CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Churches all over the world marked the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi with pet blessings Sunday but one service in downtown Chicago almost didn’t happen.
Pastor Amity Carrubba of Grace Place Episcopal Church was prepared to cancel their annual pet blessing service over concerns about COVID-19.
“I just didn’t have the imagination or, you know, creative juices to think about how we could safely invite neighbors, members and friends,” Carrubba told WBBM.
But after pairing down the outdoor service, clergy from Grace Place and Holy Trinity Lutheran Church were able to bless about 60 pets in Printer’s Row Park in the South Loop.
Pet owners wore masks and kept their distance as dozens of dogs, one cat and three Chicago police horses were blessed.
Carrubba said she felt this service resonated with owners, many of whom are spending a lot of time with their animals as they work and learn from home.
Though this year’s service was shorter, Carrubba said she thinks participants had a larger turnout than normal because people are looking to find things to celebrate.