Blessing four-legged family members


St. John’s holds Pet Blessing

By Sam Wildow - [email protected]



Juliana Alexander of Piqua holds kitten Evan Almighty.


Sam Wildow | Daily Call

Dog Shelbie of Fletcher (left) inspects one of the Alexander family’s rabbits.


Sam Wildow | Daily Call

Pastor Michael Havey of St. John’s Lutheran Church (far right) blesses Dexter, a yorkie.


Sam Wildow | Daily Call

Pastor Michael Havey of St. John’s Lutheran Church (front right) blesses kitten Evan Almighty, being held by Juliana Alexander (front left). Lillian and Betsy Alexander watch from behind.


Sam Wildow | Daily Call

Pastor Michael Havey of St. John’s Lutheran Church (far right) blesses dogs Shelbie and Colbie of Fletcher. Emma Anderson of Fletcher (front) watches as she sits next to the dogs. From left to right in the back: Maddie Grube, Shantel Anderson, and Alyssa Anderson, all of Fletcher.


Sam Wildow | Daily Call

Pastor Michael Havey of St. John’s Lutheran Church (right) blesses dog Bailey as owner Marcia Reke of Troy (middle) holds Bailey.


Sam Wildow | Daily Call

People were also encouraged to bring pictures of their pets to the Pet Blessing on Sunday for Pastor Michael Havey of St. John’s Lutheran Church to bless if they were not able to bring their pet.


Sam Wildow | Daily Call

Dogs Colbie (back left) and Shelbie (front left) of Fletcher examine the Alexander family’s rabbits of Piqua.


Sam Wildow | Daily Call

PIQUA — It was a mutual feeling for those who attended the Pet Blessing at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church on Sunday that pets are more than just pets.

“They’re family,” Betsy Alexander of Piqua said. “They’re my four-legged kids.”

Alexander and her daughters Lillian and Juliana brought with them three cats — including one on a leash named DaVinci, one 10-year-old cat named Jo Jo, and one special needs kitten named Evan Almighty — along with three bunnies.

“If we lose one these guys, we get very sad,” Lillian Alexander said.

“He’s a blessing,” Marie Anderson of Piqua said about her Yorkie named Dexter. Anderson jokingly added, “He lets us live with him.”

Anderson rescued Dexter two years ago from the Miami County Animal Shelter.

“He gives a lot of love and needs a lot of attention,” Anderson said. “It gives you a purpose in life.”

The Pet Blessing was held on St. Francis of Assisi Day, a day when Pet Blessings were held at other churches in the area and across the country. St. Francis of Assisi is a canonized saint in the Catholic Church and is the patron saint of animals in addition to the environment, Italy, merchants, and stowaways.

Pastor Michael Havey of St. John’s stated that St. Francis of Assisi believed that all creatures, not just humans, were children of God and were blessed by God.

“Gracious God, in your love you created us in your image and made us stewards of the animals that live in the skies, the earth, and the sea,” Havey said, praying during the Pet Blessing. “Bless us in our care for our pets and animals. Help us recognize your power and wisdom in the variety of creatures that live in our world, and hear our prayer for all that suffer overwork, hunger, and ill-treatment. Protect your creatures, and guard them from all evil, now and forever.”

Havey also read from Genesis 1:1, Genesis 1:20-28, and Psalm 84:1-4.

The ceremony marked the value that those animals held in the lives of their owners and celebrated the companionship and friendship those pets provided as well.

Juliana Alexander of Piqua holds kitten Evan Almighty.
http://dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_CMYK-pet-blessing-1.jpgJuliana Alexander of Piqua holds kitten Evan Almighty. Sam Wildow | Daily Call

Dog Shelbie of Fletcher (left) inspects one of the Alexander family’s rabbits.
http://dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_CMYK-pet-blessing-2.jpgDog Shelbie of Fletcher (left) inspects one of the Alexander family’s rabbits. Sam Wildow | Daily Call

http://dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_RGB-pet-blessing-4.jpgSam Wildow | Daily Call

http://dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_RGB-pet-blessing-5.jpgSam Wildow | Daily Call

Pastor Michael Havey of St. John’s Lutheran Church (far right) blesses Dexter, a yorkie.
http://dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_CMYK-pet-blessing-6.jpgPastor Michael Havey of St. John’s Lutheran Church (far right) blesses Dexter, a yorkie. Sam Wildow | Daily Call

Pastor Michael Havey of St. John’s Lutheran Church (front right) blesses kitten Evan Almighty, being held by Juliana Alexander (front left). Lillian and Betsy Alexander watch from behind.
http://dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_CMYK-pet-blessing-7.jpgPastor Michael Havey of St. John’s Lutheran Church (front right) blesses kitten Evan Almighty, being held by Juliana Alexander (front left). Lillian and Betsy Alexander watch from behind. Sam Wildow | Daily Call

http://dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_CMYK-pet-blessing-8.jpgSam Wildow | Daily Call

Pastor Michael Havey of St. John’s Lutheran Church (far right) blesses dogs Shelbie and Colbie of Fletcher. Emma Anderson of Fletcher (front) watches as she sits next to the dogs. From left to right in the back: Maddie Grube, Shantel Anderson, and Alyssa Anderson, all of Fletcher.
http://dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_CMYK-pet-blessing-9.jpgPastor Michael Havey of St. John’s Lutheran Church (far right) blesses dogs Shelbie and Colbie of Fletcher. Emma Anderson of Fletcher (front) watches as she sits next to the dogs. From left to right in the back: Maddie Grube, Shantel Anderson, and Alyssa Anderson, all of Fletcher. Sam Wildow | Daily Call

Pastor Michael Havey of St. John’s Lutheran Church (right) blesses dog Bailey as owner Marcia Reke of Troy (middle) holds Bailey.
http://dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_RGB-pet-blessing-9.jpgPastor Michael Havey of St. John’s Lutheran Church (right) blesses dog Bailey as owner Marcia Reke of Troy (middle) holds Bailey. Sam Wildow | Daily Call

People were also encouraged to bring pictures of their pets to the Pet Blessing on Sunday for Pastor Michael Havey of St. John’s Lutheran Church to bless if they were not able to bring their pet.
http://dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_RGB-pet-blessing-99.jpgPeople were also encouraged to bring pictures of their pets to the Pet Blessing on Sunday for Pastor Michael Havey of St. John’s Lutheran Church to bless if they were not able to bring their pet. Sam Wildow | Daily Call

Dogs Colbie (back left) and Shelbie (front left) of Fletcher examine the Alexander family’s rabbits of Piqua.
http://dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_CMYK-pet-blessing-3-last-image.jpgDogs Colbie (back left) and Shelbie (front left) of Fletcher examine the Alexander family’s rabbits of Piqua. Sam Wildow | Daily Call
St. John’s holds Pet Blessing

By Sam Wildow

[email protected]

Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall

Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall

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