Children take their pets to receive blessings

The Episcopal Day School in Brownsville on Wednesday held a blessing of the animals as part of the celebration of the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi and also as a teachable moment about joy in all relationships among God’s creatures.

At the event, attendees were seen carrying dogs, cats, fishes, turtles, lizards, guinea pigs and even chickens.

The pets were all blessed with holy water.

Principal Brian Clyne said the school has been very active with bringing awareness about animal rescue and that the event serves to get parents, students and their animals all together.

“This event is just another community event. It is a way to get parents and students and their animals all together with us. The parents just love the opportunity and, more than that, the kids love the opportunity to show their pets to everybody,” Clyne said. “It’s a great event, lots of people and lots of pets… It’s been going on for years and years, and this is my first year as a director, so it is the first time I experience it.”

Clyne said the event is open to alumni and people who are active with the school in any way.

He said there are a lot of people who attend this annual event because the school has been open for more than 80 years. He added the school raised 600 pounds of food for the animals that were rescued from the warehouse in Los Fresnos.

“We’ve been very active with (helping animals) this year. Our second grade devoted a whole month to animal rescue,” Clyne said. “One class does community service, and you know those almost 300 dogs that were found in the warehouse? We did a drive and raised 600 pounds of food for that. So, it’s very important for us to take care of these guys and to do what we can in the community because we know there’s a problem.”

Clyne said it is very important for the school to bring awareness about how to treat pets and how to take care of them.

“So, just as part of that awareness and talking about how you treat your pets and to take care of your pets, too, it’s very important to us,” he said.

Isabella Morales, a student there, took her dog Riley to the blessing and said they have been together for four years. She said she loves her dog very much and it is important for her to have Riley blessed.

“It’s important to me because my dog is to get blessed and is to be with Jesus when she dies,” she said.

The Episcopal Day School, an educational outreach of the Church of the Advent, Episcopal, has served the community of Brownsville since 1948. What began as a dream to provide superior educational environment is now an institution of learning that is founded in a tradition of academic excellence and spiritual formation for all children, their official website reads.