they bring to our families.”

While only dogs were in attendance at this year’s mass, animals of all species were welcome to participate.

Parishioners say holding services like this is a great way of bringing the community together.

Allouez resident Jim Taetsch brought his dog, Beardog, to be blessed. Taetsch says, “I think it’s a nice way to outreach to other members of the parish because people are attached to their animals, and if you can bring them to church on Sunday, I think a lot of people will enjoy that.”

Janine Pichler of De Pere says she enjoyed having her dog Benny partake in the service as well: “It means a lot because our pets are part of us, and it’s nice that they’re blessed too as we are blessed for them being in our family.”

The Resurrection Church is looking forward to blessing pets again next year.