The community is invited to attend a Blessing of the Animals 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, in the courtyard of Shepherd of the Hills United Methodist Church, 13658 W. Meeker Blvd.
The event commemorates the life of Saint Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals who was known for his love of animals and allegedly even preached to birds. Owners using their own cell phones can have a photo taken with their pet and Saint Francis himself.
All pets are welcome and must be on a leash or otherwise contained. They will be blessed by a Shepherd of the Hills pastor and will receive a certificate of blessing. If a pet is physically unable to attend, his/her human may bring a photograph to be blessed and will also take home the certificate of blessing.
A memorial fountain will offer quiet reflection for those who have lost a pet. Colored stones can be tossed into the fountain as pets are remembered for their faithfulness and love. Decorated cards with a prayer and a place for a photo of a beloved companion will be available to take home as a special keepsake.
There will be a kiosk with pictures of animals who are waiting to be adopted into a loving forever home. In addition, information about local establishments offering services for pet care will be available.
Pets and their masters are invited to bring donations of pet food and supplies which will be distributed to local animal shelters and to food banks for pets of families with limited resources.