Animal lovers from around Maine are invited to flock to have their animal companions blessed outdoors in celebration of Saint Francis of Assisi’s Feast Day (October 4). All pets are welcome to attend any of the 21 Blessing of the Animals events scheduled for October in Maine.

Here are the Blessing of the Animals in chronological order:

Saturday, October 3
Falmouth
Holy Martyrs of North America Church, 266 Foreside Road, beginning at 9 a.m. in the parking lot

Portland
St. Pius X Church, 492 Ocean Avenue, starting at 10 a.m. on the church lawn

Rangeley
St. Luke Church, 19 Lake Street, 10 a.m.

Gray
St. Gregory Church, 24 North Raymond Road, beginning at 11 a.m. in the parking lot

Houlton
St. Mary of the Visitation Church, 110 Military Street, beginning at 1 p.m. outside of the church

Norway
St. Catherine of Sienna Church, 32 Paris Street, in the front yard of the church at 1 p.m. The Holy Family Fraternity of Third Order Franciscans will be assisting with treats for pets.

Sanford
Holy Family Church, 66 North Avenue.  Father Alexander Boucher will lead a Blessing of the Animals service at 2 p.m.  Rain date is Sunday.

Sunday, October 4

Belfast
Parking lot of Waldo County YMCA at 157 Lincolnville Avenue. Blessing of the animals will be held after the 8:30 a.m. drive-thru Mass.

Rockland
St. Bernard Church, 150 Broadway, after 11 a.m. Mass in the parking lot (drive-thru blessings)

Dexter
Outside of St. Anne Church, 64 Free Street, beginning at 11:30 a.m. (after 10:30 a.m. Mass)

Augusta
St. Michael School, 56 Sewall Street. The blessing will be held in the school playground at 1 p.m. (access from Lincoln Street)

Bridgton
St. Joseph Church, 225 South High Street, in front of the church at 1 p.m.

Caribou
Holy Rosary Church, 38 Thomas Avenue. The blessing will begin at 1 p.m. in the parking lot

Gardiner
St. Joseph Church, 110 School Street. The blessing will be held in the church parking lot at 1 p.m.

Presque Isle
St. Mary Church, 331 Main Street. The blessing will begin at 1 p.m. in the parking lot.

Winthrop
St. Francis Xavier Church, 130 Route 133. The blessing will be held in the church parking lot at 1 p.m.

Gorham
St. Anne Church, 299 Main Street, at 2 p.m. The service will be held in the parking lot.  Please keep pets on leashes.

Orono
Newman Center, 83 College Avenue, beginning at 2 p.m. in the parking lot

Skowhegan
Notre Dame de Lourdes Church, 273 Water Street, beginning outside the church at 2 p.m.

Lewiston
Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul, 122 Ash Street in Lewiston at 4 p.m. The service will be held on the front lawn.

Saturday, October 10

Portland
St. Louis Church, 279 Danforth Street, on the lawn of the church at 10 a.m.
As prayers are offered, the pets will be gently sprinkled with holy water. When additional events are added, they will be posted at www.portlanddiocese.org/blessing-of-animals. Saint Francis of Assisi was known for his love of all of God’s creatures. The Blessing of the Animals remembers Francis’ love by invoking God’s blessing on the animals and thanking God for letting us share the earth. The blessing also recognizes the important place that pets hold in people’s hearts.

Comments are not available on this story.