Of saints and spaniels: Pets receive blessings at Dallas church

By Dan Stokes - [email protected]
The Rev. Brian Pavlic reads “A Litany of the Animals” next to Deacon Chris Sutton before blessing pets on Sunday at Prince of Peace Episcopal Church in Dallas. - Amanda Hrycyna | For Times Leader
Susan Gillespie of Dallas, left, watches as her King Charles Spaniel, Sophie, receives a blessing from the Rev. Brian Pavlic at the Prince of Peace Episcopal Church in Dallas. ‘My three sons have all moved away,’ Gillespie said. ‘Sophie is the only one I have.’ - Amanda Hrycyna | For Times Leader
Rev. Brian Pavlic gives a blessing to Cookie outside Prince of Peace Episcopal Church in Dallas Sunday morning as the dog tries to kiss his face. Jessica Atkinson, 13, of Wyoming, is seen holding Cookie. - Amanda Hrycyna | For Times Leader

DALLAS — Pets for most people are an extension of their family.

Prince of Peace Episcopal Church on Sunday recognized the importance of domesticated animals to their families by bestowing blessings upon critters brought to the house of worship on Main Street.

“As a community of God, it’s nice to celebrate and bless the animals,” said Rev. Brian Pavlac, of Kingston. “If we treat animals and nature poorly then we are dishonoring God.”

Pavlac, who is affiliated with St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in downtown Wilkes-Barre, occassionally helps out at Prince of Peace. He said the church’s Blessing of the Animals was done under the guidelines set forth by St. Francis of Assisi.

“St. Francis was an Italian medieval saint who spoke to the animals and assured that they were a part of God’s kingdom,” Pavlac said. “He inspires us to accept these pets.”

The intimate blessing touched Susan Gillespie and her 5-year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Sophie.

“I think this is very important because our pets are like our family,” Gillespie, of Dallas, said. “It’s nice to receive the same blessings as us.”

“My three sons have all moved away,” she added. “Sophie is the only one I have.”

Pavlac believes that this blessing shows a positive side of faith.

“To the people that came out, I think it shows how our faith accepts pets,” he said. “Anything that brings us this much joy will be in heaven.”

Pavlac continued: “Any religious ceremony, no matter your affiliation, helps us think about our relationship to the divine.”

The Rev. Brian Pavlic reads “A Litany of the Animals” next to Deacon Chris Sutton before blessing pets on Sunday at Prince of Peace Episcopal Church in Dallas.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_ttl100818blessingofanimals-4.jpgThe Rev. Brian Pavlic reads “A Litany of the Animals” next to Deacon Chris Sutton before blessing pets on Sunday at Prince of Peace Episcopal Church in Dallas. Amanda Hrycyna | For Times Leader

Susan Gillespie of Dallas, left, watches as her King Charles Spaniel, Sophie, receives a blessing from the Rev. Brian Pavlic at the Prince of Peace Episcopal Church in Dallas. ‘My three sons have all moved away,’ Gillespie said. ‘Sophie is the only one I have.’
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_ttl100818blessingofanimals-5.jpgSusan Gillespie of Dallas, left, watches as her King Charles Spaniel, Sophie, receives a blessing from the Rev. Brian Pavlic at the Prince of Peace Episcopal Church in Dallas. ‘My three sons have all moved away,’ Gillespie said. ‘Sophie is the only one I have.’ Amanda Hrycyna | For Times Leader

Rev. Brian Pavlic gives a blessing to Cookie outside Prince of Peace Episcopal Church in Dallas Sunday morning as the dog tries to kiss his face. Jessica Atkinson, 13, of Wyoming, is seen holding Cookie.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_ttl100818blessingofanimals-6.jpgRev. Brian Pavlic gives a blessing to Cookie outside Prince of Peace Episcopal Church in Dallas Sunday morning as the dog tries to kiss his face. Jessica Atkinson, 13, of Wyoming, is seen holding Cookie. Amanda Hrycyna | For Times Leader
Pets receive blessings at Dallas church

By Dan Stokes

[email protected]

Reach Dan Stokes at 570-991-6389 or on Twitter @ByDanStokes

Reach Dan Stokes at 570-991-6389 or on Twitter @ByDanStokes