Nacogdoches clergy help bless animals at Banita Creek Park

Nacogdoches clergy help bless animals at Banita Creek Park
Photo: KTRE
Photo: KTRE

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Multiple Nacogdoches churches united in offering their services for an extra special day for animals across the Deep East Texas.

The Humane Society of Nacogdoches County and area clergy held their annual blessing of the animals on Sunday where for a mother/son duo, it was their first time.

"We've had dogs for couple of years but we've never brought them out. It was important for Carter (her son) to come out and see this. And Littlebitt (their pet) can use a blessing as well," said Cindy Bertin, pet owner.

Several residents brought their pets to Banita Creek Park to be blessed.

"I like to see all the other dogs. We usually meet people here that we know and it's just sweet," said Judy Mayer, a resident. "I like to watch the dogs get to know each other and it's always so peaceful."

Mayer is clearly not alone. Another couple brought their goat to this event to be blessed.

"Really we wanted her to be blessed for fertility because she's a dairy goat so we could get milk once she has a baby," said Christina Banchs-McRae, a goat owner.

Traditionally the blessing is a part of the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, an annual event celebrating the life of the patron saint of animals.

"God asks us to care for all of his creation and animals are part of his creation so we include them in God's blessings and let God watch over and take care of them," said Reverend Lorraine Brown.

Anyone who has loved a dog, knows one thing for sure: any blessings are entirely mutual. No bones about it.

"Dogs enrich our lives so much and cats too. All animals enrich our lives," Bertin said. "And they're a blessing to us so they deserve a blessing back."

The tradition dates back to more than 800 years.