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SEA ISLE CITY - The community was, once again, invited to attend a yearly Blessing of the Animals ceremony at St. Joseph Catholic Church, on the Feast Day of Saint Francis of Assisi.

According to a municipal release, with more than 20 dogs and cats  in attendance – as well as two recently-rescued donkeys – Rev. Perry Cherubini, pastor, Saint Joseph Church, led the Oct. 4 ceremony, which included a reading from the book of Genesis and the sprinkling of Holy Water on the animals and their owners.

“O God, you have done all things wisely; in your goodness, you have made us in your image and given us care over all living things,” stated the pastor, after asking all of the pet owners to lovingly place their hands on their animals.

“May God, who created the animals of this earth as a help to us, continue to protect and sustain us with the grace his blessing brings, now and forever,” he continued.

In addition to receiving a blessing and being sprinkled with Holy Water, each pet was also given a medal of Saint Francis of Assisi, who is well-known as the patron saint of animals.

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