Pixel Tracker

Tuesday, December 18 , 2018, 9:37 am | Fair 56º


Creatures Great and Small Blessed at Bishop Garcia Diego High School

Pets and their owners attend a Blessing of the Animals, which also celebrated the installation of a plaque displaying Saint Francis' Prayer for Peace

Yelping dogs, chirping birds, and even a tortoise and hare — creatures of all shapes and sizes flocked to Bishop Garcia Diego High School on Tuesday for a Blessing of the Animals.

The Rev. Daniel Barica, pastor of Saint Barbara Parish at the Old Mission, led the student body in prayer and a song of thanksgiving for all of God’s creation in the park-like setting of the high school.

The ceremony celebrated Saint Francis of Assisi, who had a wide and loving heart for all who were poor, sick or very small. He loved animals and called them “brothers.”

Barica encouraged the student body to “be thankful to God for giving us pets who bring us joy.”

The campus quad was full of life and enthusiastic love for one’s pets.

“I loved it! We got to see aspects of people’s lives we don’t ordinarily see,” said Sister Helen Wolkerstorfer, BVM, longtime teacher and personal counselor for the school. “I also appreciated the pride and love for their pets.”

Linda Williams, an English and theology teacher at the high school, brought her puppy, Flossy, to campus for a blessing. She said she especially appreciated the community-building aspect of the event and loved it that so many people got involved.

“And they got blessed!” Williams said.

Senior student Paige Sleep added: “It was so sweet. I liked how it was just fun for the school to come together in this way.”

Included in the afternoon ceremony was the blessing of a newly installed mosaic plaque displaying Saint Francis’ Prayer for Peace. It was designed and created by art teacher Magda Barnes, installed by Peter Da Ros Masonry, and beautified with landscaping by Progressive Landscape. It shares Saint Francis’ message of hope for a world in need of peace and a reminder to the Bishop community of being called to be true instruments of that peace.

— Jennifer Winnewisser is a campus minister at Bishop Garcia Diego High School.

Article Image
caption goes here

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.