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