Dogs, cats, birds and turtles blessed at Sunday morning service


Even non-Catholics came with their pets for the annual ceremony held after the feast of St Francis Assisi.

Fr Joe D’Souza, the parish priest who has been blessing them for the past 20 years, blessed all the pets that showed up for the service.

"It is done in memory of St Francis of Assisi who was a pet lover. The blessing is kept for the first Sunday following the feast of October 4," said Fr Joe, as he made it a point to bless each pet — be it shy, scared, loving the company of its peers, dressed for the occasion in a dress, or with scarfs around its necks — by sprinkling holy water from Easter and drawing a cross on their heads with holy oil.

Some like Mashu, a Persian cat, even had a bath with shampoo for the blessing. Brought in the cozy comfort of a school bag that he prefers, he was back in it soon after the blessing. "Like all pets, he too likes his corner," said Wendy Rodrigues.


Vivek and Asha Sah, who had bought their six-year-old dog, Peaches for the blessing, were pumped up and ready to bring her every year.

"It is a great thing. We are not Catholic but decided to bring her here anyway," said Sah, as Peaches stood with a scarf around her neck.


"The Holy water will provide strength to our pet," said Maria Gomes who took some for her pet Kuku, a mixed breed of Labrador-Alsatian.

Baby Bonzo, a Lhasa dog, was blessed to make her less aggressive. 

"When we found her, she was bitten by cats. Now she has become less aggressive," said Joe Monteiro.

Some of the pets were a bit scared, like Baali, an Indian Eagle Owl and Bijli, a white owl. They were cuddled in the arms of Donald D’Souza — who saved them both when they were injured and abandoned.

Baby Bonzo, a Lhasa dog, was blessed to make her less aggressive. 

“When we found her, she was bitten by cats. Now she has become less aggressive,” said Joe Monteiro.

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