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St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Church to Bless Creatures Big and Small on St. Francis Feast Day

The public is invited to attend St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church for a free “Blessing of the Animals Festival” Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015, starting at 4:30 p.m. at the church located at 2901 Nojoqui Avenue in downtown Los Olivos.

This blessing of the animals is conducted in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures great and small on his feast day.


All ages are welcome to bring pets (on a lead or in a crate) for a special individual prayer of blessing by The Rev. Dr. Randall Day, priest and rector of St. Mark’s starting at 5 p.m. 

A reception will follow the service featuring animal treats and water for pets, plus sodas, wine and cheese for their humans to enjoy.

The service will be a casual one, held outdoors in front of the church. (In the rare case of inclement weather, the festival will be held inside the church’s Stacy Hall.) 

A tortoise receives a blessing at a previous festival.

If a pet cannot be transported or is unable to attend, a photograph can be blessed instead. Children are also welcome to bring stuffed animal toys for a blessing. 

“These creatures are our companions and friends, and we as loving humans can learn from them, especially when it comes to living in the moment," said Rev. Day. "Our pets will never discuss their five-year plans and they will never talk about how they regretted eating that last biscuit. They are here to remind us that we are alive now, to be awake and show us the spirit. We welcome all residents and visitors to join us in this celebration of animals." 

For more information, contact the church office at 805.688.4454 or visit

— Laura Kath represents St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church.

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