Annual Darndale Belcamp Parish Blessing Of The Animals. Sunday 4th October saw a very special Mass celebrated in Our Lady of Immaculate Church in Darndale-Belcamp Parish, Dublin.
The Mass based around “The Canticle of Brother Sun,” celebrated in honour of St. Francis of Assisi, was brought to life by a combination of the Oblate Youth Choir, and many local children. The Oblate Youth filled the Church with hymns and the young children retold the story of St. Francis’ life and love of God’s creation.
After Mass Sr. Lumay, our parish sister, and a group of parishioners continued the celebrations with a “Street Party” to thank the children for all their hard work at Mass. Children’s laughter drowned out the sound of music, as the children enjoyed themselves playing games, winning prizes and tasting the baked goods on offer.
The excitement reached its peak when Fr. Ned Quinn along with family members joined the party goers to complete the day’s celebration with the annual parish blessing of pets and animals. A variety of birds, dogs, and horses waited (sometimes patiently) with their owners for their turn.
Fr. Ned was introduced to each pet by the owners, who were excited to relay amusing anecdotes about caring for their pets, as he blessed each and every one. Health and safety procedures were strictly observed as some pets were overwhelmed by the crowds waiting in line.
Although the blessing was primarily for animals; children not wanting to leave the party to collect their pet had brought a symbol of their pet instead. Photographs, toys and collars were all blessed.
Fr. Leo Philomin and Fr. Tomasz Maniura, an Oblate visiting us from Poland, joined in the fun as Fr. Leo and his pet hen “Kiev” waited patiently to be blessed.
An array of favourite toys, much loved teddy bears, and even “little Tike’s” motor-bike were all important enough to be brought along for the blessings.
At the end of a fun day many tired pets were brought home by happy and tired owners. We are all looking forward to next year’s blessing. See you all next year!
By Lisa Lawless
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